The first in hopefully a continuous string of articles is going to review my recommendations when it comes to preparedness. Being prepared will change over the course of your life in so many instances, the methods that you practice when you’re in elementary school rarely translate to what you will need in college and your post-colligate life. This may seem, in many cases, like obvious recommendations but in my experience things that appear obvious to one do not appear obvious to all.
First let’s start with the basics - I will always recommend having two (2) of everything.
IF you use MDI/injections make sure that you have 2 bags of needles/syringes available should one of your needles fail. Needles/syringes may seem foolproof but you do not want to have one instance of being stranded with no means of delivering your insulin. I recommend two bags of needles and a double supply of pen needles (if used) because I have run into unfortunate instances where some needles in a bag are dysfunctional so it’s always good to have replacements.
IF using an insulin pump make sure that there is always 2 ways of giving yourself insulin. Should the pump malfunction or temporarily prevent the delivery of the all-too-precious insulin a back up method is always recommended. An insulin pen or vile of insulin can be used until any pump issue can be resolved.
In the case of insulin - always make sure there’s access to a back up. Everyone who uses insulin pens has run into the issue of bringing the one pen with less than 20 U left in the vile and was forced to extract the remnant insulin out of the end of the pen in some fashion. A back up pen will provide you with the comfort needed. A vile of insulin will ways be a preferable back up with it’s ~100 mL capacity.
With your BG meter you should always have an additional 5-10 test strips available. I’m exceedingly OCD about my testing supplies so I’ll cary a back up tube of strips at all times.
List for all delivery types:
-Backup supply of insulin
- Insulin pen
- Insulin vile
-5-10 additional strips for emergency situations
-Additional bag of syringes
- Additional 5-10 pen needle tips
-Glucose Tabs/ Snacks or Snack Bag
Next, we solve how to carry all of this stuff -
My preferable method is the classic Ziplock bag. There are a lot of products on the market to assist with carrying Diabetic supplies. I prefer Ziplock bags since they’re cheap and clear. Cheapness helps the budget and allows them to be disposable, the clarity of the bag helps me make sure I have what I need before I leave.
BG meter bags typically have additional space for back up lancets and a user guide. I will remove the user guide to create a pocket for the back up test strips needed.
The most important part about carrying all this stuff is where to keep it. If I’m running solo and I'm able to drive, I’ll keep the tester in the car and the Ziplock baggy in my back pocket. I am fortunate to have a wife and if we’re going out on a date/adventure we’ll make sure she has access to a bag big enough to carry the injections/pen needles.