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Diagnosis: Type 2 Diabetes. Now What?

Posted Mar 26 2009 3:03pm

March 9th, 2009 will forever go down in my life history as the day my health kicked my ass. No, I’m not dying. I’m actually feeling more alive and motivated and inspired than ever before in my near 32 years.

A Little Back Story

Two days prior to the “Day of Dawn” for me, I’d been sitting at my desk and noticed that my left hand had these weird, jerky twitches going on. Not like your everyday eyelid twitch or that rhythmic thumping twitch, no… it was the fingers on my left hand moving around in strange, unbalanced movements. I got a little weirded out so I called the doctor’s office and they set me up for a 2pm appointment.

Now, I need to explain here that prior to all of this mess, I’d never EVER been much of a breakfast eater. I’d wake up around 6 or 7 and drink coffee with 2% milk and equal until about noon-thirty before actually putting something in my mouth that required chewing. I had a feeling they were going to draw blood, so I didn’t even eat that day until after the appointment.

So by the time I got to the doctor’s office and the subsequent lab for a blood draw, I had gone 21 hours without anything but that day’s coffee in my gut. More on that thought later…

The next day I get the call that my doc wants to see me to go over the bloodwork results. Okay, so there’s clearly something wrong, since if everything were okay he’d have called to tell me that and told me to keep an eye on the twitching stuff and let him know if it gets worse or more frequent.

diabetes Diagnosis: Type 2 Diabetes. Now What? I go into the office and the PA comes in and asks me why I’m there. (In case you’re wondering, I’m not a big fan of any of the PA’s at this office, but whatever…) So I tell her and she leaves and comes back with that finger pricker thing but never says a word. I see her putting it together and I mention that I really hate it. Like, I have a ridiculous reflex against it, have since I was a kid. It’s uncontrollable by myself alone, so I’m hoping she can hold my hand steady enough.

She couldn’t. Or rather, she didn’t even bother to really try. She kind of cupped my finger in her hand like she was holding an egg.

I wound up with an inch long gash on my finger that wouldn’t stop bleeding for hours after I left the damn office.

Doctor comes in and tells me that my cholesterol levels are “perfect”, my proteins and all that other stuff are normal, but my blood sugar was really high, at 183. This slash test just now (also about 18 hours since the last time I’d eaten, by the way) showed 186. He was sending me for a Hemoglobin A1c, which tests for the percentage of sugar bonded to proteins in the blood, and which is a defining test for Type 2 Diabetes. He said that 6% or lower was normal, 6-7% was borderline, and 7% and above was definite T2.

So back over to the lab I go, pulling up the sleeve of the other arm and since I know the hematologist, having a discussion with her about how I’m now officially nervous.

The Waiting Is The Hardest Part

I came home and my mother came down to spend time with me. I made a stir-fry dinner with brown rice and we talked about all the things the doctor said. Basically what he told me was that right now, regardless of the test results, the only thing he wants me to focus on is a 1200-1400 calorie per day diet, low in carbs and zero refined carbs, and 30 minutes of exercise every day. Heart-pumping exercise that is, to get the heart rate up.

I’m thinking, “Okay, I can do this. I’ve been wanting to do this, and now I have to do this, and I can do this.”

So the next day I get a call from the doctor’s secretary or PA or whatever, and she tells me that my A1c came back at 10.6% and she is going to make me an appointment to see their CDE (Certified Diabetes Instructor). Um, but the doctor said he doesn’t want me on a meter, doesn’t want me stressing over anything at all, just to focus on calories, content, and exercise. I tell her this, and she says, “Well, let’s set you up with the appointment anyway and if the doctor says no, we can cancel it.”

That, folks, is another long story, but the bottom line is that I didn’t see the CDE, and when I spoke to the doctor about it the other day, he was fine with it.

So Here I Go

I’ve been tracking every morsel that goes into my body with SparkPeople and have really tried to get on the treadmill every day. I’ve not succeeded, but every single morning I tell myself that I’m going to do it. It’s been over two weeks, and I’ve lost 4 pounds thus far.

I’ll be writing about this whole process in great detail of course. My next appointment with the doctor is on April 21, 2009 but don’t worry, I’ve got lots to say even before then… ;)

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