Half of a basement closet is dedicated to diabetes supplies. The usual suspects are there, unpacked from the three month supply boxes which arrive on our doorstep: pump supplies, dexcom sets, lancets, and strips. There's a large collection of manuals to diabetes devices and booklets given to us by various diabetes care providers. This is where we keep our collection of spare lancets, meters, tapes, and samples of stuff we are reluctant to throw out.
Until recently I have been the primary user of the closet. Supplies were put in and taken out only by me. Times are changing for the better, with a kid who is happily taking on a little more independence with a few things diabetes. One task she's taken on has been replenishing the supplies in her room, including lancets and test strips.
Here's where the cautionary part of the tale begins:
Happy that she was regularly ferrying the test strips from the basement, I neglected to keep up with the inventory. So yesterday as I started to pack the diabetes box for vacation I made an alarming discovery. There were no boxes of test strips in the closet. None. Nada. Nil.
We weren't OUT out. There were two vials in her room and some other partial vials in spare meters. I immediately ordered more and am extremely hopeful the box will arrive on our doorstep before we travel. If it does not, it's possible to purchase them over the counter. Just incredibly expensive.
A two part solution has been put into place to address this issue. I've put a note on my calendar and a reminder in my phone to reorder at the next possible interval. I can no longer rely on noticing the supply is running low before I make that call. Secondly, while attempting to support the responsibility and helpfulness of my daughter's new role as the designated strip fetcher, I've emphasized the importance of also being the designated strip inventory-er.
I'm ordinarily a bit of a supply hoarder. I feel much more comfortable with stuff stashed away, 'just in case.' In my mind, this 'just in case' has meant an insurance mix-up, a financial glitch, or a job transition. Now I know - it could come in handy for something as simple as packing for vacation.
A sampling of annoying events from the past few summer days:
I received a lunchtime phone call from the beloved nurse-free music program. "I'm 72. How should I bolus?" The question took several minutes to sort out.
While at the pool, she had to stop to disconnect or reconnect her pump while her friends were already running for the diving boards/ping-pong table/snack bar. This scene repeats several times daily.
She had to leave her friends in the pool to treat a low blood sugar.
We delayed leaving for the pool to replace the tape on the Dexcom.
We delayed leaving for music to add tape to the Dexcom.
I spent half an hour online searching for tips to keep the Dexcom stuck when frequently submerged in a swimming pool, lake or ocean. (Suggestions are still welcome...).
We expected to do a quick site change, only to find that the pump battery needed to be replaced and the supply of wipes needed to be replenished from the downstairs closet.
A desire for a summer peach turned into an ordeal involving the food scale and the calorie king app since it was the first peach of the season and we couldn't remember the carbs.
A group of friends descended on the kitchen for a snack break. She was the last to eat, as usual, since she had to stop to check her blood sugar, read the nutrition label, and bolus for her food.
A cure and/or a bionic pancreas will some day dramatically improve my daughter's health. That, in the big picture, is the reason we want these things.
The other benefits are indisputable though. When the day comes, we'll go through every day without any of these kinds of stops and detours. She'll stop being the one lagging behind at the pool. She'll dive into her friend's pantry right along with everyone else. Diabetes won't delay the fun. We can't wait.