When you move away from home for the first time, there are a few things you need to do without exception.
Wear a Medical Alert
You are in a new environment. Most people don’t know you have type 1 diabetes, and even fewer will know how to help you if you have an acute diabetes crisis. There are a lot of nice medical alert styles nowadays, and some of them are actually fashionable.
Sick Days and Monitoring Ketones
If you haven’t already, talk to your diabetes care team about how to manage diabetes when you aren’t feeling well. In particular, you need to remember to check for ketones if you are sick and have high glucose levels (over 240 mg/dL twice in a row if you are on a pump, over 300 mg/dL twice in a row if you are on injections), particularly if you are nauseous or vomiting. (Urine ketone test strips can be purchased over the counter at a local drugstore without a prescription.)
If you detect positive ketones, you need to contact your diabetes care team for advice. If you can’t get in contact with your care team, or if you ever feel like you can’t manage ketones on your own, then you need to get emergency medical help. Asking for help may be necessary and it doesn’t mean you aren’t an expert in managing your diabetes.
Check Glucose Levels Before You Drive
There are plenty of distractions on the road – don’t let low glucose levels compound the problem. Hypoglycemia when driving creates the risk for injury to you and others, so take this isn’t something to take lightly. If you are taking a long roadtrip, build in time to monitor glucose on the way.