Letter To A Diabetic

Or I Understand What You're Going Through

Tag: Insulin pump

And Now It’s Time For A Diabetic Laugh…

I found this on facebook and had to share it here for those of you who have not seen it. I think jokes about diabetes are funny as long as the person telling them actually understands diabetes. Clearly this person gets it.

Copied from this website.

 

29 Things Only a Person with Diabetes Would Understand

Written by Lizmari Collazo

1. Every paper cut is an opportunity to test your blood sugar.

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2. You have an entire drawer, dresser, or closet devoted to diabetes supplies.

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3. You have hundreds of lancets and only a few test strips. But on the plus side, your health insurance company is willing to pay for more lancets!

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4. When it’s time to test, all you have to do is squeeze your finger.

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5. The phrase “once in a blue moon” is a reminder that it’s time to change your lancet.

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6. You hesitate to wear white in case you prick your finger and hit a ‘gusher.’

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7. Your fingers appear to spell something in braille.

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8. Being high means something completely different to you than it does to most people.

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9. You can calculate the carbohydrate total of every meal in your head without breaking a sweat.

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10. You should test your blood sugar six times a day, but insurance only approved you for one strip a week.

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11. You can put a mathematician to shame: insulin on board, carb factors, insulin to carb ratio, no problem!

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12. Well-meaning friends have offered you every diabetes remedy under the sun, from cinnamon to birdseed milk.

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13. You’ve heard, “But you don’t look like a diabetic!”

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14. You’re familiar with all the diabetes horror stories of the relatives of anyone you’ve ever met.

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15. You’ve heard, “You can’t eat that!” too many times.

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16. Everyone wants to know where you got your cool pager.

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17. You find used test strips in your refrigerator but don’t know how they got there.

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18. You have a pile of diabetes cookbooks holding up your sofa.

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19. You own 15 glucose meters, but you only use one.

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20. CSI would have a very hard time ‘investigating the scene’ at your house.

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21. You have two cases of juice boxes at home, and none of them are for your kids.

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22. You have to remind yourself that it isn’t polite to punch people who say ‘diabeetus’ in the face.

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23. The pharmacy is number one on your speed dial, and you’re on a first name basis with the pharmacist.

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24. People often say “You can eat it, it’s sugar free!” about something that’s loaded with carbohydrates.

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25. Everyone asks you what to do about their ‘noncompliant’ diabetic spouse.

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26. You read every article that promises ways to improve your glucose level, but they all end up being about prevention instead.

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27. According to TV commercials, it’s a good thing you’re young, because only old people get diabetes.

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28. There’s never been any butter in your refrigerator’s butter compartment — it’s used for storing insulin.

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29. To lick or to wipe? That is the question.

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How To Test Basal Insulin Levels

For five days in a row, I woke up with 200+ readings. Okay, a pattern. I get it. So back to basal testing to make the necessary adjustments to my pump settings. So I tested every two hours last night and ran low 100’s, then get up this morning with a 71. If anything, that indicates my basal insulin needs to be reduced a few hours before waking. Zoinks! So I’ll see what I wake up to tomorrow and retest if needed. But it brings up a good point: do you know how to test your basal insulin levels?

For pump users especially, because we can adjust our settings, this is a very important piece of info. Even if you are on MDI therapy, it is still a must-have piece of info. How it works:

Eat your normal dinner at least four hours before heading to bed. Then don’t eat again until the next day. No food! Not even a skittle. 🙂

Set an alarm to go off every two hours. Something annoying that can’t be ignored is good.

Test just before going to bed and write down your bgl. If it anywhere between 100 and 250, don’t do anything to correct.

Every two hours, when that super annoying alarm goes off, test and record your bgl.

If the numbers stay within a thirty point range, you’re great. Don’t make any changes.

If they drop or increase more than 30 points, talk to your doc about adjusting your basal levels.

My doc has me increase or decrease in 10% increments as needed to make adjustment. Example: I have my basal insulin set at .5 units/hour. A 10% decrease to lessen the amount of basal insulin (if my numbers drop more than 30 points between any two testings) would put me at .45 units/hour. The basal adjustment has to be set for somewhere between 1 and 2 hours prior to the change in bg readings to allow time for the adjustment to take place.

BUT REMEMBER! If this whole basal testing thing is new to you (or even if it isn’t), talk to your doc!!! before making changes to your regimen.

Exercise and Insulin Pump Article

Updated February 27, 2007

Exercising With an Insulin Pump

by Sheri Colberg, Ph.D.
Whether you consider yourself an athlete or an occasional recreational sports participant, you benefit from any activity that you do, because all exercise can improve your body’s ability to use insulin. If you do not inject or infuse insulin to treat your diabetes, exercise should result in a decreased release of insulin by your pancreas and a more efficient uptake of blood glucose by muscle cells. If you use insulin, however, you may be concerned that exercise can complicate the normal maintenance of your blood glucose level.

