For those of you who follow me on twitter you know that I recently went to the doctors to get my first a1c since my diagnosis. For those of you who don’t follow me on twitter, you should @typeonefun. When I was diagnosed with diabetes my a1c was 9.8. So you can imagine I was quite nervous/anxious leading up to this test and waiting for my results. However the results are in and my new a1c is a 5.2! I am very happy with this number but I was nervous about some of the blood cells still left over from my diagnosis affecting the outcome of this a1c. That apparently was not the case.
My doctor said that the 5.2 is too low and that I have been too aggressive with managing my diabetes. I however to do not agree with him. While I might be aggressive with management, I am happy with the results and am happy with the management routine I am doing. If I were constantly having low blood sugars or if my management was interfering with my life I would agree with the doctor. But that is not the case at all. I quite satisfied with my diet and the foods I eat. And I am happy with my exercise routine.
The exercise I do has been very helpful with managing my diabetes. Before I started working out and bike riding regularly I was using around 25 units of insulin a day including my basal rate. Now, due to the exercise, I take around 14 units of insulin daily. And some of this is due to my pump because I can now take fractions of a unit unlike using the pens where I can only take whole units.
I also believe that my low carb diet is helpful in managing my diabetes. I try to eat less then 80 grams of carb per day and usually average less than 50. Going out to eat throws this off sometimes but oh well you have to splurge once in a while. My theory is that the less carbs I intake the less chance there is for my blood sugar to get high.
Now one could argue that is easier for me to manage my diabetes because I am still in the “honeymoon” period. Which is definitely true. I am for sure still honeymooning and therefore my blood sugars are easier to manage. However another theory of mine is that if I keep tight control over my blood sugar and keep the load off my pancreas, I can prolong my honeymoon phase and preserve my remaining beta cells for a while.
But all in all I am very please with the outcome of my first a1c. I hope I can keep a good grip on my diabetes and can continue to have low a1c’s.
As you may or may not know, I bought an insulin pump and have been using it for less than a week now but I can already say that I love it. It has made my life so much easier. I no longer have to carry a separate case for my insulin pens and needles. The less I have to carry around the better. In fact, the only part of pumping that really worried me was being able to sleep with the pump clipped onto the waistband of my boxers and the hose getting tangled or pinned underneath me. But I have been sleeping fine with it and the hose/pump has not been bothersome at all. Which is good because lord knows I value my sleep.
The Tandem representative that came to my house was very helpful but ended up not wanting me to get hooked up to the pump. She requested some orders from my doctor for my basal rates, carb ratios and correction factors but the doc has yet to come through. So she did not want me to do anything with out the doctors consent. But me being an eager beaver decided to just hook myself up any way and use the numbers which I know to be accurate from my experiences. So I made the decision to bypass the doctor for now until I hear word and can cross reference our numbers.
But all that said, let me reiterate how much I am enjoying the pump and I definitely recommend the t:slim to people new to pumping or people who just want a new pump. Keep and eye out for a full review of the features of the T:slim in the coming days.
After a few months of waiting it is finally here, my new Tandem t:slim insulin pump! I am pumped (nice pun eh?). Unfortunately it took several months for me to actually get the pump but the wait is finally over. Last week I received confirmation that my health insurance provider deemed the pump to be “medically necessary” and have decided to cover some of the expenses. So here I am a week later with my brand new insulin pump and just in time for my birthday too!
The only down side is I have to wait until Friday before I can hook my self up. Well I guess I don’t have to wait but it is advised that I do. On Friday, the Tandem rep in my area is coming over to my house again to help me get setup with my basal rates and to train me on the pump. Talk about good customer service, eh? It’s not every day a company sends some one to your house to help you out. She has been nice enough to contact my doctor and endo to get my basal rate information so she can fully help get me started pumping.
I am really looking forward to start pumping as well as beginning my life as a complete diabetic cyborg! I have a feeling this pump will be a game changer!
Some times I wish I was an iPod or iPhone so I could just plug into a computer and upload all my thoughts and all the newsworthy information from my life. But alas it is not so. It has been a few days (maybe a week) since I have posted so I thought it was about time for me to sync my life up and upload it to the blog. This post will be straying away from the Diabeetus a little bit but since my life kinda revolves around diabetes right now, it is impossible to avoid the subject so I will be updating everyone on my ‘D’ as well….which isn’t what it sounds like….
The main reason I have not been able to post as regularly is because I am taking some courses this summer and the semester has just begun. I am taking an introductory Spanish class and it has been soaking up most of my time. And unfortunately introductory means the class is 100% in Spanish. The class itself is 3 hours long 4 times a week which is absurdly long. And on top of that I have reading to do every night, assignments over the reading, writing assignments due every week, and of course, tests I have to study for. The class itself is really fun and interesting and the professor is very entertaining, but it is just so darn time consumer. Even as I write this my brain is trying to convert some of my words/sentences into Spanish. I think I am going crazy! To top it off, I also work at a department store. So any time not spent working on my espanol, I am folding clothes at Macy’s or cleaning out fitting rooms. No me gusta! See there I go!
