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My Recent Trip to India

By Naomi Kingery

Social Community Manager

Posted:  5/19/2011 12:00 AM


Over Christmas I went on a trip to India with my family (India is where I was born, grew up, and where I was diagnosed). It was my first trip back in five years and in preparing for it I felt overwhelmed. Not only did I need to find my passport and pack enough hair bows (a necessity, of course), but I had to make sure to have enough infusion sets and test strips ordered. I remember going through a mental list, making sure not to miss anything, as I wouldn’t want to be half way across the world before I realized I forgot something. This led me to creating the travel checklist for our Medtronic website, a quick reference for customers like you and me. I’ll make sure to use this as a guide for my next trip, and hope you do the same!

By the time I had all of my insulin pump supplies packed (extra of everything, just in case), I remembered about the Travel Loaner Program. A brief explanation is that you get a back-up insulin pump to take with you that is yours for 90 days for a $50 fee. With mental thoughts like “What if I got all the way over to India and needed an extra insulin pump, how would I get it and how long would it take?” this is the answer!

I took a travel loaner insulin pump on my last trip to India and never had to use my back-up but felt so much comfort knowing that I had it, just in case I needed another insulin pump for any reason. Since I work here, and actually sit around the corner from the Customer Support Center Team who processes these orders, I reached out to the manager to find out more information before I signed up for a travel loaner insulin pump again. She reminded me that the focus of this program is for international travel outside of the US. The exceptions to this are when you are going on a cruise (wish I would have known this for my family cruise!) and when you travel to Hawaii or Alaska. What she loves most about this program is being able to offer a loaner insulin pump as a peace of mind, especially for those who are frequent travelers. She also reminded me that the reason Medtronic doesn’t offer the program for travel within the continental U.S. is because, if something happens to your pump while you’re stateside, we can get you a replacement in anywhere from two to 24 hours, depending on where you are.

I signed up for the program one month ahead of time (they say two weeks but I wanted to be safe) and was able to pack my extra pink pump for my family India trip. I once again didn’t need to use my back-up insulin pump, but feel that the $50 was worth every penny and more. Plus, what’s better than one pink insulin pump? Two pink insulin pumps!

- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps
- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit for complete safety information.


Charles Kingery

Posted on Fri May 20 02:22:19 GMT 2011

As father of the Diabetic Diva, I am so glad she knows how to travel as a juvenile diabetic! It's a long haul from Cali to India, time zones are crazy, and transition when arriving on both sides is not easy. That's why the Travel Checklist and the Travel Loaner program are so valuable. Thank you Medtronic. And thank you Diabetic Diva!

Luis Martinez

Posted on Fri Aug 12 01:32:45 GMT 2011

When is Medtronic coming out with a tubeless pump and water proof to be able to swim without disconnecting from insulin. To be able to swim and play in water without worrying you don't have enough insulin or how long.


Posted on Tue Aug 16 17:03:58 GMT 2011

Thanks for the feedback. I wish I could tell you what's coming in the pipeline and when, but unfortunately, because of strict FDA rules I can't share details or timelines of future products. Regarding waterproofing, that can be tricky. The thing is, any durable pump can easily develop microcracks (which you typically can't even see) just from getting bumped around in daily life. And even a pump that is classified as waterproof can be succeptible to water damage if it has developed these microcracks. That's why our pumps are made to withstand an accidental splash, but should be disconnected before you go swimming or enjoy other water activities.

Mike Morris

Posted on Thu Aug 18 02:19:52 GMT 2011

I was in India for business recently for a scheduled week to 10 day trip. As the visit stretched to 2 weeks and longer, I had to get extra infusion sets shipped over. Insulin was not difficult although Novolog is not available in any of the places I visited (Delhi, Mumbai, Vadodara). Also, 100 U vials are unusual as it seems that most Indian diabetics use pen cartridges. I used them with great care to fill my reservoirs as the caps are smaller than the standard vial my infusions sets usually mate to.

Waterproof bags are available online. I use one every time I go whitewater rafting. Works like a charm. Not beautiful but very functional.



Posted on Thu Aug 18 23:31:00 GMT 2011

Thanks for the comment, Mike. Sounds like an interesting trip to India- and one that I understand very well as I have been to both Delhi and Mumbai many times! Health care is very different there and many diabetes supplies are harder to find or are used in different ways, but it is always good to know that you can find insulin even if the kinds of insulin can be limited.

Good luck on any future world travels, hoping you don't have any difficulties with running out of sets in the future!

Angela Shiflet

Posted on Fri Jun 15 19:02:53 GMT 2012

This was really good information to have when you are traveling with diabetics . I am always afraid I will leave something was also nice to learn about the travel Loner when you travel out of the united states. Thank you for all the good ino.


Posted on Fri Jun 15 22:46:41 GMT 2012

What was the waterproof insulin pump case you used when you climbed the waterfalls?


Posted on Sat May 18 21:17:34 GMT 2013

I wish I would have known about this program before my last trip. I'm not saying I would have definitely taken advantage of the program with that vacation but I will from now on. My last trip was to Disney and I ended up having a pump break on me. I had a problem with a button on the pump and called Medtronic to see if I could get help over the phone. The tech was very helpful but nothing could "bring it to life" again. Got insulin from a local pharmacy after they contacted the doctor, etc. that I ended up having to pay for out of pocket since my insurance did not cover the cost since it was not a participating pharmacy. Then, of course, there is the call from the doctor because I did not know what dose(s) to take without the pump. it would not have been necessary if I had a loaner pump in my carry on bag. I guarantee I will the next time around.


Posted on Tue May 21 19:07:24 GMT 2013

Marilyn, I’m glad you found this blog helpful and that everything ended up working out for you on your last vacation. The extra pump really does give peace of mind but make sure to remember that this program is only valid when going on a cruise, and when traveling internationally or to Hawaii or Alaska. We recommend that you prepare ahead of time for any future trips by having a backup plan (insulin, syringes, emergency supplies etc.) from your healthcare team and having your device settings saved, which you can learn more about here You can also learn more travel tips here

Steve Humpherys

Posted on Wed May 28 17:16:19 GMT 2014

Enjoyed reading all the thoughts and ideas!! I'm travelling to Africa for a month and I wonder if anyone has found a good travel bag to hold a month's worth of infusion, sensors and quick-sets??

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