When it comes to natural disasters and other potential crises, diabetes makes me feel frighteningly vulnerable. I mentioned before that the images of Katrina had me clacking my teeth, as I wondered how I might stay alive sans fresh insulin in the event of being stranded. "Really quite my nightmare..."
Well, that hasn't changed a bit. And now this recent disturbing report from CNN could put any diabetic over the edge to paranoia: "an influential group of physicians has drafted a grimly specific list of recommendations for which patients wouldn't be treated." The list includes, quite prominently, "those with a severe chronic disease, such as advanced heart failure, lung disease or poorly controlled diabetes."
Kassie was one of the first to point this out to the OC. And Michelle K over at Blogabetes was one of the first to ask, "Who's to say what exactly consitutes 'poorly controlled'?" Is it enough, in the event of an emergency, for the doctor to know that you have diabetes in order to deem you un-save-worthy? Or is it only those with an A1c over 7? (Who's admitting to that in the midst of a flood or hurricane?) Or anyone already experiencing any kind of complications? What if you're sick as a consequence of the disaster at hand, and your sugars are out of control? Does that render you not worthy?
The bottom line is, we don't want to wait to find out. My husband and I have this frontier-mentality (do-it-yourself-or-don't-do-it) friend who lives nearby, whose been bugging us for the longest time about getting our home disaster-ready. In our neck of the woods, that mainly means Earthquake preparedness. But no matter. A disaster is a disaster.
So now our backyard shed is full up with canned turkey, bottled water, camping tools and paper towels. And most importantly, in the outdoor fridge: my Diabetes Survival Kit, which my husband and Frontier Guy absolutely insisted on. Yes, I know, the fridge will be of no use in the event of an emergency; it's just keeping my insulin cool until then.
The contents of this pack so far are as follows:
2 vials of Lantus insulin
1 pack of 4 NovoLog pen cartridges
1 Novo Nordisk Junior insulin pen device
1 pack of 10 sterile syringes
1 baggie full of about 45 pen needles
1 OneTouch Ultra 2 meter with lancing device & quick start guide
3 vials of 25 test strips each (see, now that IS a problem - there should be MORE in each vial)
3 packs of 10 Glucose Tablets (grape, raspberry and orange)
Enough to keep me alive for about two months I guess -- without being able to test too often, and depending on how warm the weather gets, of course. Better than nothing, but I'm still feeling vulnerable.
Anybody have any solid D-disaster-prep advice they'd like to share?