The Importance of Being Prepared
My 8 year old Type 1 diabetic daughter (diagnosed 2 years ago) recently experienced her first hypoglycemic reaction (with seizure) which required a glucagon injection and a call to 911. We were very prepared for the event, thank goodness, and our daughter is just fine, despite the scare.
Some things that really helped us be prepared were:
- Her doctor occasionally drills us on emergency and sick day procedures, using "what if" scenarios. When my daughter had her reaction, we didn't even think twice about what we needed to do!
- We keep a "crash kit" (ours is a red zippered travel bag) hanging on a wall in a central location in the house. It contains various forms of sugar (sugar tablets, cake frosting gel tubes, sugar packets), 2 small cans of juice, our extra monitor and its supplies, and a glucagon kit (some people prefer to store their glucagon in the refrigerator but we never have). With it are brief instructions on what to do, and taped to the wall beside it is a list of expiration dates, with a reminder to check the monitor. This is a time-saver in an emergency - everything you need is right there! This bag is strictly for emergencies and our other bag and monitor is strictly for the daily monitoring and going out. This insures that the emergency bag will always be easily located and will always be well-stocked.
- Taped next to the phone are clearly written directions to our house with our address, main crossroads, landmarks, and a description of our house. This enables anyone to be able to get an ambulance to our house, even if they do not know the area well, or their mind goes blank in a crisis. All they have to do is read from the 3 X 5 card. Having this allowed me to attend to my daughter while my other daughters talked to 911.
- Although my daughter's reaction occurred in the living room, we keep a "sugar station" next to her bed, containing cake frosting gel tubes, sugar packets, sugar tablets, and a can of juice. This way, if her sisters suspect low blood sugar at night or in the morning, they can give her some sugar immediately and then go get the "crash kit" (and me or my husband). We also keep sugar sources in both cars, my daughter's bicycle bag, backpack, my purse, etc.
- My husband, myself, and my two oldest daughters (13 and 10) all know how to mix and inject the glucagon and work the glucose monitors. We occasionally review the process to keep everyone current.
I hope these suggestions are as helpful to others as they were to us. You can't prevent lows, but you CAN be well-prepared for them.
Kerri Southard receives e-mail at email@example.com.
Original posting: 27 September 98
Last Updated: Wednesday March 16, 2005 16:45:06
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