My Victoza Journey (Continued)

I have now lost about 1.5 stone in weight (about 21 pounds, so I now weigh 224 pounds), and more importantly, it has stayed off. I have dropped three dress sizes and while the English winter has prevented me from walking every day, I am still trying to maintain frequent walks. If I can't get out for a walk, I ensure that I climb the stairs rather than take a lift; walk where possible. I even managed to sit in an airplane seat without an extension belt in January 2010!

The most significant thing that sticks in my mind was that toward the end of summer, I was able to run up a hill with my granddaughter – I was so pleased – I did it, was not out of breath and didn't huff and puff afterward. What an achievement.


Victoza, Carol's "Italian drug."

The only other side effect I've had is that if I inject Victoza into my legs, I seem to get some sort of mild reaction locally, but I'm not entirely sure if this is related to the drug or the needle. I now inject regularly into my abdomen and have had no reactions there.

Victoza (I called it my Italian drug – as I am half Italian) has made such a difference. I feel that I am more in control of my diabetes; I have the willingness to lose weight and exercise, and in December my overall A1c was down to 6.6%. This was a huge boost to my confidence and gave me great motivation to carry on trying to lose weight and take care of myself. The greatest motivation is knowing that I CAN do something about living a longer and healthier life; I want to see my children grow up and succeed, have children of their own (as well as my oldest daughter's child). I want to be able to live life to the full, continue my job - while it is hard work, sometimes tiring and stressful, working with young people is incredibly fulfilling.

So many people have said to me I don't look 52 – I don't now but I used to (and that was before I was!). I have the energy to look after my four year-old granddaughter all day – my eldest is training to be a midwife – and I truly believe that Victoza has helped make that change in my life.

Injecting is not a problem; it is such a tiny needle. Carrying the Victoza pen around on occasion is problem-free – it looks like a highlighter pen of sorts. My GP, my diabetic nurse, even the pharmacist at my local practice are all aware that I am happy being on the drug – I think they can see how well I'm doing too and are genuinely interested in the effects it is having. My friends and family all say I seem more alive, less tired and happier since I've been on it.

If you're thinking about using Victoza, ask your healthcare doctor or educator about it. As a reminder, the nausea was hard for me, but I did work around that – the shot, that I thought might be challenging, was very easy (being able to inject the pen anytime and anywhere definitely helps). I've found it to be a fabulous choice for me – after all, it's given me back my zing for life!

Note from diaTribe: not every drug works well for every person, but we wanted to seek out a patient that had had a positive experience with Victoza for this column. As always, "your diabetes mileage may vary" and please seek out a medical professional before making any changes in your diabetes regimen. And, have you tried Victoza? If so, please tell us how it worked for you at!

diaTribe is an independent, advertising-free e-newsletter for everyone eager to learn about the latest advances in diabetes management. diaTribe is your inside track on diabetes research and products – sign up here for your complimentary lifetime subscription!

NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.

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Last Modified Date: June 11, 2013

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by Brenda Bell
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...
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