Basal and Bolus

Basal and Bolus are my lifeline, but they’ve recently hit puberty, and their hormones and emotions are all over the place. This does not make life easier for me, and no matter what I do, they don’t listen. I guess I should respect their independence, but sometimes I miss the obedient rates that never questioned me.

I try to be the healthiest person I can be, but there are days when the diabetes takes over. It’s not necessarily a result of anything wrong I’ve done in managing it, but whether it’s stress or hormones, sometimes my blood sugar levels have a mind of their own.

In a State of Flux

Blacktip Reef with wavy blue lineYesterday was one of those days. Since I went off birth control six months ago, I’ve struggled to balance my basal and bolus rates (basal is the long-lasting insulin I take continuously throughout the day; bolus is the fast-acting insulin I take before meals). My insulin sensitivity is constantly fluctuating. Continue reading

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Diabetes on Birth Control

One of the biggest fears of any single young woman is getting pregnant. I feel this is tenfold now that I have Type 1 diabetes. The stress of affording my own health care is enough – I don’t want the added physical and emotional burden of surviving pregnancy with diabetes much less affording my child’s coverage (given the possibility that the child will also have diabetes). No one can yet prove that my diagnosis was a result of genetics, but they cannot disprove it, either. I’d rather not take the chance.

In the past five years, I have attempted different types of birth control. The pill was always the easiest and most reliable option, but low and behold, no matter how many different types I tried, it always had a negative impact on my blood sugar readings and insulin resistance. What does this mean?

Well, while on the pill, my blood sugar skyrocketed, and I needed to take more insulin to keep it stable, but then, during the week of my period when I wasn’t on the pill, my blood sugar plummeted so that I would experience severe lows and have to readjust my insulin to carb ratio. You would think I could account for this every month, and believe me, I tried, but there was no telling when that initial plummet would happen. Sometimes, it was a few days before my period; sometimes, a few days after. The following week when I started taking the pill again, my blood sugar would rise so that I would constantly be adjusting my insulin to carbohydrate ratio until I got it right. It seemed to vary month to month.

Because I was tired of the constant ups and downs and the effect the pill had on my hormones and my emotional sanity, a few months ago, I stopped taking it. Cold turkey. I knew my body before I started the pill and relied on its natural cycle, but that was before I committed myself to long-term relationships. Now it was time to trust it again. It certainly improved my blood sugar readings. Continue reading