Monday, May 18, 2015

Afrezza User

After reading initial excited reports here on the interweb, I spent the last few weeks dutifully jumping through the required hoops and I finally got my hands on some of that sweet sweet Afrezza magic dust. On a tangent here, while it's true that the daily pricks and pokes of diabetes are tough, turns out a spirometry exam is TOUGH AS SH*T. Like, disappointed looks from the technician as she explains for the 14th time that I'm "microswallowing. Like doing these really tiny little swallows...anyway the machine can't read it?" So I, nose running, eyes watering, still unclear on what microswallowing actually feels like and how to stop it, rubber hose and scuba mask mouthpiece shoved into my mouth prepare to exhale...exhale...shoot it out...and HOLD HOLD HOLD for flipping ever...again...

Anyway. That semi-scarring incident behind me, I earned myself the golden ticket. The magic juice. The incredible, inhalable....AFREZZA. And I have to say, so far, the hype is not completely wrong. Even though there are fairly few PWDs on it so far, I think it is going to be pretty popular by the end of the year. If people can stick it through the spirometry, I guess. Here are my thoughts so far:


  • Suuuuuper awkward in public. I've gotten used to quietly beep beep booping away in the corner with everyone else oblivious to what's happening. Of course I'm pretty nonchalant about doing finger sticks, but people are generally cool with that because it's familiar. We've all seen the obesity documentaries. We know what diabetes is. But shoving powders into a plastic whistle and doing your best Snoop Dogg impression? Attention grabbing, to say the least.
  • Dosing is confusing, to say the least. It's just in and out so's hard to know how much is actually going "in." And it doesn't seem to hang around very long, so it can lead to some roller-coastering around mealtime. Some people have recommended doing a pump bolus and an Afrezza bolus...I'm still investigating. 
  • Still have to wear a pump--for basals, for food bolusing (because I'm still figuring out the dosing, I mainly use the Afrezz' for corrections). So that means I'm a whistle-blowing, ever-beeping cyborg now. 
  • It doesn't keep for very long (although I haven't tested this) but once you open a foil pouch (which contains roughly 10 blister packs of 3 cartridges each), it's only good for 10 days. And it takes up more space in your refrigerator, too. 
  • It's hard to keep track of--I rely on Diasend to help me manage things, but since I'm taking less pump boluses and there's no way to automatically upload my Afrezza use (and no app that lets me upload all my data plus add in manual timestamped notes in once place), it's messing with my organization. And since I'm also Type A, in addition to Type 1, I don't love that. 
  • It works. It works. It works, it works, it works. I CANNOT say that one enough. It just does. Wicked post-prandial spikes after breakfast? Accidental snacking binge at the staff meeting? random CGM delay that shows you at 113 --> one minute and 181 double arrows up 5 minutes later? SHAWTY DON'T PLAY. One 4U puff and things are smoothing out. No rage-bolusing. No vigorous, frustrated walks or bike rides that BF is forced to endure. No 5 hour snooze alarm on my Dexcom going off to remind me that I've been out of range for way too long. We're talking results within the half hour. 
  • It works, just the right amount. As in, this weird flattening out effect where I never seem to drop below 65 with it, as long as there's little to no other insulin in my system. And then I usually drift gently back up into the 80s or 90s. It's confusing, sure, and I sometimes treat for hypos that never happen...but still...
Overall, I'm pretty pleased. On the one hand, I have to admit I appreciate that thinking about the wicked BG consequences often holds me back from over-indulging on the treats. And having Afrezza around certainly mitigates these consequences, which makes me a little worried that I might fall into some bad habits since big bad A is there to come save the day. On the other hand, "pancreo-typical" folks don't have to suffer hours and hours of guilt, misery, and potentially life-threatening hypoglycemia (due to fervent rage-bolusing) after polishing off a bag of chips. So maybe I shouldn't either...especially when often the numbers have nothing to do with my own personal habits/choices and instead have everything to do with my pancreas not functioning. 

And essentially, isn't the modern lingo in diabetes today talking about "improved time in-range?" Well, Afrezza has certainly given that. Never fear, my trusty Dexcom still buzzes quite frequently. I don't have those flat, beautiful graphs that some other new converts have been showing off all over the internet. But while things may be a bit bouncing around a bit more, there's also a lot of time in the white to show for it. 

I just picked up my "real" first supply month's worth. So far it's only been a week and goodness knows after only a week of subcutaneous insulin I was a hot mess. I'll check back in about my progress soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment