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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Be Prepared

I was a Girl Guide as a child (Canada's answer to Girl Scouts), and although I didn't really enjoy being a Girl Guide (I was a very shy child and hated to be a part of big groups like that), I took their motto of "Be Prepared" to heart. Mostly because I was born anal-retentive.

I like to be prepared in any situation, for any situation. I do not understand what the words "pack lightly" mean. This lends itself nicely to being the parent of a Type 1 Diabetic; I can't think of any other disease that causes the caregivers to become pack mules.

But I have to admit that I've become a wee bit lazy in my "being prepared". If I'm running out to the store with Elise, I don't always take her insulin with me. I pretty much always have something for a low, but there have been times when we're going to Target or the grocery store and I've forgotten her emergency kit at home. Instead of turning around, I just figure I can grab something at the store if she goes low.

That's why the story in Sarnia
, Ontario has given me great pause. For those of you unfamiliar with the story, motorists were stuck for over 24 hours on a highway due to a snow storm and had to be rescued.

On a side note, when the local news had a blurb about this story, they said it took place in Ontario Canada. Ontario is a pretty big place, folks. Let's narrow it down a bit. It's sort of like saying, "a tornado destroyed a town in Texas. In other news..." I'm just sayin'.

And it made me think... what if something like that happened to us? What if we were stuck somewhere with no access to food or the life-saving insulin my daughter needs? What would we do? Now granted, we don't get much snow here, but it reminds me of something that happened to us last Christmas Eve.

We were coming home from dinner following the Christmas Eve service at our church. It was a pretty bad storm for these parts; snow was coming down sideways. We did okay until we reached an overpass. The problem with overpasses is that they freeze when it's snowing/sleeting and become hills of ice. We tried to go over it, but kept sliding backwards. Other cars were coming behind us and were getting stuck too.

It was growing closer and closer to the time that Elise needed her bedtime insulin (which I did not bring with me) and a snack (I don't think I had any food with me either, she had eaten everything at dinner). Thankfully, Fred is an awesome driver and drove backwards through the maze of cars until he made it to an intersection. We then drove along the feeder road until we could drive under the highway instead of over it. A trip that normally takes 15 minutes took almost 90.

Thankfully, it ended well. But that memory, plus the story out of Sarnia, is the kick in the pants I need to become more committed to being prepared. As the mother of a 3-month old and a type 1 diabetic, I have a lot of crap to haul around with me. But the alternative is just too scary.

So tell me. How do you prepare? What are some of your must have items? Are there any products you just cannot do without?

***Yup, that's a picture of a sassy 5-or-6 year old me as a Brownie (I couldn't find any good Girl Guide ones). Go ahead, laugh. But I think I was cute as a red-headed button.

11 comments:

  1. I too am anal and ocd. No one laugh pleeease. We carry a small shoulder cooler. It says diabetes bag. It goes wherever we do. It has in it Ping meter remote, 2 vials of strips, 2 lancing devices, a back up meter, alcohol preps, iv preps, 2 sites, tegaderm, a small bottle of skin tac, 2 cartridges, vial of humalog, juice boxes, smarties, pixie sticks, pb crackers, ketone meter and strips, pump battery, meter battery, syringes, hand sanitizer, calories king book, and I think thats it. LOL ! So serious endo yesterday was like wow youre ready to go anywhere!

    I agree Joann you just never know. I like to know wherever we are we have all he needs.

    Btw youre so cute!!!!

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  2. duh we use novalog now...whatever vial we are using for month is one we carry with us and take it out to refill cartridge and then it goes back inside..:) kaaarazy is me!

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  3. I have some serious OCD when it comes to leaving the house with my girls, I pack everything! I'm that mom that has already thought "What if I'm on the highway and there is a HUGE pile up of cars with no way out for hours?!"

