What’s in the (T1D’s) Purse?


What’s in the (T1D’s) Purse?I watched a film noir in high school called Kiss Me Deadly. I don’t remember too much about it because my taste in film was not refined at that time (i.e., I was bored to tears for most of the movie), but I do recall my fascination with the mysterious glowing box at the center of the plot. Most of the characters in the movie have no idea what the box’s contents are, but they do know it has immense value. One of the final scenes in the movie (spoiler alert!) involves a femme fatale character persistently asking our hard-boiled detective, “What’s in the box? What’s in the box? What’s in the box?” It is, of course, nuclear destruction, and as the femme fatale opens the box, light shines out of it as everything around her explodes. Dramatic, isn’t it? That’s what we get from a Cold War Era film.

What’s the point of mentioning a random movie from the 1950s? The aforementioned scene and enigmatic aura of the box vaguely remind me of how utterly curious some people seem to be with the contents of my purse. Since my middle school days, I’ve toted around a sizable purse in order to accommodate my diabetes supplies. Throughout my public schooling and college years, I preferred to keep them in a purse as opposed to my backpack so I could separate my medical devices and the like from my class supplies.

Carrying around two different vessels filled to the brim with assorted personal possessions resulted in many people asking me questions like, “What do you need two bags for?”; “What’s in your purse that makes it so heavy?”; and my personal (least) favorite, “Can I go through your purse?” The latter question was asked so many times in high school that my once-patient and polite reply, “No, you may not go through my purse”, devolved into a snippy “Mind your own business!”

Why didn’t I want to unveil the contents of my purse? The answer is simple; during those years, there were some aspects of my diabetes I just wanted to keep private. I was always vocal about the care and management steps I took each day, but that didn’t mean I felt comfortable showing off my needles or my meter when they weren’t in use.

As I’ve gotten older, people haven’t necessarily gotten less nosy when it comes to ogling my big ole bag full of diabetes tricks. The questions keep on coming. So you know what? I’m going to shed some light on the mystery of it all. Here are the contents of my purse, in no specific order:

  • Hand lotion
  • Lip balm
  • iPod
  • Mini Altoids
  • Icebreakers mints
  • Winter mint gum (I like fresh breath, okay?)
  • Mini flashlight
  • Wallet
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Nifty hairbrush/mirror tool thingy
  • Spare hair elastics
  • Extra insulin pod
  • A deck of cards (you never know when you’ll need a quick answer to boredom…)
  • My CGM
  • My PDM
  • My meter case (contains my blood sugar meter, lancing device, test strips, tissues, extra batteries, alcohol swabs, skin-tac swabs, pen needles, glucose tablets, glucose gel, and tape)
  • “Feminine care products”
  • A pack of gummies
  • A box of raisins
  • Cough drops
  • Tums

Upon analysis, it’s obvious that more than half of these items are necessary to my daily diabetes care. Some of them are specifically for emergency use; others help make my life easier. Still, you’re probably thinking that all of the above is an awful lot to carry around every day, and you’re not wrong. I don’t truly need some of it (still haven’t used that fresh deck of cards…) but I’m entitled to carry what I please. So, once and for all…are you satisfied now that you know what’s in the box—I mean, purse?


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