Newly diagnosed—questions about doc’s communication

By JennRae Latest Reply 2018-06-11 11:05:24 -0500
Started 2018-06-03 21:25:30 -0500

Hi, everyone!

I went to my doctor for back pain and sciatica and also had blood work done for my physical. I haven’t been feeling well and in the back of my mind I thought I may have diabetes. I got my test results back on Friday. My a1c is 70 and fasting glucose was 143. I knew this was going to be bad news for me and I have no one to blame but myself. I am obese and have been ignoring everything I know I should do.

On Saturday afternoon I received a message on my health/doctor’s office app from my doctor that says, “Jennifer, you have mild diabetes. Go on a 1400 calorie diet, exercise 5X week, call nurse on Monday for RX for Metformin XR 500 and take one with breakfast. See me in three months.” That’s it. Now, I’m a smart woman and can figure this out myself, but I didn’t DO it before now, don’t you think I should have more support than this? Am I supposed to check my blood sugar at all? (I don’t have the equipment for it.) 1400 calorie diet is pretty broad (no direction on low carb, etc.) and when I’ve done diets, at my weight, they ramp me down gradually (like 1800 calories), not 1400 right away. I sent messages with all of these questions, but I just wanted to see what others thought. I feel alone in this, even though I have many friends with diabetes and I have done research and know what I should do. My husband is out of town right now and I don’t want to tell him over the phone, so I haven’t told anyone. I am frustrated with myself, but want to make better choices, feel well again, and reverse this if I can. (Is that possible?) Is there such a thing as “mild diabetes”? What can I expect from Metformin? Will I feel better right away? Should I take omeprozol to protect my stomach? I fee like all of these things should have been addressed. Also, I went in initially for severe back and sciatic pain; what kind of exercise can I do?! Wouldn’t he know that? I can’t walk or stand for long before I have terrible pain, then if I sit or lay down for too long, I have horrible pain in the other leg. I can’t just hop on a treadmill or bike. Even walking in Costco is painful.

Last year my cholesterol was high and I found out with a note on the same app that told me to go on a strict low cholesterol diet and exercise 4X week. No direction on what type of diet or anything.

I like my doctor. He listens to me and takes time during appointments. But, I’m not sure about the aftercare. What has been your experience?

Sorry for the length of this discussion. I hope you’ve lasted through it! I have found some wonderful resources on this site and look forward to implementing them.

Thank you!

5 replies

suecsdy 2018-06-11 11:05:24 -0500 Report

The patient portal works both ways. Ask specific questions about your Drs recommendations. I don't badger my dr , but when I have a problem that might not require an office visit,I use the portal. I've never taken Metformin, but I do use omeprazol for gastritis possibly caused by another diabetes med i took for a while and metformin has been known to cause gastric distress. Good luck to you and take care.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2018-06-07 22:45:23 -0500 Report

Hey JennaRae, it's great to see you. Glad you are here! I am sorry to hear you received such a brief response from your doctor. That's a whole lot of change being requested in just a handful of words. I can imagine you must have felt pretty overwhelmed when you read that. I think you could really benefit from meeting with a diabetes educator. You might want to check with your doctor to see if he/she can make a recommendation, or a referral to a dietician. It would seem to me to be very helpful to get some education. And just what kind of exercise is your doctor suggesting? It might help to have another meeting with your doctor, this time come armed with more specific questions. Just what is your life supposed to look like if you are going to take good care of yourself? Also, I am assuming your doctor is an internist. I would also suggest you might want to see if you can get connect with an endocrinologist, if that is at all possible. I always think it's a good idea to work with a specialist in your condition. I hope you will stay in touch with us. Let us know how you're doing.

Type1Lou 2018-06-04 16:43:38 -0500 Report

The more you learn about what you need to do as a diabetic to get and maintain control, the better position you will be in. I do not count calories but instead, have been counting total carbohydrate grams for the past 15 years. My A1c is 6.3 and my endo is happy with my control. My advice to you would be to become carbohydrate-aware. Do you know haow many carb grams you currently eat per day? That is a good place to start. Then reduce them until you achieve the BG results you want. Reducing carbs should also have the added benefit of losing weight. Buy yourself a Walmart Relion blood glucose meter and strips (the cheapest option out there) and begin to test your BG. So what if your doctor didn't advise this. IMO, it's essential to know what your BG is in order to establish some control and know how certain foods affect your BG. If you want an RX for a meter and strips, ask him for it since insurance is likely to cover some of this cost. Become proactive in your care. I find my PCP really has no clue about my diabetes but, since I also see an endocrinologist, I tend to ignore my PCP's advice relating to my diabetes. I would strongly recommend reading Dr Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solution. That book was pivotal in my gaining control of my BG's. Good luck to you

JennRae 2018-06-05 23:25:35 -0500 Report

Thank you so much for sharing your experience and advice. I will look for the book you recommend and plan to buy a glucometer tomorrow.