Thursday, December 08, 2011

Healthy Living

 Healthy Food 1

It's been a crazy, health-conscious week or two around here. With my shoulder still recovering from tendinitis, I'm having to do specific arm/shoulder exercises every day to increase my shoulder's range of motion. Wes and I are trying to become healthier in general, so he and I have a goal to walk every weekday morning right after breakfast. That happens sometimes, but more often than not, we each go to our corners of the apartment after breakfast to do our own thing. A friend gave me a free 30-day trial at Curves, so I started that three days a week, and I really like it. It's a nice workout without wearing me out. And there are lots of ladies my age or older there who seem to be friendly, and they love my accent and seem to be fascinated with South Carolina, my home state! LOL

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!

10 comments:

  1. You've given me some good motivation to get back into exercising. I was doing well for a while there but then strained or sprained something in my back. The recommendation I saw was to avoid exercise for 2-3 weeks and then ease back into it. The third week was Thanksgiving week and Jeremy's visit, so I figured I'd wait one more week -- and haven't gotten back yet.

    I used to foolishly think it would probably be good if I got diabetes because then that would make me get control of the sugar I eat. Silly, huh? After seeing what my mom went through with it and what you and others have to deal with, I hope I never get it, but I need to make some changes to avoid it.

    I know what you mean about not wanting to add another medication, especially a newer one. Will be praying that won't be necessary.

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  2. Susan, I have been diabetic about 12 yrs. I was on meds. could not take them, on insulin which kept being increased. Then another long term insulin,then something called symlin that was suppose to help regulate it. I was taking 7 shots a day.
    Finally one day I took my diabetes into my own hands. I went to a chiropractor who is also a kineseologist. They deal in natural
    health.
    Within 6 months my A1c was down to 6.6, I told my PCP and she told me to keep taking it, Also with my Thyroid I did the same thing.
    My doctor was amazed and told me to go ahead and take it. It was safe and does the job. I only take 1 shot of Lantus 45 units at night. I was taking 70 units.
    Sometimes we know better than the physicians.



    He put me on a STANDARD PROCESS
    (company) supplement Pancreatrophin
    Also my Thyroid~ I did the same thing. That was about 3 years ago and everything is still better.

    Just thought I would share this with you. I know these specialist
    are legal in Canada.

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  3. Barbara ~ I know, oh so well, how hard it is to "ease back in" to exercising! I used to think that having diabetes would force me to eat right . . . until I got it. It's an every day, all your life, kind of thing, and it isn't easy . . . but I want to be around for my family!

    Aliene ~ I was diagnosed 12 years ago too. I haven't had too much trouble, and I'm pretty sure that the lifestyle changes will be good, because when I do well with food and exercise, my blood sugars respond well. I'm so glad you were able to find help with a chiropractor! Yes, chiros are legal here.

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  4. Susan, I was diagnosed 9 DAYS ago. I've gone back and forth between denial and resolve. My A1C was only 6.3 so I'm no where near out of control at this point, but my mother died of a diabetic-related heart attack at 56 so this is nothing to mess around with.

    Terri

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  5. (((Terri))) ~ I didn't know you'd just been diagnosed with diabetes! You're right, 6.3 is not bad, but you want to keep it down there and lower to help prevent complications. We both lost our mothers to this disease, so we both know it at its worst. I will pray for you as you begin making all those changes. You'll get tired, but don't quit!

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  6. Thanks for sharing. I was diagnosed about 2 months ago, along with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and now plantar fascities. Quite an accomplishment for a woman who was not on ANY medication (other than temporary treatments over the years) for 50+ years! Boy, being a Senior newlywed is hard on a girl! I am having a really tough time with the diet, seems like I can't eat anything I like and what I need doesn't appeal to me. Never craved sweets till I found out I couldn't have them! Oh well, one foot in front of the other.... Again, thanks for sharing. It helps to have support.

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  7. First of all, congratulations on your new marriage! Seems like when it rained, it poured in regards to your health. I'm glad my post was an encouragement to you, and I hope future posts will continue to be so. Thanks for commenting, and hang in there!

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  8. Hi Susan! I just wanted to drop by and say thank you for your kind comment on my blog. It is such a blessing, in a weird sort of way (lol!), to know that I'm not alone. I have been popping in now and then to see how you are, but haven't always had time to comment. I pray your diabetes will get better without medication! I exercise almost daily (not Sunday)because of how I feel *afterwards*. It really helps me deal with stress. I wish we lived closer to each other so we could do it together! I love Denise Austin workouts as well as Leslie Sansone's. I've never been to Curves, but I've heard great things about it. I hope you find something you enjoy.
    God bless & stay warm up there!:)

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  9. Valerie ~ Thanks for taking a minute to come by and leave a comment! It would be nice to be closer together to share exercise and ministry. Keep on blogging and hang in there! :)

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  10. Susan...I'll be praying for all this diabetes stuff! Even though it's way past when you posted this, I'll make sure I put your health on my prayer list. Thanks for sharing what you're going through.

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Thanks for taking a minute to read my ramblings and leave a comment! I appreciate it!

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