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Diabetes update

momto6

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So we had our 9ish month check up... hard to believe that it's really been that long, but it has.

Total pounds lost - 71-75 depending on when he steps on the scale.

Total A1C - 5.3 (normal high is 5.6, anything over that gets you a diabetes diagnosis) Started at 11.6

Total cholesterol - 163 (I think), generally they want it to be under 200. Started around 200.

Blood pressure normal.... started borderline high

Total medications - ZERO!! Started on two different ones for diabetes, with the doc wanting to prescribe one for high blood pressure and another for cholesterol.

So he went from borderline high blood pressure and borderline high cholesterol to normal ranges. Should still get the "good" cholesterol up a bit, but the only way to do that is exercise and he's not wanting to go that way yet.

If he walked in to the doctor today, without the prior diagnosis, he would not be diagnosed as diabetic OR pre-diabetic. I find that amazing. *L* So did the doc. She is apparently trying to get a diabetic support group together and asked us to speak at it. I don't know if she would really want us to do that. We aren't conventional. *LOL* Most of the things she suggested, we ignored. We did our own research and did what worked for us. We haven't really "exercised", although we are doing more simply because we feel better, and did things like getting a push mower when the old one died, instead of self propelled. We also tested A LOT. Like the docs say test once a day, and in the beginning we tested when first getting up, before eating (that's the one they suggest) then after breakfast at one and two hours, before snacks, 1 and 2 hours after lunch, after snack, 1 and 2 hours after dinner, before snack and before bed. Only 10 more times a day then they wanted. But it has never made sense to me that you test before you do anything to alter your basic number and then not again until you have been fasting for 8-10 hours. How do you figure anything out? How do you know what raises your sugars? Anyway.... We no longer test that way, it was necessary in the beginning, and once we figured out what raised his sugars and changed it to something that didn't (like a homemade egg McMuffin for breakfast instead of ANY pre-made cereal... box cereal is for later in the day if he wants it, it doesn't raise it then.), we don't test after eating it, because we know it's ok. We ran out of test strips and had to find an alternative source (Amazon.com is the cheapest we've found), because the insurance doesn't like to prescribe more than 1-2 a day for type 2 diabetics. We discovered that box pasta and Mexican food need to be tested at 2 and 3 hours instead of one and two that way. For some reason they don't raise sugars until then. We never got up to the 2000mg of the meds that she wanted in the beginning. (standards of care dictated that amount) I guess we did everything "wrong"..... but it was right for us. We still eat bread and pasta (bad), just in smaller amounts. Portion control had more to do with the weight loss than not eating certain things. We also eat out and live life. Birthday parties get cake (but we don't do it often). We have ice cream sometimes. And rice. And basically everything.... except cereal in the morning.... we have cereal, but not in the morning. =0) And we still test when we have something new.

So anyway, I'm not sure that she wants us to speak to a group that is struggling with controlling their diabetes. I don't know that what we did would work with everyone.... I'm pretty sure it won't. The only thing I can say that I think would help everyone is test, test, test, and then test again. Make yourself a human pin cushion for the first month (well plan on the first month, it may not take that long, and it may take a little longer). And that you should treat it as a living experiment. Figure out what works for YOU. Doctors can make suggestions, but every single person is unique and "standards of care" may not be the best care for YOU the individual.

Anyway, our next appointment is in 6 months. So yay! And we asked her once about how if you had high blood pressure and you got it under control without meds you no longer really had "high blood pressure" and how long you had to have your A1C be "normal" and your blood sugars "normal" before the docs considered you to no longer had diabetes.... at the time she said never. *L* Before we left the last appointment, she said that if we continued what we were doing, she may have to reconsider her stance on thinking that diabetes couldn't be "cured", just controlled. *LOL*

Poor doc. We have given her "homework" I think every time we have gone in, something to research, something to look up. We have made her think of the patient, instead of "standards of care". And now this. She may never be the same! *L*

So that's the update. I don't know if I believe that diabetes can be cured.... I think if he went back to what he was doing before he'd be in the same amount of trouble... but it was truly a "lifestyle choice" and I don't know that we'll ever go back.

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Good work!

