A family living well with type 1 diabetes.

Posts tagged ‘D supplies’

Health Time Capsule

For the month of April I am participating in the WEGO Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge. This means I shall attempt 30 straight days of blog posts–one for every day in the month of April. I’m not going to lie to you, I have my doubts that I can pull this off. In fact, I’m already off to a less than stellar start, given that I’m a day late with my first post.

But that doesn’t matter. I will give it my best shot and aim to make a quality contribution to this event rather than push for quantity that may be lacking in interest and passion. I enjoy the challenge of writing from prompts but if I’m not feeling it, I’m not going to post something that I’m not proud of or pleased with. So on that note, here’s the first prompt and my humble submission follows:

The prompt: Pretend you’re making a time capsule of you & your health focus that won’t be opened until 2112. What’s in it? What would people think of it when they found it?

Hello people of the future. I am the mother of a child with type 1 diabetes. I’m sure you have heard tell of this disease of the past–a heartbreaking, life-long sentence of finger pokes, injections, blood draws, doctor’s appointments, high and low blood sugars and the ever-present fear of devastating complications. It most often struck our young children, suddenly and without warning. But no one was safe, really. You are very fortunate to live in a time when this disease is merely a part of human history.

Type 1 diabetes was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausting for the people who lived with it every day. The demands of diabetes were at times immense. Imagine having to check your blood sugar by poking your finger and summoning a drop of blood anywhere from 8 to 12 times a day or more. Imagine having to count every carbohydrate you consume and calculate the dose of insulin needed to inject to ensure your blood sugar doesn’t shoot to the moon. Imagine having to have access to a considerable arsenal of medical paraphernalia at all times to stay healthy and alive. And imagine that no matter how diligent you work, no matter how hard you try you often don’t get it right. High and low blood sugars were a given–a part of everyday life. That’s just the nature of this beast.

I have included in this time capsule a copy of the blog I started and kept for years after my daughter’s diagnosis so that you might know more of what this disease was capable of and how it affected entire families. I have also included all of the items type 1 diabetics required to be at their disposal 24 hours a day, every day to live. They include:

  • blood glucose meter
  • blood glucose test strips
  • lancets
  • lancing device
  • carb tabs
  • blood ketone meter
  • blood ketone test strips
  • urine ketone test strips
  • insulin
  • insulin syringes
  • insulin pump
  • insulin cartridges
  • infusion sets
  • batteries
  • sharps container
  • continuous glucose monitor

We lived in an age that saw technology propel forward at a dizzying speed! It was incredibly hard to keep up with the latest technological gadgetry pertaining to communication and entertainment. One could go broke trying. Yet the diabetes devices and pharmaceuticals of our time were shamefully behind the times.

For the last 30 years of the 1900’s a cure was repeatedly promised to be “just steps away” or “no more than 5 years down the pike.” Finally, doctors stopped making these promises with such reckless abandon. People got wise … and maybe a little cynical too. The focus started to shift more toward treatment and prevention–not solely on a cure.

To be personally affected by type 1 diabetes is to experience a full range of emotions to their most extreme degree. It isn’t easy to cope at times. It is difficult to trust that those in the business of finding better treatments and cures are really committed to looking for that which will ultimately put them out of business.

But at the end of the day, it’s all that the people living with diabetes and those who love them have.

We must believe.

I must believe.

This is why I have written this with optimism and hope. You must know what a world without type 1 diabetes looks and feels like. In 100 years, surely the break-neck speed at which wireless communication advanced in our day finally found its way to the treatment and curing of chronic and deadly diseases such as diabetes.

…all the walks, marathons, fund raisers, the billions of dollars raised…

We as a species must have gotten our priorities in order by now … haven’t we?

Organized Chaos Isn’t Working For Us.

That feeling when you go to grab a fresh container of test strips and realize you are down to your last one? Yeah. That feeling. It’s not pleasant, that feeling. There’s great comfort in having a freshly stocked cabinet (or drawer) full of diabetes supplies. It gives you a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, doesn’t it? And just as wonderful as those warm n’ fuzzies are – the feeling of realizing supplies have dwindled dangerously low is equally as dreadful.

I’m looking out at a bitterly cold, winter day with winds whipping up snow-devils into a twisting, flurry of white, frosty madness. It’s the kind of day where one is thankful for shelter and central heating. But for those of us dependent on external stuff to keep ourselves or our children alive, days like these cause our minds to ponder how well stocked we are with the things we require to sustain life. If things get dicey for an extended period of time, weather-wise, are there enough test strips, insulin and batteries to last? Organization is crucial to the management of diabetes supplies, right?

Which is why I am a shining example of organized D-parenting.

BAAAAhahahahaaaaa!!! I kid.

We keep all of Jenna’s supplies in (and around) a Rubbermaid drawer, arranged (not so) neatly on a shelf in our closet (amid the ties and shoes and baskets of skivvies), so that we can see at a glance (and a quick, profanity-laced rummage) if we are prepared for the unexpected.

Oh, alright. So our system could use an overhaul. Which brings me to this: How do you keep supplies organized, neat and tidy?

Since we have just moved and are still settling in, I’m looking for tips and tricks from all of you ultra-organized types. Tell me what you do. Let me learn from your wisdom. Inspire me. Please comment and if you write a D-blog, or even an organization blog, post links to blog posts you have done on this subject. Pictures would be nice too! Please help me get my diabetes sh–t together. Literally. I look forward to hearing from you. :)

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