Bad News Is Good News

By Young1s Latest Reply 2012-01-23 19:36:19 -0600
Started 2012-01-19 12:11:26 -0600

So I went to my doctor’s appointment yesterday, as a follow-up for bloodwork done in December and the CT Scan I had about a week and a half ago. Even though she gave me both good news and bad, I only focused on the bad and allowed myself to get really down for a bit yesterday.

The bad news is, my bad cholesterol (LDL) is a bit high so she wants to put me on Statins for, and I quote, “an indefinate amount of time”. Are you kidding me??? I'm trying to come off the medications I'm on now, not add to them. I’m not trying to let that happen, so I have 2+ months to see if I can bring about a change through “diet and exercise”. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, she also told me that given the amount of my current weight and my height, I’m borderline obese. What??? Suffice it to say, I’m shocked. To look at me (in my opinion), my only weight issue is my stomach, which has never been flat since the birth of my twins; and maybe my thighs, but that’s it. But I'm willing to admit that I'm possibly looking at my weight through thinly veiled eyes and can stand to lose a few pounds. SSIIGGHH!!!

The good news is, my pancreas is back to normal (“unremarkable” is what the report said). No signs of prolonged inflamation or damage. That’s a huge relief. However, because I suffered with chronic pancreatitis for a little while there, that (of course) may have sped up the timeline, as far as me developing diabetes is concerned. But I’m okay with that. Because A) I fully expect that there’s going to be even more reprocussions to follow for my past lifestyle. One can only be lucky for so long, know what I mean? And B) I wouldn’t have gotten to know any of you, which seems crazy to think about. The other good news is my current A1c is 7.7. Unfortunately, I forgot to ask what it was when I was first diagnosed, but considering the consistent 300-400 BG’s I was seeing in the beginning, it must have been way up there. Okay, so I’m not below 7 like my doctor wants me to be but I’m darn close. And given the fact that I’ll be watching my diet (I really hate that word) more carefully and exercising more, that number should start to go down, slowly but surely. My goal is to be under 6 by the time of my next appointment in March, but I’ll settle for below 7.

So okay… yesterday I did the wrong thing by focussing only on the bad news, but today is different. I’m done with the little pity party for myself. Yesterday was just another wake up call that I MUST DO BETTER, and I have a clear idea of what I need to do moving forward. This "bad" news is just more logs added to the fire that fuels my determination to live a better, healthier way of life. Which, when you think about it, is good news. Wish me luck family.

31 replies

Type1Lou 2012-01-23 17:33:42 -0600 Report

I was surprised to learn from my endocrinologist that they apply a lower total cholesterol to us as diabetics. They would like us to be under 170 Total vs the 200 for others. This may be part of the reason for her wanting to get you started on statins. I have been on them for quite a while; started on Lipitor but switched to generic Simvastatin without any problem and much easier on the wallet! Now that I'm exercising more, maybe my dosage can be lower…something to ask about. Keep on working at this like you are and you'll get that A1c into the 6's. You're on the road to better managing your diabetes!

Young1s 2012-01-23 19:36:19 -0600 Report

Thanks Lou. Yup, I tipped one point over the limit. But my doctor is willing to work with me and allowing me time to try and lower it without medication. I believe that she believes I can do it, otherwise she would have insisted on me taking the meds.

MillyJo 2012-01-20 12:01:21 -0600 Report

I suggest you follow your physician's orders. You might be surprised, as I was.

I see my family doctor, a cardiologist, a urologist and a nephrologist. I have been overweight since age six, treated for high blood pressure since I was 18 (now 67), had a heart attack caused by low potassium when I was 35. I have been taking additional potassium since the heart attack. Was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 1989.

About 3-1/2 months ago, the nephrologist added a new test to those he had listed. When I went for the blood draw, I was told that Medicare would not pay for this test, did I want it anyway? I said yes. (As it turns out, Medicare did pay for it, since it indicated I had a problem.) When I saw the nephrologist the next time, he gave me the bad news . . . I had CONN'S DISEASE! He said I probably had it since I was 18, and it probably was the cause of the heart attack when I was 35! Conn's disease causes low potassium, edema, heart arrhythmias, high blood pressure and more. He took me off of my diuretics, off of potassium supplements, deleted two of the blood pressure medications and replaced one of the 2 remaining blood pressure meds with one that also treated the Conn's disease.

