Friday, February 26, 2010

A touching post

Moira McCarthy wrote a very touching guest blog post over at Diabetes Mine that I truly believe every PWD and every parent of a PWD should read.  Moira and my mom have worked over the years together at JDRF and I know first hand how dedicated Moira is to finding a cure.

Not alone

My previous boyfriends have never had such an active role in my diabetes care. They all pretty much just trusted that I was taking care of myself. For the first few years we dated Steve learned what he could but pretty much just trusted that I was doing what I could to take care of myself. He would get me juice when I was low and be understanding of highs.

I'm not sure what happened but around 6 months ago Steve decided he wanted to know more and wanted to have a more active role. He read books and did research online on diabetes. He would ask me why I was doing things.  He wanted to know everything he possibly could.

For the first time ever I let somebody else in on my diabetes care.

Since going to boarding school 3,000 miles away at age 14 I have been completely in charge of my diabetes care. My mom took a backseat and more often then not I wouldn't let her "in."

I have pretty  much always lived alone, with out roommates so nobody was around to make sure I hadn't gotten so low in the middle of the night I passed out. Even when I did have roommates I never relied on them to have the responsibility to make sure I was ok. My mom and I would talk on the phone everyday and if she didn't hear from me she would start to panic.

When Steve and I started talking about living together my mom was happy that I would be living with somebody who I would listen to. It took me years to trust somebody else with my diabetes care.

He has learned how to count carbs and the importance of testing 2 hours after eating. When my Dexcom alarms in the middle of the night he runs off to get my meter to test me. I knows not to pour me too much juice even though I get super hungry when  I'm low.  He encourages me to eat as healthy as I can but doesn't criticize me when I eat a sweet.

Earlier this week Steve had to travel on a business trip.  I realized how much I've come to depend on him when he was gone this week. As annoying as he came be when he is asking me a million questions I just feel safer knowing he is around. He has taught me that despite my long standing belief that diabetes was MY disease and didn't affect other people it is not true; it absolutely affects those around me.

Sometimes I think we, as PWD get caught up on the details of diabetes care and forget how important our support system is to our health. Having Steve around makes me want to take better care of myself and he helps me do just that.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I guess you could say I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Symlin. A while back my endo growing up, Dr. E, took part in the Symlin clinical trial. He absolutely loved the results he saw with his diabetes control not to mention the weight he lost without trying. With his success he thought I would be an ideal candidate for the trial.

Reluctantly I agreed to be a part of the trial. There were two issues that I had: the nausea, dear god the nausea, and having to take 3 shots a day.

One of the side effects of Symlin is nausea and boy oh boy did I have it bad. I was never able to increase my dosage because I just could not handle the 2.5 units (15mcg) at all my meals.

More importantly, at the time I was furious that there I was on the insulin pump having given up countless shots a day to only 1 shot every 3 days. Admittedly, I was not giving symlin the fair shot it deserved. Apparently I was one of a few people in the study across the US who dropped out of the study.

About 2 years ago I talked to Dr. E and decided to give symlin another try after hearing how many people liked it and the results they had with it. A big selling point was that it was now in pen form so I would have to carry around a bottle of symlin and syringes. So I gave it another shot (no-pun intended) hoping my results would be better.

More than anything the nausea is what concerned me. Luckily after 2 days the nausea was gone. My problem with it at the time is that I was eating low-carb and not enough carbs in a meal to take the symlin (you have to eat 30 grams of carbs) so I ended up with some not-so-fun lows.

On Friday my new endo, Dr. A, and I decided to give symlin another try. I've always been so incredibly insulin resistant and have been since my diagnosis 21 years ago. For most of the day my basal rate is 3.1 units/hour. Yeah, it is a lot. I'm on so much insulin and I really need to drop some pounds. Perfect time to start symlin again.

The pharmacy didn't have symlin in stock but I  picked it up today. I'm hoping third time is the charm. Over the next several days/weeks/months I will be commenting about my experience with symlin. Please note that I am not being paid or am I associated with Amliyn Pharmiceuticals.

For more information on symlin please visit their website and contact your doctor if you think you would like to try it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

An Introduction

My first blog post! Here is a bit of an introduction to me:

My name is Adriana and I'm 28 years old. I've had type 1 diabetes for 21 and a half years, since the age of 7.  I've been on an insulin pump since 1992. A lot has changed in the 18 year's I've been pumping. From 1992 until 2005 I used various MiniMed pumps but I switched to Animas in 2005. In November 2009 I got my pink(!) Animas Ping.  I am also a Dexcom CGM user since 2005. I've used it off and on but have been using it non-stop since October 2009.

I've been pretty blessed with my support system. My mom has been my rock my entire life supporting me through everything. She has been active in diabetes research since day one.  Her first call when I was diagnosed after the family was to the local chapter of JDRF.  Even when I wanted nothing to do with diabetes and did just enough to keep me out of DKA she fought for me. If you can't tell I think she's pretty incredible.

Another person who is a major source of support is my loving boyfriend, Steve. He is one of the main reasons why I'm trying so hard to take care of myself. He makes my diabetes care a priority when I want to put it on the back burner and just want to me a "normal" 28 year old. From testing me in the middle of the night when my CGM alarms, getting me juice when I'm low, rushing home when I've forgotten some diabetes supplies, to going to countless doctors appointments he is there for me. 

I can't talk about my support system and not mention my dad and brother. While my mom took the most active role in my diabetes care my dad and my brother have always been supportive of me.  When my mom was so active with JDRF and constantly traveling around the world my dad and brother were understanding of her always being gone and never complaining. Growing up my diabetes often took priority over other things and my brother not once complained about having to take a back seat to my diabetes.  I'm so lucky to have their support.

I've been reading a lot of diabetes blogs over the past few months that have really helped me feel less alone. My wish is that by writing about my experience with diabetes will help somebody out there like the blogs I've read have helped me.