Jeanette Terry was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 11 years old, and she has since lived with diabetes through difficult life transitions, including the teenage years, college, and having children. She addresses the day-to-day struggles of living with diabetes—going beyond medical advice—to improve overall adherence and management.

Whether you're out running errands, driving kids around, rushing to make it to an important business meeting, or just hanging out at home, you keep the essentials for good diabetes care close by. I like to keep things that I may need in my purse so that I don’t forget when I am rushing out the door. You may find a very interesting assortment of items in my purse since I am a mom.

Among the diapers and toy trucks in my purse, you will find my meter and an emergency snack in case of low blood sugar. You will also find contact information for family members and doctors in the event that something happens and I need assistance. By keeping back-up items with me for my diabetes care, I feel more at ease knowing in the back of my mind that if something were to happen, I would have the things I need to take care of myself.

It doesn’t take a lot to be prepared on the go, but it does take some planning ahead of time. It is smart to sit down and think through the possible scenarios in which you would need your diabetes supplies, then make it a habit to keep those things available when you may need them.

Here are my four main suggestions:

  • Keep a glucose meter close by. If you carry a purse, make sure your meter is in it when you leave the house. Or you could keep a spare meter in the car or at your workplace so you can check your blood sugar if you need to.

  • Always keep a snack or two with you. In the event of low blood sugar, make sure you have a snack that has enough carbs to bring your blood sugar up to a safe level.

  • Check your medications. If you will be out and about throughout the day, bring medications you will need. This way you won’t have to worry about getting home in time to take them or worry about skipping them altogether.

  • Keep an emergency contact list. Make a list of important people, including doctors, family members, your child’s daycare, etc. You may need the contact information for a doctor or family member when you are not at home.

No matter how hectic your life is how out of control you may feel, it is important to be prepared to take care of your diabetes. Whether that means getting a bigger purse or stashing supplies conveniently, you have to take responsibility for your own health. And perhaps you can rest a little easier knowing that you are ready to face each busy day with the tools needed to keep you running at full speed without diabetes getting in the way.

To learn more about diabetes:

7 Tips to Stay Healthy while Traveling with Diabetes
Healthy Bento Box Lunch Ideas
Enjoy Outdoor Activities Safely with Diabetes