So… just how long do you hang onto your supplies? You didn’t think that I actually had an entourage or anything, did you? No, really… Do you have outdated supplies? Old, old stuff? I’m talking about anything related to your D-care: Insulin, syringes, infusion sets, reservoirs, alcohol swabs (if you use them); and glucose meters, lancets, or test strips. Okay, almost no one ever has extra test strips, so maybe you can cross that one off of the list.
But chances are, if you have any kind of chronic illness, and you have access to drugs or paraphernalia that helps you manage your condition (read: helps you live your life), you’ve probably got a stash of something that you just can’t part with. Until you realize you’ve had that extra pill, or extra pill box, or something else, for a looooong time. An outdated glucose monitor that you just can’t trash (or the test strips that went with the one you did trash). Syringes from 12 years ago. A special case that you carry all of your must-have supplies in. I’m looking at you, Mr. and Ms. Glucose Tabs.
I’m guilty of hanging onto two things over the years.
One is outdated insulin. I’ve been a pumper for two years now, and I’ve only needed injections twice in that time. Both were needed as a result of bent cannulas. But I was cleaning out the fridge over the weekend and I found a six year old bottle of Lantus in there. That was my backup when I did the injection thing. I had a small incident a few years back (actually, eight years now that I think of it) when the mail order pharmacy held back my insulin delivery for some long-forgotten reason, and I just got it resolved the day before leaving for Ireland on vacation. After that, I developed a habit of ordering refills early from the pharmacy and saving one extra vial, just in case. But I never rotated my stock, so to speak. I just saved that one vial, the same vial, all those years. Looking back, it’s easy to see that it wasn’t a backup as much as it was an emotional crutch.
I’ve had this for all of the 21 years that I’ve had this disease. My grandmother found it in a drugstore shortly after my diagnosis and bought it for me. The plastic thing goes into the freezer until I need it. Then I microwave it for a minute or so. Then the insulin goes in and it gets slipped inside of the other blue thing with the foam padding (these are technical terms here). Keeps it cold for a long, long time. It’s been with me on trips to the ocean, to the mountains, Ireland, California, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Florida, everywhere. And you know what? I ain’t giving this one up either. It’s indestructible.
Now, I have a point. Do you have anything that’s extra, but not outdated? Maybe you’d like to share with those less fortunate? Here are a couple of websites where you can get information on donating extra D-related supplies:
I’m due for a new glucose meter… maybe I’ll see if I can get that before I use up all of my strips…
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