By: Michael Kurlon
Since the early 1980s, people with diabetes have neededaccessory cases to carry their testing and insulin supplieswith them. As the goal of better blood glucose control led tomore frequent glucose testing, multiple daily injections andinsulin pumps, keeping supplies and life support systems handyhas become ever more important.
The oversized, cumbersome equipment and technology of the past has given way to smaller, more compact devices. Now that monitors, injectors, lancets, insulin pens and pumpaccessories have been miniaturized, smaller, more organizedcases are now available in different materials, colors andconfigurations.
Nylon is the most common material for carrying cases. Thenylon may be coated with PVC to make it more water repellant.It usually comes in several color choices.
PVC is a water-repellant vinyl material that can resemble leather;in fact some people have a hard time differentiating it from thereal thing. It is durable and costs much less than leather.
Genuine leather is a more luxurious material that offers naturalinsulation against extreme hot and cold temperatures.
Many cases incorporate a protective foam lining that helpsprotect the contents from shock and temperature fluctuations.Foam acts as an efficient insulator when inserted between theinner and outer material.
Some manufacturers offer freezable packs and inserts that willkeep the contents cold for many hours.
Straps, handles and belt loops
Depending on your individual needs, you might choose a smallcase that can be carried in a pocket, purse, briefcase or backpack.Or you might prefer a case you can wear around the waist orover your shoulder. A small case with a belt loop keeps yoursupplies handy at all times on your belt. There are waist packsthat offer more room, and larger cases with removable shoulderstraps like a camera case, useful for travel or longer daytrips.
Specialized diabetes cases offer separate pockets that close withVelcro, zippers, or snaps. They may offer elastic straps that holdyour meter in place along with a vial of strips, lancet devices,insulin and syringes.
An OEM (original equipment manufacturer’s) case is thecarrying case that comes with your blood glucose monitorwhen you receive it. Generally OEM cases are inexpensivedesigns. Usually they have room only for the product it camewith, such as the monitor and its accessories. An OEM casedesigned to hold one manufacturer’s product does not offera choice of materials, design or colors.
After-market cases hold generic items such as a monitor,test strips, lancets, lancet device, insulin, insulin pens,glucose tablets, pump supplies, spare batteries, log bookand whatever else you like to carry with you. There aremany choices in designs, materials, color and insulation,depending on your needs. These cases are usually wellconstructed, utilizing modern manufacturing methods togive you a high-quality product. You should expect yourcase to withstand several years of use, considering it will beopened and closed four to eight times per day.