Initial Diagnosis Must Haves

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, Capri suns, and orange juices will have to wait for treatment of lows. The new game in town is lo/no carb drinks. Our favorites are Minute Maid’s Just 10 and Fruit Falls juice packs, Aquafina FlavorSplash, VitaminWater Zero, Powerade Zero, Crystal Light (powders or liquid), Mio, ICE flavored water, V8 Light Splash. You can of course get diet sodas, teas, etc that are low in carbs.

    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.

Does this seem like a lot? No, it's really not too bad! Just a trip to local pharmacy (for D care supplies, your MUST must have), a Walmart/Target, and a foray on Amazon.