More About My Diabetes/Jack Bauer Man-Purse

Now, as you can tell by my photo, I am indeed a man. What kind of man you’ll never know until we meet and spend a little time together, but a man nonetheless. If we ever do meet, there is about a 99% chance that I will have a few things with me. One of these things I mentioned in last week’s blog entry, and I’d like to elaborate a little further on it. It’s my diabetes/Jack Bauer man-purse.


I typically wear it slung over my right or left shoulder, with the side I open facing out for easy access. It’s a conservative black and gray and contains pockets, zippers, clips, and hooks that allow me to strap it, hang it, or tie it to anything.

I have become associated with this bag by my friends and family. When one of my wife’s friends met me for the first time, her first question to my wife (when I was not around) was: “What does he keep in that bag?”

Well, this diabetes/Jack Bauer man-purse is full of surprises, especially when I’m headed to an airport. If you open it, you should expect to find one bottle of Lantus (insulin glargine) in the upper righthand pocket. In the outside zipper pocket there will be anywhere from 20 to 30 FlexPen needles. In the large open pocket, you will find my blood glucose monitor with extra lancets, REAL—not fake—OneTouch test strips, and my finger-pricker. Amongst all of this you should also probably see a granola bar, some glucose tabs, and a writing pad for random ideas, such as this blog topic.

In the inside zipper pocket you will find 10–12 insulin syringes, an extra NovoLog (insulin aspart) FlexPen, and sometimes an extra bottle of Lantus, depending on the status of the current bottle. There’s also an mp3 player and, if I have a show that night, a few of the CDs I’ve recorded. You will be able to tell if I have a show that night by whether I am carrying a combination of the following: a guitar, banjo, ukulele, and/or mandolin.

Now, being a man and having gone through 20-something years without carrying a purse, I never knew the attachment I would develop to such an accessory. But now I feel empty without it and will often look for it even if I know I didn’t bring it somewhere, which is very unlikely but does happen from time to time. While Jack Bauer’s man-purse has everything he needs to fight terrorism, mine has everything I need to fight diabetes. Not quite as dramatic, but certainly a 24-hour battle.

So, if you’re on the streets of NYC and see a black-and-gray man-purse accompanied by a left-handed banjo case, say hello and I’ll give you one of my CDs. And if you’re bored right now and you’ve made it this far, you may be willing to go a little further, so go check out my latest video at It’s called “Peace Out.”

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  • gerald

    so, what does the “man-purse” look like and who makes it??
    are they available on line?
    not asking you to be a salesman but to please take the article a bit further.

  • caj

    Where can I find this man-purse? I haven’t found one that quite meets my space needs, but yours sounds perfect.
    Brand? Size?

  • Dee

    Love the blog, just wanted to share with you what it reminds me of. You need to watch the episode of “Friends” from the 5th season about Joey and his “man bag”. Everytime you talk about your “purse” all I can think about is Joey’s “man bag”. You’ll love it!

  • Ephrenia

    My comment on last week’s blog never showed up. Looking back, I probably stated it in a way that could be misinterpreted. I apologize. The way I meant it was…

    This reminds me of being a new parent. I overloaded my bag to be prepared for every contingency. Instead of diapers, formula, spare clothes and toys, now I carry insulin, glucose tabs, snacks, meter, etc… eveywhere I go.

  • Florian

    I don’t have a Jack Bauer man purse but a Cabela’s Gorilla Case. In it I have an Ultra 2 Glucose Meter, a Vial of (real) One Touch Strips and two BD Ultra Fine Lancets. I don’t use a spring loaded finger pricker. It causes to much peripheral damage and it takes up to much room in the Gorilla Case. There is also A Novo FlexPen, Two Pen needles, an Insulin Syringe, 3 Glucose Tablets and my Lactaid Tabs. Sometimes I take out the FlexPen and put in a vial of Apidra and an extra Syringe. There is also a business card that has my name, address, tel no. and on the back it says that I have Type 1 diabetes and if acting strange call 911. It hooks on my belt and goes where ever I go for the day.

    Florian (Type 1, dx 1967)

  • Vicki Baker

    I hope that you will have water or liguids on hand to make sure your glucose tabs absorb quickly in the event you have a whopper low blood sugar.

  • Joelle

    You should check out they make a fantastic handbag as well as a messenger bag. They have a ‘clutch’ specifically made for diabetic supplies it is removable and kept in a zippered compartment on the back. You can get a small, very low profile ice pack that can be kept in the ‘clutch’ in a waterproof pocket. The owner/founder/designer is a type 1 diabetic and has a great sense of style. I have the handbag and I am waiting for my messenger bag. It took a bit for the bag to soften and hold what I need, but after a couple of weeks everything fits great. The messenger bag will hold a laptop/notebook computer as well. I love my handbag and can’t wait to get my new messenger bag to arrive.