Help me create a super cute, super fun diabetes gift basket!
April 14, 2015 3:37 PM   Subscribe

A good friend was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, thanks to a horrifying trip to the ER. Her life has turned upside down, but she's doing absolutely everything she's supposed to. I want to make a fun gift basket for her - with things like cute band-aids for her finger pricks, etc. Help me make it awesome!
posted by megan_magnolia to Health & Fitness (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Is this your bestest best friend? Because otherwise, kinda weird and a little invasive to give someone a gift basket about their medical diagnosis.

How about a gift certificate to a spa? You can seal the envelope with one of your extra cute bandaids.
posted by zennie at 3:49 PM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Amazon has an awesome selection of bandaids! I got some with Muppets and some glitter holofoil ones to stock my first aid kit for my Girl Scouts. There's nothing like the reparative power of sparkles to make your wounds suck less!

Do a search for "thing your friend likes"+bandages and you'll probably find something suitable.

If you or your friend owns a cotton candy machine, I have seen proof on youtube that sugar free tropical fruit hard candy makes excellent cotton candy. Might help if she's missing some sweets-fueled normalcy. I know I would.
posted by phunniemee at 3:56 PM on April 14, 2015

I would make up the gift basket with things she likes and forget about diabetes-- book, magazine, tea, beauty stuff, whatever.

I am a nurse and there is usually no need for bandaids for finger pricks. If it were my friend with diabetes, I am not sure I would include bandaids.

I would take her out to a movie and lunch or buy her a little something that she is interested in.
posted by Fairchild at 4:00 PM on April 14, 2015 [13 favorites]

Some fancy carb-free snacks? Like some fancy nut butter packets and such.
posted by telepanda at 4:01 PM on April 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

If your friend has a sense of humor about this, and if she's the right age to have read The Baby Sitter's Club, you could order a copy of The Truth About Stacey from Amazon used books. Definitely not for everyone, though!

I'm assuming she doesn't have a pump, since it's such a recent diagnosis, but on the extreme off-chance that she does I have heard that people really like underwear with pockets for holding said insulin pump.

There are some nice diabetic alert bracelets out there as well.

That being said, I have been in the situation of getting a shitty diagnosis (not diabetes, not that shitty), and I think the #1 thing that would have helped would have been a reminder that there is good stuff in my life that has nothing to do with said diagnosis. I'm thinking of things like a gift card to iTunes or Amazon to get a new season of her favorite TV show, or a subscription to a magazine she likes, or the latest book by her favorite author, or a new shade of nail polish, or pajama pants with cartoon foxes on. Basically, anything that your friend enjoyed before the diagnosis, and that she can still enjoy now.
posted by pie ninja at 4:03 PM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]

If you know her style, I agree that a pretty medical alert bracelet would be a nice gift.
posted by quince at 4:29 PM on April 14, 2015

Band-Aids for finger pricks are probably not going to work that well. The typical lancet prick only gives you a drop of blood before it staunches and heals. And you might do a pin prick anywhere between once a day to six a day, depending on your situation - you just can't Band-aid yourself that much and still have usable fingers!

So much will depend on their diagnosis and treatment requirements - it's going to be hard for her to figure out what she needs at first, let alone you. She'll be overwhelmed for a while until gets to grips with the whole thing.

I went through something similar (but without the trip to ER, fortunately) and just wanted someone I could vent to, who wouldn't judge me (people can be weird about diabetics), but I would have loved a bunch of flowers and some sugar-free sweets.

Edit: pie ninja's suggestions are spot on!
posted by ninazer0 at 6:29 PM on April 14, 2015

As someone who was married to a Type 1 diabetic for a very long time, I second those who say that a "diabetes care package" that focuses on the disease is not the way to go. The only remotely "fun" product I can recall my wife obtaining were stickers that fit her insulin pump, but that would have been a strange gift for her to get. (Even I never bought them for her.)

