I read your post soon after you published it, but it’s taken some time to formulate my response. I’ve been concerned about this issue for many years now and it became even more important when I ended up in the emergency room due to shortness of breath last October. Thankfully, I was released after spending about eight hours when all the most likely causes were ruled out.
My response to your question will be limited to hospital stays in the context of this viral pandemic. In the best of times, the medical staff are relatively ignorant of how we manage our diabetes. Their textbook understanding and limited experience is not prepared to treat us as we would wish. With Covid-19 and the chaos that will present in most hospital situations, it is unreasonable of us to expect anything more than minimum diabetes care.
I don’t think we should expect the medical staff to take the time to learn how our pumps work. Bowing to that reality, I think we should all have a recently well-rehearsed multiple daily injection (MDI) plan as a back-up.
Then I would write down on three 3x5 index cards the long acting insulin type, the number of units, and the ideal time(s) of injection. Assume that you will lose this card, so having any extra or two can help. Take a picture of this card with your phone camera.
If you are type 1, write in bold, larger than the rest of the text, Type 1 diabetes.
I would also put on this card the fast acting insulin type that you use with the insulin to carbohydrate (I:C) ratios and the ideal pre-bolus times.
You could also include how much you expect your blood glucose level to drop per unit of correcting fast acting insulin. This is your insulin sensitivity factor or ISF.
You may list the approximate total daily dose of insulin you use (long acting + fast acting).
Write down the name and phone numbers of your diabetes doctor and primary care doc on the index card.
Consider placing this card in a clear badge holder with a lanyard around your neck.
I would bring along CGM supplies, but not attempt to formally instruct the staff in how to place or calibrate it. This will only help you when you are conscious and competent.
Given this scenario, I would pack the following supplies to cover a 21-day period plus extras:
2 fingerstick meters
Insulin, both long and short-acting
Extra batteries for meter
Cell phone with charging cord
Label everything with your name and phone number as if you were going away to camp. You may be moved several times and in the confusion your stuff may not make the move with you. Put your name and phone number on the outside of your supply pack.
Realize that your spouse, partner, and any other accomplice may not be allowed to see you. Plan as if you will be on your own.
Going to the hospital during a pandemic will be frightening, yet being prepared ahead of time can help you.