Jun. 15th, 2016

pameladean: (Libellula julia)
On April 26th I went to the doctor for a regular checkup and lab work. My blood sugar came back elevated to the point where I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This diagnosis triggered a huge number of Get this test, Get that exam, Here have a glucometer, No you don't have to start on metformin right away but you might need it so get ready, Take these four three-hour diabetes education classes, Talk with a diabetes education nurse (she was fabulous), Check your blood sugar first thing in the morning and two hours after beginning to eat your largest meal of the day, Hmmm given those numbers try exercising for 15 minutes an hour after eating dinner. I haven't seen a nutritionist yet but it's on the list.

I am not exactly surprised. Numbers have been creeping up for years despite periodic attempts to expel added sugars from my diet or at least be mindful of where they were and approach them with caution; both my grandfathers were diabetic. However, I am considerably more thrown for a loop than I would have expected.

In 2002 I was diagnosed with hypertension in the ER. Those numbers made everybody's eyes very large and caused them to rush around with heart monitors and ask me a lot of questions. Eventually they ruled out things that would kill me at once and sent me off with a prescription for a beta blocker and instructions to go find a primary care practitioner at the clinic. Nine months later, after trying about twenty drugs in various combinations, my PCP sent me off to a nephrologist to make sure my kidneys weren't turning the wrong kinds of cartwheels. In the regular clinic, my BP numbers made everybody get very quiet and look at me as if I were about to keel over. In the nephrologist's office, the nurse assigned to handle me addressed me as "young lady" (I was 49) and said, "We have patients with much worse numbers than that, and on more medications. We'll fix you up." They did, too; there was nothing wrong with my kidneys and they found a combination of meds that worked.

Similarly, while my blood sugar was sneaking up on the scary invisible line, everybody was very sober. Once it leapt over, suddenly my doctor was very cheery. "Oh, I've got patients with much worse numbers than that, and those are very hard to get down. You can get yours down."

I'm not sure if this is more reassuring or unnerving. Anyway, I've been sulking and dithering and sitting on the news, and I decided that it was time to stop that. Plenty of people live with diabetes. The new regimen and the knowledge that there are more changes to come are making it hard for me to work, but I will try to get over myself.

Pamela

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