The T1D Zombie Apocalypse Survival Guide

People with Type 1 diabetes have learned that it takes more work to stay healthy than it would for the average person. The same would hold true with surviving the zombie apocalypse. Staying alive with Type 1 while dodging zombie hordes will take just a bit more forethought, so it’s good to have a plan.

With this in mind, Insulin Nation has compiled a step-by-step guide for staying alive when the dead rise to eat the living*:

1. When you first hear reports of unexplained attacks of cannibalism, head to the pharmacy to stock up on supplies.
Don’t worry if it’s the right time to refill your prescription; pay out of pocket if needed. You might find that having a relatively rare condition may be a plus if the pharmacy is being ransacked. While you are grabbing test strips and insulin, you won’t have to fight off people grabbing toothpaste and bandages. You might have to fight off children in the candy aisle, however. Be gentle.

2. If you are on pump therapy, you might want to switch back to multiple daily injections.
We all know better A1C levels are achieved with technology, but you might have trouble getting ahold of your pump manufacturer if there’s an error reading once the zombies overrun the call centers. It’s a lot easier to boil a syringe in the woods than it is to repair a circuit.

3. While there is still power, freeze as many cool packs and ice cube trays as you can.
Insulin actually has a remarkable shelf-life in moderate temperatures, but you want to stretch that for as long as possible by keeping it cool. Also, begin brainstorming ways to keep things cool without refrigeration (running stream? insulation?).

4. Find ways to touch base with others in the Type 1 diabetes community.
It’s great that you have been volunteering with your local JDRF branch or staying in touch with other people with diabetes on Twitter, because now is the time to come together. People with diabetes on the run from zombie hordes will have different priorities than people without diabetes, so you might as well travel together.

shutterstock_173570747_zombie_attack_300px5. Begin to visualize a different standard for your blood sugar levels.
If you are the type of person who prides yourself on hitting that perfect 100 mg/dL score, you might want to prepare yourself to have a higher number in the short term. Until you can find sanctuary from murderous zombies, you should assume you have your endocrinologist’s okay to run higher rather than lower. Insulin is in short supply, and you don’t want to slow down to a zombie shamble if you have a bout of hypoglycemia. That being said, going too high, or too high for too long, will leave you in just as rough of shape, and you don’t want to be in the back of the pack if a zombie herd flushes your group out of hiding.

6. When encountering a zombie, you will need to destroy its brain.

Severing the head from the body is no substitute. Consider using a samurai sword, if you can find one. A hypodermic needle will really not do, but used lancets might be good for attaching to a club to make it more effective; they certainly have caused you enough pain in life.

7. Do not skimp on footwear.

While others are scavenging for foodstuffs and ammo, don’t overlook a Foot Locker or Famous Footwear. Unfortunately, people with diabetes tend to heal a bit slower than the average population, especially when it comes to foot injuries. Always keep on the lookout for durable, but comfortable, shoes, so you can stay in good running shape.

8. Save smart-looking people.
It would be an understandable tendency if you come across other humans being attacked by zombies to focus on saving the strongest individuals first, but you really want to focus on people who look like they could be doctors, drug manufacturing engineers, or at least accomplished health bloggers. Do you know how to make insulin? No? You’re going to need some help.

9. Make your way to an insulin factory.
A jail, castle, or military garrison may be a secure place to fend off legions of the undead, but you are going to need medical manufacturing capability, preferably a factory with a renewable energy source. Try finding one in green-tech-heavy states like California. Puerto Rico also has many medical manufacturing factories and good climate, and it has the added bonus of being an island, so it offers a finite amount of rotting corpses to fight.

10. Find a herd of feral pigs and create your new life.
Unless you really hit the jackpot in finding scientists on the road, you’re going to have to go back to the old-fashioned way of making insulin with the help of animal pancreases. Don’t worry, though, it can be done; Dr. Banting didn’t need any fancy equipment to make insulin a century ago. If you’re vegan, you’re going to have to get over it.

As you settle into your new, post-apocalyptic life, you might find some advantages from before the zombies came. For example, everyone now will be eating a high-protein, low-carb diet. Also, because of your medical condition, you will get priority for any candy found during scavenger runs. How’s that for just desserts?

*In the event of any civil emergency, you should still follow all directions given to you by civil defense officials and your health care provider. Also, there are no such things as zombies…you know that, right?

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Craig Idlebrook is a past editor for Insulin Nation, Type 2 Nation, and Información Sobre Diabetes. He is now the community engagement and content manager for T1D Exchange.

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