My top 5 favorite diabetes supplies

We're about halfway through our summer vacation and I've got enough sand in the trunk of my minivan to fill a sandbox. This summer, my three boys and I have spent many afternoons at various local beaches. The older two have become body boarding pros and my toddler is a great wave jumper. As school supplies start filling the shelves of Target, I can say with confidence that my kids have had a great summer. However, as an insulin pump wearing woman with diabetes, summer is one of my least favorite times of the year because it turns one of my favorite diabetes supplies into one of my least favorite.

My pump of choice is the Omnipod, a wireless pump I wear on the back of my arm or my lower back. Throughout the year the pod mostly goes unnoticed but during the summer it is very visible, especially when I'm wearing a bikini. When people notice the pod and ask me about it ('Is that an iPod?' someone asked when I was wearing the pod on my arm), I feel self-conscious. I can't help it. I love what the Omnipod does for my blood sugar management, but I don't like how it looks. It's a love/hate relationship.

This hot and cold relationship with my Omnipod reflects how I feel about all of my diabetes supplies. I love what many of my high tech supplies do for my blood sugar management, but I don't like the cost, the hassle and the bulk.

Why I love my favorite diabetes supplies

My oldest son tells me to look at the glass as 'half-full,' so in an effort to take his advice, I want to share with you some of my favorite diabetes supplies. These are supplies I keep with me at all times in my shot bag, a zippered, cute, cosmetic bag.

  1. Glucose tabs: I love my glucose tabs. Each time I go for a run with the tube of glucose tabs in my hand I am thankful for the security these tabs give me. The tropical flavor is tasty, they never go bad, they don't melt and they are easy to carry in the palm of my hand when I run.
  2. Omnipod: As I said earlier, this is my love/hate diabetes piece of equipment. I love the flexibility and stability the pod offers, but I hate wearing a piece of plastic on my body.
  3. One Touch Ultra 2 meter: I've used a One Touch meter my entire life and am a loyal fan. The meters have improved over the years and one of my favorite additions was the back light. I love the size, the fit and the accuracy.
  4. Glooko: The Glooko cable is an easy to use tool that connects your glucose meter to your iPhone or iPod Touch and downloads your blood sugar readings. This electronic logbook readings eliminates the need for time consuming hand written records and has all kinds of great features like notes where you can enter information about exercise and diet. The cable is also small and fits easily into my shot bag.
  5. BD Ultra Slim Short Needle Syringe: These are the syringes I've used for most of my life and they are the reason it took me so long to switch to the insulin pump. The BD Ultra Slim needle is virtually pain free, unless you hit a bad spot and inexpensive.

No one wants to need medical supplies, but as my son says, it helps to look at the glass as half full. So these are my favorite supplies, what are yours?

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About Amy Stockwell Mercer

Amy Stockwell Mercer is a freelance writer living in Charleston, SC with her husband and three young sons. Her book, The Smart Woman's Guide to Diabetes, Authentic Advice on Everything from Eating to Dating and Motherhood, was published by Demos Health in 2010 and the follow up, The Smart Woman's Guide to Eating Right with Diabetes, What Will Work, will be published in the fall of 2012.

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