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creeky

Insulin Storage & Questions thread...

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My backrgound...

In 2008 my son (then 11) was diagnoised Type I diabetic. He spent 3 days in Vandy Prediactic ICU. Both my wife and myself took a series fo classes from Vandy as well as read everything we could. We have done volinteer work with the JDRF and my wife is part of a small "network" of Mothers who children's are Type I diabetics in our community.

 

I'll be the first one to admit I don't know everything! New advancements and products are introduced everyday and what works well for for one person may not work well for another. However I thought this might be a good area to help each other share some ideas on the the storage of insulin, questions and any helpful suggestions for people.

 

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical professional or a Endocrinologist... information posted in this thread is obviously for evaluation and you should always perform your own due diligence when it comes to medical matters. When in doubt talk to a Endocrinologist!

 

 

First the basics...

What is the difference between Type I and Type II?

Type I = The pancrease no longer can create insulin. The Beta cells (that create insulin) are dead.

Type II - The pancrease can no longer make enough insulin that the body needs on it's own. This is typically treated with medicine, diet, exercise and in some cases insulin.

 

Is there a cure for Type I diabetes?

No. There is only treatement. (Currently there are some studies involing beagles where they have been able to get alpha cells to mimic beta cells and star producing insulin, but even teh scientists say that "IF" it works where many years (20+) away from human trials.

 

There is a pancrease transplant (I have a Type I friend who is on the list in Ohio right now.) however you need to be having other problems with your pencrease and meet pretty ridgid critera to get on the list. Plus it's expensive.

 

But I heard that if you got these berries from the north side of a mountain in the rain forest that it would cure it... have you tried that?

No... that is a myth and is both redicious. (This is what makes parents on Type I's want to start beating people.)

 

Is there an alternative to Insulin?

No. You will read on the internet about making your own from horses and other animals... and people on the internet (who don't rely on insulin to live) will throw up the argument that "That's how they used to make it!" Yeah... it was also unstable, varied from batch to batch and almost impossible to get ratios right for people. However, it kept them alive. Human based insulin (which we have now) is some of the best we have. It's stable, keeps well, etc. Good book to read about insulin and how far we have come is Breakthrough.

 

Insulin Refrigeration...

Yes... insluin needs to be refriderated when stored. AFTER it is opened it can be kept at room tempature. Typically the pharmacist will tell you 30 days then it begins to lose it's integrity and your ratio may not be as affective. The main thing you want to watch is if it is still clear and not cloudy.

Basically you don't want to let it freeze nor do you want it too hot... like leaving it in a car in the summer.

 

Glucagon Injections...

These sucker are EXPENSIVE! About $100 bucks a piece. They have an expiration date on them. When you pick one up make sure to check the date, you want one that will be "good" for the whole year. However, talk to your doctor about the life span of them. Mine told me they might not be as effective as one that is within it's date range but it would be worse not to use if that is all you had. (We keep all of ours.) Also talk to yoru Endo nurse and she can order you a free "trainer" to practice with.

 

 

 

 

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[url=http://s12.photobucket.com/user/wecrosscreek/media/DSCN3061small.jpg.html]DSCN3061small.jpg[/URL]

 

Building up Diabetic supplies...

Here is what we do. Basically it is like the "pantry" system for food. We order jus a little extra with each order. Not much, just a little more than we need. In about a year and a half you'll have a good amount on hand. Just make sure and keep it rotated out!! What those dates! (You'll notice numbers on the strip cartons, they are months. Also that picture is really old. We don't have any 2012 stuff! hahaha!!)

 

Build a good relationship with your doctor...

Things got a little worrisome at my job and it looked like their might be a layoff, so we told our doctor our concern and he increased our presciption for insulin so we could store a little extra just in case.

 

Build a network...

