Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Adventures in Insulin

As many of you know, I went last Friday to do insulin training with my CDE.  It went great (as I expected it would), and I learned a lot.  I am currently on Lantus for my long-acting insulin (once/day, at bedtime) and NovoLog for the short-acting (before meals & for corrections @ meals).  So far, my experience has been a positive one.  Even though I've still had some weird highs as I get my dosage fine-tuned, my overall average has already come down quite a bit.  I also had the worst low since my diagnosis--43 two hours after breakfast on my first full day on insulin--but it wasn't too bad.  I just treated it with fast-acting glucose (16 g), and was back up to 92 15 minutes later.  No biggie.  The highs, as always, have annoyed me more than anything.  It's so frustrating to think you're doing everything right, and then still have high numbers.  I increased my Lantus from 10u to 12u last night in hopes that it will help give me better control during the day, specifically after meals.

In other news, I faxed my forms to Medtronic in order to begin the process of getting an insulin pump.  I finally decided on Medtronic because I think I'll benefit from the CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor) on it more than I would the remote bolus feature on the Animas Ping.  It was a tough decision, especially because I'll be stuck with it for four years!  My sister has the Ping and loves it; I just decided that the CGM would serve my purposes for the pump more.  As I've mentioned in previous posts, one of my main goals in pump therapy is to have a healthy pregnancy and baby, and I believe the CGM will help me achieve that by giving me an opportunity for better control and fine-tuning than even the pump alone gives. 

Although I'm excited and ready as I am to begin the journey into pump therapy, all of this has brought out a lot of emotions related to my diabetes.  I've read many different places that some people compare going on the pump to being diagnosed all over again, and although I'm just in the beginning stages of obtaining a pump, I've already learned that this is very true.  For some reason, even though the decision to begin insulin therapy and go on the pump was entirely mine, it's brought to the surface some ambivalent feelings I still have about having diabetes.  I've handled it all fairly well over the past five months, but I still have some "why me" moments at times.  It's starting to really sink in (even more) that this isn't something that's going to go away, and even though I'm glad to have started insulin because it's going to give me better control, it's hit me that I'll probably never be able to survive without it in the near future.  In some ways, having slow-onset Type 1 is good because the changes aren't so dramatic, but in other ways, it's like knowing the other shoe is eventually going to drop and not knowing when it's going to happen.

As I posted on Facebook the other day, five months ago, when I was initially diagnosed, I would have been devastated to find out I had Type 1 Diabetes.  After all, Type 2 can usually be managed with diet and exercise, or oral meds if it comes to it, while Type 1 means insulin to stay alive, forever.  Now, though, I really am as okay with it as someone in my situation can be; I know God has a plan for me, and although it's sometimes hard to see how this could be part of it, I'm trying to stay positive and see the good in everything. 

So, I think now is a good time to reflect on the positive aspects of my disease, in no particular order:
  1. Even though I have a chronic illness, it's a manageable one
  2. It could always be worse, and there are millions of people who have much more pressing things going on in their lives right now
  3. It's led me to become the healthiest I've been in years...Well really, ever.
  4. It's led to some great conversations and opportunities to help others who are in the same shoes
  5. My sister and I, who are very different otherwise, have something in common.  It's not the greatest commonality in the world and I wouldn't wish it on anyone, but I think it makes it easier for both of us knowing we're not alone through all of this.
  6. I know more about my body now than I ever did before...Not only have I read tons of books on diabetes, I also have a dozen or more on pregnancy.  One of the first things I was worried about upon being diagnosed was whether or not I'd be able to have kids, and now I know that with the proper planning and management, I have the same chance as anyone in the general population to have a healthy pregnancy.  Not only that, but the human body is amazing and fascinating!
  7. My husband and I have already had to deal with a very real and immediate crisis together, and we've become closer and stronger as a couple in the process.  Our one year anniversary is on the 23rd, and I was diagnosed on August 23rd...I like to think that was God's way of showing me I wasn't going to have to go through this alone.
  8. It's made me appreciate my family and friends all the more.  They are a great, wonderful, amazing, supportive, and encouraging rock for me.
  9. I've had to reevaluate what is important in life...And appreciate the little things in a way I never did before.
  10. One of my biggest fears (losing my health/having to deal with a chronic disease) has become a reality, and I'm still alive.  Not only that, but I'm doing pretty great with it all!  I now know I have it in me to overcome huge challenges and come out of them a stronger person.


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