Friday, March 1, 2013

Even more... on sticking myself with needles.

...Even more continuation on the MDI front: {PART 1}{PART 2} 

In the end, switching over to MDI has opened my mind more than I ever saw coming.

I just wanted a break dammit. It’s turned into this life altering mind fuck. #1 from the last post was;

“Perhaps the technology of insulin pumps complicates diabetes more than it needs to be.” Information is power but let’s get back to the basics for a change:



I know diabetes is SO much more than that, trust me. I’ll be the first person in line for a new pancreas because I simply cannot handle the co-efficients to this equation that has no solution. Math lies sometimes. Our brains cannot out-perform a functioning pancreas no matter how hard we try.

Maybe this (MDI) is what I meant by wanting to take a more simple route to diabetes without even knowing it. I wasn’t expecting to succeed at all on MDI. Was I selling myself short? Probably. Was I afraid of Math? Highly likely despite my father being a Mathematician. Genes which sadly did not get passed down to me. Was I afraid of the unknown? But it IS the known, it was all I knew for over 6 years. It's the unknown NOW because after so many years hooked up to a machine I haven't had to really think about it. Now that it is unknown, it’s the fear of that that pushes me to now make it the known. I am the queen of "both worlds" in every aspect of my life. It's why when I was pumping I've used most of the common infusion sets for both Medtronic and Animas. I want it all. I like to try everything.

I had become so dependent on that insulin pump. I was afraid of what would happen if I left all the customizable hour-to-hour basal rates behind. I was afraid of simplicity of the machine doing all the thinking for me. I was afraid  not knowing precisely how much insulin down to the quarter of a unit to inject. Needles come in full units and to my surprise there isn't much of a difference (for me) between 3 units and 4. Did I really need that precise dosing down to the 1/10th of a unit? Needless to say I am pleasantly surprised. There seems to be less factors to fuck shit up. I don’t have to worry about bent cannulas or clogged tubing. No questioning if the insulin is getting in or not. No pump supplies and back-up pump supplies. Just a pen with a needle. If something goes wrong I have already cut out a handful of possible factors.

If I can make this work…
Could I?
And by “work” I mean live well and maintain my low’ish and recent A1C?

I guess I’ll know once the cycling season kicks in high gear if I can manage on MDI. I have a huge resource of T1D athletes on injections who make it work for them. Becky (my old team mate and still good friend). Oh and Missy told me about how she shoves mini syringes pre-filled with set amounts of insulin in her shorts (or was it down her sports bra?).

I've also been thinking about the future. Ryan and I dream of simplifying our lives a little. The possibility of downsizing which would inevitably include living without medical insurance. I thought going on injections would be cheaper. It’s the cost of pen needles ($), rapid acting insulin ($), long acting insulin ($$) and test strips ($$$$$). Except that if I’m on a pump that is funded by the government they cover pump and pump supplies. So what comes out of my pocket are test strips ($$$$$) and rapid acting insulin ($). In turn the needle route will cost me 3$’s more than with the pump. I guess it’s really not all that bad and I shouldn’t feel locked in to either option which makes a commitment-phobe like me happy. It would be a totally different story if I had to pay for pump supplies out of pocket. Probably just as many $’s as test strips a month.

Of course what I’m NOT taking into account are my prescription drugs like my anti-depressants and cholesterol meds. More $’s than I care to admit.
Hmmm….  ERGGgggg….

I feel like I'm going in circles here. Or Octagons... layers and levels that are all connected with diabetes caught in the centre.

It could all end up very badly and one of us (most likely Ryan because he’s so damn cute) dancing around a pole for drug money. I'd totally be the pimp. This is why it’s hard to live life spontaneously on the edge with a chronic expensive disease.  I know, I know… I just want it all don’t I?

In life when it comes to managing this tag-along asshole (do they have a stuffed asshole? That'd be kind of weird and, uhm, ugly), I want to know that anything is possible and that there are different avenues to do it. Obviously there are major advantages and disadvantages to both pumping and MDI and perhaps I'll get into that later.

For now though I'm loving the feeling. Even if I am low right now as I'm finishing this post. 


  1. FYI, those last couple of paragraphs almost made me blush. Almost. Sounds to me like your mathematician father would be proud of how good a handle you have on the numbers (and I don't just mean BG or carb/insulin).

  2. wow, wow, wow. if *i* had diabetes, i think i'd want to do MDI and a CGM.

    this really struck a chord with me: "There seems to be less factors to fuck shit up."


  3. I don't know if I could handle the math without my pump...

    I very much admire you for putting yourself through this experience, and sharing all of your thoughts. It's a valuable thing for all of us!


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