A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement


Buy any book, get free camino shell

Taking a Type 1 diabetic teen to Camino - what to expect?

Alx

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning Camino Primitivo
#1
We are planning to walk Camino Primitivo in May 2019. Two parents + two teens, one of teens is Type 1 diabetic diagnosed less than a year ago. The kid is an athlete, and we don't think the physical part of walking would be the major challenge for any of us. But when it comes to diabetes, we're newbies. Especially, abroad (we're coming to Spain from Canada). Still, there's plenty of time to prepare. Yet, we don't know what to start with. Emergency numbers? A list of hospitals with emergency units along the Camino? Are albergues normally equipped with refrigerators (to keep insulin overnight)? Or should we check in advance if they are?

We'd appreciate any experience shared by those who already walked the Camino with diabetic kids/teens/younger ppl.
 

davebugg

"When I Have Your Wounded" - Dustoff Motto
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances...
Sept. 2017: SJPdP to Burgos
Sept./Oct. 2018: SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela
#2
Hi, Alx, and welcome to the Forum. :)

Others can address the technical aspects of diabetes and Camino life. As for the hospital and emergency medical stuff, just as would be the case in North America, Spain has terrific emergency services and a modern medical system. There is an emergency contact system in place nationwide ( I think it is 112), and any metropolitan area will have hospitals and urgent care centers.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016 solo, planning Frances again with my wife 2017
#3
You should find fridges at night without much problem, just ask, and also good, fully stocked pharmacies at some point during nearly every day's walk. Bring prescriptions with you, with generic names too if possible, depending on what s/he is taking, and even if you have issues, you should be able to get replacements for everything as necessary. And don't worry, the medical care in Spain is first rate, should it be needed.....
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#4
The above Information refers to Chiptheshinks experiences along the Camino Francés.

Along the Camino Primitivo things are a bit more difficult. There are not that many big villages, so not that many pharmacys. Some albergues are very simple and don´t have a kitchen or a fridge (e. g. Borres). So you should really plan your stages ahead.

And keep in mind, that the ammount of insuline needed may differ from day to day. A german type1-diabetic, Grit Ott, wrote a book about her camino experiences, which might be useful (if you can read German).

BC
Alexandra
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#5
Yes, I would indeed check beforehand the availability of fridges in albergues on the primitivo. Sometimes even if a guide tells you there is a kitchen to cook in it does not automatically mean there is a fridge.

I'm sure local bars might help you with fridge space, or I'm sure the hospitalero will be able to find somewhere at a push.

Davey
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#6
Depending on the specific brand/type of Insulin most is fine stored in a temp range of 5 - 25C so refrigeration as such may not always be required on the Primitivo in May. An insulated wrap buried fairly deep in a back pack will likely provide suitable temp ranges. Obviously the top or an outer pocket might cop for some direct heating from the sun. I recall an earlier thread where several insulators and other sound advices on keeping medications cool were discussed. The search facility should help.

Take advantage of refrigeration whenever you can obviously, or a few lumps of ice from a bar. Even evaporation from a wet cloth wrapped around your stash will provide a cooling effect if temps do start getting high.

This link: http://www.aemet.es/es/serviciosclimaticos/datosclimatologicos/valoresclimatologicos will take you to historical data on temperatures etc for Asturias and Galicia that might help inform your planning. Though of course history is no guarantee of the present. Buen caminos
 
Camino(s) past & future
First one planned for May 2019: Camino Francés
#7
Are albergues normally equipped with refrigerators (to keep insulin overnight)? Or should we check in advance if they are?
Depending how much insulin you will take on your Camino, you could buy a special travel bag, which will keep insulin at the right temperature for quite some time. You only need cold water to activate the cooling crystals as soon as they don't keep the temperature low enough.

There are special crystals in the channels of the inside pocket of the travel bag which absorb the water and expand into a gel that will cool for about 45 hours. By evaporating, you have the cooling. I just checked the brand I know from Germany, that's Frio which is also sold via Amazon.com. You can have a look there, whether this might come in useful.

A close friend of mine who is also Type I uses them on his hiking tours. From him I also know that it's immenent that you do lots of walks ahead of a longer tour, also two or three days in a row, to find out how this will influence blood sugar level, since this can vary very much from normal daily routine.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#8
I think above posts gave more or less all that you will really need or to prepare for.
I would just add that your teen be careful not to slip and get the open wound. I remember my schoolmate in elementary school hit the radiator at my birthday party (only with her ankle) and we just couldn't stop the bleeding. ER did eventually.

