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My Diabetic Year In Review 2018

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
Last Updated:
April 10, 2020
2018 has come to an end, so below I explore some of the highs and lows I've experience travelling the world with type 1 diabetes in 2018 + what's next!
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2018 is almost over, so I thought now would be a great time to reflect on my journeys with type 1 diabetes this year. This year has been a massive year for me, and I am actually amazed at how much I did in 2018.

jodphur diabetes
T1d in Jodphur India!

I’ve taken my diabetes to these countries:

  • France
  • Spain
  • Belgium
  • Croatia
  • Germany
  • Austria
  • Luxembourg
  • Liechtenstein
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina
  • Italy
  • Czech Republic
  • Switzerland
  • Slovenia
  • Sri Lanka
  • India
  • Nepal
  • Los Angeles (USA)

That’s pretty awesome right!!? I think so.

The amazing thing is, I haven’t had any MAJOR diabetes issues either.

But let’s have a look at what went right and what went wrong.

Diabetes mishaps of 2018

No control in LA

I will never understand why, but my time in LA was plagued by bad blood sugars. I’ve traveled so many places, yet LA seemed to be the place that just messed with my diabetes. I was running high quite frequently and I just couldn’t find a balance.

This meant I was often shattered and tired, but I didn’t let it stop me from having a good time.

I spoke to a diabetic girl who lives in LA and she said the air pollution can affect her blood sugars. When I was there is was “moderate” so that people with respiratory issues shouldn’t be outside lots.

I don’t have the world’s strongest immune system, so it could have been a factor for me.

diabetes LA
Diabetes LA

I forgot to bring my MedAngel to India

Okay, when I got back from LA I had a day to get my stuff organised for Asia then I was on the flight the next morning. So, you can imagine, in the midst of all that chaos, I would forget some things.

I forget a few things, one being my glasses and the other being my MedAngel One sensor. I’ve spoken about this sensor before, and about how it connects to an app on your phone and you can see the temperature of the insulin.

Now, this is really useful when you’re backpacking, because often you will give your insulin to the hotel staff to keep in their fridge as there is no in room fridge etc.

Now, in Delhi, on my last few nights in India, I gave my insulin to the guys at the desk. I always do this little dance and show about how not to put it in the freezer etc and we agree that it's the fridge.

But, anyway, on the day I am due to fly to Nepal, I get my insulin, and I notice my bag that I keep it in is frozen. I think CRAP. I check, and yes, half of my insulin has frozen and been defrosted.

How do I know this? There was frost on the bottles and some of the insulin had turned white and cloudy, which means insulin had died.

I was BEYOND ANGRY. Both at the hotel and myself. They are the first people to mess this up in 3 years, and we had an understanding, plus they didn’t seem to realise the seriousness of the issue.

And I was angry at MYSELF because if I had my MedAngel with me, I would have known the insulin was too cold and at a dangerous level and I could have saved it.

SO I cannot express how important this little device is. And set a reminder so you don’t forget it. I won’t be making that mistake again, but I am only human!

Thankfully, because I am a paranoid individual, I had kept some insulin out of the fridge anyway in my Frio bag in my room (Always just in case), so I had enough to last me in Nepal until I got home.

But still, idiotic moment.

diabetes jaipur
Libre in Jaipur India!

Diabetes Successes of 2018

Good HBA1C

My HBA1C has remained the lowest of my diabetic life. It stays around 6.5 and I think that’s a brilliant achievement whilst putting my body through lots of different altitudes, time zones, climates etc.

Ironically before I started travelling, I couldn’t get my HBA1c below 8. So, the fact that travelling full time has brought me a great HBA1C, then it gives me another reason not to stop any time soon.

I couldn’t do what I do without my insulin pump and the FreeStyle Libre. They make management and travelling with diabetes so much easier.

I launched my course and updated the eBook ‍

This year I also spent hours and hours and hours and did I mention hours? Creating an online course to compliment my ebook on travelling with diabetes.

I also dealt with some idiots who had the nerve to tell me that I was making a profit off people's misfortune because I was withholding “important information about travelling with diabetes”. HAH!

To clarify, everything in the course and eBook is on the blog, and I created the eBook and course because I did a big survey and people said they would find it useful.

Also, I don’t make money off the eBook and the course. Most of it goes to charity and anything else goes to running this website, which some people seem to think doesn’t cost a penny!

Anyway, I also got lots of brands on board to offer exclusive discounts to fellow diabetes to help gather the useful products needed for travelling with diabetes- which was pretty awesome too.

And I got the eBook redesigned and formatted so I think it looks really cute!

I crossed 3 time zones in 48 hours

For a normal person this is impressive to do and not crash and burn, but with someone with diabetes to manage this without high or low blood sugars, deserves an award in my opinion!

I went from America to England to Oman to Sri Lanka all within a 48 hour period and somehow managed to maintain beautiful blood sugars despite all the time changes!

I’m impressed with myself, to be honest.

I am complication free

I just had my end of year diabetic review a few days before Christmas and I had my feet checked, my HBA1C, general blood done and my eyes checked and I am still complication free in 10 years.

I am VERY grateful for this, as it hasn’t always been an easy road. But it brings me relief to know that I’m okay for another while.

I get my eyes checked every 6 months because I would always rather be safe than sorry.

diabetes in nuwara elylia
Complication free in 2018!

What does 2019 have in store?

Diabetes-wise, we will be heading on more adventures: confirmed locations are,

  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Honduras
  • Guatemala
  • El Salvador
  • Belize

Almost confirmed:

  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Myanmar
  • Philippines
  • Bali (again- yay!)
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • Estonia
  • Latavia
  • Lithuania
  • Iceland
  • Poland

Which will be 19 new countries taking my total up to 50 countries with type 1 diabetes!!

I will be hoping to make use of the Miao Miao to turn my FreeStyle Libre into a CGM.

I hope to try the FreeStyle Libre 2, and I hope that by the end of next year I will be using the Medtronic CGM and integrating a full loop system.

I would like to get my HBA1C down to 5.9, but I’ll settle for 6!

I want to meet more fellow type 1 diabetics on the road

I want to do more talking events on travelling with type 1 diabetes

And I want to continue living my best life with Bradley <3

Sigiyra rock
We are a TEAM!

I had my fair share of diabetes breakdowns this year and I experienced Diabetes burnout at its finest. Burnout is a real thing and something all type 1 diabetics can relate to at some stage of their lives.

It’s not all sunshine and roses and a picture doesn’t tell a story. When I post on Instagram or Fb, I am showing the happier and pleasant side of travelling with type 1 diabetes.

I don’t show the breakdowns and in-between moments, and the struggles all the time. I do share them when I feel appropriate, but I do my best to keep a balance between what’s happy and what isn’t.

I want people to feel like they can have crappy days, and scream and cry and wonder “why me”, because we all do it and it doesn’t make you any less human.

I want everyone to take on their dreams no matter how wild or far-fetched they seem. You don’t fail trying, you fail when you haven’t tried.

2018 is almost over, so I thought now would be a great time to reflect on my journeys with type 1 diabetes this year. This year has been a massive year for me, and I am actually amazed at how much I did in 2018.

So, all that is left to say is happy new year and be proud of yourself. Being type 1 diabetic makes you a very amazing and awesome person! 

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