Friday, September 18, 2015

What Do I Know?!

You'd think that having had diabetes for over 20 years, I'd know everything about it. 

But there's little things I'm learning (and sometimes, just RE learning) now that I'm back to having a beginner's interest in it all again. 

When I was first diagnosed all those ages ago, I remember some nutritionist telling me that eating protein and fat with your carbs slows down the absorption rate of the carbohydrate. I was told it was important, therefore, to balance out my snacks and meals with whatever the proper fat/protein/carb suggestion was, especially before I went to bed.  However, like so many nutritional facts, apparently, the thinking on this one has changed over the years.  Now, they're saying, carbs get in there on their schedule, and proteins get in there on their schedule, and the same goes for the fats. One doesn't really effect the other.  Proteins and fats do effect blood sugars way later (and much less so) than carbs, but this explains why Mexican food can cause a very late spike in my blood sugars.  As in 4 hours later... 

Another little thing I've never heard until recently is that if you're insulin injection seems to not having an effect your blood sugar, it could be caused from dehydration.  So sometimes, if you just drink a glass of water, you might start to see the effect of the insulin getting in there and battling it out with a rising, or just sitting idly blood sugar. I've tried that and it's TRUE! I'm outside in this Texas heat a lot, and so water is my best friend.  But sometimes, I forget to call her. 

My third recently learned factoid is this: if you inject 7 or more units in one shot, it doesn't absorb as well.  So the suggestion is, for example, when I take my 10 units of Lantas for the day, it's better to break it into two shots, 5 units each, in a different injection site.  I've tried this the past two mornings.  Who knows if it's making a difference because with the amount of insulin I take, it's a little hard to tell, but things have been especially good the past couple of days.

But seriously- what do I know?

Not all that much.  Some days I think I've totally got my diabetes all figured out.  Other days, I'm completely pissed at spikes I can't explain.
So, I just keep reading books, blogs and listening to podcasts and experimenting with whatever sounds logical.  I like a good challenge.  And I'm fortunate to have a life long one...

Friday, September 4, 2015

Sometimes I Can't Even Remember Shooting Up!

Yes, the above is true.  I take multiple daily injections of insulin each day, every day.  I'm a junkie for my insulin and I can't live without it.

Because I shoot up so often, half the time I'm not even paying attention.  Sometimes, 5 minutes after taking a shot I'll wonder, "Wait, how much insulin did I take?!"  Other times, I'll notice a severe spike in my blood sugar after a meal and wonder, "Did I take my shot?"  It's super annoying, and it sounds ridiculous, but it is not an uncommon problem for a Type 1 diabetic. There's a lot to keep track of, and sometimes, the mind gets jumbled.

Because of that,  drug companies make a few pens that have a time stamp on them, like this one I use for my "fast" acting insulin.
Novo Echo Pen
It reminds you of how much insulin you took, and how many hours ago you took it.

I asked my doctor if they made a pen like that for the Lantus that I take only once a day, in the morning.  He said that although they used to, they stopped because since you only take it once a day, most people can keep it straight.

That is a lie. That is coming from a doctor who is not a Type 1 diabetic.  First of all, things that are daily habits, don't require much thought.  So it's not that hard to occasionally forget- especially if you're routine is disrupted.  Secondly, there is in fact a product made for the "few" people that can't remember shit- like me! It's a cap you can put on an insulin pen that keeps track of it for you.  I bought it online recently, after my doctor told me there was no such thing. 
There is such a thing!  It's called Timesulin. And you can order it online for around $30.

Usually during my sleeping hours, I have a steady line in a happy blood sugar range through the night.  It tends to dip a little low, but I rarely, if ever, have problems with it going too high.  But this morning I looked at my Dexcom and saw that my blood sugar had hovered around a steady 200 all night.  WHAT?!  That sucks!! I even took some insulin right before bed to get it down.  I thought if anything, I'd wake up during the night with a LOW blood sugar reading.  Not high.  What in the world was going on?

It's easy to forget what you forget.  I wondered if it was possible I had skipped my shot yesterday morning.  I really couldn't remember, I just knew I had a stressful morning, rushed around, and had an appointment I was really anxious about.  But I couldn't remember if I had taken my shot.  Or if I had brushed my teeth.  Or if I had turned off the light in my closet.  All little mundane habits I don't usually think that much about.

But, thanks to my Timesulin, I looked at my pen, and sure enough, it let me know it had been over 40 hours since my last shot of Lantas.  That totally explained the high readings.  I just thought for some reason, my insulin requirements were a little high the previous day due to stress or whatever.  But nope.  I needed more fast acting insulin all day because I didn't taken my shot of Lantas that morning.

Once I took my Lantas, and my fast acting insulin, and I ran 3 miles, and drank my Vitamix,and I walked my dogs another 3 1/2 miles, this is what happened to my blood sugar. 
High to a great feeling low.
And it's been nice and steady throughout the whole day.

Not only do I shoot up daily to avoid getting high, sometimes I can't even remember doing it.  So it helps so much to have tools that help me with that.