Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More backstory

Well, I should probably start with where this all started... I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in August of 2000. Coming up on 11 years with it now, I've almost been diabetic for half of my life! I was originally on 'N & R' which was a kind of insulin where I had to follow a really strict diet. I took... 4 shots a day I believe (morning and dinner) and had to eat at the exact same time every day, and follow a meal plan. For example, I was allowed '2 starch choices, 1 fat choice, 1 protein and 2 fruit/veg' for breakfast every day. I could eat different food items, but it had to be within those guidelines. I had breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner all premeasured. This went on for a little over a year, when I switched to an insulin pump.

I had my pump for... probably 4-5 years when I went off of it and switched to a different type of insulin. At the time, I was a stupid teenager and I was getting really lazy with the pump. I didn't feel that there were any consequences for not taking my insulin properly.. I would eat whatever I wanted, and then half an hour later, just bolus 10 units to try and make it up... Meaning my blood would spike high, and then drop low all the time. I wore my infusion sets for far too long, and overall... I was just lazy with it.

Now after that, I have no idea exactly when I went back on shots, but it must have been sometime in 2005 or 2006. I was originally on levemir and humalog, and since then I have morphed into what I'm on right now, Lantus and Novo-Rapid. Lantus is a long acting insulin which doesn't peak. It should last for 24 hours, and has worked GREAT for close to 3 years now. Just recently however, and maybe this is due to me going off birth control, it hasn't been as great. The second half of my cycle is becoming very hard to manage, and I've had to start taking an extra dose of Lantus at night on top of my morning dose. Novo-Rapid is a short acting insulin, which is pretty much out of my system within 4ish hours. (I'm not sure of the EXACT details, I'm no Dr, I'm just explaining how this works for me) So I take my shot of Lantus in the morning (usually around 8-9 AM) and every time I eat I take a shot of Novo-Rapid (NR). I also take a shot of it when my blood is high to bring it back down. What I'm doing right now, has been described as the 'poor man's pump', which is funny. It worked great for me, I don't mind taking shots and I loved being free from the pump. But things are changing, and hopefully fast!

Jamie and I decided over a year ago that we would start trying for a baby this year sometime. We're hoping for a spring 2012 baby, so we're working on it! Conceiving with diabetes isn't as easy as just 'making a baby' though. My Dr. has been absolutely amazing, and I've been attending a diabetes in pregnancy clinic since the beginning of this year. I've been working hard on getting my A1C below 6.5 (done!) and I've been meeting with a nurse, dietician and Dr about every 6 weeks until now, when I am meeting every month. I was very resistant to going on a pump, I had considered it back in late 2008, but just didn't like being hooked up again. A couple weeks ago after my Dr's appt and an interesting day where I mixed up my insulins, I decided that it was time to make the change. I need to do what will be BEST for the baby, and a pump will help with that. Lantus is great if there are no hormonal changes (which is why it worked so well when I was on birth control) but it is hard to make changes day to day. Once you give that dose, you're stuck with it for 24 hours. With an insulin pump, I can change everything hour by hour. For example, if I'm going to the gym, I can set a temporary basal rate to say... 60% of my normal rate so that I don't go low after working out. Not to mention during pregnancy my doses will change drastically. I should expect to go LOW for the first... about 12 weeks and then from there my insulin needs will steadily climb until a few weeks before delivery. I should expect to be on 3 times the insulin I'm on right now. A pump will make that so much easier. As much as I don't mind taking shots, I don't want to spend all day doing that.

The new insulin pumps are amazing. The infusion sets are tiny, and I can wear the pump under my clothes and bolus from my meter without even having to bring out the pump. I am SO excited for the level of control I can acheive with it. I am so anal about my diabetes now, and I love that if I happen to sleep in, I won't be forgetting my dose, my basal rate will keep going until I decide to wake up.

I am a proud diabetic, and honestly wouldn't trade it in.. I have met some amazing people, and had some amazing experiences because of my diabetes. Without it, I never would have gone to diabetes camp, Mount Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp or Machu Picchu. I truly belive that it has shaped who I am, and I'm glad for that... I have no idea who I'd be without diabetes!! :) There are some days where I am frustrated and I wish I could get rid of it, get rid of the constant worry, and just be 'normal', but it is what it is.

With the conception stuff... Jamie and I are in our second cycle 'trying' and my period is expected next weekend. We are doing it the old fashioned way and I don't want to get too caught up in it all, it will happen when it happens, I'm not worried. We're both healthy, I have regular cycles - we should be just fine. Of course stuff happens, but we'll handle that hurdle if we need to.

Anyways, I know this is SUPER long and it's a lot of information that probably doesn't make sense for a lot of people, but I'm going to keep doing it!

Enough for now :)

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