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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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate, and Senior Community Manager at Blue Circle Health. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent my employer’s position. Read more…

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