No man is an island... get netowrked with other diabetics in yoru community. Work together. You'll be surprised how many people keep extra supplies on hand. Plus sometimes people will change meters and have a few boxes of test strips or switch gauge needles, etc...  they might give you some or sell to you cheapier than you could buy them.

 

We have ran out of Ketonestrips once (key word ONCE! Hahaha!!) and had a sick child and it was late at night. One phone call and we had a bottle in less than 15 minutes.

Edited by creeky

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Diabetic Emergency Supplies...

 

We keep an emergency Diabetic Supplies kit in all our vehicle.
These are basically for the "Oops" times when my son runs out of something while we are out.

Yeah, it has happened. (They are all stored in a Gluclose tablet bottle, they are rotated our during the time change.)


Contents from picture... (From top to right):
10 - Pen Cap Needles (For Insulin Pen)
  6 - 30 Unit Syringes (We are using the rest of the up and moving to the 50 unit ones.)
16 - Lancets
  4 - 50 Unit Syringes
20 - Alcohol Prep Pads

 

 

[url=http://s12.photobucket.com/user/wecrosscreek/media/DSCN3060small.jpg.html]DSCN3060small.jpg[/URL]

Edited by creeky

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We've talked on this before, and I feel for you my friend. What a nightmare when considering the potential collapse of society or even a partial break down of the supply line.

We can spend billions putting a whoopedy śhît rover on mars instead of solving problems right here at home.


This should be an eye opener on several different levels. We all make our tongue in cheek comments and discussions about the SHTF but anyone with a soul left should crumble and fall from a broken heart by one simple phrase (when thinking about survivalism). St. Jude's children's hospital. Or even closer to home for us, Vanderbilt Childrens hospital.
The horrors of what man does to man would be laughable compared to what some children will face when we (humans) drive ourselves off the edge because of our own stupidity.


What a great thought for the day! [/sarcasm]

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Like a lot of people, I have read so many of TEOTWAWKI stories that I really became somewhat jaded and complacent in thinking about thinks like long-term medical issues.

 

Then I read "One Second After."

 

I cannot imagine anyone reading this book and not being moved to the point of absolute terror thinking about a child, or an adult, with issues requiring specific prescription drugs to live.

 

My prayers are with you creeky. I do come close to understanding your concern. My wife and brother-in-law are both Type II.

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"One Second After" really scarred the crap out of me. I new where it was going. It was really sureal reading it.

My son was the tthe same age as teh girl inthe book and I have family that lives in western NC not real far from Black Mountain.

 

After I read it it took a long time before I could watch Apocalyptic movies.

 

I don't think of things through the prism of "TEOTWAWKI"... too bleak for me. I look and plan for getting through

an extended rough patch! ;)

 

If you think about it though, so many people are on blood pressure medicne, blood thinners, pain blockers, etc. that you would think medical or medicines should be the first or at least high up on the list.

 

I know a few guys that have thousand of rounds, BOB bags that way about 50 lbs and they talk about "what they'll do" and game all these situations out loud... the whole time I'm thinking "Dude! You take motrin like tic-tacs for your 'back', you got acid reflux and sleep elavated and you can't walk through the mall without compaining about your feet hurting and your out of breath by the time we make it across the parking lot!" :stunned: 

 

So yeah... I just nod and say "Sounds like a plan." :shake:

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"One Second After" really scarred the crap out of me. I new where it was going. It was really sureal reading it.

My son was the tthe same age as teh girl inthe book and I have family that lives in western NC not real far from Black Mountain.

 

After I read it it took a long time before I could watch Apocalyptic movies.

 

I don't think of things through the prism of "TEOTWAWKI"... too bleak for me. I look and plan for getting through

an extended rough patch! ;)

 

If you think about it though, so many people are on blood pressure medicne, blood thinners, pain blockers, etc. that you would think medical or medicines should be the first or at least high up on the list.

