Thursday, June 29, 2006

Oi.

Tonight has been, in a word, scary.

I got home, determined to get the Symlin going.

A normal day for me has me giving about 20 units of basal insulin and another 10-15 of bolus insulin, depending upon my eating, stress levels, etc. The doc's recommendation was to cut my bolus doses back by 50%...

Sooo....

I got home from work, read for awhile, fed the cat, and pretty much did a million other things to put off the start.

Finally, around 7:30, I cooked a turkey burger with cheese, a whole wheat bun and some broccoli and peppers on the side, plus 4 ounces of grape juice for a total of 44 grams of carb - more than I normally eat for dinner. I wanted to have enough padding, in case -- you know?

My normal dose for 44 grams would be 2.80, tonight I gave 1.4 - and then I gave 5 units of Symlin.

You know when you sit just waiting for medication sometimes? That's what I did. Sitting on the bed, a copy of the Calorie King and the Bitch Posse beside me, The Office on television. Weird, though, I was waiting for the nausea - which, by the way, didn't come. What did arrive was a creeping, crawling, speeding freight train of a low bloodsugar. Before I knew it, I was fumbling my way through a test - and discovering a level of 24 mg/dl... YIKES...

Here's what happened next....

Stumble to the phone...

104503541326812 - first try...

1401894131464 - second try...

14018612233 - finally....

And the message "You've reached Dr. X's office, if this is a medical emergency press 6"

After a couple of false starts leaving a message, I press "6" and say "This is Nicole Purcell and my bloodsugar is 24..." And then I accidentally hang up, again...

I redial...

I press "6" and say "I'm sorry I forgot to leave my number here it is..."

I must tell you, I have an excellent doctor. By the time he called back, I had consumed 20 ounces of juice and my sugar had climbed to 58. I was more coherent, of course.

"Nicole?"

"Hi. Dr. H, I guess we might have miscalculated."

"Well, we cut you by 50% just to get you started. Tell me about tonight."

I recite "I was 101 at dinner. I ate 44 grams and gave 1.4 units."

"OK, so we cut you to 1 to 30 -- looks like we'll have to go to 1 to 40."

"And in the morning, I'm going to start at 1 to 50, OK?"

"Sounds good."

"Alright. Hey, the good news is, I didn't have any nausea tonight."

"That is good news."

"So, I hope I don't have to talk to you again soon."

"Well -- don't worry if you do. Don't hesitate even for a minute."

And that's what gives me piece of mind. Having a team that cares about me - with team members that answer the phone with their kids in the background and with a patience unmatched...

7 comments:

Kevin said...

Wow, that sounds scary, indeed. I admire your determination. And I am completely envious of the team of doctors you have.

Hopefully the next round will be MUCH better.

Scott K. Johnson said...

Yes, very scary.

But it sounds like you did just fine and have a good plan for moving forward.

It's great that you have such a good care team!

Best wishes!

J said...

wow that is scary I started at 2.5 units for the first week and it did not affect my sugar at all neither did 5 units wow you very sensative to this symlin be careful and fingers crossed I did not have nausea either until the dose was much higher .. then I felt more sweaty and funky than nausea .. good luck

cHoCoMiLkRoCkS said...

isin't it bad to have symlin? do out bodies make it? or is it synthetic?

Nicole P said...

I don't really think any drug is "bad" if it's used in conjunction with medical advice and for appropriate reasons.

Symlin is a replacement for a hormone that a normal body makes - called amylin. Amylin controls the speed at which your stomach processes food, and the speed at which the food is converted to sugar in your bloodstream. People with diabetes, like you and I, often produce little or no amylin. It's the reason that many diabetics struggle with elevated post-prandial (after meal) bloodsugars.

If you read my earlier posts, you'll see that my docs reasons for putting me on it don't have all that much to do with elevated after meal bloodsugars - he just wants me to lose weight faster than I have been, and Symlin can help with that!

Hope this helps.

Nicole P said...

Thanks for all of the support. Hopefully, my experience will better prepare those of you anxious to give Symlin a try.

I am lucky to have this doctor and his team. They really are great. One of the things I like best about them is that they don't lecture. My doctor has said to me - "All I can do is give you advice. I can't make you follow the advice and I won't try. I'll just keep giving it." He really won my favor with this quote. I'm old enough to know what's good for me, but I'm also old enough to make my own choices. Sometimes they'll be right - sometimes they won't be - he knows that, he accepts that - but he will persist in telling me what I should be doing without threatening or guilting...

I would recommend him to ANYONE with diabetes that needs to be pushed, but needs to have it done in a way that acknowledges their knowledge of the disease and their ability to make their own choices/decisions.

Kerri. said...

Your doctor is pretty damn cool. (And his picture his fantastic, by the way.)

... I'm so glad you're okay.