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Old 18-04-2008, 10:35   #1
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Question Insulin dependant

Well the drugs don't work any more. It's needle time for me!

Anybody using an insulin pump?
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:38   #2
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insulin pump

One of my best friends--a regular sailor has used one for at least 7 years including trips with me through Central America. Has worked flawlessly. Except one thing. He has no reason anymore to watch his diet as carefully as before and he tends to put on weight. Get the waterproof cover for the thing.
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Old 18-04-2008, 10:57   #3
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Hey Rick, I fought it for many years and finally the Doc convinced me that insulin was the only choice left--so glad I did! Much, much easier to control--Lantis is a really good long-term insulin you can usually do once a day with the help of some oral meds. Will not interfere much with sailing or anything else. PM me if I can answer any questions at all--byu the way pumps are not without problems.
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Old 18-04-2008, 13:25   #4
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I love needles

I've been diabetic for 20 years. On the pills till about 5 years ago when the Doc gave me the ultimatum, live a short life or get on insulin. Have been on a Humulog before meals and Lantus before bed regimen ever since. A1C now below 7, something I never got close to with the pills despite keeping my weight down and moderate exercise. Control is so much easier especially when I pig out, occasionally.

Injecting the insulin is no big deal. Biggest problem is finding a place to inject in public situations. Haven't had the nerve to whip out the needle at the table or bar and shoot up. Toilets aren't the most conducive to injecting drugs as they typically have no place to put the kit other than the toilet seat. Injecting Stings at worst and easy to do in Hawaii where you have a lot of exposed skin to inject. It's a bit of pain injecting Humulog after every meal but it's become a routine and it encourages better eating habits. Have found that insulin keeps just fine without refrigeration for two weeks or more in daytime temps around 85 degrees. Haven't tried it in hotter temps so don't know what shelf life is in those conditions. Assume it would be way better in cooler climes.

Biggest problem with insulin is getting the right dose for your food intake. I apparently produce a lot more insulin when I exercise. Have a very physical part time job and it's taken time and adjusting eating times so I don't get hypoglycemic while working while not getting hyperglycemic before I go to work. Those are minor problems compared to what I had with the pill. Was constantly getting hypoglycemic and having to do a lot of nibbling while not handling the sugar rush from eating a normal meal.

I've thought about the pump but it seemed more of a hassle for a water centric life style.

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Old 18-04-2008, 14:06   #5
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Geez to be just a diabetic again. You make it sound like it's the end of the world to give yourself a dam shot. Wish that was all I had to do and I am a diabetic.
Since 2003 when I had that cancer surgery or 2004 when I had a major heart attack and bypass surgery or maybe since November of 2007 until now when I had over multiple times had 12 stints placed in my heart. To be just a diabetic again.......
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Old 18-04-2008, 17:01   #6
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Anyone here care to vote in the alternative medicine poll in live aboard forum??

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Old 18-04-2008, 17:02   #7
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Sorry, that's the boat ownership/making a living forum
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Old 27-05-2008, 16:46   #8
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I am a Type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump (3 different ones since 1999). Feel free to PM or email w/????s. I am not sure how it might work with a Type 2, but IMHO the pump should be the "standard of care" for all type 1s.

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Old 27-05-2008, 17:13   #9
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Started the insulin yesterday. Long lasting synthetic type. The once a day injection is no big deal (right now). It'll take awhile to dial in (literally - the injector pen has a dial on the end to measure dosage) the dosage.
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Old 27-05-2008, 17:27   #10
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Well, I feel better. I was wondering how to keep the inslin cool. I am currently on pills and have been concerned about cruising with insulin. I did not plan on having any refrigeration when I leave. Can I get by with no refrigeration when I go on insulin? This has been a big concern for me.
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Old 27-05-2008, 17:52   #11
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You can get at least two weeks in daytime temps of 85 degress. Haven't tried it any longer than that. Have never had insulin go bad in 5 years, however. I guess I should take a partial vial and leave it out to see how long it lasts.

If you're cruising in more moderate temps like Europe, the West Coast or the NE in summer, I'd bet there would be no need for refrigeration. The South East in Summer or the tropics may require refrigeration. The nice thing is it doesn't have to be stored at 40 degrees and takes up virtually no space, a small reefer at 70 degrees would probably suffice. Once again, you'd have to do some testing to see it's shelf life at various times. One caveat, insulin cannot be allowed to freeze so if you are going to cold climates, you may even need to keep it heated. I'm sure that the insulin mfgs could give you some idea of shelf life at various temps though it may err way on the safe side. We found that things keep way longer without refrigeration than the authorities would lead you to believe.

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Old 27-05-2008, 17:55   #12
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Thank you for the information. I just know my Dad keep insulin in the refrigerator.

John
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Old 27-05-2008, 17:56   #13
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As usual, it is best to check with your doc - oh you are seeing an endocrinologist, right - there are a number of new insulins out there and they may have improved the storage requirements, but...

In general, most insulins that I know of require refrigeration if you are going to be out for more than a about week.

FWIW, I use Humalog and it lives in a ziplock bag in the fridge away from the cooling plate. The insulin in my pump lasts for roughly 9 - 10 days. The insulin in the pump doesn't go bad, the insulin in the pump cartridge runs out.

Also, I think the "long-lasting synthetic" referred to above means 1) it acts over a 16+ hour time period and 2)it is NOT made from beef or pig insulin hormones.

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Old 27-05-2008, 21:21   #14
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Since this is a diabetic thread, and since I am a retinal specialist / ophthalmologist, I want you diabetics to get your eyes checked at least once a year so that you don't get into trouble with your vision.

Diabetics who have normal blood pressure have a grace period of five to fifteen years before complications start happening in their eyes.

Diabetics who have uncontrolled high blood pressure shorten their grace period substantially because their weakened diabetic blood vessels can't stand the stresses of uncontrolled high blood pressure. The capillaries and small blood vessels blow out and shut down when you have uncontrolled diabetes and uncontrolled hypertension.

As far as diabetic eyes are concerned, you need to stay ahead of the game, because if you fall behind the eight ball, you will likely lose vision.

Diabetic eye complications are like walking down a set of one way stairs. You can go down, but you generally can't go back up. Retinal specialists have a good chance of stabilizing your eyes at the level you are when you seek medical assistance. If you show up with visual loss secondary to diabetic complications, your retinal specialist can probably stabilize your vision at the present level using laser therapy. But he won't be able to restore your vision to normal. Visual loss in diabetes secondary to retinal problems is a one way street most of the time.

If you have diabetes for ten years, you should get your eyes checked annually. If you have diabetes and uncontrolled high blood pressure, you should get your eyes checked asap to make sure that irreversible complications aren't happening in your retinas.

Half my patients are diabetic, and so I spend a great deal of time stabilizing diabetic problems in the back of the eye.

Get your eyes dilated once a year. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 28-05-2008, 03:58   #15
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Thanks, Doctor Dave.

See also:
Type 1 diabetics
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