As a diabetic patient or parent, you are well aware that you need an emergency diabetes bag. This is one project that can’t be put off.
Advance planning is key to successful management of your diabetes. Don’t “live and learn,” coming up with a Plan B on the fly.
Here are some ideas for filling your emergency diabetes bag
Your Medical History and Contacts List
Take the necessary time to gather this information, which should include your health conditions, allergies, medications and dosages. Also, include contact information for your doctor, pharmacy, and emergency contact. Carry one in your wallet and smartphone. Don’t forget to store a copy in an easy-to-locate area of your home, such as attached to the fridge.
Glucose tablets or gels are great to have in your bag in the event of a blood sugar nosedive.
But don’t forget a glucagon injection kit, you may need this depending on the severity of your episode. On that note, it would also be a good idea to keep a list of signs and symptoms at work and home so others can identify these and know how to assist.
Extra Medications – Include three days’ worth of your medications.
When you are ready to head out, keep your insulin cold with reusable frozen gel packs.
Snacks to keep blood sugar stable.
Always have some non-perishable snacks such as nuts, seeds, dried fruit, whole-grain crackers, trail mix, or dry cereal on hand.
Testing Supplies – so you can test as many times as you need to.
Being out and about can raise your stress level, causing your blood sugar to fluctuate more than usual. Therefore, it may be necessary to test a little more frequently.
Include the following:
- Test Strips
- Lancing Device
- Alcohol Swabs
- Hand Sanitizer
Let a Medical Alert Bracelet Speak For You When You Can’t
Always remember to wear a Diabetes ID bracelet. In the event you lose consciousness or cannot speak, bystanders and first responders will know that you are diabetic and can help accordingly. This bracelet should clearly state your diagnosis and any other key health information. You can find these at the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) website at www.shopdiabetes.org.
Advanced Planning is the Key to Peace of Mind
Once you have your emergency bag packed, you can relax while on-the-go. For additional peace of mind, consider using a Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system or an insulin pump if you are not already benefiting from one of these devices.
More information about how CGM works can be found in our previous blog The 411 on CGM.