Blog Entries With Tag: holiday


Posted: Jan 4, 2014

Remember the movie with Daniel Lewis - My Left Foot? It was based on a true story about Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy.  Christy could only control his left foot.  

As I started to try to figure out a title for this blog - my British sarcastic humour way of thinking brain - did what it always does - whether it's having a hypo or not ... breasts came into play - just like some of my previous blogs have done.  So I apologise to anyone who thinks I'm making fun of Christy's situation - and now I'll proceed on with the reason I'm posting this blog. 

Oh, and the nipple bit in my title is actually my i-port - which I like to play around with at times (does that make me kinky?) .  Over the past few weeks at get togethers - I've been asked about "why did you go off the pump, yadda, yadda, yadda".  For some reason, I start to feel my "nipple" and tell them the story.  I'm always educating EVERYWHERE I go - with abit of humour in it - and at the same time - telling them that without good control - diabetes is a serious condition to have - that has dire consequences if you don't take care of yourself.

I am loving my i-port - aka "nipple".  Using it for my NovoRapid shots - not worrying about injecting in an area I have already done - and have problems with healing.  This little baby solves everything (to read more about my previous trial with two i-ports - check it out here).

You can inject ONE insulin only into the port - so with my Lantus - I've been injecting the "old fashioned way" (no biggie with a 32 gauge 6mm pen needle).  I have a good fleshy area on my backside which makes for a good dart board practise.  After a few weeks of being off the pump (of course - I chose the holiday season - when there is LOTS of good healthy food around) - I thought I'd give Levemir a try again.

Dartboard with bright coloured needles

Why do a trial with Levemir?  Well, I did try it a few years ago (back in 2009) – but sadly developed an allergy to it – which caused lumps/bumps in the area injected and swelling in areas I didn't want to swell up! I had horrible BG control - it plain freaked me out with all that happened - due to being a bit of a control freak with my diabetes management. 

Fast forward to Dec 2013 – a friend of mine who decided she’d had enough of MDI (multiple dosage injecting) –went onto a pump (lucky person has 100% coverage for EVERYTHING) – oh did I mentioned that they’re in their 70’s – and they are uber techno cool? 

So, they had a box of pen needle vials of Levemir – though I did tell them – keep them incase something goes wrong with your pump.  They detested - being a human dart board for the past 20+ years was enough for them - so I took the vials – thinking maybe another diabetic who needed it could use them before they expired in 2015.  That person now happens to be me - Ms. Guinea Pig!!

Cat waving good byeI said sadly said "bye bye" to George Michael (my Animas 2020 insulin pump) mid-December for what now seems to be a ritual every year at this time for taking a pump holiday.   I started with Lantus originally – getting used to doing the X2 (every 12 hours) shots with the inbetween dart shots of NovoRapid (using the i-port)  for my meals and corrections.   Luckily, the notes I took earlier this year – unlike the previous time – where my record keeping was pretty lame  – the transition this time (who wouldn't get anxiety attacks going off their pump?) is much easier! 

Why did I decide to give Levemir a go again?  I have a T1D mate who I lovingly call the "Insulin Guru" who swears (politely) by this insulin regime of 3X a day (every 8 hours) - and they have an A1C of 4.9% (note - a lower A1C is not my goal - just having level BG's - in my happy zone is all that matters the most to me).  Because that insulin doesn’t work as long as Lantus – they feel splitting it up into 3 shots instead of the usual 2 (or in some cases – people only take their basal insulin once a day – though I wonder about their BG readings over a 24 hour period – IF they do basal testing that is).

The first few days – I was abit unsure if I was doing the right thing.  I took my total Lantus amount – and split it up into 3X – similar to Lantus – where I take more for my AM shot – less for PM shot.  So far, with my hormonal bursts (menopause / period / stress from holidays) – I’m actually not doing too badly.  My corrections with the doses to make sure I’m staying in my happy zone are working out alright.  I have tried to allow at least 3 days before I make any changes.

The one thing that I’m finding as I enter into my 2nd week experiment with Levemir – my BG’s seem to be doing less of the roller coaster ride.  Sadly, Lantus has a reputation of landing those of us who use it – into hypo fairy land – as it has a tendency to peak – and bang – you are low.  One of the reasons I had originally gone onto George Michael was because of the hypos I was having overnight and in the mornings.  Not conducive to work at all!!!  Levemir from the research I’ve done in forums as well as medical discussions with endo’s/CDE’s tends to show that this doesn’t occur with Levemir.  

