Friday, January 20, 2012

Correcting Lows

When I was first diagnosed with Type 1, I always corrected low blood sugars with soda. I never knew how many carbs I was drinking, even if it was just a couple of sips, so I didn't know how high my blood sugar would go. Normally, when I corrected a low I would shoot into the 250-300 range and that range would end up being my "diabetes comfort zone".

After 5 years or so of doing that I purchased a CGM, and about a year later I purchased an insulin pump, to further help my life with diabetes. I learned about all the things people used to correct lows with, such as candy, soda, glucose tabs, whatever they were comfortable with. I was tired of having a comfortable blood sugar range that was way too high because I corrected with soda.

My A1c has usually been between 7.2 and 7.9 for the first 5 years of managing diabetes. I decided I wanted to change the way I corrected lows, so I knew how many carbs I was putting in my body, so I knew how high I would go and be comfortable with it. I started buying Smarties, which have 6 grams of carbs in one roll. I've been using Smarties as a correction for the past 6 months and my current A1c is 6.5.

My A1c is the lowest it's been since the day I was diagnosed. Not just because of the way I correct, but because of the way I use my CGM, insulin pump, AND how I correct lows. Every little thing you do impacts your life with diabetes. Making a lot of small steps and making small changes can have a very big and positive impact on your diabetes.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Victorious

          Last week I had an appointment with my nurse practitioner, basically going over prescription refills, and checking my basal rates. I have an amazing nurse practitioner at the Joslin Diabetes Center. She's so good that I told her I didn't even want to see my endo there anymore....we just didn't see eye-to-eye on things. She always tells me how "happy and energetic" I am compared to some of her other patients she sees.

          She's always happy to see me for an appointment, and when she sat down next to me reading the info she gathered from my pump she patted me on the back and told me she was proud of me. Because I'm one of the few patients she sees who truly WANTS to improve at living with diabetes. She tells me about so many other patients that she sees who don't have the same desire to improve their health, but just look for medication refills.

          A big part of living with diabetes is your medical team, but the other huge part is wanting to improve. What good is your doctor if you don't have the desire to help yourself, too? Last month I posted a blog about feeling like a failure. So, what I did was I focused on dinner and carb counted everything I ate at night and bolus'd correctly, instead of forcing a low, and my numbers have been improving a lot. So I was curious what my A1c would be this time around.

          My A1c a couple months ago was 6.8. I figured, it would have gone up to at least 7 since I stopped forcing lows. But when I got the card in the mail today, I slowly opened it and saw a 6.5. The lowest my A1c has been since I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes seven years ago. When I saw that number my eyes filled with tears and I couldn't stop smiling. I was running around the house to show my family, I tweeted it to all of you reading this. Something as simple as someone else with diabetes, who UNDERSTANDS, saying "good job! great! good work!" feels so good. 

          Being on an insulin pump has GREATLY improved my life, and my A1c. But without the D-OC, and the support, and friendship through the good and bad, I never would have even wanted to improve my life with diabetes. So thank you to all of you, who sent a simple tweet that said "good job" because it means more to me than just two simple words. It means you get what I'm going through, you know the struggle, and you know how it feels to feel truly victorious.