Musicians with Diabetes – prep for a gig out of town
Why do I need to see my doctor before I travel?
Before you travel, make an appointment with your doctor for a check up. (If you are a member of the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic, call 412-1366). By seeing your doctor a month or two before you leave, it will give you time to make sure your blood sugar, blood pressure and cholesterol are in good control. Being in good control will help you to stay healthy during the trip.
Below are things to ask your doctor at this visit:
- Ask for a letter that explains you have diabetes and that you need to keep your medicine and diabetes supplies with you at all times.
- Ask for extra prescriptions and more than enough medicine to last you the trip.
- Ask if you need immunization shots to travel abroad.
- Ask what to do if you get sick or have a medical emergency while you are away.
- If you use insulin and will be crossing time zones, you may need to take more or less insulin depending on the time change. Ask your doctor if you will need to adjust your insulin.
Should I get a letter from my doctor before I travel?
Yes, before going on a trip, ask your doctor for a letter explaining that you have diabetes.
The letter from your doctor should:
- Explain that you need to have your medicine and diabetes supplies with you at all times.
- List the names of your medicine, insulin and/or diabetes supplies.
- List any allergies that you may have to medications.
How much medicine should I take on my trip?
Plan on taking at least twice the amount of medicine and diabetes supplies that you will need to last the entire trip. Ask your doctor for help in getting this.
Why should I get extra prescriptions for my trip?
Having an extra prescription will make it easier for you to access more medicine when you are away from home. This is important if you happen to lose or run out of your medicine or if you decide to stay longer on your trip.
Ask your doctor to include the “generic” medicine name on the prescription. This is especially important if you are traveling abroad. Your medicine may have a different name in another country. Including the generic name on the prescription will help you get the correct medicine.
Do I need an immunization shot to travel out of the country?
If you are going out of the country you may need to get one or more immunization shot. It will depend on which country you are going to. Ask your doctor if you need one or more shots.
If you do need shots, get them at least a month ahead of time. This way, if you get sick from the shots, you have enough time to get better before you leave.
What can I do ahead of time to prepare for an emergency or if I get sick while I’m traveling?
Before you leave, ask your doctor what you should do in case you have a medical emergency or if you get sick while you are away. The doctor may give you some medicine to take with you in case something comes up.
Below are other things you can to do to be prepared:
- Carry some sort of medical identification that
says you have diabetes. This can be a bracelet, necklace or at least a card.
- Carry your doctor’s name and phone number.
- If you have insurance, carry your insurance card.
- Have a list of all your medicine and diabetes supplies.
- Have your pharmacy’s name and phone number.
- Have the name and phone number of a friend or relative that can be called in case of an emergency.
- If you are going to another country, learn a few phrases in that country’s language such as “I have diabetes” or “I need a doctor” or “Do you have sugar or orange juice?”
- Let at least one person you are with know that you have diabetes. Share with them the signs of low blood sugar and what they can do to help you if your blood sugar gets too low.