My experiences post total pancreatectomy.

A Diabetes Personal Success Story-Blog Week 2014

on May 15, 2014

Happy Thursday!! Only one more day to go And we’ve made it thru the week!!!

I’m a new T1D, as I’ve mentioned before. Only 15 months into my diagnosis, but I’m proud of my ability to have adapted well to my insulin pump and then my CGM after having been on MDI’s, which I must say I HATED, so I had a little incentive to do well on the pump.

I was diagnosed the week of February 8, 2013 after my completion Pancreatectomy and we discovered my Islet Cell Transplant failed. I had been started on NPH & Novolog MDI but I hated them from the beginning. I knew about insulin pump from the from the get go but no one had mentioned switching. I think my endo team wanted me to get used to the beginning stages of testing and injecting before switching me to a pump. When I say I hated MDI, I mean I hated the inaccuracies of the sliding scale and not being able to correct for a high until the next scheduled injection which meant I went hours with a high BG without being able to immediately correct. I was scheduled for 8A-12P-4P-8P with NPH at 8 & 8 and Novolog at 8 & 4. I didn’t count carbs which meant I only treated the resulting high blood sugars and I could never be sure when my NPH was going to be absorbed so my BG’s were going up and down like a yo-yo. I felt like crap!! And thought, I can’t keep doing this!!!

I did a little research on insulin pump and when the recommended time after diagnosis was to start pump therapy. There didn’t seem to be a “set in stone” recommendation, so I decided to ask to switch, expecting an argument or a recommendation to wait. Surprisingly, my CDE gave me the contact information for my local Medtronic’s representative, which was my preferred pump company and I called as soon as I got home from the appointment. It was 7PM when I called and I got the representative and not his voice mail!! I was shocked. He made the necessary recommendations and I had my pump and supplies within a week. I was one happy camper!!!! (BTW, I got a purple pump)

After my Medtronic’s trainer came to my house (only because the endo’s trainer was on vacation) I started on a saline infusion right away and less than a week later on March 26, 2013 I started on infusing insulin into my pump. I was ecstatic!! It took about a month to get the settings right but I was thrilled with the freedom my insulin pump afforded me. I could sleep in and I could skip a meal or eat at a later time. My time, diabetes wise, was my own!! I did have to increase the amount of times I checked my BG but that was OK with me. With MDI’s I was checking 8A-12P-4P-8P, and with my pump I went to 10-12 times a day just to double check that my settings were correct. I’ve continued to check multiple times a day because my setting often need to be tweaked due to any number of factors. Plus, I’m a tad anal!!  I NEED to know what my BG is doing just to be sure I don’t  need to make a change. In my humble opinion, the insulin pump was the next best thing to sliced bread.

I made the necessary arrangements, including a number of insurance appeals, to start on CGM therapy. Being a former cardiothoracic ICU nurse, I’m all about numbers and using these parameters to tweak my diabetes management. I started my CGM on April 1, 2013 and have been going strong ever since. I did switch brands in March 2014 to get a more accurate CGM assessment of my BG’s and I’m very happy with the switch. I use my CGM numbers to make adjustments through the day with my diabetes management and can’t imagine my life without a CGM.

Luckily, I made the switch to insulin pump therapy and using a CGM seamlessly. I think this is due to the excellent trainers I’ve had and my AWESOME CDE’s and endo’s office. (FYI…my Diabetes Center is the place where the Bionic Pancreas was developed and clinical research studies are nearing the final stages.) I consider myself VERY lucky. My A1c is in a great range so I must be doing something right. (Please, God, Help me to keep it there!) Although, I’m still not happy with my post-prandial readings, so that’s what I’m working on now. Also, I’m a carbaholic so that explains some of my post meal highs and I’m working on that too. Truthfully, I don’t know how successful I’ll be at curbing my carb intake but at least I’m trying, which is all we can ask of any PWD!!

I have to say, I’m in awe of those PWD that choose to continue MDI & who do well with that therapy. I couldn’t have done it but my hat goes off to those that can. Good work!!

Whatever your method of therapy, my opinion is, as long as your trying your best, that’s all that counts. I feel we’re lucky in 2014 to have different methods of treatment available to suit our personal needs. And in my book, That’s Awesome!!

Keep up the good work & continue to try your best. We can’t ask for more!! And, remember…Test!!! Don’t guess!!


4 responses to “A Diabetes Personal Success Story-Blog Week 2014

  1. That’s fantastic – congrats!! You are brave for going on the pump so quickly… I was diagnosed at age 21, and it took me about 7 or 8 years of MDIs before I was ready. But now, I would never go back!

    • n1iwr says:

      Thanks so much!! Congrats!! Ur my First comment!! I was so excited to see I had a comment!!! Ur too kind to have read my blog in the first place!!
      I was so unhappy on MDI that the pump was the only option in my book!! I try to tell about my positive experience incase there are people experiencing the same problems with MDI that I had. I just hope my blog connects to so other T1D, especially surgical diabetics, so no onw feels alone!! The DOC has helped me greatly & I just want to give back in some way!!

      Keep up the good work with your blog!! Thanks again!!

      • You keep right on blazing a trail…it may take some time, but I’m sure some other surgical diabetics will find you, and will be able to help and be helped. Until then, and even beyond, we are all here for you, of course! 🙂

      • n1iwr says:

        Thanks so much for the support!! I appreciate ur comments & even though Our circumstances are different, I’ve learned a lot reading your blog!! Keep up the good work!! Thanks for reading my posts!!

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