Going Back to Basics

IS using the newest technology the best option in treating a disease? Only one person can answer that honestly and that is you. I have tried using new insulins and devices to try and improve my A1C but have not had the same success as others. Hence the question, is it really better?

Recently I have found that I am not a “normal” diabetic. Instead of increasing insulin resistance I seem to have a high insulin sensitivity. What is a normal dose of insulin for a normal diabetic is too high for me.

I’m not going to name which drugs and devices I have used here because I do not believe that they are at fault. It is simply life that is wrong. My body and the new drugs or technology simply do not work together the way they are intended to. It’s not their fault and I will not blame them.

One situation in the last year has been my long term insulin. When I was started on it I was at 25 units. It is what the dosing schedule called for with my weight. By the time it was said and done I was down to only 4 units and I still had issues with my sugar dropping while at work at night.

Because of this, I had a few tests run to verify what was going on in my body. A C-peptide test was run to make sure I was really a type 1 diabetic. I had been getting asked too many times at the doctors office if I was sure I was type 1 to ignore the question. I asked about running a test to make sure and it came back that I was type 1. My body makes no insulin on it’s own.

Second test was to make sure I did not have insulin antibodies in me that would bind to the insulin and later release it all back into my system. That also came back negative. My doctor has not been able to pinpoint what is going on and why I react so differently to the insulin yet.

The answer was to put me on a pump again. I was very hesitant as the last time I was put on one it did not go well. at all. This time while better was not as good as promised and I recently stopped using it again. It was set at it’s lowest possible setting and it still delivered too much insulin while at work. It is not a bad design or improper settings. It is just that I am not normal.

My answer to the question of my Jeckle and Hyde insulin requirements has been to go backward in time to an insulin I was placed on years ago and taken off in favor of newer longer lasting insulins. I asked to back on an intermediate insulin which only lasts 12 hours.

Why split the insulin into 2 shots? It will allow me to use one dose to keep my sugar level down during the day and on days off and a lower dose to try and keep it out of the basement while at work. It will do what the newer insulin can’t which is allow the change in dosage from day to night. The pump was supposed to do that but wasn’t able to handle the change very well. Also, alarms and warning made life a lot less tolerable every hour it was either low or high, which was a lot. Plus the extra blood checks needed to keep it in full auto mode. It all added up in the end.

Not only is the cost of the extra equipment and supplies to be taken into account but the extra time involved in caring for this new device, the pump. The extra blood checks, the infusion set changes, the sensor changes, and then later the calibrating of that sensor. It all takes time. Time that instead of finishing my book or mowing the lawn or cleaning the house I had to use to take care of my diabetes.

Again, I’m not going to say pumps are bad or that the new insulins are bad but they need to be tried to see if they actually work as they say they will. I know of people they have helped or read about successes with these tools. They need to be at least good enough to be worth the extra money and time you will spend on them. Make up your own mind on that. Is your A1C lower? Did it make your quality of life better? Can you afford it?

For me going back to the basics of shorter length insulin and more control over what and when it is given is better in the long run. I will have to figure my own doses in my had, done that for years so not a problem. My A1C had not changed more than a few 10th’s of a percent while I was on the pump so it was not the miracle device it has been for others. My A1c was about 8.8 at the start of the pump and it only dropped down to 8.4 at the end.  An A1C test looks for glycated hemoglobin in the blood, the more sugar in your blood the more of it wil bind to hemoglobin and that is what an A1C test looks for. The more sugar that has been in your blood the higher that percent will be. It is an average not a spot split second read  like a finger poke but more of a long term, 3 month, average of sugar levels.

So it all goes back to you and your needs and abilities. Don’t let yourself be talked into somethign that does not work in your life very well. New or old, use what is best for you and not what everyone, doctor or not, “feels” is good for you. It all comes down to a “your body your decision” dilemma. You will have to live with your decision, noone else.

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