Sugar Update

Good news is that I am continuing to lose weight. I have lost 20-24lbs so far (depends on day and mood of the scale). There are times when all I want is a dozen Krispy Kreme donuts and there are times that I really don’t mind weighing out the chicken for my sammich.

Bad news is that my blood glucose levels are so freakin’ erratic. For example, I use an app for my iPod Touch called Glucose Buddy. There’s a lot of apps for diabetes but I like this one the most. Anyway, here’s two screenshots. The red line is the high for that day, the blue line is the low for that day and the purple is the average. Basically, the goal is to keep it above 80 and less than 140. The one on the left was a decent week. The one on the right…not a good week.

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It is a pattern I see often. A day with a very high spike with a very low drop later that day. The next day will be relatively calm with another crazy day right after. Freakin’ roller coaster days. But I’ll have a week or more of good days where everything is just fine and dandy. But I do know that breakfast is evil to me. I can eat the same thing every day and get a spike one day and not the next.

I see my doc in two weeks. My guess is we will officially drop the “pre” and declare me a true diabetic. And I’m betting I get to take more medication. Whoo-freaking-hoo. Another thought is that I will be put on a schedule. As in “Take this pill at X o’clock and this other one at Z o’clock”. (shudder) I’m figuring this will happen because I have no schedule, no timetable I am stuck to. Today I got up at 9. Day before I didn’t get up until 11. Day before that I didn’t sleep at all.

My brother, dang him, is having no difficulties. He’s so freakin’ regulated that he doesn’t even check his blood glucose anymore. I’d stop talking to him just out of spite but he’d like that too much.

Sugar

My great-grandmother, Viola Sizemore Rayfield Maples, grew up in a hollow in east Tennessee. The same hollow that Dolly Parton grew up in. Ted Rayfield was Dolly’s uncle (which means her grandmother and my great-grandfather were siblings). Anyway, Granny Maples used to say that everyone was fine and dandy and healthy as horses. Until one day the guvmint shows up with their health folks. Turns out, diabetes was running amok. She says “We were all healthy until they told us we had sugar. Then we were all sick!”

Granny Maples didn’t have “sugar” but her daughter (Iva Rayfield Reno) did. And Mamaw Reno passed that gene down to her two kids. And Mommy Dearest had the gall to pass it on to all three of her kids. Nice of these women, ain’t it?

It may sound weird, but I was laughing when my bro said he was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago. Finally! Someone besides me has a genetic problem! One I don’t have! Then I heard through the twisted grapevine that my older sibling was diagnosed last year. While I don’t have the diagnosis of actual diabetes, I do have pre-diabetes. Whoo freakin’ hoo.

Pre-diabetes is also called ‘glucose intolerant’ and ‘insulin resistant’. Nearly everyone who has diabetes also had pre-diabetes and had it been caught then, they could have delayed or even prevented getting diabetes. Pre-diabetes can happen ten years or more prior to the body being no longer able to handle it and the damage cannot be repaired.

My goal is to lose weight (I need to lose 90lbs) and start treating my body as if I have diabetes. It’s the best plan of action. I visited a Registered Dietitian today and we got formerly started on that goal. We are starting off small, testing me and my glucose levels and my patience. First, I’m to stay between 1500-1700 calories a day. We may go lower later. I also am to keep carbs (that’s the biggie) to below 175 but not too far below. We decided the first step is to move my meals around. Since I am a night owl, when I first get up, I’m going to have a traditional lunch. Then when Lorna comes home, I’ll have dinner. Then, based on the glucose level 2hr after dinner, I’ll have some sort of “breakfast” no less than 2hrs before bed. We discussed veggies (I can have as much green veggies, except peas, as I can stand) and “starch” veggies (which include peas). Portion control is topmost followed by carbs then calories. The diet I am trying is the typical diabetic diet with exchanges and the like. It seems complicated but I think I understand it.

The dietitian and I liked each other. One, she was registered dietitian which means she is licensed and knows what she is talking about. The last time I saw someone, it was a nutritionist who gave me handouts on the food pyramid and said “eat the stuff on the bottom”. Nutritionists are not licensed so anyone can call themselves one. And she liked me because I had already researched, had bought a meter and was using it, and was ready to get started. Lorna took the day off and went with me. We all three enjoyed the visit and I see her again in March.

I’ve started doing a lot of things–I truly meant this was a wake-up call–and one of them was to join an online group called TuDiabetes. I’m learning a lot there and can talk to others about all this. Nothing like misery and company, eh? I won’t talk about diabetes much here but if you are interested in keeping up with me and this and that, you can check my page out over there.

Linkages:
American Diabetes Associationpre-diabetes info
Wikipedia – Pre-diabetes article
National Diabetes Information ClearinghouseInsulin Resistance and Pre-diabetes

Wake Up Call

I had a doc appt. the other day. Nothing special. Just follow up for the new inhaler (love it) and blood work (hate it). As always, they had trouble finding a vein but it only took two sticks.

When I saw the doc, she had one of the blood tests back already. My fasting glucose was 135. Not good. Norm is about 90 or less. 135 is in the diabetes range. She then ordered another test called the A1c test. Luckily they had enough left over and I didn’t have to be stuck again.

I got some scripts refilled, got a lecture about some other stuff, then left. The blood test would take several hours to get back but they’d hear something that afternoon. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. My grandmother, my mom, and my bro all have/had diabetes. So it’s been something I’ve been aware of for some time. And we’d been watching my glucose levels, too. But never had the fasting result been that high. I tend to be more hypoglycemic (too low).

Later that day, we got the call. The A1c test result said 4.7%. That is, like, way low.

To explain, the A1c test kinda sorta can give you the average of your blood sugar levels for the past several weeks. A diabetic needs to keep that number below 6.5 or 7. A non-diabetic person usually has between 4-6. I’ve read up on the test and I haven’t a freakin’ clue what it is saying.

But what the two different results mean – and they are very different – is that I am now an official “pre-diabetic”. My glucose levels are experiencing huge swings as my body tries to get the insulin to do what it is supposed to.

I had several hours to sit here and think while I waited for the news. I thought about what I was about to lose. Pasta. Chocolate. Mtn Dew. The ability to eat a meal without thinking about what was going in and calculate the damage to benefit ratio.

Pre-diabetes doesn’t mean I will actually get diabetes. Chances are I will but I could keep it at bay for some time. That is IF I can do all the good things. I can’t exercise but I can change my diet. I’m to go see a diabetic counselor/nutritionist. I saw one many years ago and she was about as useless as tits on a bull. Hopefully, whoever I see this time will be better.

We’ve already started looking at our food. More salad. Less colas. Smaller, multiple meals with small snacks. Cheese, fruit, nuts.

Anyone have any advice?