sadly, a young man identified as an insulin dependent diabetic has been missing for at least two days…according to news outlets, he reportedly has only a one day supply of insulin on his person. That got me to thinking - what are the supplies you must have with you at all times and how are you insuring you don’t forget those supplies?
I always carry glucose tabs. I have meters and strips everywhere. I usually take my Miabetic wallet that has humalog pen and a handful of needles. I travel a lot, so I have a whole set-up for when I travel.
I have a Novolog pen, backup pen needles, meter, lancets, alcohol swabs, spare infusion set and tSlim cartridge, two types of glucose tabs (and apparently tylenol, IBs, antibiotics I am taking and other medical supplies). The only thing I don’t have is a vial of Novolog because it’s so hot here right now. I know I can go over to the health center to get some if I needed it, or compensate with my pen until I got home. In a pinch I could use the pen to fill the tSlim. I carry a bag for school that has space for my laptop on one side, my wallet, phone, Dex, glucose tabs, and meter on the other, and all the extras in the center zipper pocket.
Do you have a certain container for all the supplies? I have a pump so in addition to glucogen pen, Dex tablets, meter, and set changes I have to carry a fairly fragile vial of humalog. I am lugging a small cooler bag everywhere right now. The news report on this twenty year old implies he’s on a pump, without back up insulin - so sad.
I have an REI shoulder bag that has my BG meter, a spare infusion set, spare strips and some other non-D odds and ends. I put a Novolog pen in there when I’m going to be away and out of reach of home for the day or overnight, but I don’t carry one all the time because it’s just so darn rare that I actually need it. If something happens to my pump during a work day it’s easier to just go home and deal with it from there (20 minutes away), so I’m only really concerned with being somewhere out of easy range of home, like when I visit my daughter and grandkids 2 hours away.
Meh. I’m probably not prepared for something completely TV scenario-unexpected, like a hostage situation or something ridiculous like that–but I live in an urban area, so a car breakdown far from civilization or something isn’t really in the cards.
I live in an earthquake zone, and with all the crazy natural disasters and other crazy things happening in the world these days, I carry about a week’s worth of insulin on me (two pen cartridges, plus what I have in my pump). With that I also have an extra infusion set and pump cartridge, an insulin pen, about seven pen needles, a few bits of extra tape, alcohol swabs, batteries, a tiny backup meter, lancing device, and ketone and glucose strips for the meter, and a week’s worth of the pills I take daily plus some I don’t use daily but use regularly enough that I may need (Advil, Zantac, Benadryl). I replace stuff as I used them. I just used up the Advil the other day and just make a mental note to replace it when I get home. I also carry two tubes of glucose tablets (I’ve gone through an entire tube in one day before!) and my meter kit.
My bag is actually ridiculously heavy and I’m trying to find ways to make it lighter since I walk everywhere and it hurts my shoulder. But I feel like I need everything I carry: what I’ve listed above plus other medical stuff (EpiPens, inhaler, eye drops, sadly this isn’t even everything I use daily or may need, but some things like glucagon and some daily allergy medications are too bulky and get left behind), plus micro umbrella (in this city that’s a need!), plus vision things (magnifier, monocular, earbuds, sunglasses), plus everyday things (wallet, keys, phone, transit pass), plus lunch or some food since I find it near impossible to stop into a random cafe or store and find things I can eat, plus other random things I might need that day… Individually each of these is pretty light, but my bag weights at least 10 pounds with all of them!
I keep thinking about ditching some things like the diabetes kit, but it’s not that big (the entire thing fits in a Bayer meter case), and it does come in useful even in regular day-to-day life, and I would seriously kick myself if I got rid of it and then found myself one day stranded on the other side of a collapsed bridge unable to get home (I rely on public transit, so if transit stops running I’m stranded).
Like Jen, I live in earthquake country. I always carry my diabetes kit with me, with full backup. I do wear a pump, but for example I have four insulin syringes and a vial of insulin that could last me for two weeks (beyond what I have in my pump). And extra insulin at home in the fridge. I was a Girl Scout, can you tell?
