My Diabetes Backup Plan

In those first couple of years after I was diagnosed, I didn’t have much of a diabetes backup plan.

I’ve eaten into my lunch at times where I was low at work without any jellybeans on hand. My pen’s ran out of insulin, leaving me unable to give a sufficient bolus for my lunch. A quick trip to the Chemist was in order when I reached the end of my multiclix lancet.

On occasion, Mum and Dad have run infusion sets and insulin to work when my kit has failed on me. I found myself desperately searching for some kind of convenience store when I was low on The Rocks in Sydney. There was even a time where I’d boarded a ferry to Rottnest Island, only to discover my insulin was running extremely low!

The one good thing about having each of these things happen to me over time, is that I’ve learned not to (intentionally) let it happen again.

Today, my rule of thumb as to how much I carry depends on how far away from home I’m going. As well as how long I’ll be away for.

Diabetes Backup Plan

For a short walk around the block or a quick trip to the shops, I would most likely carry a tube of glucose tabs in my pocket and rely on my iPhone for blood glucose readings from my Dexcom. Prior to having CGM, I also carried a meter, lancing device and strips with me.

When I’m going to work for the day, I carry my grey pencil case which houses almost everything I need. An infusion set, insulin cartridge, blood glucose meter and batteries. Jacket pockets or the car are also great at providing a little more freedom on the go. Provided it’s not parked in the sun!

If my pump fails, my primary backup plan is rapid acting insulin which I carry around with me in my NovoPen. And a few needles. I think it’s a bit wasteful to carry Lantus around in the 0.01% chance that I have to use it. However I do rest easy knowing there is a box sitting in my fridge at home should I need it.

I definitely found it hard to accept being dependent on so much gear after my diagnosis. However the diabetes community have definitely helped to make the concept of carrying my kit around a little more ‘trendy.’ There are so many awesome accessories around to help make diabetes that little bit ‘cooler’ and that little bit less monotonous.

Not to mention that you tend to get a little bit wiser, the older you get.


  1. Patricia Keating

    I too carry around in my handbag the kitchen sink. = Glucose jelly beans, insulin, infusion lines, reservior and bickies. If travelling away my bags has boxes of Diabetic stuff. Next time I see my Educator I have to go thru plan B incase my pump dies on me.😱

  2. Ivan

    I just use simple MDI and have no problems. I have used a tiny blood glucose meter bag for all my diabetes stuff for the past 41 years.

  3. Rick Phillips

    I have started carrying a purse (manbag, brosack, satchel). however my long term backup plan is your house in Australia. I told my wife we can have your room.

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