Friday, February 9, 2018

Insulin: A Love Story

As I said in a previous post, I finally found a health care provider who was willing to prescribe insulin for use in combating my high fasting numbers. I began using Lantus on January 15th. It hasn't even been a month yet but I can tell you that, without any hesitation, I am in love with insulin! What a difference it has made in my life. Wow.

The doctor had me start out slowly at 10 units and then bump it up by 2 units every 2 days until my fasting numbers dropped below 130. I went up and down with dosage for a few days in the second week but I think I have found the correct dosage for me. I have no idea what this dosage is compared to others, and that doesn’t matter, but it feels as if it isn’t very high. I like that because I don’t want to use more insulin than necessary. So what is so miraculous you say? Here are my fasting numbers in the week before beginning Lantus: 160,170,168,170,182,168. Here are my fasting numbers within a weekish of beginning insulin: 110,114,113,130,128,122. It isn’t difficult to see a difference. Love!

The lower fasting numbers combined with the CDE’s Permission to Eat have made a huge difference in my mood, outlook and general happiness on a daily basis. One of the most poignant stories was the first time I went out to eat after beginning Lantus. I opened the menu and thought, “what do I want to eat?” not “what will do the least damage?”. That is a major shift in my thinking around food. Guess what? I chose a salad, not because it was the best choice for my health but because it sounded good and I wanted it. Score!

That brings up another thing I’ve been thinking about regarding insulin use. I touched on this a bit in my last post. Will I suddenly turn into this person who just eats whatever she wants and damn the torpedoes? Big, resounding NOPE! I know better. I have learned over my years living with diabetes that a lot of it is up to me and my choices. I still need to eat a healthy diet. I still need to add exercise to my day. I still need to pay attention. Insulin, and the better fasting numbers, have allowed me to relax and not freak out about food. I am still trying to eat a lowish carb diet but am willing to try adding some healthy carbs back into my life. I’m freer to eat out and actually eat a ½ sandwich or hash brown potatoes. I am not free to eat a whole sandwich with French fries. I still struggle with some foods (potato chips…gah!) but I am not going to eat something that I know isn’t good for me. For instance, we buy frozen popcorn chicken at Sam’s Club that you just have to zap in the microwave for 2 min. I adore it for its simplicity and taste. I mentioned to the CDE that I had such trouble with my bg after eating said chicken. Her response: “Let’s break it down. The only carbs are the bit in the breading. It shouldn’t be a problem.” I had some for dinner tonight. Before eating: 114. Woot! 2 hours later: 204. I’d call that a problem. Should I continue to eat the popcorn chicken just because it “only has a bit of carbs in the breading” or should I be realistic and realize that there are definitely foods I cannot eat, even in moderation? I choose the latter.


I am a much more relaxed person with diabetes these days. This small change has been life-changing. Really! I’m still a little concerned about weight gain, the price isn’t a huge issue at this level of insulin use combined with my insurance, and I’m not intimidated in the least by the ½” needle. No big deal (but DANG, a ½” needle looks ginormous the first time you have to poke it in your belly!) Here’s the biggest plus: I feel like I’m in control again. I know that diabetes will continue to rear it’s butt-ugly head from time to time and I will most likely have to make further adjustments down the road, but I took charge, I stood up for myself and I won. Kate is back!

4 comments:

  1. Yay, Kate!!! this is wonderful news...I certainly hope you continue to have more!

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  2. I'm SOOOOO glad this has worked out for you and improved you physical AND emotional quality of life. I am always mystified when people think insulin is the last resort for T2 or a punishment for "failure" because it's really what you need when your poor pancreas just can't handle it any more, even with all the oral meds available. So I'm glad you're proactive about it, and expect a lot of great things from you!

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  3. Lantus is a terrific medication. Very few lows and great action. I enjoy using it as well, when necessary. I wish Lilly had a similar product.

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  4. I enjoy reading your posts. I have had T2 for about 7 years now. I do EVERYTHING I'm told, specifically no carbs and my fasting levels range from 130 to 170. It makes me crazy. I feel like I just shouldn't eat anything. My A1-C has dropped to the "prediabetic" range but what does that really mean if my fasting levels are still so high?? Thanks for sharing your info.

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