I like the idea of a spa gift certificate. Diabetes takes a huge toll on your body no matter how well you take care of yourself, and if your friend was just diagnosed, she's probably been exhausted for a long time. (High blood sugar, which she would have had, totally wipes you out.) So a spa treatment would probably hit the spot.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 6:53 PM on April 14, 2015 [6 favorites]

I have a good friend who's been a Type 1 diabetic since childhood. I think he really appreciates friends who don't make a big deal of it, but at the same time know how to take care of him if he needs it. Learn enough about diabetes to know that it's not *just* about sugar, and no, she won't need band-aids. Don't assume things - just ask and let her teach you how you can help. Remember she's learning too, and may not now all the ins and outs of how it works for her body yet.

I've known this friend well and long enough to recognize when he's high/low and have no qualms about dragging him home for more insulin, getting him food quickly, etc. He knows I know and lets me. This is much less frequent now that he has a pump, but still an issue occasionally. We deal with it and just get on with things (well, I tease but it depends on the friend!).

Squeamishness (ewwww! you pricked you're finger you're bleeding!!!) really pisses him off. If she's busy sorting out her blood sugar and what she needs to eat just give her a minute, no comment.

The author of Eat The Damn Cake's father and husband are both diabetic, she (and you) might like reading parts of the blog. To avoid the worst mistakes, google "buzzfeed things about being diabetic" - several buzzfeed articles, a pinterest board called "dumbest thing people say to diabetics" etc. Cliches, yes - but when these were going around on FB my friend reposted them (and mostly he posts about politics).

I vote spa time and/or movies/dvd's/binge watching with you. Space to vent or escape, as needed.
posted by jrobin276 at 8:51 PM on April 14, 2015 [3 favorites]

Type 1 diabetic here. It's so nice that you're thinking of your friend! I think the best gift anyone could get me is an understanding of my condition (some good advice in jrobin276's comment): I didn't cause it, there's no cure, particularly nothing like "eat cinnamon!" or "wear yellow!" (I've gotten both), and, though I may decide not to, there is really nothing I *can't* eat, and many, many other things, most importantly, YDMV (Your Diabetes May Vary). I like the "you are still a person who is allowed to have fun and be a person outside of diabetes" ideas like spa date, massage, tea, movies. It took me years to come to terms with diabetes; I assume you know her well, and the cues are there that she'd be cool with this.

Here are some specifically diabetes-related things that might be nice:

-Glucose tablets or some gourmet jelly beans, for treating lows
-Some good chocolate, because yes, SHE CAN STILL EAT THAT! Maybe a cupcake. (Everyone with diabetes deals with diet differently, of course.) Please don't get nasty sugar-free chocolate.
-Maybe some really nice hand lotion, because lancets do take a toll on your hands.
-A plush pancreas or pancreas keychain might be cute.
-The blue circle has been largely adopted by the community as a symbol, so maybe a pretty piece of jewelery featuring a blue circle? Symbolic, but a little less daunting than a Medic Alert bracelet.
-This would depend on her style, but there are a lot of neat "supply bags" out there with pouches for all the necessary stuff, both large and travel size. Something chic looking.

-If your friend is Twitter-savvy, there is a FANTASTIC community online (the Diabetes Online Community, #dsma for Diabetes Social Media Advocacy). It's so welcoming and lovely, and full of friends. It has made my life with diabetes immeasurably better. There are also plenty of blogs, resources, and Facebook stuff, but the Twitter thing is the most immediate. There is a chat at the hashtag every Wednesday at 9pm (and if you want to learn more, it is a wealth of information). Maybe a small card with that info? (I could say more but don't want to be overwhelming, but if she or you need any resources, I'd be happy to help.)
posted by ilana at 10:53 PM on April 14, 2015 [4 favorites]

There are flowers that look like cakes, e.g
posted by ecsh at 12:30 PM on April 15, 2015

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