Diagnosed June 29, 2016
I was just diagnosed on June 29, 2016 and I feel lost.
I don’t have a pump or CGM (yet, but will push Dr. at next visit later this month).
I’m on information overload, yet I don’t feel like I have the information that I need.
Please feel free to suggest reading materials and information on meal plans and anything else that I might need.
First off, please relax a little bit and find a little bit of enjoyment in your life. You can do very well without CHM or pump although both of those tools are really great. I lived with T1 and had a full, active life for 48 1/2 years before I got my first pump and I still don’t have CGM.
Many people say that one of the best guide books is “Think Like a Pancreas”. For meals, do two things; 1) choose foods that you enjoy eating, and 2) make healthy food choices. You may have some conflict with those two guides, so let “Healthy” prevail. You need not eat only special diabetic foods and I try to avoid anything labeled like that.
I’ll presume that you manage your diabetes with MDI (Multiple Daily Injections) of a fast acting insulin plus a background or long lasting insulin. If so, I suggest that you learn and get in the habit of counting carbohydrates in everything that you eat – food packaging lists the carbs per serving. At first that will feel overbearing but after a while it becomes old hat. If you want help figuring how to get the right amount of insulin into you for meals, just ask and I’ll share with you some of my methods.
Just be careful in calculations while you are learning – and don’t get discouraged if you make a mistake and two hours later you have a weird BG reading – I make mistakes counting carbs especially when eating in restaurants – just think back to where you may have slipped up and learn from that. I’ve been at this for 60 years and I’m still learning.
Thank you Dennis,
Part of my problem revolves around the fact that my doctor told me not to eat carbs.
Although I understand the concept of carb counting, it has not been discussed with me. I will address at my next visit later this month.
As far as the insulin pump and cgm, I will push Dr. for them this year as they are covered at 100%. I can’t take the chance that my insurance will change drastically next year.
Do you have any suggestions for pumps?
Thanks again for your response.
I look forward to learning from you.
I’m honored to be able to share some of my experience managing diabetes and offer you my “non ‘medically’ professional suggestions. I will say that you are eating carbohydrates and that your brain needs carbs in order to function. A major obstacle that we must each determine is how to MANAGE those carbohydrates with T1. In the beginning I can guarantee that you will go through much trial and error learning to balance what you eat, how and in what activities you engage with the type and amount in insulin YOUR body needs; our bodies and their insulin needs are each unique. I hope your doctor does not have “a one size fits all” mentality and that s/he will refer you to a registered dietitian and diabetes educator; most insurance plans provide a few sessions with these professionals.
As for pumps, I’ve used only Minimed [Medtronic] pumps and I do not use CGM. I highly endorse the Medtronic devices; I understand now that the newer Medtronic CGM sensors are better than previous models. An advantage of the Medtronic is that the CGM and pumps communicate directly and there is no need for additional devices.
My daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 a year ago so we’re still somewhat newbies at this. She started on the Medtronic 530G (and hase been very pleased with it) and CGM six months after diagnosis, and I must say that waiting that long was helpful in getting more comfortable with carb counting (CalorieKing.com is a great mobile resource when you’re eating away from home) and insulin dose adjustment. Ongoing communication with our diabetes educators really helped get us through the early months. We still consult them frequently between our endo visits to help make insulin adjustments as our daughter’s exercise levels and growth spurts are always changing. If your doctor is not an endocrinologist, you may want to consider consulting one if you feel you are not getting the information you need from your current clinic.
If you are considering the new Medtronic 670G coming out next spring, be aware that people who get the Medtronic 630G (just released in August 2016) before the end of this year will have priority for upgrading to the 670G. Medtronic sales reps are very helpful in explaining the features of the pumps and the priority upgrade program.
We have found JDRF and ADA to be very helpful resources. They have good online information, and they both sponsor excellent educational events periodically. There’s no doubt that the first year is a real roller coaster (and I don’t mean just your BG readings!), but it does get less overwhelming. Good luck on your journey.
In addition to the comments above, I’d like to add to try not to get too stressed out about whatever numbers your meter may be throwing at you. There are no “good” or “bad” numbers–each number is simply a data point that tells you how to move forward from there. Through a lot of trial and error, you will eventually learn to anticipate some of your highs and lows and be able to prevent them ahead of time. Diabetes can be very overwhelming to a newbie like yourself, but I promise that over time it will all become second nature. Unfortunately, time is the only way to achieve a level of comfort with your new lifestyle. There is a lot to learn, and each person’s diabetes is unique to them.
ALso, I’ve been on Medtronic pumps for about 16 years and have been using their CGM since they came out about 10 years ago–I also highly recommend them, but I don’t have any experience with other pump companies to compare it with. Besides Medtronic, you can also look at pumps from Animas and T-Slim. Animas recently integrated with the Dexcom CGM (a separate company that only makes CGMs, not pumps) and T-Slim is working toward doing the same, so Medtronic is not your only option for an all-in-one product. Reps from each company can explain the products to you and event let you try them out before you buy–you can wear a pump filled with saline instead of insulin just to get a feel for wearing it, using the buttons, etc.
For most people I would recommend getting comfortable and learning the ropes with shots before jumping into the pump world, but I understand your need to act before our future president starts messing with the insurance industry. My only advice with CGMs is that you will often be tempted at first to react to what you see on the graph. Insulin, food, and exercise take time to affect your blood sugar, so don’t jump the gun and give a bunch of extra insulin for a rising blood sugar when you already have insulin in your system (for example). This may not make sense now, but once you get a CGM I can guarantee you’ll understand this piece of advice almost immediately.
I’m also a newbie. Diagnosed June 19, 2016. I tend to have morning lows so started on Dexcom CGM 4 weeks ago. This has been very helpful in preventing the lows. I don’t feel ready for a pump but just started using the I-port advanced for injections. I’m in the same position with having used 100% of my insurance. I too would also like to get a pump while it is covered even if I don’t use it right away. Does anyone have experience with the Omnipod? I like the idea of no tube.
Sorry for the typo I meant to say HELLO.
Anyway I just found out insurance won’t cover Omnipod so I’m now looking into Medtronic. Is there one pump that is easier to use than others?
In my first year I read “Diabetes Rising,” “Bitter Sweet,” “Think Like a Pancreas,” “Medical Management of Type 1 Diabetes, 4th Ed.” And Dr. Bernstein’s book. They are all good and all different. And of course, JDRF gave me Mary Tyler Moore’s book and I read it too.
You can find all of these at the library or on line.