Brand new to all of this

By NCBarb Latest Reply 2013-02-01 21:34:09 -0600
Started 2010-06-01 21:41:45 -0500

Hi Everyone,

I am not sure where to start with my history of this.
My paternal grandfather died in 1985 due to heart issues due to diabetes. I remember watching him do his glucose test and injecting his thigh with insulin.

My Dad, who is almost 66 yrs old, is borderline. He does the glucose testing and does a good job of his diet and exercise.

My Dad made a surprise visit this past weekend, as he was on his way home to AZ from a trip to our old home town in IL. I hadn't seen him in 10 years!

Well, we got to talking about my health. I have fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, a damaged lower lumbar (that's the cause of this mess), and have gained about 100 lbs over the last 10 years. I build/maintain websites, so I sit - A LOT … mainly because I couldn't stand at cashier work anymore because of my back.

Anyways - to make a 300 page story short: Dad brought in his testing kit and we tested me. I was 261 on his kit. Now, I happened to have a free OneTouch Ultra Mini kit that I hadn't touched, only because I didn't think I had a problem. Famous last words, eh? Well, after some hyperventilating on my part of needles *chuckles*, I tested myself: 333. Now, we took into consider two different testing machine models, etc. Either way, it was still a high count … and I hardly had eaten by that point in the day, and definitely nothing high carb.

So, since I have only a few testing strips left from my free kit, I only test once a day, just to give me any idea.

Monday, 3.5 hours after lunch, my reading was 414.
Tuesday, almost 3 hours after dinner, my reading was 285.

I did a LOT of research yesterday. Printed a lot of stuff out. Have gotten my 3-ring binder already setup for logging meals, exercise, and readings. I understand about carb choices and had already started utilizing that info in yesterday and today's meals.

Now, here's the kicker. I have NO health insurance. I truly can not afford it. I barely make rent and utilities as it is. For the last 10 years I have been in N. Carolina, I can not any agency, organization, etc anywhere near me that can help me with medical costs or care that I can afford. I can't afford to go to the initial doctor visits in order to get on DSS for my back and Fibro. It's a mess.

So, my plan is to modify my diet, get more active, and keep a good record of my tests. If things don't improve on their own in about 2 months time, then I will just have to go to the doctor and worry about payment later. I bought some more testing strips via ebay yesterday for half the price they go for retail (on average), so that'll help for a bit.

Ok, I know I wrote a book. But I don't know anyone around me with Diabetes and I know I have not been officially diagnosed with it. However, those numbers are very suspect. I figure, treat myself as if I have diabetes (test, carb count, etc) and see where it goes. If anything, I have a good record to present to the doctor so he/she can figure it out *grins*

So… anyone in the foothills of NC? Looking for a finger pricking buddy! =)

Thanks for listening/reading/not falling asleep!

~ Barbara

18 replies

GrammieMags 2013-02-01 21:27:51 -0600 Report

Welcome. Unfortunately I have been in The food stamp/Medicaid program for a number of years. I know that Michigan has different qualifications.

I suggest going to your food stamp office and putting in an application. While doing so, if there is a place to ask for cash money assistance, check it. Then the worker will let you know what the policy is in NC. Here in Michigan when I checked it, if I qualified for SSI she would have helped me get the process started.

Do apply for SSI. Apply again and again and again. They send you to their doctors to document your disabilities.

Please consider calling the doctor's office. Tell them your dilemma. Ask if they have a social worker there, or can they direct you to one. It is their job to help you find the resources that are there.

And can I introduce you to my sister? She lives in NC. She is a hypoglycemic, her husband is type 2 diabetes. She might have ideas for you.

Finally, one of the major chains here will provide Metformin free, with a script.

Good luck. You have already taken some wonderful steps.

