How long does it take to find the right insuli or meds to stabilize the diabetes?I want my life back

It jus seems liike nomatter wat I do my sugars just can’t get to normal.its always high above 200 and as high as the 500’s…I’m tired of the testing pokes and the insulin injection…I am now tryin the flexpens insulin but don’t feel a change,when I used the vials of novelog and humolog it did hurt 2 inject,but I was able 2 feel a differance of it working.I can only inject directly to my stomach,my body doesn’t react well if I inject it elsewer.I hope I can get some feedback,have so many unanswerd questions,only some that’s diabetic would know.

Welcome to TuDiabetes! Are you taking any other type of insulin other than Humalog or Novolog? Most people use a long acting insulin as well, like Levemir or Lantus.

Yeah, if you’re not on some long acting insulin too, then keeping your BG down between meals is HARD. It sucked when i ran out of my long acting (only happened once or twice) and keeping my sugar down even without eating was VERY difficult.

Hi Bibi,

Welcome! Glad you found us because there are many experienced people here to help.

For proper treatment & for insurance purposes, you really should have a diagnosis. Do you go to an endo?

Important to rotate injection sites to help prevent scar tissue. I use my stomach, highs, hips & do the pretzel twist for the top of my butt. What do you mean that your body doesn’t react well to any place other than your stomach?

Not eating in the morning can cause highs. I found that I have to eat soon after waking to prevent further glycogen dumping by my liver. Typically, lowest BG is between 2-4 AM, while our bodies are resting. As waking time approaches, the liver dumps glucose to raise BG to prepare for the day. Diabetics, of course, don’t have a way to regulate BG so it can keep going higher in the morning.

Please read Jenny’s wonderful blog Tons of info there to hopefully answer some of your questions.

Your doctor or a CDE (certified diabetic educator) needs to teach you to count carbs & to match insulin to your meals. Novolog is taken for every meal, usually around 15 minutes before meals. This timing is a general guideline & you’ll need to experiment to see what works best for you.

You will learn your I:C (insulin:carb) ratio. Doctors usually start patients off on a 1:15 ratio (1 unit of insulin for every 15 carbs) & adjust from there up or down.

People tend to have different ratios based on time of day. Most people are most carb sensitive/insulin resistant in the morning. Your ratio for breakfast may be lower than for other meals. Afternoon, when we’re more active, usually has a higher ratio. Dinner tends to also be a time when ratio is lower.

The other thing you need to learn is your ISF (insulin sensitivity factor). This means how much 1 unit of rapid acting insulin will lower high BG when you have high BG. Everyone is different & dose is based loosely on weight.

Please speak to your doctor about these so you can correct highs & aren’t shooting in the dark. Doses should be based on what you eat, not a set Novolog dose for just lunch & dinner.

Three great books:

Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin
by Gary Scheiner

Using Insulin, Everything You Need for Success With Insulin by John Walsh

Diabetes Solution by Dr. Richard Bernstein

First of all, WELCOME, and remember we are all different. Just because something works for me doesn’t mean it will work for you. I have been using insulin as a type 1 for about 26 years, but I think I have some good info for you.

When I swithced from vials to flexpens, I did not notice a difference in my insuilin to carb ratio (number of carbs you need for every unit of short term insulin). If you do, discuss with your doctor.

Do you prime your flexpen every time you start a new one? I think you need to rotate up and shoot out into the air like 6 or 8 units before you start. If you don’t you can have troubles because you are injecting air when you think you are injecting insuiln. It is in the instructions that comes with the pens. ONE OTHER IMPORTANT THING: With the flexpens, you need to keep the needle in your skin longer than if it were a syringe. I wait one second for every unit I inject. Some people count to 10 or 20. I have noticed a difference if I don’t do that, with being short a unit or so.

Also, you will typically need more insuiln per carb at breakfast than at lunch and more insuiln per carb at dinner.

I hate poking my fingers, too. I have been diabetic for about 26 years, and I still hate it. I think part of it, though, is the trauma you face every time you test. If you are running that high, not only do you not feel well, but you are worried it will be high again. Totally reasonable! Once your control improves, the testing won’t be so traumatic, I think.

Not sure of your age, but I see you are female, so I will let you know that hormone shifts with menses (3-4 days a month for me) and/or menopause can cause different insulin requirements.

Gerri recommended those three books. I haven’t read Bernstein’s book, but the first two will change your life. You won’t believe how much they will teach you that you didn’t know you need to know. Like caffeine will raise the blood sugar of some people (maybe all people) a few hours after consumption. It does in me. I got those books on As far as bloodsugar101, I read through that website, and agreed with some of the things she said and disagreed with others. Take all info with a grain of salt and figure out if it will or will not wrok for you.

Hey, do you have allergies? Allergies are really bad right now and they can really raise blood sugars. Also, almost any medicine you take for the allergies can affect blood sugar levels.

Also, make sure you are checking your ketones. With blood sugars like that, you need to monitor your ketones, and call your doctor for further direction. Maybe just ask the doctor if you should be checkign, and when. If he doesn’t have instructions for you, then I would at least consider replacing him or asking for an Endocrinologist or a CDE. High levels of ketones can be dangerous.

Hi Bibi

Gerri and Tanya have given a wealth of information:Please use it: Yes it IS A LOT to learn and do: But Yes, You CAN do it!!! I agree with them that the same doses for meals without carb counting or testing after meals is a set-up for frustration/failure. That, combined with insulin resistance, can make it so hard to get good control:No wonder you are running such high levels. Please read the books; and start taking small steps, with the help of your medical team, to get Blood glucose numbers you are comfortable with and are healthy for you.

Werlcome to Tudiabetes, dear!!! There are many wonderful, caring folk here who will listen and give you as much support as they can…

God Bless,


Deep breath, from my experience, “normal” comes when you have found the combination of meds that will work for you…and sometimes it is hit and miss. Not like taking an antibiotic and you are cured. I have tried over 12 meds, and various combos of that number. I am finally on the path of the ones that are going to work with me. We are all different and sometimes it takes finding that different med that works just for BIBI. I am interested in (other than pokes and prods, which none of us like) how you don’t have your life…can you explain please? Most diabetics can do and be whatever it is they want to do and be without too much difficulty…is there something more that you are not able to do that you want to do. I’d really be interested in helping you get that life back.

What is your blood sugar when you are in a “cold sweat”? Is it running very low? It could be you are getting too much insulin for your meals. Another case for carb-counting and adjusting your meds accordingly…Please see a CDE *( Certified Diabetes Educator), Nurse Practictioner, or someone on your medical team to help out Your daughters love you and want to look after you…but you need professional assstance with these needs.The low blood sugars, if that is what they are, are NOT supposed to happen. everytime you eat and take meds, ; and your vision changes should definitely be checked out soon… Please go and see your medical team ASAP!!

God Bless,
I am praying for you


Welcome to our community. It really sounds like you are struggling, and I really feel for you. I’d like to add one more suggestion, and that is to reach out to diabetes centers in your local community for help. A quick look shows that there are diabetes centers at Universty of Chicago (Kovler), Rush Universty, Universty of Illinois, Riverside Hospital, and others. Often visits to these centers are covered by insurance and they can be invaluable, helping you with the day by day complexities of all this stuff. If you want specific recommendations and phone numbers, post a local landmark, and I’ll look up some specific suggestions for you.