Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From Living the High Life to Surviving the Low the Life.

Well today it has been officially three weeks on the insulin pump; and I have had many scares since I started on the pump. The first scare was day one with hitting the tabs to stab myself in the gut for the first time. Think about it how many of you still even today hesitate when using a lancing device to stick your finger to take your BG? Now imagine that with a longer needle that jabs into your stomach or whatever area you are using as a site that day.

The next scare came from my supply company. Just five days into using the pump I realized the supplies I had were not going to make it through for a month. I called the supply company and they advised there was nothing they could do as my insurance would not allow more supplies than what I had already received. Here is the problem; most pump users change their sets once every three days. I however have never in my life claimed to be normal. My insulin to carb ratio was a 1:2 meaning I needed 1 unit of insulin for every 2 grams of carbohydrates. This is a very high ratio; my insulin to glucose ratio was 1:7 meaning 1 unit of insulin for every 7 points of Blood Glucose above my goal range. All of this was said for this reason; my body is so insulin resistant that my dose and bolus ratings were making me go through a tube of insulin per day. Each time a tube empty’s is a complete new set change from stick to fluid.

The wonderful ladies from Animas once again saved the day by providing me with enough extra supplies to get me through the rest of the month. They also held a meeting with my doctor to discuss my insulin consumption and what must be done to manage it better. My Doctor decided to place me on U500 insulin; this is 5 times stronger than normal U100 insulin. Now in the defense of Animas this is an off label use of the pump and they do not recommend this as a form of treatment. Doctors’ orders however are orders even when off label.

Before we could get me started on the new insulin my body decided it was time to make sure I understood who was in control. Wednesday October 6th I started having chest pains and Meredith took me to the St. Mary’s emergency room where they admitted to the telemetry wing of the Hospital and there I sat in a place I so did not want to be. All of my tests came back fine and I was released to go home on Thursday morning. It is interesting that I went into the hospital reasonably healthy and when I came home I spent the next 5 days sick with the flu.

Friday was the day I went on my new insulin and all I can say is wow that stuff is potent. My first insulin to carb ratio was 1:10 and my insulin to BG was now 1:35. I do great during the day I am averaging a nice 110 mg/dl (6.1 mmol/l) between 5 AM and 9 PM. The night time however is scary; I have had several lows over this last weekend during the night including a 51 mg/dl (2.83 mmol/l). Several adjustments later I survived my first night without a drop in blood glucose last night. When I went to bed I was at 101 mg/dl (5.61 mmol/l) and I woke up at 89 mg/dl (4.94 mmol/l) this morning.

Thanks to everyone for the feedback they sent me on what they know about Neuropathy. I am working on a post with information to really get behind the question “What is this thing called Neuropathy?” Have a great night!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Today is an Input day. Speak up everyone

Hello everyone, I have been thinking of writing for the last few days but could not settle on a subject. I know I have promised information on the pump system, however it does not feel right at this time. So I have decided to discuss what is currently on my mind. Today I answered a question on one of the sites I follow regarding Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy (DPN). The site was asking how many of us suffer from DPN and if we discuss it with our doctor.

I can honestly say I do discuss it with my Doctor in fact I was just in his office yesterday letting him know the medicine is no longer covering the pain. I sit here today with my feet on fire and my arm tingling down to the fingertips. I am exhausted from the pain and yet I have no break. In less than an hour I will clock back into work and sit for four hours and listen to customers be upset over the issues while I try to sound like I am smiling and not admit I want to cry.

All of this aside I realized other than discussing my pain I have not asked if any of you know about Neuropathy. So today is a fill in day for you let me know what you understand about the disease that is Neuropathy.

Part of what I want to do is educate people on both the Diabetes and the Neuropathy. So please even if you do not have either condition let me know what you know about the subject. I want to see what direction we need to go to teach everyone what people with Neuropathy truly deal with.