Moving Day is here!
Yep, my wife Suzi, our dog Riley and I are making the move back to Michigan today, leaving Indiana after living here for 11 years. Today is actually the big day, so I'm off the grid carting boxes and furniture into the giant UHaul truck before we hit the road for the state we haven't been able to call home for many years.
"Don't forget the dog, don't forget the diabetes supplies in case of emergency... Especially the insulin!!"
Check, Check, and Check!
This has been a decade in the making, and now that we're in our mid-30s, we've accumulated a boatload of married couple belongings and diabetes stuff to organize, pack and move with us -- much different than back in 2004 when we arrived here in our mid-20s just before getting married.
That was a time before I had found the Diabetes Online Community and definitely before I started working professionally in the diabetes world, so my Master List of D-stuff has exploded since then. In theory, moving between adjacent states shouldn't be such a big deal, compared to cross-country or coast-to-coast moves. But it's still quite the haul.
Here's a look at the diabetes-related aspects of this move that have come up:
Moving Supplies Are Important
Boxes: Because, after living with T1D for 31 years and covering the diabetes as your professional gig for more than three years, you accumulate a lot of crap stuff -- from event notepads, to diabetes books I've reviewed, to a bevy of old meters and products. This all has to fit in alongside the non-diabetes stuff for my office, not to mention cookbooks and shoes and sports paraphernalia and all kinds of household items. Whew!
Lenny is ready for the move, complete with his "Got Islets?" hat and a T1D Foam Finger!
Can you spot the oldest D-supply? I Spy some discontinued BD glucose tab squares!
Box of Batman diabetes stuff for the office
Fun Tape: Not only to package up all your stuff and clearly mark the boxes, but also to add some flair to your diabetes cases so you don't mistake them as just more items to stuff-into-a-box-and-pack-away-forever. Since I often joke that I'm like Batman, carrying all kinds of cool diabetes gear on my belt like the caped crusader does with all his gadgets, that's what I am marking my D boxes with: Batman Tape!
Stray Supplies: Can you guess how many test strips, lancets and random supplies and batteries were scattered around the house, nudged into nooks and hiding behind furniture? Let's just say that If you remember how many years I've been living with diabetes, you're not far off...
And seriously, I found an old ForaCare test strip in there -- which I had used for about a week tops, for a product review more than a year ago, and somehow that strip was one of the many that got away!
Easy to Recognize Totes: We have a pair of those flat-hinged plastic totes that live under the bed, and that's where I keep most of my current and in-use diabetes supplies. This includes backup meters, lancets, syringes, alcohol swabs, insulin pump supplies and CGM sensors, and a myriad of other items that I just might need. The plastic totes slide right into the moving truck and we can stack other boxes on top, no problem. And because they stand out, there's no confusion about where my most necessary supplies will end up, once we hit the new house.
Charging Cables Galore: Yep, I have a lot of them. Organizing and storing is no easy task. I just returned from a couple of the big diabetes summer conferences, and having several of these cables in my backpack meant they were all tangled together and took quite some effort to be unwound and unknotted.
I've taken to labeling each of the cords and cables since they all look very much the same. I cut up little pieces of shipping labels, and write a word to describe whether it's "DEX" or "Droid," my "HdPhnz" or "Halo" portable charger. Not to mention my iPad and Macbook that have their own respective white Apple chargers.
Luckily, the Dexcom and my USB thumbnail Bayer meter are my only diabetes devices don't take batteries (so they need a cable). I'm personally glad that it just takes a AAA battery to boost my insulin pump back to life. We actually lost power for a few days a week or two before this Big Move, and my labeling and a nearby Starbucks helped keep all my devices fully charged. I'm hoping all of this labeling and organization pays off again for the trip to Michigan.
My Diabetes Reading List
Books are heavy and take up a lot of space, yo. We have two narrow, five-shelf bookcases that fit nicely along the wall in my past offices. But in our new home, we're losing a bedroom and I'm worried about having enough space for all the reading material I've stocked up through the years.
Truth is, I like to hold on to books, including some best-read college textbooks and literature classics that still have the "used" labels on them. With all the D-books I've received and reviewed here at the 'Mine over the past few years, it's a little bit like a wing of a Diabetes Library on my end.
By count, I came across 26 D-books scattered around on the not-very-organized bookshelves in my home office. A couple of them were doubles, and this pile just from my office didn't even take into account the D-cookbooks that live in our kitchen and all the e-books downloaded onto my Kindle devices.
I really need to donate some of these to the local ADA and JDRF offices and my beloved Diabetes Youth Foundation of Indiana (DYFI) camp. Really, why pack them up and schlep them along, when they'll do more good in the hands of new hopeful readers?
Keeping the Mood Light
It can get a little hairy and stressful making a move like this, when you're stuffing your whole life into boxes for a long haul to a new place. So you do have to keep a sense of humor and have some fun, right?
Don't Worry, I Wasn't Low!
But just in case, I'll have some handy hypo treatments in the moving truck cab with me! Always good to have an emergency kit of some sort on hand too, since moving boxes and furniture can quickly make blood sugars plummet. Never hurts to have a cold Diet Coke on hand, either!
Prescriptions and Endo Change
Of course, cleaning out the fridge was a necessary evil. And as any insulin addict might guess, the very last items to leave the fridge are those all-important insulin vials and pens in the recently-stocked butter compartment... before transferring them to the above-displayed cooler for transport.
And of course with this move, I'll need to find a new endocrinologist.
I'd mentioned before that I cut ties with my former endo earlier this summer. So now, it's almost time to settle on the individual who will become my new diabetes doctor (TBD whether that endo-to-be should be considered lucky or cursed..). I have narrowed the list to two in the Metro Detroit area, both well-respected with particular talents that I'm looking for. Maybe I'll leave that decision for a later day, once the boxes are unpacked...
Luckily, I'm not in a rush to decide. All my prescriptions are up-to-date with multiple refills available, so changing over to a new pharmacy should be a simple task that won't require a lot of legwork on my end. Plus, I happen to know both endos pretty well already and they've both agreed to get me into the office quickly if something comes up. So, that's a comfort and a great benefit when moving between states!
New House and Office
Driving 300+ miles from Central Indiana to Southeast Michigan isn't high on my list of fun, but it's another necessary evil of this whole process. With all our worldly belongings packed into the back of the moving truck (minus some fragile items we transported earlier during special trips by car), I'll navigate the interstates and roadways toward our new home.
Of course, I'll have my Dexcom G4 my Nightscout/CGM in the Cloud setup by my side, so I'll be sharing data with Suzi, who'll be behind the wheel of her own car behind me. And that's where our Riley Dog will be, too.
Next time I write, I'll be settling into the new Michigan house. Also to be known as: The DiabetesMine Great Lakes Office!