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!

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