Wednesday, August 20, 2008

State of Confusion

Doctor and the Doll by Norman Rockwell
Doctor and the Doll

Today held another doctor's appointment, this time with the endocrinologist (specialist in diabetes and hormones). I was very late for my appointment because I looked up the wrong Laurel St. on the map. I went to Burnaby, an eastern suburb of Vancouver, where my doctor is, only to find that the address I needed was in downtown Vancouver - a drive all the way across the city! So I trotted across town and found the doctor's office, and they were very gracious about it and allowed me to keep my appointment (I had called them to find where they were when I realized I had the wrong town, so they knew what was going on).

So. Long story short, the endo wants to take me off the medicine that the family doc prescribed (the one that is awaiting approval for insurance), because it is unnecessary, in her opinion. Although my morning blood sugars are high, and always have been, my 3-month average is actually only 1/10 of a point higher than the highest it should safely be. She wants me to begin another medicine that I've tried before, metformin aka Glucophage. That one made me sick when I took it before, but this time I'm going to try a very small dose and try to build it up. I'm willing to try it, and she said I can stop it right away if it makes me sick this time. It's the first medicine doctors try for type 2 diabetics - it's very good - but it did make me horribly sick before. We'll see. I hope it does work, because it doesn't cause weight gain, and may actually help with weight loss.

As for diet, I asked about trying the South Beach Diet. She said it was ok, just remember to be balanced. So I've decided to first try to strictly follow the meal plan given to me by the diabetic nutritionist. I'll try that for the six weeks that I'm going to try the Glucophage, then if I need an even stricter diet, I'll try South Beach. I know what to do; I just don't want to be that strict!

I also have to get back to my exercise. It always come back to exercise. Our bodies were intended to be active! I have slipped out of the routine of going to the gym with our lack of routine for the past month or so, but it's just a fact of my life that I must exercise - the doctor said even if it's just a 20-minute walk after dinner. Sigh. Whine. Moan. Huff. Sigh.

I'm a good sprinter - I can do well with diet, exercise, and medicine for a little while - but I stink at running a marathon - and this disease demands the marathon. It won't be cured; it must be managed. I'd appreciate your prayers if or when the Lord brings me to mind. Thanks!


  1. I hope the medicine works well for you. I keep coming back to the need for exercise, too, yet every day it seems like, "I don't have time today. Maybe tomorrow...or next week." I was stirring up something last week and noticed my arms getting tired, and thought how much exercise ladies used to get just doing without the labor-saving appliances we have! But I am not ready to give them up, either...

  2. I didn't realize that Metformin was used for type 2 diabetes. My doctor was going to put me on that for PCOS (PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome), but losing 35 pounds cured the problems and I never had to go on it. Anyway, I didn't realize that my issues were so closely related to diabetes symptoms, but it does makes sense.
    That exercise... I know how you feel. I always feel better when I do it, but I never want to get started. It is so important though.
    I hope you can become a good marathoner. I guess you'll HAVE to since your health/life depends on it. I'll pray for you!

  3. Barbara - I can find every excuse in the book not to exercise! I'm very good at it, too. I think about our grandmothers sometimes when I'm whisking something and think how glad I am for my mixer . . .

    Pam - from what I understand, metformin's original creation was for type 2 diabetes treatment (and still is the front-line medication for it), but later was found to work for PCOS, which is closely related to diabetes. I had problems with infertility and weight gain and insulin resistance when I was first married, and now doctors know that my symptoms then are related to my having diabetes now. I wish I had known then what I do now.

  4. Praying Susan,
    That clarity will come and you will find what works for you....
    I tried SB...have all the current books (let me know..don't buy)....but felt Weight Watchers flex(points) was more life friendly for is a struggle..DAILY...I need the exercise too..but it is so hard, when I hurt already...imagine exercising when you have the flu (body aches)...that is Fibro..on most steps count in my life these days...
    hurting this morning I have been up since 2:00 am

  5. Wow Susan - back to metformin. I hope it does better for you this time around! Did your doctor put you on t he extended release or the regular? I've read that it's supposed to be gentler on the tummy, but to be honest - found that the opposite was true for me. I had horrible side effects from the XR met but the regular was just fine. But maybe I'm just weird....

