I suppose this question is aimed primarily at the male population, but for the ladies out there that have input, I’d enjoy your thoughts as well.
Ever since I was diagnosed, I’ve carried a tube of glucose tabs in my pocket to treat lows. When I was on MDI, I was using them regularly throughout the week. Since being on the pump, not so much. That said, I don’t feel comfortable not having something on me for lows just in case.
My days can be unpredictable in that one day I may be tied to a desk all day, and others I’m “in the field” where is not always convenient to carry a bag of any sort. What I’m seeking is practical suggestions for what “else” I might carry for treatment, preferably the densest carb to size ratio possible. Attire varies from jeans to khaki’s.
15g carbs minimum
must be able to pocket carry (generally in front pocket)(belt pouches are not an option)
must be durable (gel packs in a pocket w/keys and a pocket knife just don’t mix)
longevity (I rarely have to treat lows because my control is good, so it needs to “wear” well in the pocket for weeks at a time
must not be bulky (a tube of glucose tabs works, but I’m trying to thin out some of what I carry)
2 go to items for me are always a Nature Valley Oats 'n Honey granola bar as it contains 2 small bars combined = 190 Calories and 29g of carbs + 2 2oz Swedish Fish mini bags as each bag contains 200 Calories and 50g of carbs. The granola bar(s) are great as you can almost make a meal out of 1 and the Swedish fish are good to fine tune blood sugar as each Swedish Fish raises my blood sugar 10 points over a 1 hour period. These take very little space and pack a pretty good Calorie and Carb punch given their size. This has worked for me for short flights, Jury Duty, Concerts, meetings and other events. Some diabetics swear by Skittles as well. This avoids the hassle of a cooler.
I am one who swears by Skittles. I buy a large bag and keep it in a convenient place in the house. Then I put a handful of them into sealable sandwich bags and place them in various pockets from jeans to jackets and coats. Each Skittle provides 1g of carbohydrate. Easy to dispense. Easy to use. Convenient. Depending upon when I catch my low, I can forestall a mild one with 4 to 8 Skittles. For more severe ones, then the traditional 15. I wait 15 minutes and test again to see where I am and, if above 80, will not take any more. At night I usually will follow up with a tablespoon of cottage cheese to provide longer duration with fat and protein. Works for me.
Granola bars won’t work in my pocket unless i want granola dust
Swedish fish and skittles I’ve found after about a week, melt and the bags don’t hold up much longer than that. I edited my “requirements” to include longevity with durable. I don’t treat often, thus I need something that may go weeks without being consumed. The tube of glucose tabs works, I’m just trying to reduce the bulk of my carry (yes, I’ve already thinned out what I carry, but its still pretty full in there)
Sorry to say no suggestion because I just throw a tube of glucose tablets in my pocket. I when I’m out walking I just have my phone and a tube of tablets.
My biggest grip from a design standpoint is women’s clothes have a complete lack of pockets! Drives me crazy how many things don’t have pockets or the pockets are so darn small nothing fits in them.
I do know some people have little tiny cases that they attach to their key ring that holds only three or four tablets. Might be something to look at.
It is amazing how little I carry now. No meter, no insulin, just phone and tablets. Of course I have all that stuff in my work lockers and purse when I am out and about, but just walking around, pretty easy now.
Skittles in a small size med bottle. For me, the PERFECT size are the Dexilant bottles I get. I never counted how many can fit, but they are a lot. It is rare that I’ve emptied an entire bottle to cover a low. Once in a while, I’ll hit up part of a second bottle that I carry. 1 Skittle is 1 carb, so easy to calculate how many one thinks they need.
On a CGM, I don’t often need a meter, I NEVER carry insulin, batteries, sets, blah, blah, blah on a regular basis Why people carry the kitchen sink around with them in town blows my mind. I mean, if you are within about 90 minutes from home, what’s the worst that can happen if your pump/set has issues? You get inconvenienced by going home to take care of it. If at work, a concert, or in court, THEN I can see that it makes sense to carry some backup stuff, but not just going to the movies, out to eat, shopping, walking. For attending concerts, I carry a pen as a backup as I’m only at concerts that I look forward to for a long time, being an avid music buff. I wouldn’t want to have to leave a concert for a reason that would be within my control.
I use Reeds Crystallized Ginger Candy and put about 6 in a small baggy that I carry. They don’t melt, they hold up well. The downside is they are strong so you have to like ginger and they can vary in size so the carbs can vary a little. One piece is about 2-3 carbs. What they do with aging, because sometimes I haven’t touched them for months is to start to harden up. But the taste is the same, it just doesn’t stay as soft.
That’s the nice thing about Skittles. Have them set aside for many many months and they are still fine as long as they aren’t left in ridiculous conditions. Even sitting for months in our car’s center console compartment,they aren’t stuck together.
@Dave44 I know a lot of T1’s use Skittles and really like them , it’s easy to know the carbs and dose etc. But the only reason I don’t use them is they’re not vegan, so for me it’s a no go area. Same with glucose tablets, I haven’t found any vegan ones yet!
We all have strip bottles, so u could fill one, count, and tell the group. Whatever you do, don’t use any sort of container that doesn’t have a secure cap. Sometimes I forget to screw on the lids of what I use, tight enough, and Skittles go everywhere
I am a big fan of the Transcend glucose gel 15g pouches. I buy them in bulk on Amazon and squirrel them away everywhere. Probably only eat one or two a week. This brand has a very durable pouch…have never busted one open and I too am often pretty rough on my pocket contents. Have even been known to pull a several months old pouch out of my pocket and stuff it inside my hockey glove when leaving the locker room to stow it behind the bench “just in case”.
For everyday walking around or sitting around lows I keep Gummy life savers in my pocket. They are a little bulky and get a little less gummy after a pouch has been open for a week or so. Bonus is my granddaughter loves them for a treat. 3 grams each.
I can’t help it, I agree my habit might be over the top…but every time I get in my (or anybody’s) car I’ve got my full bag of supplies…bolus insulin, spare pen tips, meter, strips, all kinds of emergency carbs and food, jug of water. Checkbook and copy of prescriptions. Just in case.