The Orange Box – by Helen May
My fridge has the usual contents: cheese, milk, beer, fresh vegetables (no meat because I’m a vegetarian)… and a long orange box. The orange box gets taken out every so often and opened. Then later in the day/week it is returned. When the use by date is reached, it is replaced by a new orange box.
The content of the box is a syringe, some powder and a little bottle of liquid. It’s my glucagen.
I wonder why I have it. I know the theory about the need for it in case my blood sugar falls too low and I pass out. That’s why I have shown friends and partner how to use it. But will they have the box if they need it?
The recommendation is to keep the glucagen in the fridge so I only take it out when I think I am most likely to need it: when participating in a sporting event or on an active holiday. Unfortunately, if I ever need glucagen, I wouldn’t be injecting it so I have to rely on someone else.
So is there any value in carrying the glucagen with me when there is no one willing to use it or if there is no one I trust to use it? if I passed out in the street, would a stranger look through my bag, find the orange box, know it is glucagen and use it correctly? I suspect the chances are very rare.
Thankfully, although I experience some hypos I am lucky to be sensitive to them and have managed to top up my blood sugars when needed: the glucagen has never been used.
If I was dependent on someone else, for example, if I was a child with parents looking after me, I could see the point in carrying my orange box in my bag. But as an independent adult, my glucagen lives in its orange box, in the fridge and comes out when I remember to carry it on those occasions when I think my blood sugar levels could be unpredictable. I don’t think that makes me an irresponsible person with diabetes.