Monday, December 20, 2010

Diabetes "Stuff"

Unfortunately with Type 1 diabetes there comes a lot of “stuff”. I can still remember the day I was diagnosed and my mom and I came home from the Doctor and CVS and laid out all of the supplies and prescriptions- almost enough to cover my whole dining room table. I must give diabetes companies credit because over the years they have done a great job in advancing technology and making devices smaller and more convenient to carry. Still, it can be a hassle to ensure you have all of your supplies with you at all times. I think it must be even tougher for guys because they cannot just shove their meters and test strips into a cute cosmetic case or purse and call it day. I was talking to my a guy friend this morning who is Type 1 and wears a pump and he was telling me that sometimes he just doesn’t carry his meter when he goes out on a Friday or Saturday night because it is too much of a pain to carry around in his pockets. Luckily he doesn’t have to worry about carrying around long oddly shaped insulin pens because he is on a pump, but still I can imagine it is not super convenient to have a blood glucose meter, test strips, and lancet device in your pocket (along with your cell phone, wallet, etc) when you are out at the bar on a Saturday night.  Most of the time my insulin pens, meter, test strips, lancet device, lancets, pen needles, and glucose tabs are in one of my many, many cosmetic cases that I carry around in my purse (yes- when you have diabetes you allow yourself to splurge on cute little bags to carry your stuff! J).  I cannot imagine ever going “meter-less” for a night or even a few hours so I have given up many of my super small clutches and have resigned to using clutches that can fit my loads of stuff.  In addition to all of the supplies I mentioned I usually have a granola bar or some other food with me, my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) if I am wearing it, and sometimes even a back up meter.
When I am out on a run, I usually do not carry my meter with me, but most of the time I stick glucose tabs or “gu” and my CGM in my bra or in a fanny pack thing around my waist. (I know- cool, huh?) Wearing an insulin pump does prevent you from having to carry around your insulin because you are essentially wearing your insulin, but you still have to carry around test strips and something to prick your finger with. When I was on a pump I usually carried back up pen insulin with me too in case of a pump break down.
We, as people with diabetes, are so reliant on our “stuff” it’s almost scary. On Saturday, my boyfriend and I were out for lunch and about to walk up to the Ruby Tuesdays Salad bar (yum!) and I went to the bathroom to check sugar, take my insulin and symlin, etc. When I opened my purse I realized my “diabetes stuff” bag was still in my gym bag in the car so I quickly ran out to get it before we began to eat. Totally NOT a big deal at all, but it reminded me of the times I have shown up at a restaurant or at work without my “stuff” and back home I would go because I could not eat or continue for more than a few hours at work without it. We are reliant on our “stuff” to tell us where are numbers are, where they are going, allow us to eat and absorb our food, and help our bodies function the way they need to in order for us to stay alive. Makes me think instead of complaining about it all…. I guess I should really thank the “stuff”.
My Diabetes "Stuff"

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