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  1. Frank
    Frank December 2, 2013 at 11:44 pm | | Reply

    I greet you,”Good middle of the night,” those hours I occupy like a vampire. My first encounter with your blog, “Diabetes Mine,” left me quickly feeling as though it was way too Mickey Mouse for me. I’ve had Type 1 for over forty years, and for more than thirty years I’ve been in the DCCT study and its sequel, EDIC. One main aspect of my relationship with type 1 has been, for years now, to avoid info that acts as though it’s kinda fun to have this disease. It’s been chronically ruining my life, and the last ten years since I was treated for and beat lung cancer, have been the worst of the batch. I am not reviling medicine or medical technology; I’m only alive because of it. I am profoundly grateful to the medical people from Banting and Best forward for lengthening my life, and allowing me to experience so much of life in this great epoch. That said, I’m miserable. I sleep with a CPAP; I’m up three to five times a night anyway; I use a CGM and take multiple multiple corrections, often struggling for days to get my b.g. stabilized even a little. I tried “the pump” twice, once in the eighties, and again in 2010. The first year, there were no A1c improvements, and three years ago, I had three severely high b.g.’s while using the current Medtronic pump and its allied CGM. As a result of those three incidents, about three months into my second pump experience, I acquired a proliferation of floaters, which, of course, are permanent. I tried four different infusion sets with the pump, and all of them appeared to have erratic but frequent failures to deliver insulin. I had 70 appointments, including doctor’s appointments and tests, in an effort to understand my crazy brittle diabetes as well as a syncope I experienced in 2011 while bike riding (apparently not as a result of a hypoglycemic event; four days in Albany Medical Center and endless subsequent tests failed to determine what might have caused the syncope and my brittle diabetes.
    Meanwhile, I’m trying to live my life. I retired from teaching English and GED one year ago, earlier than I had intended because my health issues had made effective teaching impossible. So I took a hit on my pension. But that’s secondary; of main concern is the exhausting, debilitating goose chase with blood glucose that I go through now, an Alpinist’s experience of 12 hour struggles with highs followed by 12 hour struggles with lows. I’ve been through this over and over, and I have been unable to formulate any clear relationships between carbs and insulin despite the continuous opportunity to observe what happens to me. I take the lows very seriously. I’ve had seizures and been unconscious several times, and only my wife’s alertness and ability to use glucagon has kept me alive.
    Since my type 1 diagnosis in 1970, I’ve tried to live my life as much as possible like I would have if I hadn’t had diabetes. I got away with murder, figuratively speaking, during my twenties and thirties. I did pretty well during my forties and fifties up until the cancer battle in 2003. Since then, it’s been continually worse and worse. I’ve seen gastroenterologists, neurologists, cardiologists, psychiatrists, and multiple endocrinologists. I walk virtually daily, I’m not fat, I do physical work, I write poetry and fiction, I compose music and play guitar, I perform; but all of this is going to hell in a handbag, month by month and day by day. It’s true that I gave up on exacting diets because there were no clear advantages forthcoming; I do, however, count carbs, and I have tried an endlessly flexible variety of sliding scales and Lantus administrations.
    Yesterday was a typical cluster of woe. I didn’t get my b.g. low enough to eat until 1:30 pm (131),and then it went high again (333) and finally got low enough for me to eat dinner: salad, leftover turkey, and leftover stuffing (I know, fatty). A half-hour later that night I had a serious low; cognitive impairment, disorientation, lassitude. My wife brought me a big glass of OJ, and the hypo lingered on; I had a PB sandwich on toast, and finally felt halfway decent. I went to bed pretty early after taking 6 units of novolog to cover the OJ and PB sandwich, as well as 20 units of Lantus, the high end of my nocturnal scale for that insulin. I read about 20 pages and fell asleep about 10. I got up to pee at 11, and then again at 1:30; my fingerstick indicated 469 at that time. So I took 15 units of Novolog, and here I am, typing and dehydrated, drinking Stevia-sweetened lemon juice in water, and fighting despair. This isn’t a rare event.
    I’d appreciate any possibly helpful comments, and I thank you for your interest.
    Frank

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