Last week, as we were preparing for the first camping trip of the summer, I realized that we are in a pretty good place in terms of diabetes organization. I think it is so important to be on top of supplies, current prescriptions and emergency instructions so that when you are blindsided with a 400+ blood sugar reading, or a 40 blood sugar reading, at least you and the people around your type one kiddo can take care of him or her. So what can you do to get organized and stay organized?
1. Have a central location for all of your supplies. It might be a closet, a cabinet, a shelf, a plastic tub …. whatever you can designate as that sacred space for only diabetes-related items. This is where you store everything that is not being carried with your child: pump infusion sets, reservoirs, syringes, insulin pens, alcohol wipes, lancets, test strips, glucagon, batteries, treatments, protein snacks, cake gel, reference materials.
You may choose to keep insulin here as well if the temperature is around 70 degrees. We keep the current bottle on the counter with our daughter’s meter, while unopened vials are stored in the refrigerator.
2. Keep your supplies well-stocked and up-to-date. Both spring and fall (before school starts) I check glucagon kits and make sure they are not expired. When we open the last box of reservoirs, infusion sets or test strips, I immediately order the refill so we always have enough. This is one thing I just do not put off!
3. From our book Type 1 Diabetes and Babysitting: A Parent’s Toolkit, I made a 4×6 notecard from the chapter, What to Carry With You and When. This notecard is posted above our supply shelf, and when we prepare to go on a trip or anywhere an hour away from home, I simply refer to this card to quickly make sure we have everything we need.
4. Have insulin doses updated and easily found. Again, in Type 1 Diabetes and Babysitting: A Parent’s Toolkit there is a place to quickly jot down either pump settings or insulin schedules. This is REALLY handy when you are out of town, have to call the endocrinologist and they ask, “What are your child’s basal rates? Carb ratios?” Help can come much faster when the information is at your fingertips.
Being organized when it comes to diabetes can not only affect your child’s health, but it helps everyone in the family be a part of your child’s care. And THAT is a very good thing ….