Have you ever left the house and realized that you forgot something super important? Last week I left my favorite scrunchy at home. My super soft, red one…. it’s velvet!! (okay, not super important, but I felt off all day). Everything ended up totally fine because after all, it’s just a hair tie. I’m being a little dramatic, but you get the point—leaving items behind on accident is no fun for anyone! However, diabetics cannot simply forget their supplies at home. Accidents happen, we are all human here. But, the consequences are much more serious for those that are insulin dependent. If you hit a high or low and don’t have proper supplies, what are you going to do? Or if your pump stops working and you didn’t pack another one? The list is truly endless. Some things you can handle and manage just fine. But, why stress out about it when you can plan ahead with a travel kit?
What Is A Travel Kit?
A travel kit is a bag or wallet that you keep with you whenever you leave the house. It’s kind of like how you always leave the house with your wallet that contains your money and driver’s license, (I know you’ve never driven without your driver’s license before…let’s pretend I haven’t either), but this one has life saving diabetic supplies. There are numerous different forms that a travel kit can take. It could simply be that the front pouch of your backpack is filled with back up supplies. Maybe you have extra makeup bag lying around the house, so you stuff it with needles and monitors and alcohol wipes or syringes. There are also companies that specifically create bags and wallets that you can bring with you everyday to use as a travel kit for your supplies. Find the size and shape that you like the best for your lifestyle and start planning ahead.
What Goes Inside?
The goal of the travel kit is to be packed with all the diabetic supplies you could need. Some of the items include: a glucose monitor, an extra battery for your monitor (and pump if you use one), test strips, a lancing device and lancets, insulin and syringes, ketone strips, a glucagon emergency kit and fast acting glucose, alcohol wipes, and snacks. The list might be much longer for you (or shorter) and that is totally fine. You want to be prepared. Pack the supplies that you need (and the ones that you won’t typically need, but remember the world works in mysterious ways. Your numbers will be great and then BOOM! You’re hitting a major low.) Always remember that diabetes is a unique disease in that is different for each person that has it. Tailor your travel kit to your needs and not to match someone else’s bag. Take inspiration, but remember you know your body the best.
Injecting insulin or having to change a pod in public isn’t the most fun situation. People will stare and ask you what you’re doing. Some people don’t mind, but others might feel more uncomfortable. Having a travel kit helps ease those uncomfortable feelings. Instead of pulling out a big bulky bag or an unappealing bag, you can pull out a small compact wallet or bag that looks like just another purse or bag. It won’t draw attention to you and you’ll feel confident knowing that your supplies are organized and safe.
Don’t just take my word for it. Take the word of your fellow diabetics that use their travel kits. Here is what a few of them have to say:
These are just three statements of the hundreds out there. Having a travel kit for your daily needs can benefit your health in many ways. You’ll check your sugar levels more often, you can be discrete, and you’re organized! I mean what’s better than that?! (I know I know, eating chocolate cake without injecting… but sometimes we just have to play the hand we are dealt and rock it!) A diabetic lifestyle has its ups and downs (literally and figuratively), but the community that comes with diagnoses is unlike any other. If you have a questions or are curious about something you can always reach out to your diabuddies online and they will give you great advice. Don’t be afraid to embrace your diabetic lifestyle and show everyone that #diabeteslookslikeme.
If you purchased a new travel kit and don’t use your old one anymore, think about donating it (if it’s still in good shape that is). People around the world are always in need of helpful diabetic supplies.
As always, please reach out in the comments, via social media, or email if you have any questions or would like more information choosing a travel kit. Do some research and figure out your style! There are lots of different bags out there that can hold your supplies.