Wish you all Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016 solo, planning Frances again with my wife 2017
#9
Ah, exactly right, I did not notice that this was the Primitivo, my comments only referenced my experience on the Frances. Thanks to all for catching that, and for offering better "local" advice.
 

MeandIan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May2018
#10
From another perspective regarding diet, and I’m sure you must have been educated on this and researched the dietary requirements, the danger time for a diabetic is 3am. So have something handy next to the bed eg a lolly or dry biscuits. The reason for this is that there is a long time period between the last meal and breakfast. I have a colleague who did the Camino and, even though she’s a nurse, she found that she was not mindful enough. Good luck
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
#11
I walked a little with a women in her mid twenties, just diagnosed 5 months prior with quite brittle Type 1 diabetes. She developed a great sense of confidence on the camino as she remained constantly aware of her need for food or insulin. She was also very cautious about avoiding blisters or other foot injuries, and knew to report any skin breakdown or signs of infection to a health provider. She never seemed to struggle with managing food though while on the camino. All the best!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#12
Talk to a doctor about the use of hydrocolloid gels. These are used for the healing of open wounds but there can be serious side effects for diabetics. I bring this up because the gels, in BandAid like bandages, are often used for treatment of open blisters (and incorrectly used for treatment of closed blisters and also as a way to prevent blisters.) One of the most common brands of these bandages is Compeed and the name is often used generically for other brands. A search on the forum for Compeed should bring up many threads.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
#13
this is my perspective: I was a nurse for 35 years, I have successfully dealt with type one diabetes for over 55 years and am now living in Spain. Honey is going to be your best friend. When you have a low blood sugar it is the fastest and safest way to bring it back to normal. Keep it with you at all times. You will have to learn just how little you need. If you are not careful it is very easy to overdose and you will end up with a blood sugar that is too high.
In my experience, you do not need a prescription for insulin. At the pharmacy, you will need to either write it down or show them the pen/or vial. that you are currently using. You will not believe how inexpensive it is. And it is exactly the same product that is available in the USA. Only sometimes will pharmacy's have vials in stock. They always have Pens.
Test strips are different. They are a lot more expensive here in Spain than in the USA. I now use a FreeStyle Libre. I think this is now available in the USA and if so I suggest you consider this product or some other continuous blood glucose monitoring device. With this device, I can do 30 or 40 tests a day and never prick my finger. This device will not be available in the local pharmacy's so it will be necessary to bring it with you. And they may or may not have the test strips that are compatible with your meter.
Lastly, get a Spanish sim card. this will give you immediate contact 24/7. if you need more help contact me through this forum and I will give you my phone and email.

Buen Camino
John
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#14
We are planning to walk Camino Primitivo in May 2019. Two parents + two teens, one of teens is Type 1 diabetic diagnosed less than a year ago. The kid is an athlete, and we don't think the physical part of walking would be the major challenge for any of us. But when it comes to diabetes, we're newbies. Especially, abroad (we're coming to Spain from Canada). Still, there's plenty of time to prepare. Yet, we don't know what to start with. Emergency numbers? A list of hospitals with emergency units along the Camino? Are albergues normally equipped with refrigerators (to keep insulin overnight)? Or should we check in advance if they are?

We'd appreciate any experience shared by those who already walked the Camino with diabetic kids/teens/younger ppl.
I did the Camino Norte with an Italian gentleman in 2010 and often didn't stay in albergues with us due to no refrigeration. So he would stay at pensions. I do hope albergues on the Primitivo can give you access to a fridge.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel aka Cyborg Turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte for April (2019) possible Primitivo
#15
Other than those tips mentioned above my tip is: Check out and obtain good medical travel insurance ...just in case. Read the exclusions carefully especially in regards to pre existing illness. Check with your doctor for specific tips in case of emergency ...also you may want to consider bringing a letter from the doctor with specifics regarding the person’s medical condition and also just in case you have problems with the airlines/airport regarding your medical equipment or medical emergency. Good luck
 

nathanael

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata
#16
Other than those tips mentioned above my tip is: Check out and obtain good medical travel insurance ...just in case. Read the exclusions carefully especially in regards to pre existing illness. Check with your doctor for specific tips in case of emergency ...also you may want to consider bringing a letter from the doctor with specifics regarding the person’s medical condition and also just in case you have problems with the airlines/airport regarding your medical equipment or medical emergency. Good luck
Yes very good advice.
 

OLDER threads on this topic




A few items available from the Camino Forum Store




Advertisement

Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 9 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 34 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 112 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 188 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 54 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 228 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 93 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top