Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Insulin: An Update


It’s been nearly two months since I wrote about beginning insulin in January and I thought I’d bring you up to date. This is a bit rambly.

I still love insulin.

I spent some time tweaking my dosage and timing. My doctor wants to know what my BG is after dinner but I wanted to know what it was before I ate so I’ve been testing before and after (cuz I’m in charge). I wasn’t liking how high my BG was before I ate even if my post prandial numbers generally weren’t awful. I decided to split my Lantus because I had heard that it doesn’t always last 24 hours. Bingo! That made a big difference and my fasting numbers stayed within range.

Remember that ½” needle? I found out from a friend who is a CDE that a smaller needle would work just as well. The pharmacy told me I didn’t need an RX for needles so I bought some ¼”. Nice!! While the ½” needle was doable, the smaller one is much better.

I’ve been having some bruising. I don’t think that’s a big deal but the first time I saw all those dots in the mirror was disconcerting. It’s not like anyone else is going to see them, except Ray.

I’ve gained weight. Of course I did! I’m currently about 6 lbs heavier than I was when I began insulin. At one point I was up 10 lbs. Ugh. Instead of saying “oh well” I have been trying to be better about exercise and have just recently rethought what I’m eating. I have an afternoon snacking problem so I’ve been trying a cup of green tea when I feel peckish and that has helped some. I’m not comfortable in my skin and I must fix this. I see the doctor again in 2 weeks but I’m convinced that this is something I have to fix myself.

I really can’t just eat whatever I want, despite what the CDE told me. I attempted to add some carbs back into my diet and had some awful results. She had told me that if I couldn’t eat a sandwich then something was wrong but…do I really need to eat a sandwich all the time? Nope. I am not anxious to start meal-time insulin because of the weight issue so I’m back to eating pretty much as I did before. I am still more relaxed and am allowing myself to eat a treat now and then but have given up the idea that I can just eat whatever I want. Over the years I have developed some wonderful low-carb alternatives, including sweet treats, and I generally don’t feel deprived. I eat in a healthy way, despite not much bread or potatoes and such.

As I said previously, my insurance company wanted me to use Levemir instead of Lantus. Last night I started using my first Levemir pen even though I still have one Lantus left. I will go back to tweaking and only injecting at night to see how this goes. I see the doctor in a couple of weeks and I’ll see how he feels about what’s going on. I’m confident I can dial this in. I’m hopeful I can figure out the weight thing without feeling deprived. I’ve got this.

5 comments:

  1. I think you'll find the Levemir lasts longer than Lantus. I hope that will help resolve some issues. Persevere!

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  2. I am glad you are gettign along so well. I think the key to not gaining weight is to use just enough insulin. That is where a pump is so important. Customizing dosing ever minute of every day is a difficult concept to grasp, but it does work. Whereas now you must eat to the injection with a pump you dose to the food eaten.

    When or if you do get ready, there are some terrific T2 pump options.

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  3. You mentioned bruising from you injections. Are you hitting a blood vessels or are you stabbing yourself too hard? I don't stab myself! I take my left hand and press down. Set the needle against the pressed down area and release your left hand. This pulls the needle in. When I first went on lantus, I cried because I didn't want to stab myself with a needle. Been a diabetic since 2004 and have all the problems you have.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the tip, LInda! I'll have to try that.

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    2. Hello, I found your blog through a listing of best blogs about type 2 diabetes. I can definitely relate. I started insulin in the spring last year. They started me out with mealtime insulin then added in Novolin NPH, after a few switches including Levemir I am now not on mealtime insulin just Basaglar once a day.

      I get bruising a lot if I inject in certain places on my stomach. I tend try and avoid them but then end up causing them because I use the same spot over and over. I find the best way I can avoid bruising is slowly injecting the insulin and if it starts to burn a lot I will pull it out, put a new needle on and insert the rest somewhere else. Not sure if I am supposed to but that seems to work for me.

      The eating part is so hard. I don't eat like I should. I am careful about portion control and about sugary drinks and sometimes snacks but otherwise I pretty much eat what I want. Initially I tried to follow the guidelines I was given but it was so hard. Somehow I still managed to bring my A1C down to 6.1, no idea how.

      I hate testing my blood sugar so I ordered a Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitor, they are much cheaper then a CGM like Dexcom and lots of insurance companies are starting to cover it. I love it because it holds up to 8 hours in the sensor so as long as I scan at least every 8 hours (I scan much more) then I can see a graph of my blood sugars and see trends. This has been an immense help when it comes to knowing which meals to target after meal sugars.

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