Monday, October 24, 2016

Me + T1 Diabetes+ Weight Gain+ Insulin Resistance + Metformin ER =

A little over two years ago I started gaining weight - and no matter how much I walked, rode my bike, counted carbs and kept an eye on my plate - I kept gaining weight. 
Some of my weight gain was due to me no longer having the metabolism I once had. 
Some of it was due to several rounds of cortisone in the form of shots ( thank you trigger fingers and CT,) and orally( I had a nasty upper and lower respiratory infection in May of 2015,) and the weight that cortisone brings to my person, 
And some of it was due to yours truly developing a resistance to insulin - which I'd had for a while, but which was now dialed up to 11. 

YEP, not only do I not produce insulin, hence the whole, me being a t1 since I was a little girl, but I’ve also become insulin resistant - which I’m told happens after decades of living with type 1 diabetes. YAY ME!

Another signature Kellyism - cortisone tends to sticks to my body for months at a time, requiring me to shoot up a ridiculous amount of insulin for weeks and taking months and months to get back to my regular basal rates.

I’ve figured out the cortisone/insulin dance like Rockstar and I’m not afraid to increase my basals to maintain great blood sugars on cortisone - but I hate that cortisone sticks around in my system for so long. 

But enough was enough and last fall and I started walking between 9 and 15 miles a week - and the damn scale kept going in the wrong direction - and my A1C barely budged. 
And wasn't like I was eating Ben & Jerry's every night - I wasn't. 

Gaining weight and working so damn hard to lose it without success made made me frustrated and depressed. 
On March 15th, 2016, I went to my endo appointment and Dr. J and I had one of our heart to hearts -  I was having hand and wrist surgery in May and I didn’t want to gain any more weight while I was recovering. 
Dr. J mentioned Metformin ER, I mentioned my hair and my fear of losing it. 
Sidebar: The last time I'd given Metformin a try was in 2008 - and I noticed clumps of hair on the carpet. Even though I'm a shedder when it comes to my hair - the clumps on the carpet were beyond normal and I stopped taking Metformin.
And my hair stopped falling out in clumps.

And then I started to cry. 

And Dr. J was great - he told me that we could try some injectables, but that because I was t1, my insurance most likely would not cover them. 
He told me that Metformin ER was different and better than regular metformin - and that price wise, it was cheap. 
Dr. J also felt that it could jump start my metabolism, and it didn’t have to be permanent.  
So we made a deal - I would go on Metformin ER ( Metformin Extended Release - different form the regular metformin I’d tried 8 years earlier,) and if my hair started falling out, I’d stop, ASAP - and Dr. J and I would go to/create plan B. 

I drove home, picked up my RX and started my first round at dinner. 
Sidebar: On March 16th, I received a cortisone shot to pop a ganglion cyst on my palm - I convinced the Dr. to use 1/2 the normal amount of cortisone and twice the amount of saline. The cyst was popped and my blood sugar was only elevated for two weeks.
And on March 20th I tore my quad muscle - and it hurt like hell.  

But back to the Met ER - the first few weeks on Met ER, there were rumbles in my belly for sure - but nothing I couldn’t handle and not nearly as bad as when I'd tried regular Metformin back in 2008. In two weeks the rumblings subsided for the most part.
I also noticed that Metformin ER made me feel fuller, quicker. I’d forgotten about that side effect. 
I travelled for half of April and by May 17th (the day of my hand and wrist surgery,) I’d lost 4.5 lbs. 
By July I was down 9 lbs and I didn’t gain weight while I was in Florida attending Children With Diabetes Friends for Life - and yes, there were some nacho and margarita moments in Florida. 

On July 17th I went back to my Endo - while my A1C had only gone down by a fraction (thank you nasty sinus infection that stayed in my system from late June through mid July,) my labs were great, My weight was down by 9 lbs and my Endo was thrilled. 

Dr. J increased my Metformin ER to 1000 mgs, twice a day and told me he was proud.

The increase caused my stomach to react and the rumblings returned, but were gone quicker the second time around.
In August I bought two new bathing suits - including a red one that made me feel like WonderWoman!  

September rolled in and I was 12 lbs down - and according to my hair dresser (who is also a dear friend, brutally honest, and always has back,) the hair on my head is staying put. 
Sidebar: I take daily biotin and B12 supplements because biotin promotes hair and nail growth and if your b12 is low (which can be one of the side effects of Metormin,) your hair will fall out. 
As of today - I’ve lost 14.5 lbs and my daily insulin intake is down between 9 and 15 units- steadily decreasing in increments since March. 
The most recent insulin decrease happened a few weeks ago, when I started noticing that my daily, 24 hour pump totals were in the mid 30’s. 
5 days in the mid thirties range, followed by a bump up of a couple days in the 40s and then back to the mid thirties. YES, there were a couple middle of the night, kick my ass lows (and one nasty high,) while I readjusted my basal rates. But I did what I had to because that's what people with diabetes do. 

Tomorrow is my Endo appointment - I’m hoping for good labs and a decrease in my a1c . 

And whatever happens, happens - I'm going to keep moving forward. 


Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

Good for you for finding a path KK! I'm fighting the middle aged spread and growing resistance during the second half of my cycle. I'll keep your story in mind if things keep going south in the next few months. Double diabetes = yay! :-P

StephenS said...

Hope everything turned out great with the endo. I know you've worked hard. Good for you or boldly going where you haven't before!

FatCatAnna said...

Hey there ... I would never have known you were fighting the battle with weight (to me - you looked perfect when I saw you in September!). And yes, insulin resistance can be a bitch - I did have it for abit when I started with menopause a few years ago - but then things changed - and I'm back to normal ... and actually having to reduce my insulin intake due to ... WTF ... weight loss (I eat like a there is no tomorrow - I mean - hello my new BFF - Tastykakes :) - for the occasional low blood sugar and treat !!!