Yes, you do have to be abit patient when you try any new regime that you may not be familiar with – I won’t lie to you about this.  I won’t lie to you either – that using a pump is way easier as it has the ability to do everything with one insulin – and ability to fine tune your basal requirements.  I’m finding the time to “think” about my carb count – despite the use of the InsuLinx (watch for a new blog on this soon).  I'm still writing in a log book (the meter sadly doesn’t have ability to do this).  So initially, it’s time consuming, but if it’s anything like last years 6 month holiday from the pump – it all becomes easier.  It's like tying up your shoe laces (wait – there’s Velcro for that right?).   

The other aspect of using the Levemir – is being a clock watcher (actually it’s my android that’s my savoir).  Timing of the shots – remembering to test my BG’s a few hours later – it’s getting used to this that is bugging me slightly - but I'm determined to make this work - despite getting up at the ungodly hour of 0600 to do my first Levemir shot - that's too early for this little work at home puss cat (my other shots are at 1400 / 2200 - this is the regime that works for ME that I set up for myself).

On the other side though – that’s good at least to me –

  • not being hooked up to a machine
  • no tubing (fast dressing/undressing - Whoo! Whoo! If you get my drift)
  • Wearing clothing that normally I can’t wear due to have the pump (this may change if I ever progress to a pump that has a remote – but still – depending on where you stuff the pump – it can lead to a bit of a bulge – and sorry – I have enough of those from fat deposits on me already) … I’m so vain ;)

So, how many of you use Levemir - and find taking 3 shots of it a day work for you as well?

 

*** For more discussion on the I-port - feel free to check out the forums at this link ***

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Tags: port (1) Patton (1) InsuLinx (1) holiday (1) pump (1) insulin (1) MDI (1) NovoRapid (1) Lantus (1) Levemir (1)
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Posted: Jan 2, 2013


Well, I had written a blog earlier saying I'd be off the pump as of December 31, 2012 - but I still had some insulin left in the reservoir - and we all know that insulin does not come cheap - so I milked that cartridge for all its worth - and officially disengaged from GM in the afternoon on New Years Day.


The only thing with doing that - was the basal shot of Lantus - trying to figure out - what to give - since I split my doses up of Lantus - 12 hours apart.  So, I rolled the dice, and came up with an amount that I thought would be alright until my night time shot.  What can I say, I like to gamble .

The one thing I took was a few pictures - one showing the amount of stuff I generally have to carry for travelling - I call it my mini-sac - because on longer travels - e.g. 2-3 weeks - I pack even more pumping stuff in my zip lock bag(s).  So, going now to the pen needles (two of them - one for Novo Rapid - aka bolus shots for meals / corrections and the Lantus - for my basal insulin).  So much less to lug around.



So far, my BG's seem to be not going below 10 mmol/l (180 mg/dl) which is abit of a drag for me - as I tend to have tighter control then this - but I'm writing everything down as to what I inject / BG (blood glucose) reading / food intake - something I didn't really seriously do last time I did a pump holiday (that one was for almost 6 months).  So, not having any notes to go back on has been abit frustrating, so I'm trying to do better this time (let's hope I stick to it).

So, day 2 has started - I actually do miss the pump - but then I don't - because now I have to really think twice before I stick something into my gob.  Because it means I have to take an insulin shot of rapid insulin - in order to enjoy that morsel of cake or chocolate.  Before, it was simply doing a BG test (which I am now going to be doing more of) - then pushing a few buttons to infuse some insulin.  I'm thinking maybe I'll lose some weight - gleefully clapping my hands here - but hopefully the weight loss will be due to well controlled eating / injections - and not having high BG's which can lead to weight loss (been there done that in my younger years when I was out of control).

Okay - off to test my BG - then head outside into the balmy -15C (windchill is showing -22C) weather.  It'll be nice to get some fresh air - and compete with other shoppers in the grocery store that have dwindling supplies in fresh foods (I'm down to zilcho veggies and fruits due to being away over the holidays).



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