 

I know a few guys that have thousand of rounds, BOB bags that way about 50 lbs and they talk about "what they'll do" and game all these situations out loud... the whole time I'm thinking "Dude! You take motrin like tic-tacs for your 'back', you got acid reflux and sleep elavated and you can't walk through the mall without compaining about your feet hurting and your out of breath by the time we make it across the parking lot!" :stunned:

 

So yeah... I just nod and say "Sounds like a plan." :shake:

 

 

I know of a few patients(myself often included) that wouldn't need some of the meds if we were suddenly forced to forage, hunt, and gather. Between the exercise, and the sudden lack of fast food I have an odd feeling that my slightly elevated blood pressure might very quickly correct just from the forced lifestyle changes.  :surrender:

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"One Second After" really scarred the crap out of me. I new where it was going. It was really sureal reading it.
My son was the tthe same age as teh girl inthe book and I have family that lives in western NC not real far from Black Mountain.
 
After I read it it took a long time before I could watch Apocalyptic movies.
 
I don't think of things through the prism of "TEOTWAWKI"... too bleak for me. I look and plan for getting through
an extended rough patch! ;)
 
If you think about it though, so many people are on blood pressure medicne, blood thinners, pain blockers, etc. that you would think medical or medicines should be the first or at least high up on the list.
 
I know a few guys that have thousand of rounds, BOB bags that way about 50 lbs and they talk about "what they'll do" and game all these situations out loud... the whole time I'm thinking "Dude! You take motrin like tic-tacs for your 'back', you got acid reflux and sleep elavated and you can't walk through the mall without compaining about your feet hurting and your out of breath by the time we make it across the parking lot!" :stunned: 
 
So yeah... I just nod and say "Sounds like a plan." :shake:


Yep. Back in my younger days...I used to think of myself as the hero guy. (Stop laughing you guys, I know things on some of you.) I'd do whatever was necessary to survive, maybe even save the world.

Yeah...

Well, age and reality has set in. I hope to never see any of these things happen in my lifetime. The thoughts of a total economic disaster are no longer entertaining.

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You seem to have a good handle on things for your situation. I have been type I diabetic for over 30 years and have seen the change in treatment change in the past that you can't imagine. The thing that saved me drastically was a research study called the DCCT in origination now called the DCCT/EDIC. Being part of this study changed my life drastically. As a teen I went to the doctor in Memphis(2hour drive) for over 15 years. Controlling bs when you are young creates longterm cell memory that will delay complications later in life. I am over 40 and don't have many problems compared to diabetics my age an length of illness. As far as EOTWAWKI, I have about a year worth of supplies stockpiled and hope that allows me to get my family set up in a stable community( I have a friend. After that I will see and let you know. Good luck to you. Tell your son/daughter that a happy healthy life is possible. Will they mess up? Yes. Correct it as soon as possible. Kudos to you for being prepared. JTM We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union......

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One thing about it Creeky, My hypocrisy knows no bounds (yeah I stole that line).  You live right up the street, you know I live.  Come get me when it's time to GO FIND MORE INSULIN.

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One thing about it Creeky, My hypocrisy knows no bounds (yeah I stole that line).  You live right up the street, you know I live.  Come get me when it's time to GO FIND MORE INSULIN.

I have always said that!!!! At the first sign of breakdown I am hitting up every Pharmacy in 100 radius!!!!!LOL Another thing I just thought of is to make sure you rotate your syringes because they will go bad with time. I have found that keeping them in a vehicle in the summer time quickens this process. I have syringes that are years old. What tends to happen is the plunger dries out and as you draw insulin you get air from behind the plunger and insulin can leak out as you inject.

Edited by jtmaze

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Not too long ago, a group of human specialists did some research on insulin and expiration dates.  They found that all insulins were still potent up to the actual expiration date listed on the bottle.  And the expiration date is more of a "guaranteed fresh" date; its not like any drug instantly goes bad after the expiration date, but the potency may start decreasing.  In fact, epinephrine and tetracyclines are the only drugs that I know of that actually become toxic as they age.

