I have wanted to be posting here so much! Learning how to use the pump has been quite an adventure and I have wanted to share my journey but I am struggling with a back issue (chronic problem, having a ‘flare up’ you might say) and it makes it hard for me to sit for very long (or lay, or stand… or breathe, or move- you get the point). So typing at the computer for any length of time is pretty much laughable at this point (I am writing this post in little steps and then posting it when it is finished).
My numbers have been running a little higher than I have liked since switching to the pump (though they say high is better than low) but I am slowly working my way back to where I want to be. I exchanged e-mails with Pump Doc (this is officially “new doc’s” name, she is a serious authority on this stuff and it’s awesome) about somethings and she quickly sent me back a few suggestions making sure I only try these things one at a time so I can actually figure out the culprit. My concerns were that I was hovering higher than I wanted, as I mentioned before, but also that it has been taking a full 4 hours for my glucose to come back down after meals. At two hours postprandial (after meal, you know it’s bad when I start talking like “one of them”, I am so obsessed with diabetes…) I am as high as 220! e.g. Yesterday I ate 26 carb breakfast, two hours post I was 211 but 4 hours later with no additional correction I was 105 and steady… Rrrrr
Pump Doc returned my e-mail with multiple suggestions and plans of attack <– This is the reason I love her, she trusts me. She believes that I am capable of using my judgement and picking a plan of action, then of assessing the results and making a decision, thank you! She does all that and still makes herself available through both her work and home e-mail as well as her cell phone number (with the instructions to text anytime) so that when I am really stumped I don’t have to wing it… how glorious! At my last appointment she said, “I am so glad we found each other.” I wanted to kiss her, she has seriously changed my life in the less than one month I have been her patient and I hope she realizes that I am so glad we found each other. It is nice to have a doctor that recognizes I am not an idiot, I do care about my diabetes and I can make competent decisions about my care with the proper guidance. Hallelujah!
So for now I am going to increase my basals my 10% for sections of the day where I have been consistently high and see how that helps my numbers (I also need to do some fasting tests overnight, but that is my plan anyway). Once I get those basals settled in a bit more I will tackle the meal time issues, re-checking my ratios and correction factor. I think I could have figured all this out on my own but was having trouble in so many different areas I was getting discouraged and I love my pump so the last thing I want is to feel badly about it. It is nice to have someone who knows give you the push in the right direction or even just say, “Yes, that’s the right choice” when you aren’t feeling sure of yourself. That is the kind of relationship I want with my doctor and I think I may have finally found it… *fingers crossed*
So all and all things are going alright, I have definitely noticed far less “roller coaster” blood sugars since being on the pump- still highs and lows (that’s sorts the gig with the big D) but they happen more progressively rather than flying up or down. The fact that they happen more progressively gives me much better odds at preventing it because when Judah alerts (or I happen to catch one) I can treat the high or low and the sugar is changing slow enough that the insulin or glucose can actually catch up. Before my pumping days (do I sound like a pro yet?) when I would treat it would often be happening so fast that it was either too far ahead of the insulin so I would stay higher longer waiting for the insulin to work OR I would over correct the low trying to get the numbers up and then end up high in the end anyway. This is certainly a far less frustrating way of treating diabetes (at least for me).
I have already had to fight off some misconceptions about the pump though. The other night while we were at a friends house, Judah alerted and I tested high (nearly 200). So I took my pump out of my pocket and showed Marshall my glucose reading, “Wow, that’s kinda high…” and I gave a correction bolus. One of the people at the house said, “Isn’t the point of that thing that it regulates your blood sugar?” Now I’ll be honest, statements like this make my blood boil. It may seem like an innocent question but after over a year of fighting people off who think that I take insulin because I am too lazy to change my diet I find ignorance and assumptions about diabetes infuriating. Perhaps a better approach in a situation like this is to ask how the pump works, rather than assume when you obviously have no idea. I managed to take a deep breath and explain that in fact I regulate my blood sugar and that the pump is just a delivery method. Then had to combat the, “Well than what’s the point of that” looks that manifest after that explanation. Then Marshall, knowing how irritated I was getting I’m sure, began to try and deflect a little for me. He began to explain how long lasting insulin puts you on a fixed amount for 24 hours and the beauty of the pump is that you can set it to specific amounts for different times of day and turn it down or off for activity. I also added that I program in all my ratios and correction factors and it does the math as well as keeping track of active insulin so I don’t stack to much. The response was, “Whatever makes it easier I guess.”
Really?! I can’t stand people who have NO IDEA what it is like to live with a chronic disease make statements and judgements like that. They have no idea what it is like to live with the pressure of all the possibilities for bad things to happen every day. You are damn straight, “Whatever makes it easier”. This isn’t counting calories to lose a few pounds or estimating portion sizes so my jeans fit better. This is counting carbs FOR MY LIFE. I don’t think that self pity is a good thing but I also don’t think that is what I am doing. I feel like I do a pretty decent job (always room for improvement, obviously) at taking this D monster by the horns and doing with it what I like- but I also think it is important not to forget the reality of the situation. When you push those thoughts back in your mind you start to let the little things slide- and it all adds up in the end. I wish that articles would more clearly distinguish between the types of diabetes when they talk about people curing it with diet or the stigma about insulin use. I also wish Halle Berry had never mad some stupid misinformed statement about curing herself of type 1 diabetes because apparently people are talking about this now… I mean seriously? Someone with all those resources and she doesn’t know the difference? No one ever actually tested her to see if her pancreas was working? I don’t think that celebrities should be held to any higher standard than we are, so yeah it would make me mad if anyone said that- never mind someone who has the ridiculous power to influence the masses. Alas, I suppose I can only influence the people who I meet and even then, only the ones who are willing to learn.