Hello friends. I’m coming to you today with an update and some goals that I would like to achieve with my Type 2 diabetes. Towards the end of last year, I made some big decisions that would affect my health care going forward.
Every 3-months I have blood work to determine my levels and visit my endocrinologist to manage my diabetes and monitor my thyroid. What does an endocrinologist do? Endocrinologists are doctors who specialize in glands and the hormones they make. They deal with metabolism or all the biochemical processes that make your body work, including how your body changes food into energy and how it grows. [source: WebMd] I’ve been seeing my current doctor for about 2 1/2 years.
When I originally started seeing this doctor she was comforting and reassuring as I didn’t really understand the disease and everything that surrounded it. Mind you before seeing her … I had lost 15 pounds and decreased my AIC on my own from a 10 to 6.8, with just the meds that my primary care physician had prescribed. I did tell her the medicine made me sick when I would take it as prescribed, and she said to gradually work my way to twice daily. She also asked me about exercise, diet, and addressed some other issues.
Fast forward a year, and my AIC is going up and down … the reason for this is that in 2016 I became very ill, and my thinking was that I had some type of virus, however, the real culprit was the type 2 medicine called Metformin. I would take this pill twice a day for two days, get sick … then stop the pill for 3-days, then start it again so of course, so my numbers were all over the place. I began to feel a lot of anxiety every time I went to see my doctor. It wasn’t that my diet was terrible, but I wasn’t exercising every day, because of gas, bloating, and stomach pain, and I wasn’t taking the pill when I should. Also, my health insurance wouldn’t approve a different medicine, so I just kept going through it.
She began to look at my cholesterol and would say things like “your cholesterol numbers look great … you started here, and now it’s lower, but I want it to be even lower, so take this pill. There were visits where my blood pressure would be higher, so she prescribed a pill for that, and the result from all the medicines was an allergic reaction to ace inhibitors. I was angry. [ok pissed] … I even recorded an angry rant on my phone, with my swollen face. You want to feel that your doctor has your best interest at heart. You want to feel like your doctor wants to help you manage your healthcare. All the while, I didn’t feel like I was getting better. I felt stressed and pressured to get to some number according do a demographic for women that are my age, and race.
Let’s fast forward towards the end of October 2018. I had postponed my appointment with my doctor long enough and was scheduled to see her at the end of November. I knew a tongue lashing was coming as my AIC has gone up one point to 7.2 [a 6.5-6.9 would be ideal]. I was mentally preparing for my visit, and going over the notes from my doctor on my health portal. [Privia is a system that doctors in my area use communicate with one another, and a way that patients can see test results, prescriptions, or notes] I read in my file that insulin had been added to my queue of medications. I was again furious. Since when does a 7.2 AIC require insulin! I do have an enlarged thyroid, and I was also getting messages from my doctor to have an ultrasound when I still hadn’t been given any results from the previous ultrasound that cost me money that I didn’t have. [On a side note my thyroid levels were and still are excellent, so there was no need for this extra testing].
It’s almost as if, since your not sick and don’t have any issues, let’s run more test to see what we can find. Why am I required to take all these tests without any explanation for why I need them or how my enlarged thyroid relates to my Type 2. I had so many unanswered questions and by this point … enough was enough. I started to research other doctors in my area, and their reviews were giving me more anxiety. I took a chance and scheduled an appointment with another doctor for December. Building up to that appointment I was nervous and stressed, but I wanted answers and I wanted to be reassured that I was doing was the right thing.
Before my visit, it felt like 2-ton weights where on my shoulders when I met with my new doctor. I poured out all my frustrations, concerns, and my anger. This wasn’t to say that my previous doctor was terrible, but I also think the age demographic for her patients was a lot older than I was, and the way she wanted me to maintain my Type 2 it was with several medications, that I don’t think I need.
I don’t believe you need medication for everything. In fact, I believe that some doctors assume that people are lazy and they prefer to prescribe you a pill for the problem, because that’s easy, and people want what’s easy because it requires no thought to pop a pill. I know that with diet, exercise, and meditation, that I can get my numbers down. She laid out a plan that I felt comfortable with. I told her I need hard numbers and not a round-about way of what to eat [or abstain from] and how many carbs to consume. Her whole outlook was refreshing, and it gave me life.
Some of the guidelines she laid out for me are easy to follow:
- Only focus on eating, exercising and taking one pill per day
- We are not going to focus on cholesterol
- No added sugars, but Stevia or Splenda are ok
- No juice or soda
- Snacks should be 10-15 carbs max [about 3]
- Meals should be 35-50 carbs max
I know you must be thinking … damn … that’s strict, but that’s what I need to help me gain focus because I know I can do this. This is not a trend, it’s not a “New Year’s” resolution, this is my life, and I want to live the best life, and not just exist in it.