Let me start by saying that if the practices I will describe offend for some reason please just move along. For most anyone with Type-1 diabetes COST and MONEY are factors involved in the treatment – and daily life – of those with the disease. The bottom line is those with Type-1 diabetes MUST have insulin in order to survive. Without it their glucose levels will skyrocket and they will die. My oldest son has Type-1 diabetes and I am very aware.
Here are a few ways to stock up on supplies:
Insulin is extremely expensive and can only be obtained with a prescription. I am not familiar with government provided insurance and prescription plans however getting the doctor to overwrite the prescription amount is key. If two vials of Novolog are required for a month convince the doctor that three or four are really required.
How to convince the doctor? One way is to tell the doctor a larger amount of insulin is administered per day than what really is. Yes – it is a lie. Unless you ask for A LOT more than needed he will likely write it for an extra bottle or two. This is also lifesaving required substance that if something were to happen the patient will die. Period. If the doctor writes the prescription for only the amount absolutely needed call the doctors office towards the end of the month and tell them you’ve run out and need more. They are NOT going to decline giving what is needed to sustain life.
Test Strips/Glucose Meters/Batteries:
The same system used with insulin can be used with test strips. If blood sugar is checked 5 times per day tell the doctor it is checked 10 times per day. Another method is to purchase what you can with insurance and then look to ebay for more. If no insurance is available ebay can be a huge help. Depending on brand a months worth of testing can be purchased for under $30. This is cheaper than many insurances.
Another option is to talk to the doctor or pharmacist. They often will have a discount card and/or samples. This is especially true of glucose meters. Search online by the brand meter used and contact the company. They will often send out free ones as they make their money on test strips.
Most glucose meters use CR2032 lithium ion batteries. Buying these at the pharmacy is not cheap. I purchase mine at the Dollar Tree – you guessed it – for $1.00.
Those with a pump require cartridges to dose insulin. Typically these cartridges are disposed of after one use. I use them up to three times with no issues. This allows a building of inventory as prescriptions and shipments are controlled fairly tight.
Those who take insulin via syringes know that they must use it only once – and throw away. Well – maybe not. Looking at the tip of a syringe it dulls with each use thus severe bruising and scarring can occur. In the past I have used syringes up to twice – and no more. These shots were done fairly close to each other time-wise and of course were sterilized.
Insulin Delivery Sites:
Pump users require “sites” to deliver insulin just under the skin. These are supposed to be changed every few days. I typically get a week out of one. Thus rather than a box of 10 lasting 30 days it lasts 60-70 days. Being these cannot be bought over the counter stocking up is not easy unless extending its usage time. The backup plan for a running out of these is syringes.
Diabetes is one of those diseases that the reality of any long term SHTF situation is grave. Believe me it is not something I enjoy thinking about. The first step is to stock up on needed supplies to prevent any short term supply interruption from turning into a long term disaster.