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Little changes.... slowly


momto6

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Life is slowly returning to before diagnosis status. Mostly.... *L*

So his numbers are "normal for normal".... basically all of them. Only one we're still working on is breakfast. His breakfast numbers are "normal for diabetics normal." Which means we ned to drop the numbers another 20-30 points (1 hour reading) before I'm happy. Problem is he LIKES cold cereal for breakfast. And it appears that the only breakfast thing that he can NOT have is cold cereal. I still think he could have it if he simply ate some protein before he had the cereal. But apparently the idea of a hard boiled egg or sausage patty before cold cereal is gross! *L* Greek yogurt has some, but not enough. And for some reason he has a mental block about eating it first. =0) I found a study on the interwebs that said it took several Type IIs and fed them the same meal in two separate weeks. First week they ate the carbs first and their blood sugars went up like 30%, next week they ate the protein first and their blood sugars were significantly lower. Is it true? Who knows? Doc said it could be true. And I think it's worth experimenting with if DH really wants the cold cereal. If we could just get that last number down to "normal for normal", I'd be happy. His 2 hour reading after breakfast is even normal, just that one hour number is being stubborn!

OK, so really his numbers came down from 460 to less than 140 after meals and less than 100 normally, so I'm pretty happy with that! But the bad diabetic complications are put off the longer you can keep the numbers in the "normal" range, so I just want to get ALL the numbers there. =0)

So we had another doctor appt last week, next one a month from that one. She said that she was impressed with him, Even his one hour breakfast numbers. I had asked her about "normal for normal" numbers at our last communication, and she found them on a English (British type) website. She couldn't find them on a US site.... weird right? How can you aim for "normal" numbers so as to prevent this disease from some pretty bad complications and progressing, if they won't tell you what "normal" number ARE?!?!? If the docs don't even know? *sigh* I think it should just be easier to get those numbers, that's all. And doctors should know a solid number instead of just saying "lower than your current numbers"..... and what the heck is with folks (the doc) who says that she's so impressed, and that it's so HARD to actually change the way you eat... and then proceeds to give examples of how hard it is for various folks to change the way they eat?!? So it's kind of a compliment on the one hand, and then stressing how difficult it is with the other.... Yes, it's difficult, but we're doing it, so stop saying how hard it is!! I mean I understand if we were struggling to get the numbers down (empathy), but we did it...... sooooo.....

Anyway, his BP was down about 10 points on both sides so that's better.... I don't know what those should be either, but since we're working on this diabetic thing right now, and since everything we're doing for this also helps the BP and Cholesterol.... I'm waiting until I get the new numbers in May before I worry too much about those. One stressor at a time please! *LOL*

SO anyway the appt went fine, she kept saying how impressed she was. *L* She also said that for Type II diabetics that many insurance companies would only give them enough lancets (the part that pokes and makes you bleed so that you can test) to do their blood sugars ONCE a day!! What is up with that?!? How in the heck are they supposed to get better if they can't test more than once a day? How would you know if your blood sugar goes high after certain foods? How can you adapt to what you NEED to eat, if you can't see how that food affects your blood sugars?!?! I mean really! That upsets me a little bit. Not for us, because thankfully we can afford to go out and buy however many lancets we need to make it work for us.... (this plan just keeps on giving!!) But not everyone is as fortunate, and Type IIs are not exactly what everyone thinks of when you say "diabetic".... she says that he doesn't even get a med-ID bracelet.... Which I really don't understand because he can have the same high or low blood sugars as Type Is..... And the docs need to be aware that he has that condition.... *sigh* OK, so I'm a little nutsy about that right now. I think I just need to look up somewhere that makes these things and get him one. Because if he passes out, he's not going to be able to tell them. ANYWAY those are my complaints right now! *L*

And we can't get that one hour breakfast reading down more. (It's down about 60-70 points (used to be 220!!), but that last 20-30 is just stubborn!!) OK, we can get it down more, and have, which is part of why I think that protein will lower it more.... because when he doesn't have cold cereal, then his numbers are "normal"..... But he has already given up a lot, I just want to make sure that we can't bring that number down any other way before I ask him to give up the cereal. I have breakfast bowls and sandwiches in the freezer that he can just heat and eat.... but he really likes cold cereal.... *sigh*

What else?!?! Oh yes... exercise.... he's moving more.... that's good. I ordered both TaiChi and Yoga beginners videos and some resistance bands and a "work out" for those. I think he's a bit afraid of how out of shape he is, and doesn't want to look silly beginning to actually work on that (fat jiggles you know)..... so these he can do in the privacy of our own home, and he can give his thunderous looks to anyone who would giggle.... although I think the girls are more likely to join in, since they kind of want him around longer too! =0) They are good kids. But I think that starting out slowly, rather than what anyone else would consider a "workout" will help motivate him, then when he can do those with no trouble, he'll want more of a challenge.... that's the hope anyway! *LOL* We were supposed to go for another long walk this weekend, but life got in the way. And I don't like that life seems to get in the way a lot.... then by the time stuff settles down it's too dark to do anything, so this is my compromise. AND his blood sugars hit low (70 or under) three times this week.... to the point that he had to eat something immediately to get them up to normal numbers.... that's a bit scary considering where we walk (woods).... sooooo..... At least now he's carrying his testing meter everywhere with him, I didn't think he would, but I think these lows scared him a little. So that's a good/bad thing. And they changed his meds again last week, so it may just be that he's getting to the point that he doesn't need them as much, or it may be getting time to lower his dosage. If he adds in exercise, then I'm thinking that he'll get rid of them all together. =0) He's lost about 20 pounds in the last 5 weeks, about 10 the first week, and then the rest as time went on. (so proud of him!!)

So talked to the doc again about lowering the dosage. She wants to wait and see what his numbers are at 3 months, and said that if his numbers stayed this low, that she would agree to TRYING to wean him off the meds. YAY!! I think she has realized that we are serious now. *sigh* She said that she normally doesn't, and only goes off the meds IF the blood sugars went too low. I had to explain that this is a progressive disease, and if he's on the "most effective meds" now, and didn't actually need them then they would be less effective later if he actually DID need them... and we don't even know if they are having an effect NOW, since we started on the meds, and don't know if his changes are what changed his numbers or if the meds changed his numbers and the ONLY way to tell is by withdrawing the meds a little bit at a time to see if there's a change.... and then give us a bit of time to see (if his numbers go up) if we can change that with diet. Especially since his current dosage is HALF of what they said they wanted him at our initial appointment (only a month ago... wow.).

Which is one of those things that makes me a little crazy about the bloomin' lancets!!! IF you can control it with diet and exercise, then you don't need to take meds daily (which would save them money), AND later less meds would be more effective (which would save them money), AND it would stall complications if not eliminate them (which would ALSO save them money), and all it would cost them is a few dollars in lancets (they were truly only about $10 a box of 100 or something like that). It's not like they are needles.... they can't be used for nefarious purposes! They are like a medical thumb tack (only thinner), just poke you enough to get a drop of blood. I wonder if there's a charity that will give those to Type II diabetics that just want to get this thing under control but can't afford it...... Guess I know what I will be looking into today! *L*

So that's the update. He's still doing great. Still only have the one bad recipe, everything else is turning out pretty good. Going to start working on moving more. (Not calling it exercise, spent too long doing that an hour a day....every day....for years and years.... "moving" sounds a lot less like work! *L*) He's starting to notice when his blood sugars are low.... paying attention to his body's signals.... so that's good too!

And a BIG THANK YOU to whoever recommended MyFitnessPal... He LOVES this site, and is putting in his info every day... no fight, no having to do it because he forgot.... he loves seeing the graphs and knowing what particular things he still has to go.... It's really helping him keep track of all the things he wants to keep track of (carbs, sodium, fats, etc...). If it only had a place to record his blood sugars I think he'd be over the moon! *L* But it's great, and he's using it daily, so thank you again! =0)

Got all the stuff for making my own almond milk, going to try that this week. =0) We'll see how it goes! *L*

Hope ya'll have a fabulous week! =0)

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Would he be willing to try a protein shake before the cereal? There are good, high quality protein powders out there...he could have one when he wakes up, take a shower, and then have the cereal.

 

A quick google search gives several links for target blood sugar levels in adults.

 

They usually want blood pressure to be below 125 (ideally below 120) for systolic. Below 80 for diastolic.

 

If she really doesn't know these numbers, and doesn't even know where to find them, I'd seriously consider a new doctor. Or maybe I'm misunderstanding the situation.

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Hi germaine, 

I'll have to ask him about a protein shake, I hadn't even thought about that!  But it may actually fit into his morning routine pretty easily.  Thanks!

