Diabetes Forecast

What to Put in Your Sick Day Kit

18 items to keep on hand

Terry Doran/Mittera

When sickness hits, you don’t want to have to scramble to find the medications and supplies you need to manage your blood glucose. That’s where a sick day kit comes in. With the possibility of getting the new coronavirus (COVID-19), preparation is more important than ever. Plan ahead by making sure you have these crucial items on hand.

  • List of phone numbers, including members of your health care team, your pharmacist, your insurance company, and emergency contacts
  • List of your medications and doses
  • Copy of your health insurance card
  • Letter from your doctor detailing your condition and your sick day plan, including when to call the doctor, when to test for ketones, if and how to adjust medications such as insulin and sulfonylureas, and how over-the-counter cold medication might affect your blood glucose
  • Extra refills on prescriptions
  • Enough insulin to last at least one week
  • A spare glucose meter with extra batteries and test strips
  • Backup supplies for your pump or continuous glucose monitor (CGM)
  • Ketone test strips
  • Glucose tablets or gels, and a glucagon kit in case of lows
  • Tissues
  • Sugar-free cough drops and cough syrup
  • Low-sodium soup
  • Enough groceries to last at least two weeks.
  • Tea
  • Soap and rubbing alcohol
  • A nonmedical handmade cloth mask or cotton bandana to cover your face in case you need to go out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a mask can help you avoid spreading COVID-19 to others. Be sure to wash it after each outing.

If you get sick or have symptoms of COVID-19, call your doctor. Many health care providers offer telehealth services so that patients can discuss treatment options without leaving their home.

Medicare has temporarily expanded its telehealth benefits to cover office, hospital, and other health care visits done virtually. Many insurance companies are covering telehealth for in-network providers; call the number on the back of your insurance card to ask if you’re covered. You may be charged a copay for telehealth services, though some providers are reducing or waiving the fee during this state of emergency.

If you’re sick, follow these tips for managing diabetes.

For more information, visit the American Diabetes Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Sources: American Diabetes Association; Joslin Diabetes Center



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