Sunday, 3 February 2013

Diabetes Mellitus Type 1 Pt.1


Insulin therapy they call it, them folk at the hospital. How they can use the word therapy I don't know, because it certainly isn't what I would consider therapy.

I may have already mentioned this in earlier posts but the worst part of having diabetes is that it's incredibly inconvenient more than anything else. The biggest inconvenience is having to inject myself just before every proper meal that I have. The needles I use are only 5mm long and so aren't very intimidating to look at. I don't use a syringe, (I won't go into detail about the different between needles and syringes) but I use what looks like a pen, which is pre-filled with Insulin that I attach a new needle to everytime I inject. I suppose I could use the same needle more than once as there's only me that uses it and it's the same 'drug' that goes through it, but at the moment I'm trying to be a good patient and do exactly as I'm told. This will no doubt change.

I use two types of pens. One pen I use before every meal and carry with me, like my blood monitor, 24/7. It's more important to me than my phone, my house keys, even my wallet. If I were to go out without it, which I haven't yet, I would have to avoid eating or drinking most things until I got back. It is very fast acting so I can take it around 10 mins before a meal (though I usually inject when the meal is in front of me) and it'll do it's job and counteract whatever I'm about to eat.

                                          4 times a day...



The pen has a dial on it so that I can adjust my dosage depending on a) the size of the meal and b) the amount of carbohydrates and sugar in the meal; this is the tricky part.

 When you buy food it will usually tell you what it contains in terms of ingredients, carbs, and protein etc. This is good for me when calculating what dosage to have because I know pretty much exactly what is in the meal. Like anything, after trial and error I have a good idea of how much to take with meals that I've had more than once. However, when eating out it's a whole different game. Even if it's a meal that I have often at home it will contain different ingredients (which 99% of menu's won't list) and different portions. This really is a guessing game that I'll get better at through time. You can understand a diabetics problem here?

I use a different pen just before I go to bed, or at around 12-1am if I'm out and still awake. This is a slow acting pen which, I have no idea how, keeps my blood relatively level throughout the day.

 If I have too high a dosage then I'll have a hypo (serious, and possible risk of passing out) or if I don't have enough then my blood will be high (not immediately serious, but if consistently high over months/years leads to complications like foot amputation or heart disease, and after a couple of days of being very high, can lead to a coma).

If you can imagine having to jab yourself with a needle before every meal, without fail, then you're on the same page. (I imagine that statement could come across as me feeling sorry for myself, but I don't, it's just the easiest way of describing how inconvenient it is.)

I inject myself in different places around the stomach at meal times, and with a different pen and type of insulin in my thighs just before bed. The injections don't generally hurt, in fact a lot of the time I don't feel them at all. However there are odd times when it is very painful and I usually pull the needle out and try again in a different area. Injecting twice rather than once is a lot more difficult for some reason and I always struggle with it. It sounds like quite an effort and something that must be hard to get used to but the truth is, like they told me in hospital, I have no choice but to get used to it. There's no way around it, I have to inject myself 4 times a day for the rest of my life in order to, without sounding overly dramatic and serious, stay alive.

There are other complications of course, which will probably follow at some point. I realise that this post is quite clinical/to the point but I'm afraid it's the only way I could get it out!

At the end of the day Diabetes is a pain in the f***ing ass!


1 comment:

  1. insulin junkie5 March 2013 at 12:02

    You must change your needles. not bothering can cause lumps. google image lipohypertrophy and you will understand!