 

That search provided "normal for diabetes" numbers, and yes, those are all over the internet.  =0)  I was looking for "normal for NOT diabetic" numbers, and more specifically to have them confirmed by the doctor.  (it's the internet you know =0) ) Mostly because we want to get off the meds, and normal for diabetic numbers on meds would simply have her continue the meds because we were doing fine.  But normal for diabetic numbers are still a LOT higher than normal for NOT diabetic numbers.  For example, normal for NOT diabetic 1-hour test numbers are 140.  (for diabetics is 180)  That's how you know your system is working right.  If it's higher than that, you have a high blood sugar reading.  If you are higher than that at testing, they will want to do a further test to determine if you are diabetic or it was simply a high reading.

 

Thanks for the BP numbers... He's still a little high for those numbers, but not too much.  I think the moving more will help with those numbers too.  =0)

 

I assume she knew the BP numbers, I just didn't ask.  I probably should have.... but I didn't.  =0)  One thing at a time.  And she definately gave me the "normal for diabetic" numbers, I guess she hadn't been asked about the "normal for NOT diabetic" numbers. I found the "normal for normal" numbers somewhere and just wanted her to confirm them, but it took her a bit to do that.  I think I just like to play "stump the doctor" when we have medical appts.  *L*  I seem to do that a lot.  After all, I don't know if they graduated at the top of her class or the bottom.  She's "Doctor" either way.  When we started I read everything I could for about three days, then wanted her take on the things that I thought were plausible.... I guess that lots of folks do not take this thing as seriously as we did.  We made massive changes at the start, rather than little changes over time.  His numbers were really high, and I wasn't playing!  =0)  Poor man.... he has basically turned himself into a science experiment to find out what works best for HIM.  I think that's the only way you can actually do it though.   Not to mention that I like concrete goals.... this vauge "lower than they are" thing doesn't work for me.  "No more than 140 after meals" that I can work towards.  =0)  AND he wants OFF the meds.  If it CAN be controlled without them, then he wants to do that.  I support him in that.  The doctor is shocked.  Apparently it's unusual.  I don't know, since I only have my experience to draw upon, and most of the diabetics I know (that I know are diabetic) are type I, I don't know what's "normal" for folks with type II, so I have to set up my own goals.  =0)  I just wanted to be sure they were reasonable, and not impossible to reach.  KWIM?

 

Thanks for the info!  

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Wow! You guys are doing a wonderful job of managing this! It's wonderful that his numbers are down so well and you're even at a point of considering reducing the meds. That's exceptional!

 

Have you tried substitutes for cow's milk in the cereal? Cow's milk is very high in sugar really. If he could learn to like almond milk, I bet that would help! I haven't really had commercial almond milk so I can't recommend a good one, but I have made it using this recipe: http://ohsheglows.com/2013/01/24/my-favourite-homemade-almond-milk-step-by-step-photos/ and it's quite good. I like it with just vanilla, which results in a very low-calorie (low sugar) beverage. The resulting almond meal is good for baking as well!

 

Best of luck getting those morning numbers into the normal-for-normal range!

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Hi gemma, 

 

Yes, cow's milk was one of the first things to go.  When we tested it over soy milk, it raised his blood sugars significantly more.  He only drinks it in the morning on his cereal, so it was pretty easy.  =0)  We started with soy milk, then I read something about the plant estrogens in soy not being great for males, and switched to almond milk.  I got the things needed to make our own yesterday in the mail, so I'll be trying it out probably this weekend.  =0)  Thanks for the recipe.

 

Thanks!!  =0)

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It sounds like you're both doing a fantastic job adjusting & being proactive for his health. My husband has type 1 and my dad has type 2. 90-95% of all cases are type 2. Chances are you actually do know a lot of people with it (mostly older), you just don't realize they have it. If cereal is his breakfast of choice, look for high protein cereals. I noticed "Cheerios Protein" in the store recently. I'm sure there's plenty of others. Or perhaps a cheese stick before breakfast? Have you read about cinnamon & type 2? It slows down & evens out the sugar that's released to the bloodstream, to avoid blood sugar spikes & crashes. You can buy cinnamon capsules in the vitamin aisle and have him take one with each meal (especially cereal or anything else high-carb). For walks, etc. learn to always have some carbs along. Fruit snacks, granola bars, etc. fit easily into a pocket. Similarly, he should always have something in his car (heat resistant). Good luck to you both!

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