How a woman with type 1 diabetes, stuck without supplies, was helped out by strangers

by Shoshana Nacass,

Wearing an insulin pump frees you from injections. It gives you flexibility regarding mealtimes, sleeping, and change in routine. No need to wake up your kid extra early for that morning insulin shot. Not need to eat extra to avoid hypoglycemia at night, after miscalculating the amount of insulin injected before dinner. Also, the dose sizes are more precise and can be fine-tuned, which can’t be done with syringes.

Insulin pumps are great and the pump technology significantly improved the life of people touched by diabetes. Yet, pumps don’t relieve them from it all.
Dealing with pump supplies is not easy. Especially if you get stuck without enough supplies because you didn’t pack extra before your trip. Sensors. Infusion sets. Reservoirs. You gotta have them all.

2 weeks ago, someone with type 1 diabetes who lives in Milpitas, CA, posted on the Diabetes Helpers app and asked for infusion sets. She was having trouble getting pump supplies and was looking for help, after having had to give herself injections for the past few days.

“Having issues getting some pump supplies. Would anyone be able to help with a couple quickset infusion sets 4 the Medtronic pump? I’m desperate and have been giving injections for the past few days.”

Diabetes Helpers across California who were notified by her post stepped up right away to offer their help. A nearby helper from Rohnert Park, CA offered to send out some supplies in the mail. Another helper from Redwood City, answered right away and offered to send supplies through friends, who were driving to Santa Cruz the same day. Someone from San Diego was also ready to mail her some infusion sets. A Highland CA helper offered the extra Quicsket supplies and reservoirs that she wasn’t using since she switched to the Vibe.

Diabetes Helpers sharing pump supplies

You can read the whole thread here. You gotta see it for yourself. Our Diabetes Helper from Rohnert Park wrote: “I’m sending out a flat rate mailer USPS. You’ll get an email with the tracking number.” We followed up. The mail was received. It’s all good now.

I wonder what the most astonishing thing is: witnessing people who don’t know each other so committed to help each other; or seeing 4 Diabetes Helpers, not one, but 4 different people, reaching out right away to offer their help.

The kindness and generosity of the Diabetes Helpers community is amazing. Every day, every story, is a proof of concept.

If you haven’t joined the community yet, download the app to become a Diabetes Helper today. We’ve got you covered.

 
The HelpAround platform and its Diabetes Helpers app connects people with chronic conditions who might not know each other, but share similar challenges and are committed to provide immediate assistance to each other.
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HelpAround in Israeli digital health UK mission

by Yishai Knobel,

At the end of June 2015,  HelpAround had the pleasure of participating in the Israeli digital health mission to the UK, visiting London and Manchester in two packed days, including meetings with the NHS, AstraZeneca, and more.

The mission was organized by Startup Nation Central in collaboration with the UK Israel Tech Hub.  We had the pleasure of attending alongside companies Zebra Medical Vision,  Healthy.io, Telesofia Medical, MedAware, Veritas Venture Partners,  and Tel Aviv Venture Partners.

 

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Traveler with Diabetes Stuck Without Supplies Quickly Finds Diabetes Helpers in His Area

by Shoshana Nacass,

Traveling with diabetes is not easy and vacation can quickly turn into a very stressful experience if your pump breaks or if you find yourself stuck without enough supplies.

Today, someone with type 1 diabetes who is currently visiting Israel, asked for extra Lantus on the HelpAround Diabetes Helpers app. His pump broke while he was traveling, so he had to switch back to injections but was running low on Lantus. The Diabetes Helpers in the area were immediately notified of his request through the app and quickly reached out to offer their help. You can find the whole thread here.
It sucks to run out of supplies in the middle of your vacation. But remember you’re not alone, there are people out there wherever you go, a big community of Diabetes Helpers who are ready to help if you’re in a pinch.
A user from Chile, amazed at how quickly people reached out to offer their help, commented on the thread as well “This is so awesome, being part of this community makes me feel I’ll be covered wherever I am.”

This is amazing. We’re lucky to witness the kindness and generosity of our users on a daily basis. We’re so proud to see that the HelpAround technology connects people with chronic conditions who might not know each other, but share similar challenges and are committed to provide immediate assistance to others.

If you haven’t joined the community yet, download the app to become a Diabetes Helper today. We’ve got you covered.

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Diabetes Helpers Share Tips on Getting Low Cost Insulin and Strips

by Shoshana Nacass,

We witness people help each other on a daily basis, on the HelpAround platform. Useful tips, advice, and messages of support are pouring every day.  We’ve started highlighting the content shared by our users and gathered on a previous blog post some of the best discussions that happened on the app.

One of our Star Helpers*, Gaja, who lives in Yucaipa, California with type one diabetes, started an interesting discussion the other day. She started sharing tips on how to get low cost insulin and strips in the US. Have a look and join the discussion if you have questions or good tips to share!

Happy helping everyone!

*A Star Helper is a Diabetes Helper who always volunteers to help other Diabetes folks on the platform. Whenever someone asks for help or has a question, Star Helpers join the discussion and provide great tips. We’re lucky to have a good number of them on the HelpAround platform and we’re thankful for their contribution to the community!!

