Flying high & hypo 

Its been a while since we last took our children out of the country. Over the May half term, we thought it was high time we rectified this and so, embarked upon a week long break in sunny Spain. Except, we didn’t tell the children. The first they knew about the trip was pulling up at the airport car park with me unloading suitcases from the boot of the car. They had thought we were picking up work colleagues of their father and heading off for dinner.

Q much excitement from three girls who couldn’t quite believe what was happening.

Although limited in their experiences of flying, they have always travelled very well. However, Pumplette does still remember very clearly her response to stacking over Heathrow for an hour after a 12 flight from L.A when she was 4. It had made her quite poorly and so whenever faced with flying again, she is always a little anxious that this may happen again.

Sure enough, as we were waiting for our flight, this anxiety bubbled up to the surface again and presented itself in the form of a double up arrow on her cgm. Being mindful of the fact that this was probably a predominantly hormonal based rise (although she had also eaten possibly the most expensive sandwich on the planet an hour before too), I urged caution from her when she was correcting. Which she did.

Fast forward an hour and a half and we were cruising at 30,000ft and about to start our decent. I looked across the aisle to where Pumplette was sitting and immediately clocked her pallor. It was shade hypo. I caught her eye and she nodded her agreement with my assessment.

Now, we hadn’t flown since the restrictions on liquids had come into force. I know from past experience of viewing her cgm line, that although the jelly babies in my bag would bring her up eventually, they wouldn’t work as fast as if I’d had the usual bottle of lucozade in my bag. And this looked as if it needed treatment to work as quickly as it could. It was then I remembered the cabin crew’s assertions at the start of the flight that they were there for our safety and comfort. So I beckoned a member of the cabin staff over. I explained my daughter was hypo and please may we have some fruit juice for her. The stewardess couldn’t have been more helpful. Without question, she quickly fetched Pumplette the requested apple juice, swiftly and discreetly returning to us and handing over the carton. Whilst Pumplette gulped down the contents the stewardess checked with me to see whether there was anything else she could do to help. I offered payment for the juice, but was waved away with a kind smile and a shake of the head.

The whole experience of a hypo in that environment is very frightening for a little lady, but the staff’s efficient response and lack of drama meant it was a lot less disorientating than it could have been. Pumplette prefers to hypo alone. No fuss. No drama. Just her quietly doing what she needs to before she feels like herself again and is ready to rejoin the ranks of those with autopilot pancreatic function. I know this. I can’t possibly know what it must be like to physically feel this way, but knowing what happens in a physiological manner to her body whilst hypo, I can understand her need for calm and solitude all about her. The actions of the cabin staff and support they offered was utterly wonderful. And meant that the holiday wasn’t remembered for an air born hypo, but instead the amazing things we saw and experienced together as a family during a wonderful week away.

4 thoughts on “Flying high & hypo 

  1. “Pumplette prefers to hypo alone. No fuss. No drama. Just her quietly doing what she needs to before she feels like herself again and is ready to rejoin the ranks of those with autopilot pancreatic function.” YES, me too – any fuss or panic from others makes my hypo experience so much worse. She’s lucky to have an awesome mum who understands this 🙂

  2. I had exactly this two weeks ago on the way to Split! Didn’t grab the staff – not sure why – maybe the ‘prefers to hypo alone’ extends to the skies over here (silly billy). Glad all was ok and the rest of the holiday was all about fun fun fun xxx

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