Saturday, October 1, 2011

Too Much Is Not Enough Sometimes

We have two little girls diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. 

That translates to a whole heck of a lot of type 1 diabetes supplies.

With so many supplies, one of my most frequently asked questions is How Do You Stay Organized? 

Well, the fact of the matter is it is hard.  Very hard.  We have 'diabetes stuff' lurking in multiple places throughout our home.  The linen closet has been deemed the supply closet.  We had to buy a shelf to house meters, lancets, and strips in the kitchen.  We have too-many-to-count meters floating around our home, school and cars. There is a mini refrigerator in the hall outside of our daughters' rooms.  The girls each have meters for next to their beds and for their purses and backpacks. 

At the beginning of a three-month supply drop from the Fed-Ex man,  I have enough medical equipment to open my own Naturally Sweet Sisters Pharmacy.

However, what we have learned is this - you just never know when you are going to need an extra set of supplies.

Here is the best story that I have to illustrate this fact.


Last summer, our family of four decided to take a vacation to an island in Michigan that is only accessible by boats.  Big, expensive boats that cost about $100.00 to get us there.  The island does not allow cars or trucks and the primary mode of transportation is bicycles or perhaps a horse and buggy ride.

We planned out our day and packed snacks; both fast-acting glucose treats and protein rich mini-meals.  We packed a mini-medical kit with neosporin, band aids, sunblock, bug spray and sun hats.  We remembered our money, ID, cell phones and island maps.  The girls checked their insulin pumps to make sure they had enough Apidra insulin on board and we packed an extra vial along with a few site changes.  I even stuck a medical id card into each child's pocket in case we were separated. 

And off we went.  A little tidbit is that this island is known as the land of homemade fudge.  In fact, tourists visiting the island are referred to as "Fudgies".  The girls had never experienced it and were eager to sample it and taste the promised deliciousness of it.


The boat ride lasted about 30 minutes and from the excitement, when both girls disembarked, they immediately felt hypoglycemic.

No problem.  We had snacks!  All we needed to do was to check blood sugars. 

(insert brakes screeching here)

No meters.  No lancets.  No strips.  No nothing.... we had left it all back on the mainland. 

I never do this in front of the girls, but I started to cry.  Right there in front of hundreds of tourists.  I bawled my eyes out.  This was no way to start our island adventure. 

Then the girls started to cry. 

With the three of us sobbing, my dear husband knew he had to do something quickly.  I am not quite sure what made him think of this, but he formulated a plan.  He told us that he would hike up towards the north part of the island to a medical station and see if they could help us. 

Still crying and fumbling with juice boxes for the girls, I am thinking that it won't work.  After all, no one just hands out meters, strips and lancets, especially without a script from a doctor.

20 minutes later, my husband comes bouncing down the road with a huge grin.  Not 1 but 2 meters!  And enough strips and lancets to last for a week!  It's not our brand and it takes me a few minutes to get a handle on it, but it works.  The girls think the new meter is pretty and special because we received it on the island.  Everyone is happy again.


We dose for the juice boxes and off we go to start our fudge-filled adventure.

When it comes to diabetes supplies, you really can never have enough.

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