Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Diabetes Blog Week: Keep It To Yourself

Here's today's prompt: Many of us share lots of aspects of our diabetes lives online for the world to see.  What are some of the aspects of diabetes that you choose to keep private from the internet?  Or from your family and friends?  Why is it important to keep it to yourself?  (This is not an attempt to get you out of your comfort zone.  There is no need to elaborate or tell personal stories related to these aspects.  Simply let us know what kinds of stories we will never hear you tell, and why you won't tell them.) (Thank you Scott E of Rolling in the D for this topic.)  Click for the Keep It To Yourself – Tuesday 5/12 Link List.

I avoid talking about research, and the cure that is just around the corner. Research is exciting and gives me hope for a better future, don't get me wrong. But, a treatment that is 5 years away doesn't help me right now. Maybe other people find dreaming about the future helpful, but for me it distracts.

Thinking about research makes me consider the tools I have now less valuable than they are. The next pump, that does these new things, will be better than one one I am using now. Inside my head, the pump that I am using today isn't good enough, when in reality it is a marvel of engineering. Dwelling on what I don't have interrupts my inner peace and joy. What I do have is incredible. Every day I pause a moment to look at my insulin pump. I turn it over in my hands and wonder at all the thought and creativity that went into making this device. I'm wowed by it all over again. Pausing for amazement brings my life joy in the here and now.

Thinking about a cure makes me feel like someone put a pause button in my life; I'm left waiting instead of living. Perhaps it is because I also juggle myasthenia gravis that waiting for a cure makes me sad. Researchers are busy creating better and better tools for people with diabetes, and that is good. However, MG hasn't had a new medication released since 1935. Waiting for a cure for MG keeps me from enjoying my life as it is.

I've had MG for a lot longer than I've had diabetes, so maybe the hopeless nature of MG has colored the way I think about diabetes. Type 1 diabetes may not be as utterly, hopelessly, incurable as MG. But, for today, it is. Today, I act as if my diabetes is always going to be incurable. On my blog, and in my life, I put my focus and attention on dealing with diabetes today.

Today my fasting blood sugar was 217. Yesterday it was 211. The lowest number yesterday was 132, and that isn't like me at all. Something is up. I think the insulin I am using needs to be tossed out, and I need a new vial. Sometimes trying to get the last pump fill out of an old vial isn't worth it. OK, truthfully, it's never worth it for me, but I always do it, because I don't want to waste any insulin, which makes no sense, because I fill my pump with old insulin that has less potency, so it isn't effective anyway, but throwing out a vial with insulin still in it seems wasteful, so I go around in this ridiculous circle once a month, filling my pump with insulin that doesn’t work well, and then my blood sugars are high and I feel like crap because of it, and I know if I just used a fresh vial everything would be fine, but I never do this, even though I should. (Yes, that was a 112 word sentence. Yes, it was fun to write, thanks for asking.)

Old insulin in my pump isn't doing its job today. So, I am going to fill my pump with new insulin from a new vial. In roughly an hour, I'm going to have a shocking low. My body always freaks out when it gets brand new insulin. Maybe I get used to insulin with less potency, so when the real stuff shows up my body goes bonkers. Diabetes is bonkers. Dealing with it in the here and now is hard enough, that's why I don't talk about the future. I keep that to myself.


  1. You're right that diabetes is bonkers, but you seem to have a reasonable and down-to-earth attitude. I never thought about how I could become too critical of my current technology by thinking about the new stuff to come. I'm 2 years from Medicare and am trying to grow fond of my "old" stuff because I know I won't get the latest and greatest anymore. And my old stuff does a pretty good job:-)

  2. "I'm left waiting instead of living." <-- beautiful sentiment and one that I will carry with me. Thank you for sharing that, Marie. PS. I do the same thing when I 'kind of' know a vial is bad-news-bears. We can only do our best. <3 Thank you for writing.

  3. I used Novolog for five years (have been using Regular for the last three and a half years). My experience with Novolog was that it lasted for well over a month without a noticeable loss of potency (same with Regular). Do you keep it cool? Out of light? Both heat and light (including lightbulb type light) degrade insulin over time.

    1. I use NovoLog and I keep it in the fridge. It's the last 200u in the vial. When I pull out insulin and bubbles, OK, mostly bubbles. That dregs of a vial just doesn't work well for me. My dog has the same problem with her insulin. Those last few shots don't work as well as the first. I have no idea why. Diabetes is bonkers.

  4. Could it be that it's the bubbles that's creating the problem?
    For the sake of research, what if you leave that last bit of the vial until you have another vial in similar condition, combine them, then load a cartridge for the pump?
    I only used Novolog in shots as I was on Novolin R instead when I did pump.

  5. Oh! And do you trust your fridge? I had one once that froze things.



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