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With how fast-paced life has become in the 20th century, it’s no wonder people spend the majority of their life in a car! To and from work, school, appointments, and grocery trips - your car truly gets you from point A to point Z without a hitch! This post touches on the importance of ensuring your car is stashed with diabetes necessities we should keep in our vehicles at all times.
How does Diabetes fit into this?!
When it comes to diabetes and driving, some extra thought is definitely necessary in case of ANY unplanned situations. You know, those moments in the middle of the freeway where you’re starting to feel a possible low blood sugar but the only thing you’ve packed is a half-empty water bottle and a pack of gum… oops!
Well if you’ve ever felt unsure of just what to stash in your car, you’re in the right spot! We’re going to cover it all in today’s lesson on diabetes necessities - car edition 101!
Always plan ahead for unexpected low blood sugar.
First off, nothing can be more terrifying while driving than having a low blood sugar episode. It's why I always stock my car up with different forms of glucose. You might be wondering why I said “different forms,” and that’s because depending on the low you’re experiencing you might need quicker acting glucose in some cases over a simple carb in others!
Options are always good, so I highly recommend a quick-acting sugar. Think juice boxes, 15g glucose gel packets (see below for my favorite kind!), dates or dried fruit (mangos or raisins). Then, a simpler carb for moments you just need a tiny boost like crackers and nuts. You do can this with protein (string cheese or PB) to help stabilize your blood sugar. Choose items that stand a bit of time so you’re only changing them out every season and replenishing when low. I recommend one or two options of each stashed in an area that's quick to access from the driver's seat. You never know when you'll need them ASAP!
Keep a backup... of things you ACTUALLY use!
I’m sure so many people can agree with this - you really only need something the moment you happen to not have it. Doesn’t that sound familiar to us all? It’s always a good idea to have a pouch filled specifically with backup supplies.
This may look different depending on what devices you use to manage your diabetes. Make sure to create a kit that’s created around what you use, so some of these items may include: an extra continuous glucose monitor site, lancets, test strips, needle heads, alcohol swabs, batteries (for any devices that may need them), extra pump sites, and a backup glucose meter. These are mostly things you use every day, but things like glucagon are also something to think about. Although it may not be a daily necessity, it is definitely an important emergency precaution.
Don't forget to stay hydrated!
As people living with diabetes, it’s also super important we stay HYDRATED! Especially if our blood sugars may be higher than we’d like or we find ourselves in extreme heat. Keeping extra water bottles, sparkling water, or electrolyte drinks in the trunk is always a tip I recommend to friends. This way you’ll never have an excuse for not having water again!
Don't knock it 'till you TRY it!
Other than our diabetes supplies there are always basic necessities that we may need at any moment. It might be a good idea to pack an extra car charger, headphones, pen, wipes, hand sanitizer, and chapstick. A great way of making sure you have what you need is writing down a list. Then, compile it into a personalized “emergency kit” you can keep in your trunk or console. This all depends on the things you tend to need the most - maybe you need a to-go tide pen or a gym bag with a change of clothes and extra shoes!
Lastly, a pillow and blanket are staples in my car! I have plenty of stories to tell about having to get on campus two hours before my 8 am lectures start to find parking and taking a nap in my car. Or spending a lunch break in the middle of a long day by listening to music, away from all the chaos. The next time you wish you could take a power nap - you’ll definitely wish you had these two simple items with you!
What diabetes necessities do you already carry with you in your car? Is there anything you thought was interesting or will now add? Make sure to let us know in the comments below and check out our last blog post here. Happy driving!