My bag hurts my shoulder too so I carry it holding it from the bottom mostly lately, lol. I think a bad on wheels like my backpack on wheels for school would be a good idea. The actual insulin and pump supplies, meters etc. don’t weight that much I think my other things weigh more but it all adds up. I carry only a pen cartridge or vial which is maybe a 2-3 weeks supply for me or more, I haven’t calculated it.
I have a bag I carry with meter and strips, extra infusion set and syringes. Hopefully if the pump failed completely, I could use the insulin in my pump cartridge temporarily. I live in a fairly populated area so we aren’t talking about wilderness survival. Also carry extra batteries for all devices I use.
Yeah, I’m probably going to switch to a backpack. I walk everywhere and one hand is needed to use my cane, so it’s hard to carry my bag with the other hand since then I have no hands free. I just hate that a backpack seems “unprofessional” at times, but oh well, not much I can do about that. Since I use public transit, most places I go are an hour or more away from home, so I really feel like I need stuff since I can’t just pop home quickly to get something.
I carry two infusion sets, my current vial of insulin, four syringes, a few AAA Energizer batteries, my infusion port inserter, my BG meter, a replacement Dexcom sensor, alcohol prep pads, I.V. prep pads, a few tough pads, an extra box of strips, some multiclix lancets, a glucagon pen, pain reliever a few Balance bars, squares of Opsite tape and ketone strips. All in a camera bag with adjustable Velcro partitions.
Wow, I hope they found him okay!
And I also carry backups with me at all times. I was a Myabetic case that hold my meter, strips, insulin /backup syringe, backup infusion set w/ extra price of tape (for pump & CGM taping), glucose tablets. I also live in earthquake & wildfire territory, so I also have a handled box with back up supplies. Can never be over prepared having diabetes!
meter, strips, lansing device, glucose tablets, extra candies, (snack,) hand-sanitizer wipes (you don’t ever want food on your hands when checking your bg cause it could give you a false high reading) ; and depending on how long I’ll be gone from the house or if I’m eating out, my insulin pen, with an extra needle for it. I always make sure I’m wearing my medical jewlery too because nobody ever plans to be unconcious but if it happens, I want the people to know what’s wrong with me right away.
Also, my phone! I don’t go anywhere without my phone, ever. You always need to be able to call an ambulance if you have to. And if you’re getting in an elevator, going to be in traffic, anything where you might possibly get stuck for a while, don’t take any chances. Cel phone and candy.
Me too! My purse always hurts my shoulder. Some times I use a wheely thing. I used to take some of my D things out of my purse and carry them in a little (plastic) shopping bag just to split the weight, but one time i almost forgot to put my glucose tabs back in my purse after, so I felt i couldn’t do that anymore. Still looking for a solution to that…
Just a couple more things I wanted to add---- If I’m out somewhere and have had to use up some glucose tabs and don’t know if I’ll have enough left for the time I’m out, I stop in at a coffee shop, order a coffee and nab a whole bunch of white sugar packets along with a stir stick for my purse, just to make sure I’ll be safe. Also, for now (until I get some kind of medical ID card), I have written out on a little piece of paper my full name, that Im type 1, how much and what kind of insulin i take, emergency contact # and name of my doctor, and I attached it to my medical card with a rubber band. I always keep that in the front pocket of my purse, along with my glucose so that paramedics would quickly discover my condition if I was in bad shape.
In terms of food allergies, I’ve read that hand sanitizer does not actually remove food proteins from the skin, it just kills any bacteria or other germs that might be there. Wipes do remove food proteins, but it’s because it’s physically wiped off, nothing to do with the sanitizer. I carry a small bottle of hand sanitizer in my bag just because I work in schools often and take public transit and sometimes feel like I need to use it when I’ve been touching a bunch of stuff. I carry plain Wet Ones wipes without any sanitizer on them when I just want to wipe away food proteins on surfaces or on my hands, which I do when I fly to get rid of any allergens that might be on the armrests or tray, and also as you say, at times before testing if I think I might have food residue on my hands that may interfere with the test.
just wanted to update the status of the young man who was missing - unfortunately his body was discovered in the water by the shore near a popular nightlife area a few days after he went missing. thank you so much for sharing your emergency plans - I’m adding a few things to my “must have” supply bag as a result.