Saturday, October 16, 2010

What's involved...

So, I thought I would talk about all of the supplies that are needed to care for my 2 little girls. It really is amazing everything that is needed to keep our little sweeties alive and well, as well as the cost that is involved.

These are the 2 kits that I have to carry around with me when the girls and I are away from the house. Each girl has their own kit, and in each kit there is: their blood glucose meters, an infusion site change, extra syringes and novolog, fast-acting carbs for low blood sugar, extra test strips and glucagon. So when I need to go to a simple place like the grocery store, it isn't a "grab the kids and go" event. I have to check and make sure I have everything I need in their kits before we leave the house, and then the kits can't just stay in the car. They go with the girls, so even in the grocery store, I am carrying along 2 kits. When you add my purse into the mix, as well as the 2 girls, I have a lot to juggle for a simple grocery run!
At the house, we have a spot in our garage that we have designated the "D" spot, which is where we keep all of the girls' extra pump and CGM supplies. We order their pump supplies in 3 month intervals, whereas their CGM supplies are ordered monthly. Having diabetes is not cheap, and with us having 3 diabetics in the family, our finances are stretched pretty thin. Matt is on daily injections, which is definitely the cheapest way to go, but we chose to have the girls on pumps, which gives us better control of their blood sugars, but that also raised the cost of their care. Being on a pump is actually quite expensive. We have wonderful insurance, but are still charged 20% for all of our pump and CGM supplies, which adds up quickly. Also, since there is no such thing as "generic" insulin, we are charged more for novolog (and lantus as well for Matt). A three-month supply of most prescriptions costs us $10, but three-months' worth of insulin costs us $30. So every three-months we pay $120 for the girls' and Matt's insulin. Expensive, expensive.

We also have an area in our house where we keep our sharps container as well as a Coca-Cola bank where we place our used test strips.

I also have a notebook where I keep detailed notes for each girl. Everyday, every time I poke them to check their blood sugar, I log what it was and what time I did it. I also write down when and what they eat as well as how many carbs were offered. Then, I will write down (in red) how much insulin they were given and, if was a mealtime, how many carbs they ate. This information is priceless when it comes to needing to make changes in their insulin regimen as well as when we go to see their pediatrician every 3 months.

And then, of course, the most important item for me in diabetes care for my girls:
COFFEE!!! I wish there was such a thing as a coffee IV because I would be hooked up to one immediately! I can't really even remember when the last time was that I got a full night's sleep. Even now as I write this, it is 1045pm and I am still up because I am waiting for Anne's blood sugar to go down, as she has been camping out over 400 for several hours now. Slowly, slowly, it is dropping so I am hoping to go to sleep soon but will be up again at least 2 more times overnight to check on them. And, of course, both girls will be up and ready for the day by 730am whether or not I am but, in the end, if my girls are safe, my sleep-deprived state is worth it.