Thursday, December 18, 2008

Make a Type 1 Diabetes Basic Kit

I have gotten lots of great feedback about my CyborgCamp presentation, and am getting lots of questions. Rather then answering you all one by one, I thought I'd do it in one fell swoop!

ESSENTIAL items for every Type 1 Diabetic:
(in no particular order)

Medical ID

There are many on the market, and they don't have to be gaudy. Mine was custom made, and no one really notices it unless they ask. (Now, those of you who have met me in person are going, "So that's what her bracelet is!")

Emergency Sheet

It should list your medications, Health insurance name and number, emergency contact information etc., I have one taped inside the cabinet (to be pulled down and taken in case of emergency) and one at my parent's.

Glucagon Emergency Kit

Glucagon is injected in to the thigh to wake one from a severe low blood sugar.
You will need a prescription for this, and will need to keep it away from kiddos. I am happy to say that I have never needed it, but it is nice to know I have it just in case.

Good Source of Fast Acting Carbohydrates

This can be a small juice box, handful of Smarties rolls, lifesavers, etc., just make sure you have a lot and make sure it is with you AT ALL TIMES!

Extra Blood Glucose Meter

The strips are expensive, but they often give the meters away like candy. It's nice to have a back up blood glucose meter in case yours bonks out (or you *cough* accidentally put it in the refrigerator for 6 hours). Make sure it is the same brand as your primary blood glucose meter.

Sign up to get a free One Touch Meter here.

Extra Batteries for Your Blood Glucose Meter
Most meters come with funky batteries, something you aren't going to find at the Qwik-e mart, keep an extra one in your meter case, and you will be set.

Extra Insulin
I like to have one to two bottles (if not more) of insulin sitting in the fridge at all times. The day you drop your bottle of insulin on the bathroom tiles, and it shatters, you will thank me. (But I have yet to find a way to keep said bathroom smelling like band-aids for the next month, sorry.)

Extra Needles

Kind of an obvious one, but again, you can never be to careful.

Ketone Strips

Ketones are used to test Ketones in your urine. Ketones=bad. Check the price at your pharmacy, then check the drugstore. The drugstore is often cheaper.

A Fantastic Resource Book about Diabetes
I'd love to recommend some, but my go to book is Pumping Insulin. I suggest checking out a bunch at the library and finding one that is 1) clear 2) motivating and 3) not condescending. Steer clear of anything with "cure" in the title. That will be a crock of shit.

(You can also send me a title, and I will try and check it out for you...let me know.)

Something that makes you laugh

A favorite funny movie, a favorite funny web-site. Whatever it is that will make you laugh. Some days you won't need it. But some days you will.

Good Doctor

Preferably an Endocrinologist, that keeps up with the latest research. He/She should talk about insulin pumps, long acting insulin (such as Lantus), short acting insulin (such as Humalog/Novolog) and carbohydrate counting. If he/she doesn't, get a new doctor. (IMHO)

Blood Glucose Log

Whether it be the paper log that came with the meter, or a fancy software version, get those numbers written down so you can look them over and adjust if needed.

Digital Scale and Carbohydrate Counting Book
Yes it sucks. But yes, it works.
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