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Disaster Readiness. Climate Change and National Security. Offshore Drilling. Rebuilding New Orleans. Disaster Preparedness. Earthquake Research. Disaster Response. Slow Progress in Earthquake Prediction. Please keep the differences in mind when you post comments and suggestions. Finding ways to prepare for a serious disease like this is scary. Use the attached links and their information at your own risk. The rest is up to you. The bodies of Type 2 patients still make insulin, but their bodies have trouble using it to get carbohydrate energy from the blood into the cells for use.
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Diet, exercise, and some drugs can help them do that. The body of a Type 1 patient makes no insulin, the vehicle that unlocks cells so that energy can enter and be metabolized. The immune system has attacked the pancreas and shut down the good guys that make insulin. No diet, exercise, or drugs on the market will turn those cells on again.
And that was my initial frustration. Remember Atkins and low-carb diets? Having supplies and insulin at all times is essential to survival. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation in advised diabetics to keep a filled medical bag after Superstorm Sandy hit in October Doctors were concerned that, gasp! A bag that holds basic supplies for the diabetic is a smart first-step.
The JDRF checklist might be helpful in packing that first bag.
After some experimentation, I keep a tiny first aid box filled with pen needles in our everyday carry bag. Mine can hold 3 used pen needles, enough to dose for each meal without worrying where to put used needles. We keep a high-sugar snack for emergencies, as well as no-carb snacks that can curb hunger in the everyday carry bag.
A case of water bottles in the trunk makes sense, too, as diabetics need to drink continuously. If you are getting prescriptions one month at a time at a local pharmacy, you may be able to get a few extra days of supplies every month by going on the first day you can get a refill. Over time, that can add up.
Mail ordered supplies are sent automatically and make it virtually impossible to stock up in this way. Most states require a prescription to purchase insulin, making stockpiling trickier for Americans. Another way to add to your stash of insulin may work if your loved one uses a pump but is very active. Some high school wrestlers with T1D are on a pump most of the year but switch to insulin injection pens during wrestling season for safety. Switching to pens for the summer might make sense if your self-conscious preteen is swimming, boating, canoeing, and cruising the pool.
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How much insulin should you store? From my experience with food storage, I recommend you use the same guidelines as you would for food. Prepping for a Type 1 diabetic? Survival tips here. Click To Tweet. Either way, request that all your prescription supplies automatically refill as soon as your insurance company will allow. If you can choose a couple of days a week to reduce carb intake and thus reduce insulin use, autofill can eventually get you a little bit of cushion. Stocking up on diabetes testing supplies is easy, compared to stockpiling insulin.
It is simple to buy diabetes test strips, pen needles, etc. Price check all your options to get the lowest combined price, and be sure to take shipping into consideration. Remember to check eBay and Amazon as well. We found both to be only slightly less expensive than the pharmacy, but you can luck into great deals on eBay. Diabetic specialty websites like Glucomart carry hit-or-miss supplies and run daily updates. You have to check back pretty often, or use your email address to request notification when the products you need are in stock.
Testing on-the-go is much easier with alcohol swabs. At home, we use a giant bottle of alcohol and cotton balls, available at dollar stores everywhere. In estate sales, you might even find a new or lightly-used testing machine to go along with the supplies. With second-hand supplies in particular estate sales and eBay , be certain to check the expiration date, and obviously that they are compatible with your machine.
They may be cheap because they are close to their expiration date. Use those right away and save the ones with later expiration dates. Immune support is crucial for T1D patients. In fact, contracting a common cold or flu virus is often what pushes an overactive immune system into overdrive and coincides with T1D onset. Endocrine changes due to illness wreak havoc on blood glucose levels. Avoid sickness and support immunity whenever possible.
Vitamin D is also shown to assist with glucose control. In an emergency, you may want to reduce carbohydrate intake to make insulin stockpiles last longer. Basing insulin stockpiles on current needs should give you some wiggle room. Maybe now is the time to learn to cook with almond flour or develop a taste for coconut milk. Both are shelf-stable, by the way! We already had a HUGE stockpile of beans, rice, noodles, and other starchy foods that could be a nightmare for glucose control. Energy rich, but nutrient sparse. Brown rice has a shorter shelf life, but more nutrients and the complex carbs are much slower to enter the blood.
Similarly, a packet of Splenda or Stevia might make lots of ho-hum dishes more palatable, the way sugar does for the rest of us. LC milk powder has only 1 carb per cup, but it requires mixing with water and heavy cream. Table cream yields a better result. I was not able to find a link to specific guidelines, but the American Association of Diabetes Educators acknowledges that reusable lancets for a single patient are perfectly safe. The recommendation at the time of your initial diagnosis may have changed. Our medical team insisted a once-a-day change had been studied and was proven safe, provided the skin is cleansed with alcohol before each finger prick as of December of This scares the heck out of me.
The Journal of the American Medical Association indicates that it would be okay to reuse syringes or pen needles without complications. The article specifically talks about uses per needle, which would equal a once-a-day change. Loss of electricity could prevent recharging your meter. Any number of solar phone chargers with USB plugs can be used as a backup option.
When stockpiling, strongly consider the possibility that electronic equipment may fail due to a natural or man-made EMP event. Pens are not vulnerable to EMP.
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