This is my first post, although I've been reading this site for several weeks. And I'm so very sorry that it ended up being such a LONG post :(
I was diagnosed diabetic by my ob/gyn at a regular yearly check-up about 6 weeks ago - she noticed that I hadn't had blood work done in a long time, so she ordered it - which led to "You're diabetic. Contact your family doctor." (I wish she would have been gentler about telling me - it was devastating to hear it so abruptly.) So, my A1C was 8.2%. I had no idea what that meant, and I still don't know just how bad that is. I don't know a lot of things.
I finally got in to see my (new) family doctor (GP) 3 weeks after I was diagnosed. During that time I had already started eating low carb. My doctor gave me a 40 minute "New Diabetes Patient" visit - where he explained what diabetes is and then drew a picture of a salad plate (he said to get rid of all of my dinner plates) and then drew a line dividing the plate in half. I was supposed to eat 1/2 a plate of vegetables. In the other half of the circle he drew a line to divide that in half. One part was supposed to be protein - the size of a deck of cards, and the other section was for carbohydrates, including pastas, grains, and sweets. I was so confused. My husband has been eating low carb for 9 months and has lost 60 pounds, his blood pressure has never been lower (120/78) and his blood sugar has gone from pre-diabetic to completely normal. When I told the doctor this he said to absolutely not go on an Atkins (or any) low carb diet because, sure I'd lose some weight maybe, but that it just wasn't something people could benefit from, let alone maintain. I don't agree with that…but I'm unsure of myself because I don't want to end up not listening to him and then damage my organs.
I'm 42 years old and I have panic disorder with agoraphobia. 5 years ago I got a new doctor to treat that and they put me on a blood pressure medicine, a beta-blocker, called Toprol. She ordered standard bloodwork, including an A1C, and my blood glucose was fine. Not perfect, but fine. About 2 months later I had my yearly physical and got a call from the doctor that my blood glucose and cholesterol numbers must have been incorrect because they had skyrocketed from last year, so go in and get rechecked. I didn't do that. I was afraid they'd take me off of the Toprol, which essentially cured my panic attacks. I was not at all concerned about the blood glucose - just the cholesterol, because I never used sugar - I mean, we didn't even keep any in our house - and I only ever ate once a day. I was, however, very overweight from the antidepressants I had been taking. (Close to 300 pounds on a 5'4" frame.) I swore up and down that I didn't overeat - but nobody ever believed me. Antidepressants DO cause weight gain for me - but my new doctor said that's not true. (I had not had a yearly physical since 5 years ago when the told me the cholesterol and BG were so high because I was terrified that they'd make me stop taking the Toprol - that is how terrifying panic attacks are!)
So, fast forward to my first appointment with the new GP, and I mention the Toprol - and he said that there was no way it could have caused my diabetes because diabetes is something that you get after 15 to 20 years of abusing your body. (I didn't think that sounded like me…but who am I to argue?) He gave me no literature on diabetes, and basically the only thing I walked out of that appointment with was a Freestyle Lite monitor and 10 test strips. He never even told me how often to test myself - or when, or what the results would mean. I am still befuddled/confused/unsure/scared.
So, I decided to stick with low carb. I don't know if I've lost any weight yet - it's only been 10 days. (And of course my appointment was on a Friday afternoon and OF COURSE the nurse forgot to call in my Rx for test strips - so I only had the ten that came with the kit until the following Tuesday, because Monday was a holiday —- this is the kind of luck I have in my life.) I don't know how often to test so - for instance - on Wednesday of last week I blew through 17 test strips.
My morning test numbers are all over the place - ranging from 136 to 164. Then again, I don't sleep very well - some nights might be 3 hours, and (very rarely) some nights might be 9 hours (like last night, which was only the 2nd time I'd slept longer than 4 hours in weeks.) I don't understand what those morning test numbers are trying to tell me.