 

The only reason for the discard after 28 day warning is because of theoretical contamination issues.  In other words, if you kept using the vial past 4 weeks, the manufacturer does not want to be blamed if all those repeated needle sticks leads to bacterial contamination.  In veterinary medicine, we regularly use Lantus insulin for cats, but the average cat gets 1-2 units twice a day.  It would be prohibitively expensive if people actually discarded the vial after 4 weeks.  So veterinary internal medicine specialists recommend using the same vial for 3-4 months, and keeping it refrigerated to decrease bacterial growth.  The only reason to discard is because by 4 months, the vial has been punctured approximately 240 times.  That being said, I have had clients use a vial until it was actually empty, which took at least 6 months.

 

 I had heard that humans do not actually require a prescription for insulin (the idea being that they needed to be able to get a refill whenever), but I don't have any personal experience with that idea.  I always write a prescription for my patients, because any off label use of a human drug requires a prescription for animals.

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Basic regular and NPH insulin you don't have to have a prescription for even though it can be deadly in extreme amounts. The stronger humalog and lantus you did the last time I checked. I have actually gone to Walmart and paid $20 out of pocket for a bottle of regular insulin because I forgot mine at home and work is about an hour away. It is still in the refrig at work as a backup. The only thing I have noticed is that lantus goes bad a lot faster at room temp than any other insulin I have taken over the years. About 20-25 days. It will keep years in the fridge though. One thing you have to be very careful changing bottles due to potency issues. I have actually gotten a new batch of Lantus and had low BS the first 3nights I took it until I made adjustments. JTM We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union......

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Our experience with Lantus and Novalog is we must have a prescription.

 

I agree with the 3-4 months for lantus if you could keep it in a fridge, however with human use that isn't practical. Though you can use cool packs and stuff, running here and there and being active makes it much harder to keep it cool.

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Our experience with Lantus and Novalog is we must have a prescription.

 

I agree with the 3-4 months for lantus if you could keep it in a fridge, however with human use that isn't practical. Though you can use cool packs and stuff, running here and there and being active makes it much harder to keep it cool.

 

 

Can you [feasibly] get insulin TOO cold?  Just curious because it'd be no chore to keep it cold right now should the power go out.

 

'Bout the second week of July might be a little tough though.  

 

Creek, might I suggest you look for a fresh water spring in your area?  When I was a child, my favorite spot on earth was a fresh water spring that came outta the ground under a two trees that grew from one trunk. THis was my thoughtful spot where I contemplated the mysteries of the universe. {hid from mom and smoked cigarettes!LOL} THere was a concrete wall to both sides funneling it into the creek.  Over it was a concrete walkway.  The whole thing was about ten ft square.  My great grand father built it MANY moons ago.  The water was VERY cold even in the heat of august.  THis is where he kept milk, creme and eggs in the summer months.  It might do you well to locate and build you something similar.  A minnow bucket would work great.  You could put insulin vials in ziplock bags and put them in the minnow bucket.  Make you a tether cord from nylon and anchor it.  If you rig you a bucket, bring it by and I'll make you a lead anchor for it.  

 

You can get creative about camouflaging it.

Edited by Caster

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Insulin can get too cold. Here in the West we have some ground springs that have a constant temp year round. This would be ideal but they are somewhat hard to find. JTM We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union......

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Can you [feasibly] get insulin TOO cold?

Yes... you do not want it to freeze, if you see frost or ice crystals then the manufactor says it's best to throw it away. (Optimally you want it 36ºF - 46ºF when stored.)

 

 

Creek, might I suggest you look for a fresh water spring in your area?

Yeah, I have a year round creek that is pring feed. I have thought about making an area in it for that. My iwfe though is scarred of the insulin floating away in a bad rain. The creek has risen up to 3 feet before on us. Hahaha!!

