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.


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

  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.

  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.

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

    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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