Active people who use insulin need to make frequent adjustments in their diabetes regimen to maintain blood glucose in target range, especially when doing higher-intensity or longer-duration exercise. But the effort can pay off in improved blood glucose control, reducednighttime hypoglycemia, improved cardiovascular fitness, and weight loss. When it comes to managing exercise effectively, continuous, subcutaneous insulin-infusion therapy (or more simply, insulin pump therapy) is an option to consider.

How insulin pumps work
Scientists attempting to mimic the insulin delivery of a normal, healthy pancreas first developed insulin pumps in the late 1970’s. Today’s pager-size pumps are much more sophisticated and give both basal insulin doses (background insulin delivered every few minutes in small increments to cover your body’s general need for insulin) and boluses (larger doses given to cover meals and snacks or to lower elevated blood glucose at any time).

Currently, over 180,000 individuals with diabetes worldwide wear portable insulin pumps, and this number has been increasing each year. Most pump users have Type 1 diabetes, but some people with Type 2 diabetes who require insulin are choosing to pump insulin as well. A main advantage of insulin delivery via an insulin pump is more reliable insulin action through a constant infusion of short-acting insulin, along with precise dosing and timing of insulin to cover food intake. Many insulin pump users experience improved overall blood glucose control, reduced risk of nighttime low blood glucose, and improved awareness of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).

Insulin pumps contain a reservoir or cartridge filled with insulin, either Regular or one of the rapid-acting insulin analogs, insulin lispro (brand name Humalog), insulin aspart (NovoLog), or insulin glulisine (Apidra). Compared to Regular insulin, these insulin analogs have a more rapid onset of activity (5 to 15 minutes versus 20 to 30 for Regular) and an earlier peak in activity (90 minutes versus 150 minutes). Their use allows for a blood glucose response following carbohydrate intake that is closer to that of a person without diabetes and for a more rapid correction of hyperglycemia (above-normal blood glucose levels).

All insulin pumps currently on the market deliver insulin subcutaneously (under the skin) in the abdomen, buttocks, legs, or upper arms, either through a needle or through a plastic infusion catheter. Pump users replace the needle or catheter infusion set every two to three days with a new set at a new site.

Pumps and exercise
Pump users with active lifestyles can experience a metabolic response to exercise that is similar to that of people who do not have diabetes. In part, this is simply because of how an insulin pump works, by delivering small amounts of fast-acting or rapid-acting insulin continually. But it also depends on the user monitoring his blood glucose level frequently, adjusting basal and bolus doses to fit the exercise, and learning from experience.

Click here for rest of article.

The Best Thing About Being A Diabetic Used To Be Gettin’ Down, And Then Gettin’ High (har har har)

One of the best things I have experienced with insulin pump therapy is how much tighter my numbers are becoming. It wasn’t unusual, was entirely common in fact, to have a range of 200-250 points in one day. A low of 47 followed by a rebound high of 295. The up and down swing made me feel like I had just had my ass handed to me at a bar brawl. Fatigue, moodiness, chills, sweats, frustration, depression. What a pain in the ass, right? No more, my friends. The range has closed in to about 100-110 and this is after only 9 days on the pump. And most of my out-of-range numbers are lows so me, my endo, and my pump therapy trainer are working on adjustments to fix that.

I’m finding myself waking more rested (actually sleeping through the night is great!), of a more stable mood, more relaxed, less anxious, and just generally happier. The fatigue is going away, there are less nighttime runs to the loo to pee, and my body aches are going away. I cannot say enough good things about how this is going. If you are a T1, and considering pump therapy, please talk with your doctor about it. It really is a remarkable piece of medical technology that has already provided me more freedom, tighter blood sugar control, and more peace of mind.

Have questions? Please feel free to comment or email at mratner79 at gmail dot com.

Abbot and Insulet, Sitting in a Tree, D. I. A. B. E. T. E….

https://www.abbottdiabetescare.com/press-room/2012/2012-a.html

Freestyle test strips. These work with the Omnipod PDM.

Omnipod and PDM. Truly one of the most remarkable developments in medical technology.

Pump It Up! (Me and my new little friend)

Yesterday, the Omnipod, my new insulin pump, was attached and activated for the first time. Already I am impressed with this little bugger. It has a built-in glucometer (which uses Freestyle test strips), automatically calculates insulin-on-board, suggests bolus amounts considering IOB, BGL, carb count, and time of day once ratios/schedules are inputted. It keeps a 90 day history of all BG readings, holds up to 200 units of insulin, and is completely customizable. The company sets you up with a trainer to teach you how to use it and help you activate it correctly. Activation is user friendly and, at least where I attached it on my arm, completely painless. I highly recommend checking into it to any IDD’s out there. For the first time since I was diagnosed LADA, I didn’t have to give myself a shot today.

Check out the Omnipod today!

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