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Changing old habits?

...or rather, old ways of thinking.

With all this cold weather, I'm reading lots of stories of adults and children with type 1 getting ill. The majority of people with type 1 will, when ill, experience high blood glucose levels. I'm not a scientist and can't explain why it happens, but it does, and it's incredibly frustrating when it does happen.

I haven't been ill in any way so far since being on the pump. I'm yet to get a cold or a bug or anything like that. Touch wood it stays that way. I've had a few 'off' days, where I've been a bit under the weather or felt generally ill, but nothing that's knocked me back, yet.

But my old school ways of thinking has made me question myself a lot recently.

I was diagnosed in 1991, almost 20 years ago. I was on mixed insulin for far too long (until 2006, at my own discretion). Being on this regime for so long meant that I got to know the way things happened for me. One of these things being illness.

When on mixed insulin, with no access to fast acting insulin (which some families did have access to, I was one of the ones who did not), the basics of sick day management went as follows:

- your BG levels will shoot up
- they will stay up
- drink lots and check for ketones if you get worried (ketones are produced when the body has no insulin to tuck glucose away into your cells - thus the body has no fuel source, and breaks down fat to use as fuel, then acid known as ketones are produced and essentially poisons the blood, to put it in layman's terms)

I find myself, today, in 2010 with my pump and my awesome testing kit and my fast acting insulin on tap, still sometimes floating back to this way of thinking. If I'm getting ill (I've had a few days when I've had high levels and thought I was becoming ill - only for it to fizzle out into nothing) I tend to just sit there being 'okay' with higher numbers. I accept them as part of the diabetes deal - only the obvious thing is, I can do something about them! I won't let myself sit in the teens, but if I see more 8s/9s/10s/11s than I would like, I just kind of sit back and let it happen rather than setting a temporary basal (giving myself more insulin per hour than normal).

I'm trying to put my thoughts into concise words. I suppose what I am saying is I am so, so used to the old school ways of thinking that sometimes I literally forget that I have the technologies to do something about these situations! When I'm ill, I accept higher numbers as part and parcel of being ill.

I am trying to get into the habit of questions myself on a more regular basis - am I doing everything I can right at this moment in time to get my BG levels in range? Would a temporary basal be useful right now?

In other news, I'm planning to do some basal testing over the next few days. What fun that will be!

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