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.
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!!
I 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 shotes of it a day work for you as well?