Wednesday, January 18, 2012

So Much to Carry

Having diabetes inadvertently means carrying TONS of extra stuff around all the time or suffer some rather unpleasant consequences.

For my first decade or so of being a diabetic, the only thing I made sure to have with me all the time was my glucose monitor. Some luxury of trusting the school nurse, my parents, and friends meant that I was never really worried about carrying something to treat lows. And by the time I was in high school, I had a pump, which meant no lugging around insulin or taking shots. I made a point to leave some extra pump gear and some needles at the nurses office but never ever used ANY of it. Somehow, I was lucky enough to not see a clogged set or malfunctioning infusion site for the first 12 or so years as a diabetic. AND then things changed.

I started experimenting with different sites more. Travelling on the fly more. Paying more attention to my good friend, Diabetes. Having more bad experiences without extra supplies. Whatever the reason, I realized how important it was to carry more than just a glucose monitor with me.

So now, I try to carry:
  • Glucose meter
  • Lancing device
  • Test Strips
  • Continuous Glucose Monitor Reciever (Eggy!)
  • 2 pump reservoirs
  • 2 infusion sets
  • An Extra Bottle of Strips
  • 1 AAA battery
  • Current Vial of Insulin (and an extra if it's looking low)
  • A bajillion alcohol swabs (that I don't realllly use except for site changes [shhh!])
  • A tube of glucose tabs (or a bottle if it's a bad day/big bag)
  • Glucagon (usually there's one case in my backpack but I can't say it wanders out to dinner with me all the time...)
When I was a kid and we went on long vacations, I remember the green army pack looking thing that my mom put all my supplies in. It was pretty sturdy and seemed like you stuff enough syringes and other supplies to last me 2 months. But I hated that thing. It exemplified the idea that diabetes was ugly and just a burden to carry around.

Now that I'm older, I have purchasing power. I COULD buy whatever I wanted to hold this in. Coach. Nine West. Dolce & Gabana. (Alright, I'm kidding. If you know me, you know I'm no where near that trendy). In reality, I'm an eternal college student. I'm also really picky when it comes to bags and shoes. I like simple. Sleek. Elegant. The green army pack was never going to make it. But sometimes, my engineering side kicks in. So instead of buying a bag, I just macguyvered things around the house.

My favorite thing to carry supplies in is a tupperware container. Nothing fancy. Or blue. I ordered takeout sushi one night and the plastic container in was just the right size to fit all I needed. Plus, it's super easy to swap from my backpack to my purse to my overnight bag/carry on without losing any essential pieces. And the vain side of me loves that it's black instead of that ugly white plastic. If you were feeling crafty (or sticker-y), you could easily paint or wrap that clear cover to look cooler.

Large tupperware container filled with pump supplies!
On the inside of the large container

I was talking via Twitter to Mr. Mike Lawson (who's really cool if you didn't know) and he was wondering about something more manly and sleek to carry d-supplies around in. Since he's on multiple daily injections (MDI), there's a little less gear to tote around in some ways. I was thinking of other things to stick supplies in just in case tupperware isn't your thing.

The best thing I found around my apartment was my hard shell sunglasses case. I can't really remember where I got it from but it's pretty easy to stuff in the essentials (testing supplies, insulin, and syringes). There's tons of hard shell cases online and in stores and most are less than $30.

Sunglass Case, Small Takeout Container, Large Takeout Container
Small Container with MDI Supplies
Sunglass Case with MDI Supplies

Playing around with different things, I think the size of the case is most important and the limiting factor is really the size of your meter. Most syringes and vials of insulin are the same size. But really if your meter is big, your case needs to be large enough to hold it. A OneTouch Mini is pretty tiny but the only meter I had at the moment to test with. Also, I recommend any makeshift case be water proof/resistant, sturdy, and easy to clean. If making/modifying carrying cases isn't your thing, there are tons of cute or manly carrying cases out there to buy nowadays. Some even come with built in slots to hold syringes and vials! We'll see how long it takes me to graduate from tupperware...

1 comment:

  1. OH MY GOD!! I have a really cool glasses case that came with my Versace eye glasses...and since my glasses are always on my head and not in the case, it just sits there!

    Why did I never think to use my glasses case?!?!?