Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Diabetes Alert Day

Please forgive me as I ramble on about a subject that is near and dear to my heart pancreas:

Dear Abby says today is the American Diabetes Association's Diabetes Alert Day. Here's a link to an assessment test.

Personally, I don't think that assessment test is worth much. While there is probably something in my genetic makeup that makes me susceptible to diabetes, I'm the only one in my family to have it. Two of my four brothers, my mother and father all have weight problems. Yet they are not diabetic. There isn't any diabetes on my mum's side of the family (I don't know about dear ol' dad's side of the family because I have nothing to do with him or his family). What I'm trying to say is the next time you're at your doctors ask to be tested. You can be at an ideal weight, eat well and have no diabetics in your family, yet you can still be diabetic or at risk at developing it.

In anticipation of yesterday's doctor's appointment, I had blood work done a couple weeks ago. The prognosis, as it stands, isn't good. At my last appointment my good cholesterol was good and my bad was a little higher than it should be. This time my triglycerides are so high they can't get a good reading on my cholesterol levels. I now have a prescription for meds to lower my cholesterol. My HA1c is at nine point something. The best it's been is eight something. It should be seven or lower. My kidneys are leaking protein into my urine. That indicates artery damage in my kidneys which indicates artery damage elsewhere (heart, etc.).

My doc wants me to test my blood glucose four times a day for a week and I'm to see him again on Monday. He said at this point my options are to up the drugs I'm currently taking (metformin and glyburide), or add Avandia (another diabetes med), or move on to insulin. We'll see how this week's testing goes and discuss those options on Monday.

Doc also strongly suggested that I need to lose weight and that I go to Weight Watchers to do so. He mentioned this before and Eli and I discussed it but we really didn't take it anywhere. I'm going to do some online research today on WW (where, when, how much) and follow up on it. I am also going to start walking every day (from our RV to the RV park entrance and back is about a mile - pretty much perfect).

It's probably needless to say but the ride home from the appointment was rough. This is a lot of bad news in one big lump. I haven't felt this devastated (health-wise) since I was diagnosed. However, I think it's really woken me up to reality. I have to do something about this if I want any quality of life. I guess it comes down to do I want to live to eat or eat to live.

So, does anyone have any links, anecdotes, etc. for WW? Any and all info would be appreciated.


Thomas said...

I'm almost in the same boat as you: High Triglycerides (500+) test scores have been in the 160's, the only one of my siblings to have Diabetes, etc.

Here's the thing: Gastric Bypass surgery (Carnie Wilson, Al Roker, etc) not only makes you lose weight fast, but ALL type II Diabetic symptoms go away. You have to be over a certain weight (300, I believe) and have been following a doctor's recommended diet for a year to qualify the surgery as a "medical neccessity". My problem is I'm 6'1" and under 300 by enough that eating exclusively at Burger King for a month wouldn't put me over the top.

Once I get down to about 200, and continue to eat less than 11 "carb values" (165g of non-fiber carbs for the uninitiated,) I was told that my Diabetic symptoms will go away on their own.

Great... My insurance would cover the surgery if I qualify, but won't pay me jack for a health club membership/bowflex or the expensive carb alternative foods. So I can be broke and healthy or have more money, become morbidly obese and end up being healthy. Only in a bureaucracy...

Chad said...

Hi Honey, sorry to hear about the bad news traveling your way. But wait! Here's a shining spot for you. I take my neighbor to her WW meetings twice a week and she's down to about 210 from 345. She had diabetes complications, and although I don't know much about her situation with her numbers, she assures me her body is adjusting and paying her back with improved tests.
Wish I could offer more, but there's many success stories out there ... let yourself be one of them!


deborah said...

Thanks for the info, guys.

The medical industries stand on what they will and won't pay for due to weight is stupid for the people who would benefit from a more "make sense" approach. However, they are in the business to make money. If we're all healthy, there goes a LOT of income.