I have to take my medicine in the morning (and evening), and I truly believe it is raising my BG - so that it affects my post-breakfast number. For instance, I bought those Glucerna shakes and I woke up at a fasting BG of 142 and then 2 hours after my medicine and that shake my BG was 256. I freaked out and gave the Glucerna's to my 11 year old son, vowing never to touch them again. But was it the Glucerna or the Toprol? Well, on Thursday, I woke up at 136, took the Toprol, then waited 2 hours to take my pre-breakfast BG, which was by then 190, and 90 minutes after a low carb breakfast, it was 166. I'm so confused. :( Why did it go up from 136 to 190 if I hadn't eaten anything? (I did drink my morning decaf coffee, which when I tested, did nothing to my BG numbers.)
Gosh, I realize that this post is all over the place, but I am really overwhelmed!!
I started testing my BG before meals, at 90 minutes, and then again at 2 hours after. Was that the right thing to do? I did that because initially I tested every 30 minutes after I ate something to see where the highest number would be and where it started dropping. It's highest at 90 minutes - so should I be reporting that number, or the 2 hour number, which is always lower? And if so - why is mine higher at 90 minutes when everything I read says to test at 2 hours? Shouldn't 2 hours be the highest?
The highest post-meal 2 hour BG I've gotten was 187 - how bad is that? (This doesn't include the terrible Glucerna shake day.)
Why is my morning fasting number higher than it should be? What SHOULD it be? I know from the ADA blood sugar diary that a persons target blood sugar ranges are 80 to 120 before meals, but it doesn't say anything about where it should be when fasting overnight (or on 3 hours of sleep - whichever I get.) :( I could cry.
Now, the issue of test strips. I was prescribed 100 for the month. I told the nurse that I would need much more than that, so she sent the pharmacy an rx for 300 test strips, but wrote the instructions to test 3x daily. (Which … I dont understand - how am I supposed to figure out which foods do what to my BG with only 3 strips a day?) The pharmacy gave me 100 test strips because that's what she wrote … 3 a day at 30 days is 90, so I got 100. I immediately contacted the nurse who said she'd rewrite it and send in a new Rx - so she rewrote it for 5x a day, and then the pharmacy wouldn't fill it. So, it's been less than a week and I'm already at about 57 strips used. What do I do when I run out? Just not test? Buy them off of eBay? Try to come up with $188 to pay cash for them at Rite-Aid? (insert sobbing sound here.) :(
I consider myself to be a semi-intelligent person, so I hate that all of this has me confused. I don't have any friends because of my anxiety problems, so I only have my husband for support, which I'm grateful for, but I hate feeling so overwhelmed…and he's got enough stressors in his life with work and our family that I haven't been as open with him about how scared I am in order to save him some stress. I started having nightmares where I'd start crying - and would wake to my husband holding me and the sound of myself crying. What is going on with me??? :(
I'm terrified. What happens if I accidentally drink or eat something that has sugar in it? What will happen? I must have had diabetes for at least 18 to 24 months because I have some neuropathy in my feet, and I had about 7 episodes of very blurry vision. (How high do you think my BG got in order to have blurred vision like that?) I haven't had the blurred vision since my OB/Gyn first told me I was diabetic and I changed what I was eating. (Also, I am now eating several times a day instead of just once.) But, what damage did I do to my internal organs having gone undiagnosed for possibly 2 years - and why didn't my GP ask that, either? I'm supposed to go back to see him in 1 month…what is he hoping to find in one month?
One final thing. In January I got very sick. I lost about 45 pounds. I was basically just nauseous for an entire month and couldn't eat anything. I'd wake up every 4 hours with my heart pounding some nights. I was exhausted and slept as much as possible. I couldn't think straight or concentrate on things. About 2 weeks into this I went to Urgent Care and the doctor gave me Zofran for the nausea but that was all. Do you think that might have been related to untreated diabetes? (I only waited for so long to see a doctor because my sister had been sick for a week with nausea being her primary symptom - I just thought I had the same "flu" she had…only mine lasted for a month.)
Okay, well, I've rambled on so long and I do apologize so much for that - a terrible first impression, I know - but I really needed to get some of this stuff out. Thank you so much if you read this far!
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