Scott's Diabetes Blog

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


I have an announcement to make!

I'm very excited to say that I've been invited to blog over at Diabetes Daily!

David and Elizabeth Edelman have built an awesome home away from home over there, and I'm also following in the footsteps of two of my good friends and favorite bloggers, Amylia Grace and Bernard Farrell.

While it is hard to pick up and move after such a long time here, it was an offer I simply could not refuse.

And after all, the only thing that is changing is the URL (address) of the blog. Same Scott, same posts, same ride. Please join me for future posts at my new address

Please update your subscriptions and links. I'm leaving this up and running for archival purposes, but all future posts will be at diabetes daily.


Monday, March 10, 2008

It feels like THE MISSING LINK


I can't express how beneficial this medication has been for me so far.

Where has it been all these years? How have I made it so far without it?

It's been somewhere around three weeks so far, maybe a little more, that I've been using it.

Week one was on the pen, and it sucked. The nausea, the shot thing again, the new and unknown timing of digestion and how to match the insulin to it.

It's all relative, and I'm sure the pen is a great improvement over the vial & syringe.

Week two and three I used a second pump with Symlin in it. Yes Kathy, Gary Scheiner (rock on G-Man!!) was a big influence on my decision to try pumping Symlin. I worked with him for some pointers on it and to clarify some of the questions I had. I also got past the nausea (mostly) during this time.

After two weeks (or so), I can say that so far I love this approach. That the convenience of having my Symlin in a pump so outweighs the drawbacks of a second "set" of pump stuff. I'll talk more about why in a different post soon.

Making it convenient for me to use plays a HUGE part of using it consistently. Using it consistently plays a HUGE part of reaping the benefits I've noticed.

Those benefits include a significant decrease in appetite, as well as very "gentle" BG curves. It's amazing really. I'm almost hypnotized by watching my post meal blood sugars. I've never seen anything like it. Steady, steady, steady, then a slow and gentle rise, but not too high, then back to target. All slow and gentle curves.

It's like I've tamed the roller coaster.

The appetite connection is huge too, and that alone would be worth it for me. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I feel satisfied after eating less.

Satisfied and less are two very important words to me right there.

I'm in love with my Symlin, and can totally feel that my body has missed this important hormone for a long time. It seems to be, so far, a very useful tool in my diabetes management toolbox.

Time will tell if my struggling A1C's and weight will show any positive progress. I'm pretty sure they both will...

Sunday, March 09, 2008


I think I'm set for a while...

Thanks for the heads up Scott Strumello!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Symlin So Far

It has been almost two weeks since I started experimenting with Symlin.

While it has been pretty scary adding another variable into the mix, the benefits I've experienced show that this tool has some real potential to help me.

To be honest, while I've been cautious with this new tool, I've also not done it justice in really trying to figure it out. I've not been logging my results, and have been just watching it "on the fly" after meals.

The caution comes from stories in the OC of post meal low blood sugars that were very hard to treat. Those stories scared me, particularly because I have a heck of a time with over treating lows in the first place. I am frightened half to death by the thought of eating TONS of stuff to (over)treat a low, and none of it digesting when I need it to!

I take my Symlin dose before I eat (20-30 minutes), and take the same amount of insulin but extend it over 90 minutes or so (thanks to some expert advice). My blood sugars after eating stay almost absolutely flat for about two hours, then gradually rise up, peaking at a not-always-reasonable number.

I need to play around more with that, but given some time and attention I'll get it figured out.

The way my blood sugar stays so flat after eating simply amazes me. I almost chuckle in amazement when I check my blood sugars for those couple of hours. Hypnotized by something that seems downright impossible based on my previous 27 years of living with diabetes.

I've experienced a fair amount of the nausea that can happen while re-introducing this hormone back into my system. It hasn't been horrible for me, but definitely there. With this it has been hard to know if the perceived appetite suppression is simply because I feel yucky, or if I am really feeling satisfied earlier.

The key to getting past this nausea will be to stick with it consistently. I am assuming that, like other medicinal side effects that it will go away (or get less severe) after some time. Is that true for this medicine?

I also talked previously about how I disliked the actual shot part of it. Silly, I know. But real for me (and that is what matters). I haven't done shots in over 10 years. I'm spoiled by pump therapy. So I adapted (like we do), but maybe not in the way you might think (getting used to shots again). I put some Symlin in an old pump and strapped it on!

There is a price to pay in dealing with another thing on an already crowded belt-line, and another infusion set (with tubing). But I need to make it easy for me to use, so I can stick with it. If I dread taking the shot I'll find excuses and justifications for not using this tool.

It's been a full week with the Symlin in a pump, and I think I like it. It's another option for me, and I like options. You have to remember, this is not my source of insulin, so I don't NEED to wear the pump 24/7. I take it off when I exercise, and I don't wear it when I sleep. Only when I want easy access to my Symlin. And I've always got my pen for when I don't want to wear the second pump.

There's also the supplies to be concerned about. If I stick with it I'll be using twice the cartridges and infusion sets. That may become an issue over time.

It's been good so far, but it's only been 6 or 7 days (on the pump). Time will tell what approach works best for me, and it may be a combination of a few different approaches. I also need to be more active in logging my information so I can tweak and adjust how I'm using this new tool and make the best of it.

To wrap things up I have a question for those using Symlin. What happens if I take my symlin dose and then my meal is significantly delayed?