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Thursday, January 3, 2013

T1D: Things They Never Told Me

When I first started insulin treatment some 6 years ago, I naively thought it really was as simple as a carb-to-insulin ratio that when followed and timed properly would magically result in close-to-normal, steady blood sugars. I thought this, because that was basically what my healthcare providers told me - the only thing I was fore-warned about were the symptoms of low BG...

Looking back, I shouldn't have been surprised that after getting off a trans-atlantic flight to Spain, my numbers were consistently and annoyingly high for a few days... Or that after walking around and sweating in the Costa-Rican heat for hours, my seemingly non-symptomatic low of "37" (the lowest number I've ever sighted) was probably to be expected... Or that dehydration will mess with insulin activity... Or that I need about 40% more Humulin R to cover my meals while driving cross-country... Or that drinking alcohol can/will (depending on the amount of OH & carbs consumed of course) make your BG plummet, sometimes like 4-8 hours later (something college students should probably be aware of)!

This (I hope!) is not be the case for everyone, but I never received information when I was in the hospital learning to treat for the first time to what degree activity and stress levels (as well as simply the TYPES of food we eat, not just the CARBS) impact BG levels. Most of these things, I figured out as I went, and still learning everyday.

I'm not so much complaining about my healthcare providers - they suggested meeting with a nutritionist, and I got the initial free visit, but not having regular meetings as part of my insurance coverage, I obviously opted out. Once I realized that low BG (and BG levels in general) are a "serious matter" (understatement?), I was ever-so-grateful to have the internet to be able to look up all this info as well as compare notes with and meet fellow PWDs... Also, grateful to have the Dexcom technology - I know it's not perfect, but it makes my life A LOT easier.

Having said that, I extend my utmost respect to parents of children with Type 1 Diabetes... At least when I fuck up in my own D-care, I laugh it off (most of the time) and move on (always)... I can't imagine what it would be like if it was someone else in my care: I was too old for parental D-care (being 18 y.o. @ dx), but I think all the T1D parents (many of whose blogs I've been reading) are amazing!

Con mucho amor - and remember: do you own research, pay attention, and don't forget to walk that Dragon!

1 comment:

  1. Great to read such candid thoughts about access to health information! :-)