    Yeah, I have everything they need and then some :)

    Miss E goes to school 3 blocks from our house and I still take all of Lil Miss C's supplies with me to drop off and pick up Miss E! Sometimes I wish I could relax but then you hear stories like the one in Sarnia and I don't feel so bad about being a 'pack mule' :)

    Love the picture btw!!!

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  4. I am right there with you Joanne! Where I am in Ontario, we didn't get hit AS hard as there...but it still struck a chord with me to get my bum in gear and put together some sort of emergency bag that will stay in the car at all times. Scary stuff! Other than that, I am like a friggin walking grocery store/pharmacy on any given day leaving the house...lol...it's pathetic, but it's who i am...lol

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  5. SO CUTE! Loooove it!

    I am a slacker. For sure. I admit to it, and I am not proud. I do have a meter in the back seat, and frosting and candy in the glove box...but that is the extent of it. We had to leave church twice last month because we didn't come prepared. (Not throwing my husband under the bus or anything, but I've had early morning meetings and I wasn't there to make sure we had everything we needed...ok...yeah...I threw him under! I'm not perfect Joanne!)

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  6. Always somewhere close is his meter remote (in it are some smarties and skittles for a low and a spare battery for the meter and the pump)

    If I am running errands, I grab his meter and throw it in my backpack...

    In my mini backpack (cuz it sure ain't a purse!) I have a juice box, glucagon, glucose tabs, granola bars, extra vial of test strips, single use lancer (...and toys to keep my 2 year old occupied).

    In the car I have a few juice boxes, apple sauce pouches, granola bars, almonds, 2 infusion sets and an extra meter.

    I also have my mom and inlaws house and the school office and classroom stocked with a spare meter, juice, crackers, and insulin.

    If we are going out for the day, I always pack a cooler with various foods including low treatments and no/low carb snacks.

    Our weekend getaway stuff includes EVERYTHING for 5 set changes.

    Hey, now that I listed all that, I am more prepared than I thought I was!!

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  7. We are prepared generally.... always leave house with glucometer, source of sugar, source of sugar in her jean pockets all the time as well, and insulin pump stores enough insulin for the day. We don't carry extra sets on her person. In fact, have gotten lazy and will make sure there are extra sets and mini diabetes bag in the glove compartment of car. I think Glacagon freezes so can't leave in car and we don't carry it with us as we have never had to use it. Will put glucose gel in kit in glove compartment. Glucagon, extra supplies and insulin at school with nurse. Good post.... thanks for reminding me.

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  8. Jo...I have been meaning to post on Woodchuck more on how he got his name...but also on what I keep in him at all times (I will be linking to you if that is OK)

    In addition to Woodchuck, I keep a stash of low treatment items in the car, in my purse etc.

    Have a great day!

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  9. Oh my word, Joanne! LOVE that picture of you!!!!

    Just this morning I was thinking....please Lord,let me always have access to insulin.

    It's scary to think that we might not be prepared.

    And low stuff. Yeah, Matthew has it in his kit and my purse is loaded. You just never know....And I don't want to say "I wish I had....."

    Love you! Hope you have a GREAT Christmas!

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  10. My family used to drive through Sarnia on our way from Detroit to Buffalo. We were caught one year in a storm...it can get pretty bad. My diabetic son is 15, so he is quite autonomous for his care. He is very responsible for his age, but he is still a kid and I have learned through his few mistakes that he can take care of it. When he was first diagnosed, I was so afraid to even travel anywhere. You do sort of relax, but I can say that preparing for trips is still important. I always pack three (yes three) separate boxes with back-ups of everything for him..Just know, however, that even with the best preparation, we will make mistakes, and things will be alright.

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  11. 'As the mother of a 3-month old and a type 1 diabetic, I have a lot of crap to haul around with me'

    So, um, yeah. I think you are doing good just feeding and caring for those cuties, let alone trying to be organized!!!!

    Glad your hubby is multi-talented and can drive backwards. Can't say the same for mine, so I must be prepared in a situation like this ;)

    Very cute Brownie you make. The brown goes niceley with the red hair!

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