Best conversation I had this week was with a good friend who was asking questions about diabetes! I want to share with you some of the information that I shared with her!
DISCLAIMER! I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL!!!!
It never fails to amaze me that people who deal with this stuff day in an day out fail to get the proper education of how to deal with the type 1 diabetes and for that matter any kind of diabetes. However I have to live every day with this disease and I want to know as much as possible about it! I am not a patient enough person to have to wait 48 hours to hear back on what rate changes I should make…but I do want to be SAFE.
At first I read everything I could get my hands on! Then I talked with as many people that I could find about their experience. Then I found an awesome diabetic educator who also lives with this disease! I took in as much information as my little pee brain could hold! I wrote down pertinent stuff in a notebook and I LOGGED EVERYTHING I could that might have an effect on my BG’s! Then I started thinking on it…tweaking small changes here and there…looking at cause and effect. I am not some brilliant individual….I am just driven to figure things out! If I can do it SO CAN YOU!
Here are the some of the more key points that I shared with my friend.
1. HOW LONG IS YOUR INSULIN ON BOARD? To me this is the first question that has to be answered. It varies from person to person and sometimes even varies at times of the day but you need to know HOW LONG YOUR INSULIN IS ON BOARD! When we start pump therapy the doctor gives us a number that is programmed into our pumps as to the amount of time our insulin is on board or the insulin action time. I remember thinking when I heard the number “how can you be sure?”. Medicines do funny things in my body…they don’t always work the way they are suppose to. Given that I was immediately going “ummmmm how do we know?” They then told me you TEST to figure out how long your insulin is on board. You can eat a safe balanced food that you know exact carbs of and you bolus for it then you test every half hour until you no longer see a 30 point drop in an hours time. My IOB or Insulin Action time is 2.5 hours with the insulin I am currently on! Once I learned that everything sort of fell into place for me. I set my basal patterns up in 2.5 hour increments and began to tweak it down! I learned that if I had a low or high (UNRELATED TO BOLUSING OR STACKING INSULIN) at a particular time to count back 2.5 hours and make adjustments there because that was where the problem was.
2. MAKE SURE YOU ARE BALANCING CARBS TO PROTIEN! The way I understand it is that protein elongates the action of the carb so we don’t get such nasty spikes. Protein is the thing that softens the blows of the carb! So I need to make sure that I eat 1 protein for every 2 carbs. I actually tend to be closer to one to one.
3. LOG EVERYTHING! If you eat it, do it, dog alerts, times, etc WRITE IT DOWN! You can see trends and patterns that you might otherwise miss!
4. FOCUS ON THAT MOMENTS NUMBERS ONLY. When you stay focused and intent on where your numbers are at RIGHT NOW it makes dealing with it that much easier. Yes you need to be aware of all of them but all you can attempt to fix is that which is occurring RIGHT NOW!
5. Diabetes is a disease where EFFORT DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL OUTCOME! Give yourself a break and just do your best! That is all any of us can truly do!
6. TALK! Talk to as many people as you can. Our experiences vary so much that sharing experiences is critical!
7. READ AS MANY BOOKS AS YOU CAN. My 2 favorites are THINK LIKE A PANCREAS and PUMPING INSULIN!
Hopefully listening in to my conversation will help you or someone you know just a little!