Today, my blood pressure is normal and so are my potassium levels. Another unexpected result: my blood sugars have plummeted! They started dropping after about a week on the new combination of meds. They dropped so much that my diabetes doctor has reduced my diabetes meds —TWICE! I am currently at the low end of the normal range for fasting BG. My A1C has dropped from a high of about 9 to 7 or below! My cholesterol levels are below 100 and the ratio of hdl to ldl is great1

In my case, the BAD NEWS that I had Conn's disease turned out to be really GOOD NEWS. So again, I suggest you follow your doctor's orders. You dont know what might happen.

BTW, Conn's Disease is also known as hyperaldosteronism.

Young1s 2012-01-20 13:11:47 -0600 Report

Thanks MillyJo. I am and have always listened to my doctor but she is also listening to me. She knows that I would rather be on as little medication as possible and so we worked out a compromise. Within a couple of month's, if there is noticeable change in my condition then I will continue with the new diet and exercise routine. If there isn't, then I will have to start the medication. I won't like it but at least I'll know that I gave it a shot.

I'm happy that your doctor finally discover the reason for your numerous problems. It's a shame it wasn't caught earlier, may have spared you from the heart attack. But it sounds like things have turned around for the better. I guess you're one of a few people in the world who can honestly say that you have a magic pill. :)

MillyJo 2012-01-20 19:13:14 -0600 Report

I am not blaming all my previous doctors for not finding this problem. The symptoms are the same as those caused by obesity. I am just thankful that one doctor tried something different. As a result, I have had my medicines reduced, both in number and in cost!

I hope that you will find that solving one problem will result in reductions of your problems and medicines. There is hope!

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-01-19 20:12:42 -0600 Report

You now know the changes that need to be done, so that is a good thing! Another thing, you can, depending on your children's ages have them help you make your healthier meals and exercise with you. This will help them with their own health and bring you quality family time:)

So, this was actually good news, see my way of thinking?

Good luck and your numbers/ weight are going to be great on that next visit.

pixsidust 2012-01-19 14:08:11 -0600 Report

I had a mixed bag when I last went to the doctor. Now I am putting off going for my feet and leg that is sore very badly every morning.
I need to get my cholesterol down as well. I am glad to know how you are. I am glad also you steeled yourself with more resolve. I go back in March too then I lose my insurance. Lets compare notes then and share what we each do. Call and find out your original A1c. The secretary can read it to you. Give yourself that measuring tape to make yourself proud of the 7.7 with better numbers to come. I love you Pat. Get that fish oil with the coating on it. Its still on sale and that's supposed to help the cholesterol. Good news on the pancreas!

Young1s 2012-01-19 14:46:31 -0600 Report

Thanks Christy. So sorry to hear you're still experiencing that pain and about your insurance. Please go in and have yourself checked out by a podiatrist, before your insurance runs out. And I'll let you know if I think of some possible solutions to both.

I was looking at the fish oil when I went to buy the cinnamon pills yesterday (that smell when you first open the bottle is incredible) but decided against it. Maybe my subconscience/body was trying to tell me something. Like my OB used to say, the body typically craves what it is lacking.

pixsidust 2012-01-20 16:13:24 -0600 Report

Fish Oil with the enteric coating have no smell and cause us no burping etc… problems. Look for that …enteric coated.

I used to think that as well about the cravings and in one way its true. I crave a banana when my potassium is low, meat when I am low on iron etc… However I have also craved pasta for years which in the quantities I ate it, is bad for me.

I would be so proud of yourself Pat. You have a game plan and thats most of the battle. I want to cheer you on, in the best of fashions! I am going to call my doctor Monday about the foot. It hurts in a ridiculous fashion

Caroltoo 2012-01-19 13:58:58 -0600 Report

I hear good news all over this! Your A1c is down significantly. Your pancreas is acting normal. You are eating more healthy foods, prepared in more healthy styles. You are learning new coping skills. You are negotiating with your doctor.

