Thursday, October 23, 2014

Diabetes and stubbornness don't mix

I can be really stubborn when it comes to certain aspects of my diabetes. For example, I use "expired" insulin because I think it works just fine.

However, sometimes that stubbornness can get in the way. Like when I insisted that I could use Apidra in my t:Slim insulin pump, even though I knew it wasn't FDA-approved for it. Insulin is insulin, or so I thought. Plus I used Apidra in my Medtronic pump, so I didn't think it would be an issue.

Every time I got back on my t:Slim, though, I would have issues. Especially by the 3rd day. I would have higher than normal numbers. I would have more occlusion alarms. I knew something wasn't working right, but I ignored it. I would chalk it up to the pump being difficult. Or I chalked it up to me doing something wrong.

But I wasn't doing anything wrong. When you have numbers in the 300s and they don't come down all day even though you continue to bolus and not eat anything, then it's very likely that you're not the problem. Being over 300 for hours is not my usual, but when you've had high numbers for hours or days, you feel defeated—even when it technically isn't your fault. (I mean, yes, I should have taken a shot to correct the high once I realized my number wasn't coming down, but this is where the stubbornness kicks in and stops you.)

When something doesn't feel right or when something hasn't been working right for a long time, though, don't ignore your instincts. It will not get better unless you pay attention to the problem and make a change. I guess this is true with anything in life, right?

So, I finally decided to look into WHY Apidra wasn't good for this pump. I joined the t:Slim group on Facebook, and posted about it. Within minutes, I got tons of responses, and learned some things I had never heard before. Yes, I had been told before that Apidra wasn't tested with this pump, but I didn't know why. Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and social media, I now knew why.

Apparently, Apidra reacts differently in the pump, and tends to gel or crystallize over time. This makes sense considering it usually works fine within the first day or two, and then by the third day, shit hits the fan.

Now, I could have done this months ago, but I didn't because my stubbornness had stopped me. I didn't want to believe that Apidra was the issue, so I stuck it out and kept trying to make it work. However, just like a bad relationship, this never ever makes it better. Once I finally reached my frustration point where I just couldn't take it anymore, I sought answers. I sought out the diabetes community. I sought out help and I got the support I needed.

Sometimes that's all it takes. Because we can't struggle on our own all the time. It's too hard. So, let go of your stubbornness and ask for help. Be open to what others have to say. Let go of what you thought you knew. Embrace change. You might be surprised at what you find along the way.

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