Novolin R makes me feel like my sugar is not high when it is. Plus, I never experience neuropathy with it. So Novolin R is my 'feel good' insulin.
(With Humalog, I am almost never surprised at a test strip result; I can almost always tell what my level is by how I feel. I wrongly assumed it would work the same with Novolin R.)
Trying to get by during financial crises on Novolin R and no test strips was a tragic mistake. Especially during Winter. Especially when I was in Casual Mode, thinking I could eat like whatever I want and get away with it, my sugar had gotten so good.
At the end of February, Providence intervened and placed in my path a friend whose neighbor had died and left a pile of testers and strips. This is how I discovered I was not doing well.
In fact, I was in one of those things that happen with me once a year or every two years where for a day or two, my sugar is 250 or so, and no matter how much insulin I shoot, it does not come down. Does not come down. Does not come down. And I never know why. But it is rare it happens. Seems like usually maybe it's a virus or something. Or maybe I am for some reason just slipping into Type II mode. I don't know.
But this time the sugar was higher and it didn't come down for longer. I borrowed some humalog from a friend and, being in the worst shape for running that I have ever been in my life, started running again (Well, if you could call it 'running'), thinking as I suggested above, that maybe running would reverse a Type II onset. First of March, I started exercising again, something I had not really done much of since I was first laid off in '08, except for the short period I had been using the Westinghouse gym in '13.
After hobbling a few days, and shooting humalog, the sugar came down. I set myself up to get to the doctor again, and my A1C was high - I forget exactly what it was. For the first time, I got the word that something had begun to deteriorate - he pronounced me to be in Stage III chronic kidney disease. By now, it was about the end of March. My sugar was under fair control but instead of my normal 2-4 units of humalog per meal, I was needing 6-14. He also had me on Lantus, of course, and I was using 20 units per day, and then 15.
I could jog now, but remained fairly challenged to run very fast or far.
I knew all the tricks to good sugar, and I knew the importance of each, but you get casual and over-confident, and you get sloppy. I had some re-learning to do.
Getting back onto the proper meds and running was a good first step. I started to get back into shape and my sugar was fair with a lot of insulin use.
Then I began to learn again how to eat no more than I should at a time. Made my meals quicker, and stopped eating well before I had too much for what insulin I had shot. Made sure I never spiked too high. Now I was doing a lot better. But still using a lot more insulin than I had ever used before.
Finally, mostly motivated by how it makes one feel for running, I learned to eat simple again - all the time. Then my insulin requirement plummeted. I realized (AGAIN) that sugar, not just HFCS, is unnatural and poison to me, let alone all the other junk that I don't normally eat, and to eat just a little, just sometimes, is no more acceptable than having just a little lead dust with my soup. To perfectly abstain, and to eat strictly plain, was making me well again.
It is now April 22. I am in my best shape, in many ways, in 20 years. In just over a week, I am going to participate in my first formal wrestling tournament in 25 years. It is time to adjust down my Lantus again. My insulin requirement is rapidly returning to what it had been. I have relearned the essentiality that if I don't do like my blog says, I will always surely have a setback, one way or another. So I must treat table sugar (and all its substitutes, of course) and fancy eating the way I always treat lead dust.
For those who need the obvious spelled out, this blog in no way suggests any criticism or rebellion against mainstream medical care, nor does it seek to present any alternate treatment therefrom. Rather, it strongly criticizes and rebels against mainstream America's diet and lifestyle and attitude, and presents the one true natural way to eat (by use of the appetite) that will keep one in good health.
It's not about the medical care, it is about how to be a patient - something only patients can really know first-hand how to be.
I share a little story to illustrate:
I asked a person to share with me their experience using an insulin pump, such as how convenient was it for them, and things of that nature. They missed the nuance and just told me to speak with my doctor, thinking only about whether a pump would be appropriate for me from a medical standpoint. But you see, unless my doctor had worn a pump himself, as a patient, he could relate nothing to me that I wanted to know. Only my friend with the pump could.
So you see, this blog is about the patient experience. This blog is about how to cope with the diagnosis and the treatment and the fear and discouragement. This blog helps you figure out how to do what the Medical Professionals rightly tell you must be done by you.
Like, "Don't tell me I gotta quit smoking - tell me something I don't know! Tell me how!" And don't just give me a patch and say "Next!"