When you eat in a healthy manner with healthy portions, you will loose weight. It frequently takes a little while to get started, because your BGs need to be down before your body believes you really want to change. Then as you add exercise that you enjoy and relaxation that well help you be less stressed, you will begin to feel so much better even than you do now. You are in the very early stages of this metamorphosis, but it the point where you need to decide what kind of butterfly you want to be when you grow up and really begin to fly!

Really, your diet is simply the sum of all you eat. Nothing good/bad/judgemental about it. It's only when it becomes a verb form that it becomes a bad thing: to go on a weight-loss diet, to be on a restricted diet, to … ad nauseum. So skip the verbs and enjoy the good eating.

I need to lower my LDL also. I was eating fat free, then started using olive oil. I think its a healthy choice, so now I need to adapt somewhere else to compensate. That's ok. Go look at the discussion I started on lowering LDL…it has some suggestions my doc made for natural ways to begin to trim. She and I are working on a three month schedule and she probably knows, I'll keep on trying past the 3 months cause I have no intention of adding in any Rxs.

Young1s 2012-01-19 14:22:38 -0600 Report

Thanks Carol. I know I'm doing far better now, in a lot of things, than before diagnosis but the cholesterol and weight kind of knocked the wind out of my sails for a minute. Feeling much better about it all today, though.

If I were to choose a butterfly it would be a Monarch. That migrant flight path from Canada to Mexico is pretty long and impressive. Exactly how I want my all of my successes to be. And, I'll be sure to read that discussion.

MewElla 2012-01-19 13:46:07 -0600 Report

Hey, I'm happy for you that your A1C is down and good news on the pancreas. This is major good and you should give yourself a thumbsup…Non of this is easy but you are already on your way…and I have faith in you. Glad you had the "pity party yesterday" this is part of your determination to go forward and you will. Not only do I wish you Good Luck, but you have my thoughts and prayers for your continued success. You can do this!!

Nick1962 2012-01-19 13:40:07 -0600 Report

Nice work! A1C is down, and really good news about the pancreas. All the rest are fixable. Re-framing your whole visit as a positive really says you’re in it now for the win, and your head is in the game. Thanks also for sharing with us, we worry. Trouble is, now you’re accountable to way more people than your family and yourself!
Undoing a lifetime of bad habits will take time, but you already know it can be done, so I bet there’s going to be some serious butt kicking going on soon!

Young1s 2012-01-19 13:44:54 -0600 Report

LOL!! That's right Nick, I hadn't even thought of the accountability factor. No pressure, right? ;)

byrun 2012-01-19 12:43:17 -0600 Report

Your a1c #'s are moving in the right direction so, you are doing something right. I agree that the word "diet" is difficult to swallow. So let's just eat haelthier and I think that you have begun to do that. The a1c #'s prove it. Keep doing what you are doing with a little tweak here and there. Best wishes to your continually, improving health my friend!

Young1s 2012-01-19 13:38:59 -0600 Report

Thanks Byrun. What about "eating anew" or "neweating" (all one word) instead of dieting. No?…okay I'll keep thinking. ;)

Jeanae 2012-01-20 16:58:32 -0600 Report

I like that eating anew. My friends keep asking me if I am still on a "diet" and I tell them no. Diet means temporary. I am still committed to a healthy eating plan. My family (hubby + kids) have been so supportive. My mother-ibn-law keeps telling me I brought this on myself, this is God getting back at me fr being fat… I just tune her and anyone else that is negative out. I put sticky notes on my mirror and on my refrigerator that say positive things and keeps me smiling. Be proud of your accomplishment so far, be determined to keep getting healthier, and stay positive!

Young1s 2012-01-20 17:23:58 -0600 Report

Thanks Jeanae. Diet does have a temporary connotation to it. But we're in this for the long haul. So glad you have a strong support system, my families support is what drives me as well. So sorry to hear that about your mother-in-law. We can pick our husbands but too bad not them. I'm glad you don't let her comments get to you, though. Stay strong.

Old-n-Grey-n-Wiser 2012-01-19 12:25:54 -0600 Report

Pat, Your doing a good job, It took years of poor choices to get where we were before our bodies started screaming at us,so it stands to reason that we can't fix everything in a few months, unfortunately life still manages to through a few road blocks we have to find our way around.
Keep up the good work!

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