In post-apocalypse fiction, diabetics, if they are ever even mentioned, are typically portrayed as utterly, irrevocably screwed. In fact there was a pretty cynical example in Dies The Fire (a book about technology magically ceasing to function forever) where there was a Mormon couple who both had diabetes because their entire narrative purpose was to stockpile a lot of resources the heroes could use (Mormon) and then die so the heroes could use them (diabetic).
But suppose the hero, or at least one of the main characters, of a post-apocalyptic story was diabetic, and one of the main driving motivations in the story was to keep this guy alive. One thing I’ve been really interested in figuring out is if it can be done.
I’ve done some research about this due to an interest in having a diabetic character in my story that will eventually become post-apocalypse, and what I learned was that there’s a starvation diet you can use to keep a diabetic person alive (if just barely) for about a year or two with no insulin, and I also learned that there’s a complicated chemical process you can use to turn chopped livestock pancreases into homemade insulin. But none of the resources I could find gave any hint at what kind of scale or effort it would take to keep this going, how much insulin you got out of a single pig or cow, how much land it would take to keep a sustainable livestock population, whether or not the chemicals and alcohol were possible to obtain more of once stockpiles and scavenging run out, or what equipment it required to operate.
Suppose some determined type-1 diabetic doomsday prepper set out to design and build a completely off-the grid compound that could, completely without assistance from the power grid, water facilities, or supply networks of civilization after it’s been built, keep a single diabetic alive, and feed, water and house him/her and as many people as it would take to maintain such a compound. What, bare minimum, would such a compound need to have, how big would it be, and how many people would it take to run it?