 

Right now I have a several overalpping layers for keeping insulin cold/cool should power go out, the longer it is out I just move to the next layer.

 

• Fridge (Normal storage)

• Generator (strong enough to power fridge & deep freeze, alternating of course.)

• Small Cooler (Frozen bottles that fit the cooler are kept in my Deep freeze ready to use)

• 12v Car Cooler (this is dual purpose, also in case we have to leave)

   (I have been thinking about looking into maybe a solar panel that banked two Marine grade batteries that could power the cooler.)

• Spring Cellar (

• "Pot in a Pot Refridgerator" via Dolomite_supafly! (Gonna try this in a couple of months!) Click Here for Info!

 

Basically if everything turns to crap, (granted their are varying degrees of crap) I want enough insulin & med supplies to get my family out of the country.

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I didn't know that.  MIght get a thermometer and check any spring that you're prospecting.  I'd check it in the dead of winter and in the middle of summer.  Right now being the perfect time to find one.  It AIN'T gonna get colder than it is right now. LOL

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Good idea. I know it's pretty cold in the summer... I keep gatoraid in it while I mow and weedeat the front of the property. Watrechestnut grows think right at the place where the spring is.  Kind excited to try Dolomite's double pot trick. :)

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Basically if everything turns to crap, (granted their are varying degrees of crap) I want enough insulin & med supplies to get my family out of the country.

 

 

You know, that may be an option.  Pharmaceuticals are easy peasy in mexico.  Crossing the border aint too hard, though doing it suitably armed may be more trouble than its worth.  MIght settle for relocating to an area where you can plant the family safely on US soil and you can to make a mule run back and forth.  

 

Not sure on how easily it could be done headed north.  I know a good solid bolt action won't land you underneath a prison in Canada like mexico.  Might wanna stash the AR and Glock before you go though.  

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Good idea. I know it's pretty cold in the summer... I keep gatoraid in it while I mow and weedeat the front of the property. Watrechestnut grows think right at the place where the spring is.  Kind excited to try Dolomite's double pot trick. :)

 

So did it here!  Underneath that growth stay VERY cool.  If you're worried about it floating away, I can make you a zinc anchor that WON'T.  LOL.  

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I have always said that!!!! At the first sign of breakdown I am hitting up every Pharmacy in 100 radius!!!!!LOL Another thing I just thought of is to make sure you rotate your syringes because they will go bad with time. I have found that keeping them in a vehicle in the summer time quickens this process. I have syringes that are years old. What tends to happen is the plunger dries out and as you draw insulin you get air from behind the plunger and insulin can leak out as you inject.

I will trade any insulin I find for any EpiPens you find. I am HIGHLY Allergic to bees and get stung atleast once a year. My Dr says I am some kind of magnet, he said he has not seen someone with the allergy get stung as much as me. I am currently on a 5 year treatment plan that is suppose to lessen or eliminate my reaction. The last time I was stung it took 4 epipens to get me the 45mins to the hospital. I am currently testing the longevity of one of the pens and it has been 3 years and it is still not discolored but it is stored in perfect conditions. I will need as many as possible if SHTF because I will probably be outside for longer periods of time and will not have the hospital option. 

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[quote name="LI0NSFAN" post="1094184" timestamp="1389625985"]I will trade any insulin I find for any EpiPens you find. I am HIGHLY Allergic to bees and get stung atleast once a year. My Dr says I am some kind of magnet, he said he has not seen someone with the allergy get stung as much as me. I am currently on a 5 year treatment plan that is suppose to lessen or eliminate my reaction. The last time I was stung it took 4 epipens to get me the 45mins to the hospital. I am currently testing the longevity of one of the pens and it has been 3 years and it is still not discolored but it is stored in perfect conditions. I will need as many as possible if SHTF because I will probably be outside for longer periods of time and will not have the hospital option. [/quote] That is a deal. JTM We the People of the United States, in order to form a more Perfect Union......

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