Now that I got all that off my chest, I will give everyone an update on my life pertaining to my diabetes. As you may or may not know from my previous posts (here and here), I am on the way to owning my first insulin pump. I received a call from the lady who is handling my case with the pump distribution company and she has given me a vague time frame on when I will actually have the pump in my hands…or hooked into my stomach, rather. She has said that in the best case scenario I could have the pump by next Tuesday. But judging by the interactions I have had with my insurance company (which the distributors are working with) I am being optimistic by thinking the pump will arrive close to 1.5-2 weeks from now. But we will wait and see.
In other news my birthday is approaching (July 11 if any one was wondering) and I have asked my parents to get or at least help me purchase a road bike. Potentially this one for anyone who cares or knows anything about bikes/cycling. My thoughts are that since I work out my upper body (chest, back, arms etc.) every other day, with the bike I will work out my legs, abs, and do some good cardio on the off days. Sounds like a decent plan to me. But more importantly, if I get said bike I am going to participate in Houston’s Tour de Cure. I have done several walks for JDRF with my parents as a youngster, but this will be my first event as an adult but more importantly as a diabetic. This will be a great opportunity to meet some new people, hear some interesting stories, get a good work out 🙂 and most of all, help raise money for Diabetes research. The event is in September so I will have plenty of time to train and raise money for my sponsorship. I only need to raise $150 to be able to participate so its not too high of a goal to reach, but the money I can raise the better, right? I will of course be writing more about this as the event approaches to keep you all informed on my progress.
I will definitely try to make more time to post here and on twitter.
But I think that is all for now. Bye!
As you know from a previous post of mine, I have been shopping around for an insulin pump to purchase. Everyone’s comments on said post were very helpful and I thank you all very much for your advice. A lot of your comments had to do with insurance coverage and until recently I had no idea what kind, if any, coverage my insurance provides for insulin pumps. I did some research and contacted my health insurance provider to discuss potential pump possibilities (see what I did there? 🙂 ). And to my pleasant surprise, they cover 80% of the cost of any insulin pump! Sure there is better coverage available but my insurance is not very good (cheap) so 80% is good enough in my opinion. In fact, I still have to call them twice a week to make sure they are working on getting the Dexcom system covered, which they barely are. They are so slow!
So all that being said, I have made the decision to get the Tandem t:slim pump. Tandem was accommodating enough to send a sales representative to my house to allow me to play around with the pump and ultimately hook myself up to it with a saline cartridge. And I must say I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of the pump: the features, the size, the weight, the look; just about everything. The sale rep unfortunately was not able to give me a loaner pump to wear for a couple days, but I was able to wear the infusion set for a few days just make sure it was comfortable. And it is quite comfortable… or not uncomfortable, rather.
The infusion set I have been wearing is the Cleo 90 and it seems like a good set. I am not too sure of the differences in the infusion sets other then ones a steel needle opposed to a plastic/rubbery insertion. And one is at a 45 degree angle opposed to the 90 degree insertion that the Cleo is.
I have been in close contact with Tandem recently and so far they have superb customer service. They have a very nice and knowledge staff that is eager to help make people with diabetes lives easier/better.In fact a good few of the employees I have spoken to are diabetics or spouses of diabetics, so they know quite a bit about the D-lifestyle.
So, a few days ago I faxed them the required paper work and contacted my insurance provider to get the ball rolling so I can hopefully acquire the pump soon-ish.
Better late then never!
The prompt for the May DSMA Blog Carnival:
What do you consider to be your Diabetes Strengths? What do you think are your Diabetes Weaknesses?
Well I will begin with my weaknesses. Obviously the first thing that comes to mind is that I have zero weaknesses and am the perfect diabetic/person/diabetic person. Ha! Hardly! I think at this stage in my life with diabetes, one of my biggest weaknesses is the lack of knowledge I have. And maybe I don’t actually have a severe lack of knowledge pertaining to diabetes, but I FEEL like I do and that makes me just as ‘weak’ as actually lacking in knowledge. I think in actuality I probably know about the same as your average diabetic but I just have this huge feeling that I am missing out on some important piece of information vital to life with diabetes. Though I am probably not.
This early on into diabetes, I am still very much overwhelmed with everything (insulin shots, finger sticks, dieting etc.) which is also a weakness of mine. I am definitely starting feel in control and probably portray control/seem fairly underwhelmed to my family and friends, but that is not the case. It getting there but not yet. And maybe the portrayal of control/acting is more of a weakness then the actual feeling of being overwhelmed. Either way both should pass in due time.
On the other hand, one of my biggest strengths would be how seriously I am taking my new life with diabetes. I have been dropped into a new world full of change and I have tried hard to be as responsible as possible to become a healthy diabetic (via taking insulin, watching what I eat, checking blood sugars, getting into the D-tech, etc.). I have heard many stories about people with diabetes (both type 1 and 2) who go into denial or do not take the disease seriously and end up either dying or becoming super unhealthy/having lots of medical problems. Those stories scare me and inspire me to be a ‘good diabetic’ and not be like them. And my hope for the future is that I can continue to take this seriously and maintain my health.