Diabetes Forecast

Organizing Your Diabetes Supplies

By Sara Sklaroff, Editor at Large , , , ,
A "pillbox" hat image adorns a decoupaged box for, yes, pillboxes; a dip-dyed tube holds glucose tabs; tins are stamped for "day" and "night" doses of meds; and decorated clips are ready to secure lab orders.

I am not an organized person. I would like to be, but after 40 years, it's clear that orderliness is not in my nature. Abundantly clear.

And yet I love the accoutrements of organization: colorful bins, striped file folders, charming little boxes, and clever, slotted wall systems. (Yes, I am the target customer for the Container Store.) It's the maintenance of the aforementioned accoutrements—the actual filing and sorting and putting away—that I tend to neglect. A writer who worked for me once observed that I was a "visual organizer," which may have been his kind way of pointing out that my desk was a horrible mess. Still, he was right that if I file things out of sight, I tend to forget that they exist.

One thing I can't afford to be disorganized about, however, is my diabetes. It's hard enough to take care of this beast of an illness without having to root around for the tools to manage its care and feeding. Have you ever had to scramble to find a box of pen needles that you just know you picked up from the pharmacy? Or misplaced the lab order for your next A1C test? I have, and it's extremely frustrating.

And so I make an extra effort. For the first several years after I was diagnosed, I was able to keep all my pills and extra test strips in a Wonder Woman lunch box. I was a diabetes superhero! But as my health regimen grew more complicated over time, the lunch box would no longer close. So I found other cool receptacles for my diabetes supplies.

I've used vintage jars and flour tins (for pen needles and pill bottles), a faux-jadeite canister (for syringes), and antique arts-and-crafts bookends (for paperwork). I stack my boxes of unused CGM sensors in a credenza in my home office area, finding satisfaction in how perfectly they fit, nestled alongside our first-aid kit. And I now have a very attractive binder where I store test results and other paperwork, and I clip any pending lab orders to the front so I can find them in a hurry.

I am well aware that focusing on the aesthetics of diabetic supply organization is a way to distract myself from the mundane work of managing an ornery, demanding disease. But you know what? It works. And, if I flip open my fancy binder, I can even find the lab numbers to prove it.



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