by Derrick Cruise
(Kokomo, Indiana, United States)
My family recently traveled from Los Angeles to Bangkok when I saw my mother fishing around in her bag, and then say to my dad on the plane, “We forgot the diabetic supplies for Grandma!.”
Everyone had been in such a rush to get to the airport that once we arrived we realized that that we’d left behind all of Grandma’s testing supplies, syringes as well as her insulin.
Grandma’s blood sugar often goes over 180 if she doesn’t test regularly and inject twice daily, so we were all pretty concerned. None of us were sure what we were going to do being so far away from Grandma’s diabetes specialist.
My mom and dad initially considered seeing if we could set up an appointment with a Thai physician who might be able to help us, but we didn’t want to start playing around with a brand new doctor, different types of insulin and new dosages, especially when we were so far away from home. Mom and dad finally agreed that making an appointment with a doctor who’d never seen Grandma before probably wasn’t a good idea.
The whole family was feeling pretty desperate (especially mom and dad), but we decided that our best bet was to call Grandma’s diabetes specialist back in L.A. to get his advice. He recommended that we consider using expedited shipping so that we could have her diabetic supplies sent straight from California to Thailand.
Thank goodness international shipping was a viable option. Rather than having to worry about doctor’s appointments and prescriptions in a foreign country, a friend went over to our home back in L.A., gathered Grandma’s supplies and shipped them to Bangkok.
Grandma’s insulin needs to be kept cool so the worldwide shipping company even helped our friend pack everything properly and fill out all of the appropriate forms. Once our friend sent the package she called and gave us the billing number so that we could track it online.
One of the other great things we learned was that even though my family was staying with several different relatives in the city and the country, we were able to request that Grandma’s medical supplies be held at the Banglamphu Post Office in Bangkok.
I found out that you can have your packages and letters put on hold and they call it “post restante” service. We could have had her package sent straight to a residence but since we were moving around and were worried we’d miss the delivery, post restante wound up being our most convenient option.
It’s embarrassing to admit that my family was in such a rush that we forgot the diabetic supplies for Kun Yai (Grandma), but thanks to international shipping we were able to get what we needed for her right away at a very reasonable rate. Worldwide expedited shipping saved our vacation – and probably Grandma’s life.