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“Bag got run over.”

I’m not a light packer, but I am an efficient packer, in that I can fit a week’s worth of clothes, diabetes supplies, and travel needs (laptop, sundries, phone, etc.) into a carry-on bag.  I hate checking luggage.  But for this last trip, the total time away was ten days (and included several days at a conference with “real shoes’ and ‘real dresses’ instead of casual clothes), so I had to buckle and check a bag.

But I still kept all my essentials (meds and technology) in the roller carry-on bag, to protect my diabetes supplies from the cold of the cargo hold and the possibility of being lost.  See?  Responsible-ish.

Which is why it sort of sucked when, as Chris and I were putting in the code to enter the building of the apartment we had rented in Paris, a box truck rolled by at the same time as a guy on a bicycle.  And in the chaos, my carry-on bag pitched into the sidewalk and was run over by the truck.

“Oh,” I said, kind of casually, watching as the first set of the truck wheels crunched over the handle of my bag, crushing it.

“Oh shit,” I said, less casually as the bag pivoted a little bit and the truck wheels further obliterated the handle, coming so, so close to smushing the contents of my bag.

“Bag got run over,” I said to Chris, half in disbelief and half channeling a neanderthal.  We both stared at it, and realized at the same time that my pump supplies, bottles of insulin (Humalog and Levemir), test strips, back-up meter, and all my insulin pens were in that bag.  Along with my laptop.  I immediately, and thankfully, thought about social media and how, even in a foreign country, I could hopefully connect with other PWD and borrow enough insulin and test strips to hold me until I was able to claim a stash of my own.

Nothing to do but drag the broken soldier into the apartment and asses the damage.  Miraculously, the truck only destroyed the elongated handle of the bag and dented the very top of it, leaving everything inside still assembled.  (Because my worst fear would be disassemble.)  My week’s worth of diabetes supplies were safe.

And it dawned on me that even the best laid plans can still become a big, fat mess.  Because even though I had packed enough supplies to brace me for a broken bottle of insulin, or gaffed up pump, or lost meter, I hadn’t split those supplies into more than one bag, leaving everything I needed to sustain my life in one, vulnerable spot.

“Good thing it didn’t smash the bag,” I said, pulling out my laptop and inspecting it for damage.  “My laptop would have been destroyed.  Oh, and all my insulin.  Both needed for my nerdy survival, right?”

Lesson learned:  Next frigging time, I’m splitting my supplies.  And steering clear of traffic.

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Wow, that could’ve been disasterous (so glad it wasn’t!). But where to split supplies? I’ve split pump supplies between carry-on and stowed luggage (though not enough so either supply alone would last the full duration of the trip without some clever, unauthorized reuse games), but the insulin? Not too many choices unless you stuff your pockets…

    06/14/13; 7:44 am
    • I also carry a purse almost all the time, so I should have kept my insulin in there, just until we were inside and I could store it in the apartment safely. This is something I never thought about before, but boy am I thinking about it now!!

      06/14/13; 7:52 am
  2. Laddie #

    You certainly have never-ending adventures when you travel! Glad your supplies were okay.

    06/14/13; 9:34 am
  3. This is what I fear with my daughter-in-law. She is a type 1 diabetic who travels extensively for her job. I’m always fearful she is going to get to Tibet and not have enough insulin or test strips. I’m sure that I could Next Day Air them to her, but still, I worry when she is out of the country.

    06/14/13; 9:40 am
  4. k2 #

    HOLY CRAP!
    That’s so scary – And the fact that it also involved your laptop was also a heartstopper! Glad to hear everything was safe, but sorry to hear about your bag.
    And I agree re: splitting supplies. I always keep a box of test strips and a ziplock bag full of pump supplies in my big suitcase… just in case. And then I usually end up using the pump supplies in my suitcase and curse myself for not using the supplies in my carry-on.

    06/14/13; 10:20 am
  5. I’ve travelled a lot over the past year having just finished my study abroad placement for university, and not once did I think about splitting my diabetes-related items! Like you, it’s not something I ever thought about, but when I head to the States for a couple of weeks at the end of July, I will most definitely be splitting my supplies! You can never be too careful! Glad all your insulin and pump supplies weren’t ruined!

    06/14/13; 11:01 am
  6. Craig #

    I was so hoping the link for disassemble was for a Short Circuit refererence. First thing that popped into my head when I saw the word!

    06/14/13; 11:03 am
  7. WOW! I thought I was being smart by always putting all of my important stuff like medication, car keys, passport, and the like in my carry on bag. I guess I never thought of this possible situation. Splitting supplies and meds is a fantastic idea and I will be sure to do exactly that next time I travel. Glad to hear that your experience didn’t turn out to be disastrous!

    06/14/13; 4:53 pm
  8. yep – packing with diabetes 101. should gol right up there with splitting your cash between people and/or bags when traveling abroad (started doing that after leaving my purse containing all cash, cards, and passports in a coffeeshop in Amsterdam).. Although I remain very bad at packing D supplies – on a recent trip, I brought 2 of everything (but only 1 meter).

    glad to hear nothing was damaged 🙂

    06/14/13; 8:27 pm
  9. Holy crap! What are the chances?!

    SO glad that everything inside was alright.

    06/15/13; 2:27 am
    • Even the hedgehog survived! (Okay, no hedgehog, but if there was on in there, it would have been fine and dandy.)

      06/16/13; 7:27 am

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  1. Best of the ‘Betes – June 2013 | Cranky Pancreas

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