Off to Sweden I go

Over the years I’ve been through quite a few airport securities, but I really must say that the Heathrow folks were first class. Friendly was a huge thing, not the usual grunt/poke/mutter group. These folks had a good chuckle and made the whole thing very comfortable.

Being on a pump, airport scanners are a big no no for them, and also having a CGM fitted at the moment wanted to make sure that was going to be safe as well.

Approaching the scanners with my immense back of pump spares, backup syringes, hypo kits and other other bits ‘n’ bobs they just asked me to put that back in the hand check section and to go around the scanner for a pat down. All done without a problem at all, and a quick swob test of the pump and that was all sorted as well. Chatting to them they are all very well trained up on pumps. More so than any nurse who’s a “Diabetic Specialist” at a GP surgury that’s for sure! They hadn’t a clue about a CGM though and just blinked absently when I mentioned I also had one fitted and did they want to swob that also. They asked to see it but since it is stuck into me (pretty pointless it not being so after all) they looked at it, raised a few eyebrows in the “we haven’t a clue on this thing” kind of way and then decided best thing to do was simply to go eww at the crazy amount of tape my DSN had used attaching it to me and wave me through. In the process I dropped my change and we joked how some was now under their counter and they could keep it as a tip. All done in very plesent humour and overall the best experience with airport security I’ve ever had. Really first class folks!

The departure lounge was huge, and plenty of shops to browse and buy things from. Was disappointed in WHSmiths only having one Terry Pratchett book! And worst off it’s one I already had! So in the end my read for the evening was Learn Swedish which I thought might possibly come in a bit useful.

My BG kept creeping up throughout the wait, put that partially down to my infusion set needing changing tomorrow, bit of stress although don’t think I’m feeling any but who knows what’s going on inside us, and also a mix of the heat in London and terrible fatty foods I had been shovelling down me all day probably making me less sensitive to my insulin.

Had a play with both versions of the Microsoft Surface. Both very responsive little machines and I never noticed any real performance difference between the Atom and the Core machines. Think the 10″ Atom has a slightly better size though on the Tabletty side of things, although the Core better for laptop replacement. Couldn’t afford either at the moment but it was nice playing with them and also the latest range of Samsung kit they had in store.

Something else which was interesting to play with was the Microsoft fitness band thingy which I’ve forgotten it’s name. Very nice, and at £149 pretty nicely priced compared to the overly silly price points of smart watches. It is very specialised in what it does though in regards to fitness info and messaging but it’s a watch and does it really need anything more? Seems to have a decent battery life also but couldn’t test that so who knows. Nice though!

Final thing to tinker with in the Dixons duty free store was a Lenovo Yoga. Nice little laptop replacement also, well nice laptop which folds anyhow. A lot smaller than my TankPad that’s for sure, but it seems as well built…ARGHHH! This is becoming a nerdy tech blog not a nutty bike riding diabetic blog. Getting me back on track they did have a very swanky Cannondale Garmin team bike. Very beautiful, full cable Dura-Ace setup and a token huge Garmin 1000 stuck to the bars. Looks a nice improvement over my 810 but far to expensive in this day and age.

Flight was nice but for some utterly arrogant &*£$ of a banker type on the end of the row of seats. Utterly ignored all the information about turning off phones, just kept chatting and texting throughout takeoff as “it didn’t apply to him”. Really think in cases like that the cabin crew should be given tazers to zap any of the hardware idiots like this are trying to use. Would solve the problem once and for all. I mostly tried to doze my way through it as best as possible though.

Coming into Stockholm really noticed the change in light. Midnight in Stockholm is about as dark as about half 9 at home. On the horizon you could see the first climpses of sunrise. Quiet stunning and also very surprising to not be the usual pitch black like at home which really brought home how I was now further north.

On the drive my bloods had finally decided to play ball and had crashed through the floor so time for a bit of hypo prevention. By now (approaching 1am) the sky was really getting light and had that beautiful blend into blue with a lovely orange glow on the horizon. Very much like someone had dropped a gradient behind a silhouette of the foreground trees in Photoshop.

Travelling as a Type 1

So I’m off on a little flight off to Sweden for a long weekend with friends. The original plan was to ride back from Stockholm via Copenhagen, Hamburg and Amsterdam. Sadly though LM’s frame is pretty much on the last death throws and I’m very worried she won’t survive another big outing and she also needs new bearings for the front wheel. While yes the latter isn’t a major fix realistically everything is now in the process of looking forward to her replacements before total frame failure.

Anyhow, enough of my thoughts of a new touring and everyday frame for next year to travelling internationally as a type 1. Yeah just hopping on a plane and jetting off somewhere is so easy isn’t it. Don’t need to plan much do I?! Well yeah a little bit more maybe. First off the good ol’ European Health Insurance through the gov. That isn’t too hard as it’s all done at:
http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

Next up travel insurance. Ah typical, most companies won’t insure me as I’m T1 grr. So off I trot to find one which will insure me. Ah a quick Google and it looks like Diabetes UK will insure me. Nice! But the site keeps going belly up when trying to be used with Chrome, like come off it, it’s 2015! Feckless! So giving up on that after the 4th attempt and going trying another. In the end after a load of searching and seeing different rates the best option I found was All Clear Insurance. Had to answer a load of medical questions but the rates turned out better than rates for anyone normally going, so pretty chuffed at that really. The sites here if you fancy a looksee:
https://www.allcleartravel.co.uk/

Hang on, what happens if some lil traffic warden type in the airport has a go at all my hardware and decides to have a go poking through my back of sharps and pump supplies. Best give my DSN a call and pick up a letter. It’s a stock item them have so not a problem getting one. While on the phone to her she was also able to sweet talk her into letting me having a CGM sensor. Always handy when doing something different, stressful and eating something not familiar. So a wise addition for the trip I think.

Packing of kit ohh yes. Passport, money, luggage yeah all that boring stuff. What about D kit? Well a few spare infusion sets for starters, and reservoirs. Insertion kit and a spare one of those just in case. Frio Pack (http://www.frioinsulincoolingcase.com/) to keep insulin cool for a couple of days while travelling. Backup syringes in case anything really goes to pot. A small mountain of test strips. Meter. Spare batteries. Glucose tabs (buried so they’ll be ignored by customs).  Socks! Think that’s everything.

Ack tickets!…Will post more how the trip goes later.