A New Variable and Mixed Feelings

Have you ever been excited about something and dreading it at the same time?

I recently had my endo appointment. A1C is up, which caught me off guard. But considering we’ve just made it through the holiday season and all that jazz I guess I can’t be too surprised. Still bums me out a bit. There’s always something to work on isn’t there?

At my last appointment back in November I pitched the idea to my endo about Symlin, and he blew it off and started rambling on about Byetta. I didn’t push it too hard because the Symlin Pen was not yet available.

Well, that has changed, and the pen is now available.

I got my doc to write a prescription for the pen (and pen needles – don’t forget those!). It took a few days for my pharmacy to get their hands on the pen form, and another day or so for me to get back to the pharmacy to pick it up – but I have it now.

Once I actually had the pen in my hands, I had some very mixed feelings about it. Honestly, I was very scared to add yet another variable into the mix. There was some hope that it would eventually help things, but I was almost overwhelmed by the notion of all of the “trial and error” it would take to get to that point!

Bernard did an excellent write up on how he uses Symlin. There is also a TON of information in the Symlin Users Forum (thanks Scott S.!) on TuDiabetes.com

After a few days of reading, researching, and internal waffling about what to do, I decided there was only one way to figure it out! So I took my first dose.

After about a week I have seen some very promising (incredible!) results, but also a lot more high BG’s.

The highs are because I’m starting slow and being very cautious with my insulin doses. Given some more time I will figure out the right balance and timing.

This is going to sound funny from a veteran diabetic – but I am really hating the shots. I’ve been spoiled by insulin pumps for over ten years, and doing these shots again really bites. Boohoo me, right?

It has also been hard to remember to take the pen with me. I usually have everything I need right in my pump case. There have already been a few times where I intended to use it, but either forgot the pen at home or left it on my desk when out at lunch.

I’m actually playing around with the idea of wearing one of my old pumps and pumping my Symlin (thanks Sarah!).

The physical logistics are a bit intimidating to me though. I’m not yet completely sure I want to deal with a second infusion set and device on my belt. Add some sort of CGM technology to that assortment in the relatively near future, and I’m wearing a LOT of stuff (both on my belt and sticking into my subq tissue).

I’m just not sure I’m ready for all that yet. I have to weigh the pros and cons, and have more dialogue with the little guys on my shoulders.

I’ll keep you all posted as my adventure unfolds!

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16 thoughts on “A New Variable and Mixed Feelings

  1. I'm just happy that this worked out for you judging from succeeding posts you have here.

  2. After finding your site- I think I will brave up and start taking symlin again too. I want to lose weight. I used it a few times and got scared of the lows- so did my husband! It did give me full feeling, however I got sick on it and low blood the first time. So take it slow- it does take a week or so to figure it out. But the full feeling really makes you stop eating! Good luck keep us updated on it. My doctor is great and is trying hard for me to get a 6.0 a1c – right now I am at 6.6. I hate being low it is the worst! I think 6.0 is too low!
    Good luck with it all!

  3. Scott-
    I’ll be keeping up with how the Symlin thing is working. I agree, I can’t imagine having to give shots again…so I’d probably opt for the extra pump too! I’ve discussed it with my endo too, but haven’t felt the draw to try it.
    Hope that it fits into your days without much hassle!
    Keep us posted!

  4. Oooo! I can’t imagine taking shots again. I think I’d almost rather have the two pumps (like you mentioned) than take the shots again. That’s very creative of you to think of that. Cool!

  5. Scott, I had some nightmares with Symlin back in the MDI days, but have restarted again myself now that I’m pumping.

    I can tell you it’s been a lot easier on the pump. Also, the pen is the bomb compared to trying to stick a lousy syringe through the iron thick stopper on that vile vial. I take the pen everywhere!

    Good luck and keep us posted on how it’s going.

  6. I’m looking forward to reading about your experiences as I too am a longtime type 1 interested in going on Symlin when I see my endo in the spring. Good luck with it!

  7. Dear Scott.

    It`s me, the nurse from Norway again… 🙂

    Do you remember the post you have about ” Momentum “… down under here. Do you have those pictures in large size ???

    I think they describe the motivation so well, that i could use them at our hospital.

    Do you think ypu can help me, please ???

    Love from Anne.

    [email protected]

  8. Good luck on the decision. I think it really comes down to what is going to make you day to day life easiest and what will cause you the least amount of pain anxiety and stress. Whatever you choose, I’m sure you will make the best of it.

  9. Scott: First, thanks for noting the Symlin User’s Forum (and for acknowledging me, although all I really did is started the group and got the ball rolling on that). My own endo is still pissing around on Symlin and doesn’t have any patients using it right now, but I may be switching endos anyway, so it may be a non-issue in the not-too-distant future. Like insulin, I think this will be a very personal experience, but at least if you can draw on others’ experiences, you might find the journey a bit easier. Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

  10. Scott….If you start growing hair all over your face and forehead after an injection, then you will know that the Symlin Pen is not appropriate for you. LOL

  11. Hi Scott. That’s a lot to mull over. I can’t imagine a second pump hanging onto my belt. You’d have to carry twice the spare batteries, avoid twice the doorknobs, and figure out which one of them just beeped.

    But if it helps you in the right direction, who’s to say it isn’t worthwhile?

    Whatever you decide, I hope it takes a bite out of your A1c.

  12. Good for you for embarking on this new adventure! I admire your courage. Don’t blame you for being conservative on the boluses.

  13. We talked about going back on Symlin at my last appointment. I told my doctor I just wasn’t ready to mess with anything else but my pump since things have been so good. I really hated the extra shot when I was doing it with MDI, and I know I would hate it more now that I’m on my pump. Good luck!