And then there's that diabetes thing.
Every three months I have a test affectionately called the A1c (not really affectionately; the full name is long and not easy to understand). What this test does is give the doctor a kind of overview of how well the blood sugar has been managed for that three month period. The result is expressed as a percentage, and good blood sugar control, which helps prevent diabetic complications, is measured as less than 7%.
My A1c tests over the past nine months have been going higher, from 7.5 to 7.8. I know that doesn't sound like a huge amount over the basic guideline, nor does it sound like a huge jump over the course of the year. But it does show a trend: my sugars are going higher rather than staying the same or going lower. So my doctor decided to do something about it.
He first suggested the addition of yet another drug, a new one in a new category of diabetes drugs. This one make me skittish because new classes of drugs, while they may do a bang-up job of whatever it is they're supposed to be doing, tend to have some unforeseen, often nasty, side effects. And I don't like to find out later that now I'm at risk of a sudden heart attack or liver failure because of that unforeseen side effect. The other option was insulin, which usually strikes fear and dread into people's hearts and makes them think I must surely be near death if I have to take insulin. That's not true; insulin is just another drug, not a death sentence.
Before starting a new drug of any kind, though, the doctor sent me to a nurse practitioner, who apparently has more time and knowledge about diabetes than he does. I saw her yesterday, and she was very encouraging and helpful. She will not begin a new medication until I have some more diabetes education, a chat or two with the nutritionist, and implement daily - yes, daily - exercise. And checking my blood sugar three times a day. Every day. She was very insistent about that! She said that exercise is THE most important aspect of my diabetes treatment, as exercise makes the cells more receptive to the insulin my body is making, either on its own or through medication. She gave me some literature handouts on diet and cholesterol (my triglycerides are high), which are simpler than any I've ever seen, and I'll be having appointments with the diabetes team nearby to help me make sensible changes to my life to try and manage this disease before it manages me.
I've been at this point several times in the last few years: things aren't going well and changes have to be made. Up till now I've been able to adjust medications and keep on going at my current eating and (non) exercise level. I've reached the point now, though, that I am going to have to make some lifestyle adjustments to (hopefully) avoid having to add yet another medication to my routine. I'd seriously appreciate your prayers as I try to figure it all out with the help of my health care providers. I want to stick around a few more years and enjoy my family! And keep pestering you readers with my little day-to-day things that really don't amount to much in the overall scheme of things. Thank you for reading and for being more than just readers - for being friends!