JSJB 2013-02-01 04:30:02 -0600 Report

Welcome, I have been on this site for over a year. When my reading go over 125 I get a little upset. I don't know how I would feel if they were as high as yours. I was pre-diagnosed with this condition and my highest reading was 185. I exercise, diet and take Metformin. This is keeping my BS between 90 and 125. I am glad you recognised your problem and took the steps to control it. I hope you had a good doctor visit

Emma2412 2010-06-02 17:33:45 -0500 Report

Hi, Barbara
Welcome to DC. I love the Carolinas. Beautiful places, both.
I'm not a doctor, of course, but it sure sounds like you have diabetes to me. And I'm sorry to say that, of course, but it's better that you know it now and try everything you can to get those numbers down by a good diet, losing weight, and exercising as well as you can what with your back problems.
Doing research and reading and learning everything you can about diabetes is one of the best ways to get where you should be. It takes knowledge to fight this disease.
I gather that you never suspected or knew before that you had diabetes. Having such high readings I would have thought that you would have felt unwell. Well, it doesn't matter, as long as you know now.
You have a family history that's very much like mine. My Dad died from congestive heart failure. My Mom was not diabetic but she did probably pass the gene onto me because it was in her family and two of her sisters (my aunts) had diabetes big time, and from what I gather her mother, my grandma, had diabetes and heart problems. So, family history is important. Plus, your Dad is diabetic.
Well, you're doing the right thing. Find out about diets here and at other trusted sites on the Internet. Here you can also find some real good recipes and some real good tips and advice.
Again, welcome to DC. I'm sure you'll find it a wonderful place to come and talk, just as I have. I joined in May but spend some good time here, just talking and getting to know others.
Let us hear from you. OK?

NCBarb 2010-06-02 18:07:17 -0500 Report

Emma, Thanks so much for the warm welcome! =)

Well, yes, I've felt unwell for a good while, but with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, messed up hormones … that has contributed a lot. And while I guess (looking back) I was more in denial than I was thinking I didn't have diabetes. I was always thirsty. But it became so common place that I didn't think much of it anymore. Dizzy/lightheaded - again, something that happen with FMS and hormones from time to time that I didn't think it was connected to possible diabetes.

In fact, I had to lay down at 3pm EST, about 1.5 hours after eating a 4 carb choice lunch, due to lightheadedness and slight lack of concentration. Felt drained. But my last test strip ended up being an error, so I don't know my blood test for the day at all. My shipment better come tomorrow! LOL

Blood tests over the years never seem to give the Doctors any pause, but it has been a good 5-6 yrs since I last had any blood panel work done … so it could have very well really blossomed during these last few years.

While I have always had a little padding to the bones, I wasn't really overweight. I was active in high school sports (where my first injury happened that lead to my bad back). I was a big walker when I lived in Phoenix and Dublin Ireland due to no car. But within a year of moving to North Carolina back in 2000, I started putting on the weight - roughly 80-90lbs total. Even with my 7 lbs loss here in the last 3 weeks, I'm still clocking in at 243lbs on a 5'3" frame. I'm fluffy! =)

And, I'm pretty darn proud of myself - I made chicken enchiladas tonight with spanish rice and corn … and I still only did about 600 calories and 4.5 carb choice *grins* I really thought it was going to be bad. The soft shells took up 80% of the carbs. But I had bought all this food just within a few days of knowing about my blood glucose numbers. I know to look for lower carb shells next time.

Geesh, Sorry I'm such a talker in my first 24 hours here!
Am just letting food settle a bit and research a few indoor exercises I can do since it's raining outside. I think there's some chair exercises I can do and also walk the basement stairs a few times.

Lentyl 2013-02-01 17:25:27 -0600 Report

From what you say about dinner it sounds like a high carb meal. That won't help your BG readings. I know that from experience. Rice and corn are high glycemic foods which won't help your BG. You're on a good road to learning. There's lots of help here. I wish you lots of success.

Harlen 2010-06-02 13:02:57 -0500 Report

Hello and welcome
Sorry to hear your going thrue this I know it hard to deal with ,even with every thing you need in place.
Drop me a line I may be able to help you with some strips
Best wishes

petals 2010-06-02 11:08:54 -0500 Report

Sounds to me like you are a diabetic with those numbers. Sorry!! I am here any time you need me. Oh, and thanks for telling me about the strips on e-bay, those things are so darn high!!

