After traveling for the last seven months or so, I find that I'm using temporary basals on my insulin pump more often that I do at home on a more routine schedule. As things are changing all the time in my surroundings and activities, I'm trying to pay attention to what's coming next and proactively plan to attempt to keep my numbers in range.
Here's a run down and how and when I use them:
I INCREASE my basal rates when:
- I'm flying and changing time zones. The change always messes with me, and I think the flight alone adds some stress that bumbs my numbers as well.
- I'm seeing a site that I'm really, really excited about. The adrenaline shoots my numbers up.
- I'm participating in an activity that I'm nervous or anxious about, like rappelling or anything to do with heights. As note above, the adrenaline shoots my numbers about.
I DECREASE my basal rates when:
- I'm doing an exceptionally long day of walking around while sightseeing.
- I'm doing a moderate day of walking, but I haven't done so in a week or two (i.e., my body isn't used to it).
- I'm doing sightseeing that involves something more active, like climbing a bazillion steps to the top of a tower.
Although it's not perfect, temporary basals are one thing that is helping to keep my numbers in range while traveling long-term.