    And it is SUCH a drag that it always comes back to exercise. It's such a pain! I'm with you on the whining...but I know I need to get out and do it.

    Even though you didn't know what you do now - does it help to know all those things now? Not that diabetes can be reversed, but does it help with management, knowing what things tend to work better? Or is it the trying to find those things that work that is the hard part?

  6. I'm the same way about the sprinting thing. I get all excited to do something good at first and then the excitement fades, especially with exercise and diet. It has to be a life style change, or so they say! LOL. Mama takes Glucotrol, I think. Hope this time you dont' get sick.


  7. I think I need to seek out a new doctor. I saw one for many years that kept a close check on me as I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The doc in this area says I don't and never did have it. So now I've slacked off on the diet...but I really don't want to have diabetes so I know I should be doing the diet and exercise. Pray for me too!♥

  8. Deby, we've used WW points, and I did well with them for a while, but the things I need to eat for snacks, such as cheese and nuts, don't fit well with WW because they are such high points. Wes is doing great with it, though! I hope you're feeling better today!

    Melody - I've taken three doses (very small ones) and so far no problems. It's the Gen-Metformin, not the XR. It does help to know the connections between infertility and diabetes now, but if I had known back then, maybe something would have clicked before I got to full-blown diabetes. I don't know that for sure, but it's frustrating that I could have lost weight easier back then, could have not had to deal with the cycle issues, etc. Now I'm stuck in the cycle of meds, weight gain, more meds - hopefully with the Met I can stop that cycle a little bit.

    Debbie, I'm sprinting right along with you! Hopefully we can turn this thing into a marathon!

    Tammy - don't slack up on the diet and exercise! If you slip, get right back up. It will be worth it. Have you ever been tested for diabetes? The guidelines now are very strict for diagnosis, and the sugar level is very low to be considered diabetic - one reading of 126 or higher (7.0 if you're outside the US). It's worth checking into if there's any suspicion of diabetes!

  9. Susan

    I hope you do well with the metforman. My daughter has been on it for about 1 1/2 years for the PCOS she has lost over 100 pounds but she does push aways which i find quite hard. My husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last year, the doctor put him on Byetta which is super expensive (thank goodness for good insurance) but he hates the injections. Last week the doctor took him off of the injections and keeping him on metforman. We shal see how he does, he has lost 50 pounds, and I pray he doesn't gain it back.

    I know how hard exercise is. I lothe it. I walk, and do some other things, but don't like doing much anything else.

    I pray that the meds will work for you, and that you will be able to loose a bit of weight, and try to do the diets. That can be hard.

    Take care

    Sibyl in Houston

  10. Is the met still going well for you? I hope so. It's such a strange drug.

    I'm trying to figure out the whole cycle thing right now. I was doing great on the met before I became pregnant, but now my dr. has me off it - when I'm wondering if that's the right course of action. She wants me to give it a little more time before I call back, so we'll see. So for now, it's diet and exercise to see what that does, and then we'll go from there.

    I look forward to reading your menu tomorrow! Your food always sounds so good.

  11. Sibyl, it seems that everybody knows somebody on metformin, because it's used for so many different things. I know it's a good drug, if there is such a thing, I guess. I hope you husband will do well on it. I've read a bit about Byetta - seems like a miracle drug.

    Melody, so far I am doing very well on metformin. I'm only taking 250 mg. twice a day (500 mg total per day) for the first two weeks, then up to 500 mg twice a day. It is causing some gastric rumbling (ahem) but so far nothing more serious (before, I couldn't even make it to the bathroom - that's how bad my reaction was). So I'm hoping that increasing the dosage gradually will allow my body to accept it more easily. Also, the first time I was on metformin I had already been having some stomach problems and I wasn't eating well, so my stomach was already irritated. I haven't had those stomach troubles since that time, so I'm hoping that whatever was wrong back then (I suspect uncontrolled sugar levels were causing the problems) has healed and won't be a problem now. My sugar levels are doing well too, for which I'm grateful. I have a post scheduled for later this week on the meal plan I'm using, and hope to get one ready on portion control too.


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