I have been a Type 1 Diabetic for over 27 years now. That means I have been administering injections to myself at least three times a day since I was 5 years old. The number of daily injections over the last 15 years has been four. Type 1 Diabetes is a serious disease, it can not be prevented, its causes are highly debated. I am the first member of my family diagnosed with it, which means that it is not hereditary. Growing up living with Type 1 Diabetes has not been easy and has presented many obstacles. Having to carefully plan out every hour of every day of my life. If I wanted to go to a sleep over at a friends, take a vacation, work an overnight shift, I always had to prepare my insulin, my syringes, an ice pack to keep my insulin cool, my blood glucose monitor, test strips, emergency snacks…as you can see, it is impossible for me to travel light.
I am somewhat of a sporadic person, but no matter how sporadic I want to be, I always have to plan in detail. In my late teens and early twenties, my friend Victoria and I would go on random road trips for days at a time. When I was a flight attendant, although I might have only been scheduled for on call at the airport, I could have been sent on a 6 day trip. If I were the type of person who worked a regular 9 to 5 job, had no real social life, I wouldn’t need to plan as much as I do. But, I am not that kind of guy. I live for adventure, new experiences, exotic locations, but Type 1 Diabetes tries to hold me back. That hasn’t worked to well. Lucky for me, in July of 2017 my life was changed in an astounding way.
AFREZZA (Insulin Human) Inhalation Powder, the most amazing thing a Type 1 Diabetic could dream of. On Monday 3 July 2017 my life was deeply impacted. I was at the office and a TV screen in the waiting room was promoting Afrezza, an Inhalable Insulin. I was intrigued because the last time I heard about Inhalable insulin was years before and I remember a doctor telling me it was removed from the market because it was giving people lung cancer. I did further research and found out that it was only smokers who were being affected, but they removed it from the market anyway. As a non-smoker, I was disappointed, but hoped that they would soon come out with something similar or better.
This advertisement, I assumed, was about to drop the big hurt. For a type 1 diabetic the big hurt is when they say “…Is not approved for Type 1 diabetes and is…” but to my joyous surprise the commercial said “Is approved for Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes.” My heart almost jumped out of my chest. I went and consulted with one of the doctors at my office and it was confirmed that it had been on the market for a couple of years now. I got on my phone and called my PCP to schedule an appointment.
So, Afrezza Inhalable Insulin is a fast acting insulin for Diabetics. This is the insulin I need before each meal and sometimes large snacks. Before this, I was taking at least 3 shots during the day (one before each meal) and at night I was taking my long-lasting insulin(it helps keep me balanced for 24 hours). So this would reduce my injections from 4 each day, to 1. This also means that I can take my insulin anywhere I want and not have to sneak off to the bathroom to drop my pants or pull up my shirt.
For over six months now, I have been using AFREZZA inhalable insulin and my diabetes has never been in better control. I have used all three types of cartridges, the 4 unit, 8 unit and 12 unit. These cartridges are incredibly helpful and easy to carry with you, no matter where you’re going. My A1C level is perfection, I have not experienced any highs or lows. It is a Diabetic’s dream come true. Although I have had issues getting the insulin covered by United HealthCare (Read Here 1 & 2), they finally had to approve the use of it.
If you are a Type 1 Diabetic, and you have not yet spoken to your endocrinologist about AFREZZA, do yourself a favor and schedule an appointment now. If you do not have an Endo, or prefer to find one who has experience with AFREZZA specifically, their website has a great tool to find one in your area. They also have a card to help lower your monthly co-pay for the medication here.
I have met and spoken with a number of the incredibly people working on AFREZZA at the Mannkind Corp, and they are real people who are trying to improve the quality of life for Diabetics. Try AFREZZA, I did and I have never been happier.