I’ve been diabetic for some six years or so now. Like many people I was vaguely aware of the condition, and knew that I had people within my family who had developed it. As they had mostly been diagnosed later in life, my faulty thinking was that therefore I had a bit of leeway and that if it happened then I would worry about it then. Well, life had other ideas, and the condition both turned my life upside down and also, paradoxically, got it back on track. Getting the diabetes under some measure of control had the bonus of resolving a whole host of physical and mental issues that I had been struggling with for an extended period of time.
For a good few years, even as a Type Two diabetic, I had to use a mixture of insulin and metformin to control it. While it was effective, it wasn’t until relatively recently that I was switched to using Byetta and I began to have a sense that the condition might not be as life-controlling as I had assumed. With that shift, and the changes in weight that it helped me achieve almost as a side effect, I’ve been enjoying life a lot more.
My blood pressure, blood sugar levels and general weight have all been falling back to so-called normal levels. This is despite the more sedentary life that writing brought, and the stress and resultant comfort eating that I had to keep an eye on. Fantastic, I thought – I could get used to this…
Then, at my most recent checkup, the diabetic nurse asked me to consider a new medication that has become available. I was a little wary until she told me it was a new form of the Byetta. The difference is that this treatment is formulated as a time-release injection and therefore only needs one application a week.
Marketed as Bydureon, it comes as a sort of self-assembly kit, containing a powder in a vial, the solution in the sterile syringe and a comparatively thick needle. This last detail was almost a deal-breaker for me, despite the lure of the prospect of only injecting once a week rather than twice a day. This is mostly because I’m terrified of needles – something of a disadvantage for someone who needs to inject medicine daily to live.
In the end I bit the bullet, so to speak, and agreed to give it a go. I took my first dose on Wednesday once my current Byetta pen had been used up. Mixing it all together was simple enough, and I just gritted my teeth and got on with it. Yes, the needle was thick, but so sharp I didn’t really feel much more than the usual scratch.
The immediate side effects were of nausea and a dull ache in my kidney area that lasted for a couple of hours and were quite uncomfortable. The injection site bruised, but that may just be my unfamiliarity with that thickness of needle. Afterwards though, things rapidly faded and I felt as normal as I might expect.
So far, I’m relieved to say that my sugars seem to be stable, so I guess the medicine is working. T’other half has noted that I don’t seem to be getting any of the sweats or irritability that sometimes comes with sugar, even with the previous treatments. Its still very peculiar not to be constantly diving for the injection pen. I’m still taking the metformin twice a day, but its almost as an afterthought now. I’m curious now as to what the reaction on Wednesday morning next week will be like.
So, we’ll see how it goes – but for now all seems to be well…