Traveling to Another Country Alone as a Teen #Loop

fullsizeoutput_22356I wasted no time from the day Caleb learned he was awarded a scholarship to tour Italy for 12 days. He would be traveling with strangers – nineteen other students from all over the country who were also awarded scholarships, as well as the touring company’s staff and chaperones. The clock was counting down and I had a little more than five months to get ready.

This is something for which I never imagined I would need to prepare. For years I had been focused on the event of leaving for college as the ultimate deadline to pass over complete responsibility to Caleb for his diabetes care. This trip accelerated that timeline by four years.

We had already changed insulins and seen the elimination of some erratic results.

Other key strategies employed:

– use of a travel scale

– an increased use and therefore knowledge of carb factors

– use of an instragram account to post pictures of meals and get opinions on carb counts

– using Dexcom G5 CGM, ensuring transmitter was not about to expire and a nice new fresh one was inserted at the beginning of this adventure

– reinstating Nightscout

– teaching Caleb to insert Dexcom by himself

– acquiring a powerful battery charger

– ensuring we had an international data plan, and

– deploying Loop

All of the above were important and useful, but Loop was the most impactful change we made. In response to my call for help, Alicia shared her experiences with OpenAPS and Loop and pointed me in the right direction to find out more. I’d been actively following DIY APS as Dana graciously shared her experiences and knowhow with the world. It all seemed overly technical and complicated, and Caleb wanted nothing to do with tubing, so I remained a spectator up until this point.

Understanding the benefits that a hybrid closed loop system provided, Caleb became open to tubing. Relatively quickly, I was able to secure the supplies I needed and we got started. The learning curve was steep, and we faltered many times. But the payoff was big: a system helping me look over Caleb on another continent even when he slept.




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