Are you a beginner at diabetes? Fear not, you don’t have too long to be in level one and it is important to grasp the basics while you still have the chance. Here are some essentials you must have with you all the time!
For Insulin Users
It is always important for you to have spares of everything in case you get held back. You need to be equipped enough to check your blood sugar safely and take necessary action. You will need the following equipment.
- Insulin – Remember that insulin is usable if kept at room temperature for a month. So, always check the date of the insulin in your hand bag and replace it with a new one if it has not been used after a one month period.
- Glucose testing strips and also a small container to throw away used testing strips
- Glucose monitor
- Insulin pens
- Alcohol swabs – to maintain hygiene
- Lancing devices
For Insulin Pump Users
- A spare infusion set – It is vital for pump users, especially those living in hot tropical regions to have a spare infusion set with them when they are on the go. Sometimes sweat, or poor administration can lead to the adhesive to fall out, so a spare pump is absolutely essential.
- Diabetes Managing Set
- A spare insulin reservoir
- Spare batteries
- Infusion set insertion device
For Hypoglycaemic Episodes
We almost always have the essentials for a high but what about the times when you are at an all time low? Low blood sugar is quick and spontaneous and if not handled quickly, it can cause nausea and even make you unconscious. So, here are some essentials you must keep with you in case of a hypoglycaemic episode:
- Glucose tablets or glucose gel
- Glucagon shot kit (in case of emergencies)
- A small carton of juice
Many diabetics carry chocolates with them, however since chocolates take longer to digest and react, sweet (non-diet) drinks and glucose is a preferable option.
- Medicine – The high amounts of sugar in your blood may cause you to have many side effects, like headaches, soreness, inflammations etc. This is why is important to carry first aid medicines for your every day side effects. Medicine for headaches and inflammation are non-prescriptible medications. Always carry all your important medications with you.
- Moisturiser – Sometimes the constant pricking from lancing devices can cause callouses around your fingers so it is always important to have a mild moisturiser with you.
- Bandages – Diabetics cannot afford cuts and bruises. Small unattended cuts can lead to septic wounds if they are left un-monitored. So, carry bandages with you just to be on the safe side.
- A pair of clean socks – When we are out and about with your day, our feet suffer the most. Not only do they have to carry the weight of the entire body, but they are constricted in uncomfortable foot wear. During the summers they can sweat through our socks and become a breeding ground for harmful bacteria. To avoid foot problems, keep a clean pair of absorbent socks with you so that you can change into clean pairs and protect your feet while you are on the go.
Identity Cards for Diabetics in India
India has not yet made it mandatory for diabetics to wear diabetic cards while you are traveling however, because of the increase in the number of diabetics in Kerala, Thiruvanthapuram has suggest to issue ID cards for diabetic children in India. An ID card will help teachers and care givers understand how to handle blood sugar fluctuations.
An ID card carries the following information:
- Your name and contact number of your parents/guardian or spouse in case you are not a minor
- Information on how to handle a case of low blood sugar
- The equipment you carry along with you and how to use them in case of an emergency
A diabetic identity card will help for two instances. Firstly, it will help in case of an energy as low blood sugar can cause unconsciousness. It is important to have a card that can clearly provide instructions to the people around you to help you regain consciousness.
A diabetic card also helps if you have to proof to government officials why you are carrying pins and needles with you. Every diabetic knows how much of hassle it is to get past security checkpoints in the airports, malls etc. Having a diabetic ID card makes the process a lot smoother. If you are severely diabetic, please talk to your doctor and issue a diabetic ID card this will make traveling both easier and safer.
So here is our list of handbag essentials for every diabetic on the go. Remember that your packing should depend on the number of days you are out and always remember to carry spares. For instance, if you are out for two days, pack for three days. If you are out to carry a small errand, carry a backup equipment back and S.O.S. medicine in case of low blood sugar. When it comes to diabetes one can never be too careful so always pack your bag ready for an emergency.