Someone we know of recently had their son diagnosed. I was thinking about what I would have like to have known would be needed once we arrived home. I slowly collected items over the first few months but it was all gathered from different ideas scattered all over the internet, as well as books I was reading in between my fuzzy eyed 2am blood glucose checks. So I thought I’d be super convenient and write a Best Of list for those parents who are facing the new reality of the diabetes life.
- 1. Sharps container (We get ours free at our local fire/health departments). I also purchased a small one for the car.
- 2. Fast acting glucose: Capri Suns; Apple Juice boxes; Jelly Beans (1g per); Level Glucose gel packs; QuickSticks (Walgreens), & 15g Snacks (such as protein bars).
3. Supply on-the-go bag – We received a free one but quickly opted to get a makeup bag that had separated compartments.
4. Supply organizer for home counter– It’s like Caboodles makeup counter organizers were made for D supplies. (see other post where I outlined what we keep in ours)
5. Supply organizer for cabinet – I bought a plastic bin that had three layers. I stored extra syringes, lancets, meter control solution, extra meters, meter instruction manuals, extra alcohol swabs. (In the beginning before your stash grows, you will likely only need a bin. Later it’s a bin plus an entire cabinet in your kitchen)
6. D care items: Alcohol prep pads; syringes; insulin, testing strips, glucose meter, lancing device/lancets, ketone strips.
a. I am a big fan of Accucheck FastClix lancets. They come in a barrel so you never see the lancet. They come with the Accucheck Nano meter (which we received free from Endo).
b. We also like the Contour Next USB meter/Strips. The accuracy is among the best, the USB is nice to plug in, and it is conveniently on our insurance’s preferred list.
7. Other D care items we received/purchased: CalorieKing carb book (buy an extra for the car!); Precision Xtra Blood Ketone Meter/Strips (So you know exactly what the level of ketones are; especially helpful if your child isn’t potty trained); an insulin koozy which protects the insulin bottle if you drop it because it smells bad and is a very expensive mistake versus a $7 vial protector. (Amazon)
8. The Pink Panther book is great, but some places only give the smaller edition. We were lucky enough to also receive the expanded edition from a relative and highly recommend it. I would save the abbreviated version for other care providers who will need to learn a bit about diabetes but not all-day, every-day care. We also supplemented with Think Like a Pancreas; Guide to Accurate Carb Counting (both) by Gary Scheiner, CDE; Kids First, Diabetes Second by Leighann Calentine.
9. A decent digital scale. Soon you will be learning to carb count and until you are able to eyeball serving sizes in your sleep, you will need a scale with at least the tare feature, as well as ability to measure grams and ounces.
10. Lo/No Carb drinks. Your kiddo will suddenly have to account for every carbohydrate gram going into their mouth. Those previous cokes,
11. Carb log book. Personally, I hated the ones that came with the meters. I bought a spiral notebook style daily calendar. It has a lot more room to write. After a bit you learn that it’s essentially TIME; BG #; CARB #, INSULIN UNITS. You can add in variables next to it if you want, such as exercise, foods, etc.
12. A 3 ring binder (2" or larger) with clear page protectors. I made a cute one that I keep all the handouts from the endo in, such as carb counting basics, ketone info, daily logs they require before visits, illness guide, symptoms of high/low BG, etc.