My guest post on Six Until Me

I’ve mentioned before that I was lucky enough to meet the awesome Kerri Sparling (and her awesome husband) when they came to Melbourne for the Australian Diabetes Social Media Summit. During this event, the following occurred:

  • A lot of coffee was consumed. It’s what we do in Melbourne.
  • Upon prompting from some cheeky Australians with a penchant for Australian rhyming slang, Kerri asked the waiters for dead horse for her burger; and
  • I made the call to finally start writing a blog.

Since that event, Kerri asked me to write a guest post for Six Until Me about why I decided to start my blog and the rise and rise of the diabetes online community in Australia. So I did. Who wouldn’t?

The blog post can be found on Kerri’s blog, which I’m super stoked about.

Sincere thanks go to Kerri for allowing me to provide a guest blog post for her blog. As a genuine rookie in this blogging business, the invitation was greatly appreciated. I’m also looking forward to “dead horse” becoming part of the Rhode Island vernacular.

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In case of emergency…

Australia is currently going through some rough times with significant fires taking place around the country. Good friends of mine recently came far too close to losing their property in a grass fire that was out of control in Western Victoria. They lost their mailbox, which is a decent indication of how close the fire got to their front door. Fortunately, the wind turned, the rain came and the good men and women of the Country Fire Authority managed to control that particular fire.

In fact, Diabetes Tasmania have been providing replacement blood glucose monitors, testing strips and lancets to those who have lost their own in the bush fires across Tassie. Medtronic have also pledged $25,000 (US) to the Red Cross for their work with the fires.

Consequently, the past week or so has got me thinking about what I would do in such a situation. I’d be quick to ensure my loved ones are safe, grab my dog and my budgie.

Image

I’d probably try to grab my iPhone and maybe even some other gadgetry, photos and so forth. But would I be prepared for such an emergency situation with regards to diabetes?

Following a consultation with Mr. Google, I decided to compare my preparedness with the 10 Diabetes Emergency Kit Essentials post by Jenna White on The Lauren’s Hope Blog

Let’s see:

Extra bottles of insulin, medications, test strips and pump sites
– I always have spare insulin in the fridge, but this supply can drop low at times. I should probably check the used by date of that Levemir.
– I usually have plenty of Verio IQ strips around and the fact this meter is rechargeable is a big plus in my book. Sometimes I have Accu-Chek Mobile strips around, sometimes not. Sometimes I have some iBGstar strips around, sometimes not. I have heaps of meters around, lying idle. One of these certainly needs to go in some form of emergency kit with some strips
– I usually have plenty of insulin pump supplies, but they could be either under the stairs, in the upstairs cupboard, in the downstairs cupboard or possibly still in my car.

Alcohol wipes
Tick.

Cooler
I had a cooler once. When I was first diagnosed I used to take it with me when I was playing cricket games full of cold juice in case I had a dodgy hypo whilst scoring plenty of centuries, taking heaps of wickets,attempting to play cricket like Mark Waugh. Must buy new cooler.

Flash light
Does my phone count? Probably not. Must add a flash light to the emergency pack.

Extra batteries
I am probably pretty safe with pump batteries. No shortages around my house, car and bags, but again, are they in a safe, organised emergency pack? Not quite.

Medical ID bracelet
As noted in my blog post regarding my 2012 year highlights, I finally did get a Medical ID bracelet in 2012, following 15 years of living with diabetes, so this is one I can safely tick off the list. I think I’ve taken the bracelet off twice since I received it, so now it is just a pretty safe bet that should an emergency arise, I will have my MedicAlert bracelet where it belongs – on my wrist!

Personal diabetes medical plan.
Um… coming up empty on this one. The Lauren’s Hope blog post suggests “this plan would include your medical history, emergency procedures and contact information among other things.” I have some of this information in my wallet, some on my MedicAlert account. Not sure how much would be useable in an emergency though. Should I need medical assistance, I’d much rather someone called my Diabetes Educator who’d be much more useful than a piece of paper!

Blood sugar log
I didn’t enjoy filling in diabetes logs at the best of times, let alone considering the information in there in an emergency. Like Kerri, I must concede to doing the different pen trick a number of times. Since getting my pump, I have not used a blood sugar log to track my results. However, one of the reasons I like the Verio IQ is PatternAlert Technology which provides at least some basic information regarding my trends of highs and lows. I’d imagine this feature would be extremely useful in a stressful time like a significant emergency, when the last thing I’m thinking of is my trends.

Drinks and snacks
I have jelly babies everywhere. No real problems there, but I think my dog actually ate my last pack of glucose tablets and I have no glucose sachet type things around either. Is Glucolift available in Australia yet? I do however have some expired Glucagon and script for Glucagon that I haven’t followed up on. Not overly helpful, ey?

Cell phone, pager or other communication device.
Some people think my insulin pump is a pager – did you know there were once 64 million pager users all over the world? – but I doubt that would help me for communication purposes.

My overall preparedness rating? I reckon I’m at about a 5/10…
In short, I don’t have anything close to a diabetes emergency pack and should an emergency arise, I would be scurrying around all over the house, my car and various bags to find everything that might be needed. Not a good outcome especially when time is precious and the mood is panicky.

As a general rule, I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. In the recent #OzDoc chat about Diabetes New Years resolutions, I did say that I was hoping to improve my regularity of uploading data from my pump and making decisions accordingly based on this information. As an addendum to this, I am committing to developing a diabetes emergency pack by this time next year, ASAP.

Safety first.