NCBarb 2010-06-02 11:30:51 -0500 Report

Yup, the first thing I did was do a search for strips and lancets by checking ebay and amazon. I hate to be so stingy with my money, but I'm going without something else I need in order to buy those strips. Grrrr. =)

petals 2010-06-02 13:04:25 -0500 Report

I know what you mean. It is stupid that they cost so much!! I have to be stingy with my money!! The cheaper the better.

sisiay 2010-06-02 02:08:57 -0500 Report

You should ask your father if his father was type 1 or type 2. If he was type 2 (as it sounds), then that is likely what you have, which does not automatically mean you require insulin. I believe that metformin, a very popular oral med for type 2's, is $10 for a 90 day supply of generics through Wal-Mart's pharmacy. Combine that with a diet based on the principles Dr. Bernstein lays out in his Diabetes Solution ( and after a short while you shouldn't need to test very often at all. But if there's any way to see a doctor just once, obviously that would be for the best. Online diabetics are full of helpful experience/advice, but we can't actually diagnose anyone…or write prescriptions. Good luck.

NCBarb 2010-06-02 09:21:40 -0500 Report

Sisiay - Thank you so much for all that information. Yes, Grandpa had Type 2, Dad is borderline Type 2 (no insulin AFAIK). Good to know about metformin - that I can handle price wise. I will check out that book. Right now its hard doing my own foods because we can't afford two menus - hubby doesn't like a lot of foods … but I'll manage *grins* And you're do right about seeing a Doc … I truly will when I can, but I am sure it'll be a few months before I can, hence why I'll do what I can in the meantime. Have an awesome day! =)

alanbossman 2010-06-01 22:13:40 -0500 Report

Hello NCBarb from what i know with those numbers you are diabetic. Your numbers should be anywhere between 70 and 120 2 hours after a meal. Anything else your are diabetic. You should test your self after 8 hours of sleep and see what your bs is. I dont know about what you can do about no insurance but some one here may be able to help you.

NCBarb 2010-06-01 22:20:00 -0500 Report

Thanks for the reply. I agree that those numbers, each day, just couldn't be a fluke, especially so long after eating.

Once I get my new supply of testing strips, I will test daily for 2 weeks:
a) When I wake up in the morning (a fast baseline)
b) 2 hours after each meal
That's 4-6 tests (depending on if I have up to 2 snacks) per day.
That should give me a fairly decent idea of where I'm at and if my carb and calorie counting are having any effect (other than weight loss).

I just need to do what I can to avoid having to give myself insulin shots. I really do have a bad phobia with needles and I just don't think I can do the shots. So I pray that adjusting my diet will do the trick, or put me at a place where I can take some pill form of medication. *fingers and toes crossed*

snuggles11 2013-02-01 21:34:09 -0600 Report

Don't give up
Stand your ground !
I'm the same way with shots ! No way !
Just over a week I found out !
That was what he wanted to do right away was
Put me on shots
I told that dr no way
Pill only
Try 100 different kinds !

Danielle B
Danielle B 2010-06-02 09:03:05 -0500 Report

Actually you can check your bs and get a pretty accurate result if you fast (dont eat or drink anything at all) for a total of 6-8 hours. You can test both but you should be lower in the 8th hour than the 6th obviously. Stress can make your numbers jump up so try to stay calm and go about your normal routine while you are waiting to check your bs. If you are starting to feel fuzzy headed or shaky in any way, go ahead and check it and make sure that you are not getting a low bs reading. I have been told in other discussions that there is a meter and strips at the local drugstore that you can purchase for $50 without a prescription. That is cheap considering most strips (count 50 per bottle) is about $80+. Sorry about insurance! I have no ideas on that one.

Good luck
Danielle :)

NCBarb 2010-06-02 09:25:58 -0500 Report

Danielle. I was going to check when I got up - but forgot and then got so hungry! LOL I only have strip left today, so will use it wisely. From what I've seen in stores and online, the average is $1/strip for OneTouch Ultra Soft strips, which I need for my UltraMini. I got a 50 pk on ebay for $23 (that's with shipping). Sealed box, etc. I tripled checked everything before buying.

And stay calm??? *snickers* Yeah, right. That's something I've been working on for years. I wish meditation came easily to me *grins*

Thanks for your information!

NCBarb 2010-06-02 09:30:22 -0500 Report

Followup reply - I haven't checked the Walmart here where I live but will later on today, just out of curiosity sake. Great to see another from NC here! =)