Waiting for Impending Doom!
As I wait patiently in New York City, bored out of my mind, I got to thinking: how does someone living with diabetes prepare for an evacuation?
I just evacuated yesterday from Long Beach on Long Island. I packed my passport and all the usual things that they tell you to be sure to take with you. I also packed my little things that I would be upset about if I lost them. Altogether, my “stuff” came to about three large backpacks + all the food and water I brought to my friend’s house. I put it all in the back of my Jeep and headed out to my friend’s place located in a non-evacuation zone.
So what was different? I realize now that I had packed four bags. The 4th was the one that had a month’s supply of insulin, alcohol pads, syringes, hard candy (Tootsie Pops), test strips, my meter and more.
It is important to remember to start preparing early. Have at least a week or two of supplies if not more with you in the event you have to evacuate. You can never be too prepared. If you need to, have your doctor call a prescription in so you have that full month’s supply of medication.
Evacuating is stressful, and your blood sugars may be less stable than normal. You also are exercising and burning carbs between the stress itself and everything you may be moving around. I had to move all low objects in my place to the tops of dressers. Some people are boarding up their houses. Either way, it’s a lot of physical activities.
So before moving all of your valuables to your car, have a snack. Keep a watchful eye on your blood sugar levels and check them more often.
Have your testing supplies handy as well as your reaction supplies. What it all comes down to is that your most valuable possession is not your grandfather’s watch or childhood picture album but your diabetes supplies. Keep them close and ready to grab just in case you have to leave in a hurry.
In the end, you have to be extra careful during these times and remember to remain calm and take care of yourself.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.