Get Back On Track!

I admit it. I’ve been bad the past couple months. Bad with food that is. I kept making excuses for why it was ok to eat the chocolate chunk cookie every morning and the pound cake and other goodies they keep bringing into the work lunchroom. They tasted so good but that is so short-lived. Then the guilt sets in. And the rollercoaster of blood sugar levels doesn’t make me feel any better. So I feel down and then I eat some more. Talk about spiraling downward day after day. Living with diabetes I have found is a daily battle. It’s not just about maintaining my blood sugar. It’s also about maintaining my sanity in the process.

After all of this sugar debauchery, I put my foot down. I mean I have got to pull myself together! After my diagnosis I hardly put anything with sugar in my mouth and my A1c went from 8.3 down to 5.5! My last check up was not as good at 6.3. Where did I lose my way? So last week I made a change. For the last several days in a row I have eaten without needing to bolus. I havent had one single crash and my blood sugar hasn’t gone beyond 130! That, my friends, is the power of high-fat, low-carb eating. I am no scientist but the proof is right there. Sure there is always going to be that day when everything is totally wrong, including your blood sugar. Those just can’t be avoided sometimes, but I definitely want to be strong enough after having a bad day that I can wake up the next morning and get right back on track! How about you?

Pump Review and Progress

Gosh I can’t believe I wasn’t able to write not one single post all week!  I feel disappointed in myself for this.  On a daily basis something will pop into my head and I think “I have got to write this in my blog!”  Sadly, even with all the technology at my fingertips I lose all of these ideas and then when I get to my keyboard to type I’m left with a big question mark.

This week, no this month, no wait this year I have experienced a lot of firsts and an unusual amount of change.  My kids are finally old enough to go to preschool, I’ve made an abrupt career change, I feel like I am entering a new phase of my marriage after 5 years (not bad just changed), my all around health knowledge and habits have changed, not to mention the way I present and feel about myself has changed (hence the tattoo).

I started two new jobs this week.  I signed with Keller Williams and began a part-time job working for two financial advisors at MetLife doing marketing.  But wait the title of this post is “Pump Progress” so I suppose I should get to one of my other “firsts.”  This week was also my first week using my insulin pump.  Minus the first few days of VERY high blood sugars I am very happy with it.  It is an adjustment wearing it.  I clip it onto my bra, sometimes you can see it sometimes you can’t.  I was worried about my children snagging the tubing (they are 2 and 3 1/2) but nonesuch happened.  In fact, they asked what it was and I explained to them that its mommy’s new medicine and that its a very important machine that they have to be careful with or mommy could get hurt.  Of course all they want to do is push the buttons.  Thank goodness it is set up in such a way that it would be very difficult for them to accidentally give me a bolus.  Way to go Medtronic!

I’ve also adjusted my carb ratio which was way off.  I know they were avoiding lows by being conservative but I had already known that a 20 gram carb ratio was not correct.  So I changed it to 15 and I am feeling better.  I still think my basal is a little low.  Before I was taking 14 units of Lantus but when I started the pump my dietitian put me on 10 units of basal per day. I think it should be around 12.

A cool feature of the pump is that I can set multiple basal settings (?!?!?!?!).  Basically, there may be times of the day for which you require more basal than others.  For example, I have noticed that I need more basal from about midnight to 5am.  I am told this is common but not always the case.  I only have one basal rate currently until I sort of “confirm” exactly when I need more or less.  It’s only been a week.  But the fact that I can even do this blows my mind! Forget the Lantus!

The new meter I got (the mBayer Contour Next which I highly recommend to pump and non-pump users) can “talk” wirelessly to my pump.  Mind blown again.  I check my sugar on my meter and it automatically sends the information to my pump which is stored for 12 minutes.  I can then choose to correct my blood sugar if it is high or if at mealtime enter a carb number and it will both correct (if necessary) and bolus. I love numbers but I hate doing math so this is a total win for me.  No more calculating in my head!

If that wasn’t amazing enough, it also keeps track of how much “active” insulin is still floating around.  According to my dietitian and pump instructors when you bolus the insulin stays in your system for approximately 6 hours.  There is a steep curve so most of it is used in the first two hours but thereafter some still remains.  If I am going to bolus for a meal, it takes my current blood sugar, then the number of carbs I will be eating and then subtracts the amount of any residual active insulin to calculate exactly how much I need.  I mean man are we lucky nowadays!  I admit I get frustrated with my diabetes from time to time but if I try and imagine having to deal with this decades ago, without sophisticated technology…I just can’t.

Aside from this I can also set alarms to remind me to check my blood sugar 2 hours after a meal.  I think you have to have some smarts to use this thing but really this thing does pretty much all the thinking for you.  All in all it’s pretty amazing.  It is going to take some getting used to attaching it to my body every three days ( the FDA has only approved use of the attachment parts for three days) however I see many benefits to having this over the insulin pens.

There is so much more I can comment on but I will post again and go over some other things.  This post is getting long.  Friday nights are now my dedicated blog nights so there is a limit to what I can write in a couple of hours.  I hope that others out there considering using the pump who want a personal account of someone using it for the first time will read this and feel comfortable getting an idea of what it’s like and encourage them to seek more information.  I know that there is a lot of medical information out there on professional medical websites but we are definitely in need of real life stories.

Comments and questions about the pump and my experience are certainly welcome.

🙂