Monday, May 15, 2017

D Blog Week 2017: Diabetes and the Unexpected

Diabetes brings with it a ton of unexpected challenges. For example, take the humble banana. A simple food that, simply put, drives me bananas. One day I can eat the banana and take the right amount of insulin for it, yet my blood sugar will nose dive. The next day I'll eat a comparable banana and take an identical bolus and end up in the stratosphere. This is one of a million examples of unexpected challenges that people without diabetes will never truly understand.

The worst is when things to unexpectedly wrong and there's a possibility you could have prevented it. It's frustrating because something went wrong and because it's partly your own damn fault. Like the one time I decided to rely only on my CGM during a night out to maximize room in my tiny, fancy purse. Of course my Dexcom decided to give me the ??? of doom right when I needed it the most.

For my next example I'll give you a short (but true) story. Even when I thought I had everything planned out perfectly, things still went south. It was a few falls ago and I was going to a Georgia Tech football game (Go Jackets). It was a hot day in Atlanta and I had packed extra pump supplies, just in case. I sweated off the infusion set I had applied only the day before. Right there at the tailgate, I inserted a new set just as the pep band was rounding the corner to our tent and hoped desperately that I wouldn't have to head back to the car for my emergencies-only backup set. Just as we were heading into the game my tubing wrapped around something and nearly pulled all the way out. I was able to save it, but only just. Unexpectedly I had to locate the first aid station and hope they had some medical tape or a Band-Aid.

The upside to all this unexpected nonsense is that I get less worked up over unexpected happenings that are out of my control. Also, I'm more prepared than a Girl Scout in most situations. Usually if someone needs an emergency Sweet Tart, I'll have some in the bottom of my purse. They might be linty, but I have them. Diabetes has trained me to be prepared for the unexpected. 

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Back to MDI

I love my insulin pump. I love the control it gives me. I love the freedom from the many pokes I'd otherwise have to endure daily. I took a break from my pump a little over a year ago and had mixed feelings about it. And here I am, about to embark on another pump hiatus.

Why? If I'm singing the praises of my pump, then why, why am I giving it up? Well part of me needs another break from being tethered all the time. The other part is really not up to me.

Ever since my suicide attempt last year, I've had a slew of professionals (and my mother) telling me I needed to give up my pump. They consider it to be dangerous and potentially triggering. It's dangerous to have several hundred units of insulin attached to my body, just waiting to be used against me. It's triggering because it's a constant reminder not only of my diabetes, but of how I have lethal means if my mood dipped that low again.

Do I agree with the plan to get me back on pens and away from my pump? Not entirely. When I tried to kill myself with insulin I used a syringe to inject 100 units of Novolog. The max dose for an insulin pen is 60 units. I already know that 100 units isn't going to kill me. I'm going to need multiple injections, so why does it matter if it's 60 or 100 units? I can still get the job done with an insulin pen. Another thing: diabetes doesn't go away just because I don't have to look at my pump! I think about diabetes all the time. It doesn't matter if I'm on a pump or MDI.

I have an endocrinology appointment on Tuesday. My endo is generally of the opinion that a pump is best for me, so we will see how things go this time around.

Given how low my moods have been recently, I'm willing to accept any help I can get. I appreciate the thought that switching to MDI might help.

What do you think? How would you keep a suicidal diabetic safe from themselves and their insulin?