 

I think if you present it as "figure out what works for you, make good/healthy/healthful decisions, don't give up, etc" then that would be much more beneficial for everybody instead of coming off as "don't listen to the doctor."

 

As someone who hopes to be entering the medical field soon, I hope I (and my colleagues) will always make an effort to see the patient as the individual he/she is and not just use an attitude of "well, this is what we've always done, so this is what you will always do." It's possible her other patients aren't as motivated as you too.

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I really appreciate the detailed description of your journey through this diagnosis and being able to see how patients can make choices about their personal health care that make it fit their own lifestyle. Physicians benefit when they see that kind of patient response. Actually, everyone benefits, including future patients.

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Thank you for the detailed post above.   There is a history of diabetes in my family.  My grandfather had it (and lived with it for many years) and my mother has it.    As of now, I do NOT have diabetes, and I wish to keep it that way.   (blood tests confirm that I am not diabetic..)  I am overweight.   I am a good candidate for diabetes, but I'm not going to let it happen.    Seeing your post above showing that somebody who is pre-diabetic can fix the situation gives me good hope that I am going to be successful.     I have seriously started watching the foods I eat, in particular the carbs and the sugars.   Soda Pop has never been a big part of my life, and it is going to become non-existant for me.  (I normally drink about 12 cans of soda per month..)

 

I have cut out most "sugary" food from my diet and am consciously making an effort to make healthy choices at each meal.

 

Thanks again for the inspirational post.

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SO awesome!!!! I am going to pass your success on to others that I know dealing with this as it is inspiring. You both are making a difference whether you realize it or not! :)

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germaine - I never say "don't listen to the doctor"... unless the doctor is saying something is impossible!  *L* But I do say "Question EVERYTHING, including what the doctor says."  I do respect doctors but I think that sometimes they can get stuck in a rut like everyone else and not look at the patient so much as the disease.  So shake them up!  *L*

 

fpmomma - I think that that is key.... making the lifestyle changes that fit with your life.  If you try to do everything at once, then you end up feeling deprived, then you binge, then you give up.  We started saying sometimes we will fail, as long as we get right back up, it's ok.  Especially if it's something that's lifelong.... It's much harder to say "I can never have that again.",  rather than "I choose not to have that right now."

 
Davage - I think what helped us the most was portion control.  A "serving size" is not what you think it is.  So calories turn out to be something different than you might think (like a pot pie that is 2 servings).  Eating out is almost always 2 servings.  That kind of thing.  Just so you know he wasn't "pre-diabetic" he was full blown type 2 diabetic.... his blood sugar in January was 450 (now is 90s) and his A1C was 11.6 (now 5.3).  And don't let yourself be hungry.  Eat until you are full, just eat better.  Including a salad with the meals helps.  Home cooking helps.    And dishing out "serving sizes" helped, you could always have more, but one serving at a time.... that really brought home how much we were eating.  Good luck!  
 
Thank you all for the nice words and support.  =0)  
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My DW is diabetic.  I would really love to see her be able to reverse the condition.   We will both work at it.      I stepped on the scales for the first time in months yesterday.   I am down at least 10lbs from the last time I weighed in - and I've only been seriously watching what I eat for about 2 or 3 weeks now.

 

In FPU, Dave Ramsey talks about a "paradigm shift" when it comes to thinking about finances and debt.    I feel like I've had a similar paradigm shift when it comes to food - sugary foods in particular.    I look at a can of soda pop now as diabetes in a can.

 

Ever since I was a young child, I watched my grandfather inject himself with needles.    He did the old-fashioned needles too - the ones where he had to measure out the dosage and used a regular syringe to inject the insulin.     

 

For years I've just buried my head in the sand about the possibility of me getting diabetes.    I'm at the age now where it could very quickly happen.   I'm taking action before it does.    We bought a bowflex gym off of kijiji.  (We disinfected it with extreme cleaners - just because the idea of buying somebody else's sweaty gym equipment grossed us out a bit)    We've got it set up and are starting to build up muscle strength on top of eating well.            I'm tempted to say "wish me luck", but I don't really need luck - I just need to keep the focus on getting healthy.

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