Pumping Symlin (part 2)

With my new SymlinPen in hand and some practical experiences that both Bernard and the folks at TuDiabetes put together, I was off and running.

Well, maybe a slow and cautious speed walk is more like it.

Even early on it was pretty clear to me that this new medication was going to help me.  It seemed to really help keep my post meal blood sugars from rising so high, even at the small “start up” doses (2.5u or 15mcg).  I worked my way up from the “start-up” doses to the full dose (10u or 60mcg).

I did experience some of the nausea.  It felt “artificial”, if that makes any sense.  It felt such that I knew it was from the medication, and not like when I am “real people sick”.  It is hard to explain – but the “artificial” nausea seemed easier to cope with than the kind that makes me feel like lying down to avoid spewing my lunch.  The nausea also seemed to lessen when I got some food into my system.

The nausea did also play a role in how much I ate (because I felt yucky), but that is different from the satiety I feel now after eating.

I was having trouble though.

I was really not liking the whole “shot” thing again.  And it was, surprisingly enough, becoming way too easy for me to find ways to justify not taking it just because I didn’t want to do a shot.  I’m the first to admit, it is totally silly and very wusstastic of me.  But, it was a real obstacle for me, and that is what matters.

I’ve been pumping insulin for so long that I am spoiled.  I haven’t (before the SymlinPen) taken an actual shot shot in 10 years or so.  Ok, sure, there may have been some rare pump troubleshooting times that I’ve needed to take an injection.  But those are so rare they almost don’t count.  I’m talking about a routine, multiple times a day shot.

I think it was more the fact that I was in control of how fast the needle went in.  I’ve never been able (willing) to just jab it in quickly, which I know hurts less.  I’ve always been a slow needle guy, ever since I was a kid.  It hurts more, I know this, and I can’t explain why I can’t go quick route.  My infusion sets?  I’m using the Quick-Sets which have a spring-loaded inserter.  I prefer that.  I prefer not being in control of that quick jab.  Sometimes it hurts like hell, but the pain goes away after a bit.  If I were manually pushing that in, I would wuss out at the point of too much pain and have to start all over again.

So I evaluated my situation.  I knew the medication had a lot of potential for me, but I was struggling with the shots.  I had to find another way.  I had to adapt this new tool to my lifestyle.  I had to make it work.  That is what we PWD’s are good at.  Adapting and making things work.  That is one of our specialties.

(To be continued…)

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7 thoughts on “Pumping Symlin (part 2)

  1. I’m very interested in this topic. My doctor is not prescribing this to patients right now, but I have been reading up on it. Thanks for the info.
    Also I’ve ALWAYS had to put needles in slowly, fast is impossible for me, and I despise inserters!
    Take care Scott!

  2. Hi Viv – thank you!
    I do think it would be beneficial. As you say, if you have type 1 you are not making amylin of your own. But, you also have a very good point/concern in regards to how it might affect appetite or growth.
    I know that when I started, I saw good blood sugar results on a very small dose (even the starting 15mcg/2.5u dose), but didn’t get much of the appetite suppression until I moved my dose up a bit (into the 45mcg/60mcg or 7.5u/10u dose).
    Good question!

  3. Hey Scott,
    I am so glad that you are experimenting with the Symlin and seeing where it can take your control. Very cool stuff. So I have a question. I am not asking for medical advice, this is simply for conversation sake. I know that Symlin is only approved for adults, but some teens use it off label. It is approved for shots, but people, like you, are using it in a dedicated pump off label. Now, do you think that it would be beneficial for kids with Type 1, even though that would also be off label? We have issues with high postprandial numbers no matter how we adjust the insulin and obviously if you have Type 1 you are not producing Amylin no matter what your age. I am concerned though with the aspect that kids are still growing and how it might affect appetite or growth. I would love to hear what you think. Keep up the great work brother, you inspire us all.

  4. Scott – I’m the same way when it comes to the shots. I always pushed the needle in slow. I couldn’t stand the thought of jabbing into my skin. And I use the quick-serter for my infusion sets. I guess I don’t like being in control of that jab either. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

  5. I do not think that is silly. One of the reasons I am a little freaked out is the thought of taking shots again. I have only been on a pump for almost 2 years so your 10 makes sense to me dude.
    You are not the Wussinator or whatever, you rock dude.