 

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Diabetes Helpers Answer Each Other on HelpAround

by Shoshana Nacass,

Diabetes Helpers is a mobile help network built by HelpAround where people affected by type 1, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes answer each other about the symptoms of diabetes, how to lower their a1c, find help nearby when they’re in a pinch and learn more about diabetes diet and management. We gathered for you some of the top questions and discussions on our platform.

Travel & Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes: Nervous and looking for travel tips/tricks for #T1D family vacay. Extra pump ordered…but how to handle the florida heat & Disney lines?

Type 1 diabetes: I’m planning to backpack for a few months and would like some tips from diabetics who have traveled!

Type 1 diabetes : Taking a 2 week trip overseas and will be traveling for around a day before I get to my destination. Any tips for how to keep my insulin okay?

Type 1 diabetes: What is the protocol to flying?

Type 1 diabetes: Does anyone have any personal experience/tips on airport security/flying with a pump? 

Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes: Has anyone had an issues carrying an EpiPen in your carry on while flying? Like issues with TSA security check?

Type 1 diabetes: Flying abroad for 1st time since T1 diagnosis. GP wants £18 to write a letter so I can carry meds on flight, anyone else had this?

DKA & Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes: I have all the signs of DKA but mom won’t take me to hospital

Type 1 diabetes: Vomitting. Large ketones. Fruity/acetone breath. Pee a lot: DKA symptoms?

Type 1 diabetes: Checked BS 3 times, I have all the signs of DKA, what do I do? 

Insulin Pump Recommendations

Type 1 diabetes: I’m considering an insulin pump. Any recommendations?

Type 1 diabetes: Is anyone on an insulin pump and using novolog insulin?

Type 1 diabetes: My doctor wants me to look into the pump, any recommendation?

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The Burden of Diabetes (5) – Supplies…

by Fortune Mosseri,

I’ve thought of another burden of living with Type 1 diabetes! Exciting right? Isn’t it fun to bash the disease that’s taken over our bodies? I’m kidding, but anyways, let’s talk about supplies…

Underpacking, forgetting, carrying. Those are just a few words that come to mind when I think of having to leave my house for the day. Underpacking or forgetting your supplies for the day can be very annoying and a VERY big hassle; realizing you’re taking a shot with your last syringe (even though you could swear you refilled your bag with them last week) and then knowing you’re still out for the day-and still planning on eating more, then realizing you can’t break your syringe and you have to save it for later in the day.

But what’s even worse is knowing that you completely forgot to pack something. Forgetting can actually change your whole day, either change your schedule, or make you restrict your eating throughout the day so you don’t have to go back for the syringes or insulin or machine you carelessly left at home. Not only that, it also affects you mentally, you start putting yourself down for being so careless to leave something that can basically save your life, at home.

“Don’t forget a bag.” Who likes being the only one of their friends that constantly has to carry a bag for all their supplies? Not me, especially with my friends, they love to throw their loose stuff in my bag “because I’m carrying it anyway.” I love my friends and holding all their stuff but for once I want to throw my wallet in someone else’s bag! Finding a bag big enough to hold all your supplies is another whole problem. Sometimes if I want to carry a pretty bag as an accessory I’ll leave my machine parts, and syringes loose in my bag so the packages they come in don’t stretch out my bag. And I even get the loveliest looks when I pull out my money to pay for something and a syringe comes flying out with my $5 bill.

Also, supplies are expensive! (that’s the bottom line really…)

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The Burden of Diabetes (4) – Travel Pains

by Fortune Mosseri,

I hope you’ve all been enjoying my past posts on the burdens of living with Type 1 diabetes. This is my fourth post, about something some of us are nervous about, and even scared of — Traveling with diabetes (or even traveling with a diabetic).
Traveling is stressful enough as it is, but having to worry about having enough supplies, making sure they’re properly stored, and making sure everything can get on the plane can really add to that stress. Even if you’re just going on a day trip you have to make sure you have: a big enough bag to carry all your supplies, enough insulin, strips, syringes, lancets and sweets for the day, ice to keep everything cold enough (and making sure the ice doesn’t melt all over you and your stuff), back up supplies, back up supplies for your backup supplies, oh, and you also need the basics for the day (sunscreen, water, clothes, etc.)

If you’re on an airplane you’re constantly worrying about where your insulin is and if it’s cold enough or properly stored or even still in one piece (forget about even if you have enough!) Also, carrying that super big and heavy bag around is not good for you or your stylish vacation look.
You have to always make sure you have double the amount of supplies you think you would need, at least. This past January I went to Aruba with a few friends, I didn’t go with my parents but they helped me pack all my supplies for the trip, I packed enough supplies to last me a month, I was going for a week. The day before my flight was scheduled to fly home I got an email that my flight was cancelled. The first thing I checked was my supplies, I was only stuck in Aruba for an extra three days but I had enough supplies to last me for another two weeks. Another situation I found myself in was when I was in about 9th grade, I live in New York and went to New Jersey for the weekend to sleep by my friends house. It’s about a 2 hour drive, without heavy traffic. All of Friday and Saturday we were snacking and talking, on Friday night I realized I was over 600 and no matter how much insulin I took, my number wouldn’t go lower. It took me another day to realize my insulin went bad, I had another insulin stored in another place that was thankfully kept cold enough to stay good.

Traveling with diabetes is not easy, there’s no doubt about it, but traveling in general isn’t easy so don’t let having to pack a few extra bags stop you from seeing the world.

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