I started writing this for an intro to my blood sugar readings pages I just posted and it doesn’t seem to fit that purpose. So I decided to post it by itself. Its long and probley boring, but I spent several hours writing it, so here it is.
On 2/19/09 I went for a physical. I haven’t had one in about 10 years, so I made an appointment and went to have a physical. During the visit everything seemed fine. I asked the Doctor for a list of tests I wanted and after the appointment I went to have my labs done. I made a morning appointment and fasted the night before because I was hoping to get labs done. I wanted my cholesterol levels checked so I fasted. That day I told the doctor that I feel great. Couldn’t feel better. I made another appointment for a follow up on my physical and labs in 2 weeks.
The following week on Wednesday I happen to check our cell phone, which is also our home phone number. To my surprise it had lots and lots of missed calls and voice mail. I started to listen to the voicemails and was surprised it was the doctor’s office. On Monday they called my house every 30 – 60 minutes. Just left a message to call the doctors office. On Tuesday and Wednesday they also left 5-6 messages through out the day to contact the doctor’s office. Well I was starting to get scared. I had no idea what was wrong. Didn’t know what happening. In 3 days I got like 20-30 calls to call the doctors office. I used to smoke. Smoked like 20 years. In 1992 I finally quit smoking. But I read somewhere that even if you quit; you can still get lung cancer someday. The risk goes down but never to zero. Lung cancer is a death sentence to most that get it.
It was a little after 5pm and I called the doctors office right away. I was told the office was closed and would have to call back between normal business hours. I was scared and didn’t know what to do. So the next morning I called the doctors office from work at lunchtime. I work in a prison-teaching inmates, so I waited till lunchtime. So before I ate I called the doctors office. The receptionist said I would have to talk with the nurse. So I gave her my work number and extension and waited for her to call me back.
While waiting for the nurse, I ate my lunch. I was hungry and decided to eat while waiting for the call. When the phone rang I was totally clueless to what was wrong with me. She told me that my blood sugar was very very high and I should go to the emergency room right away. Said I was at risk for going into a Diabetic Coma. She told me not to eat anything with sugar or to drink any soda or juice. I told her that she should have called back about 30 minutes earlier. I just drank like 20 ounces of orange juice. For lunch I ate a tuna fish or chicken salad sandwich and drank a big container of orange juice everyday.
When I was told that I had Diabetes it was a big relief. I didn’t know much about diabetes but I figured people took meds and lived for lots of years with the disease. I didn’t have cancer. Cancer is a death sentence and people usually die within a year or two of being diagnosed. I was kind of glad I had diabetes. I figured it was manageable.
I felt fine and didn’t feel like I had to go to the emergency room. I didn’t want to have to cancel my class or make a big fuss at work. So I decided to go to urgent care at the clinic where my doctor worked after work. The nurse said she would make arrangements and that they would be expecting me when I got there.
When I arrived they had no clue to why I was there. I had to tell the receptionist, the nurse and the doctor my story why I was there. After waiting 30-40 minutes I got to see the nurse. She took my blood sugar and it was 281. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink for 5 hours. I was then left alone in the exam room for about an hour.
Finally a doctor came in to see me. Told me I was diabetic. He then went on to explain about how diabetic meds worked. Talked about 20 min how they squeezed the pancreas and forced the pancreas to produce more insulin. He told me that eventually the pancreas will give out and I will have to eventually take insulin. I asked him if I was going to need a meter to test my blood and he said that it was not necessary at this time. Then he said that my blood pressure may be damaging my kidneys and wanted me to take blood pressure and cholesterol drugs to lower them.
I asked if I could try diet to control blood pressure and cholesterol. He said that my levels were so high that I needed to get them down as fast as possible and said I really needed to take the meds. When I asked if I could maybe try diet when I got my numbers down, he seemed to think that it would not be possible. I said I would try someday anyway and he didn’t look like it could be done. I decided to take the meds. I figured I would be taking meds to control the blood sugar for the rest of my life, why not take the blood pressure and cholesterol drugs until my numbers dropped. I figured I would bring it up again with my regular doctor sometime in the future.
Well the doctor finally left and again I was left in the room for more than an hour. Finally he came back and gave me the prescriptions. On the way home I stopped by the pharmacy and got a bag full of drugs. I read all the direction and they said to take them in the morning. Since it was around 9:00pm I figured to finish the beers in the frig and got something to eat. I was starving. Hadn’t had anything since lunch. I sat watching TV eating my supper and drinking my beers. It felt like my last supper. I was scared, knew very little about diabetes and didn’t know what my future was going to be like. Figured I was drinking the last beers I would every drink.
Well for several days I researched the Internet about diabetes. Years ago, I found an article about the Glycemic Index. I saved the page because I found the article interesting and figured to someday do more research about the diet. At the time I was more interested to losing weight than diabetes. So the first place I went was to David Mendosa’s website. I found it was all about diabetes. I read for hours and hours. I then found a site by Julia Hanf and signed up for her emails. This is where I got started on how to control my blood sugar. If you read the rest of my website you already know the rest of the story.
That Sunday I was in Wal-Mart to buy something and stopped by the section that sold meters. From everything I read on the Internet, it seemed like I should be testing before and after I eat. I looked at all the meters. I found that the ReliOn blood glucose meter was only 9 dollars. A box of 50 strips cost only twenty. So I purchase a meter and a box of test strips and started to test my blood sugar.
The following week when I seen my doctor he didn’t seem to think my progress was too good. The doctor said I didn’t need to test but when he seen I was testing he was real interested in the readings. I thought I was doing well. I had maybe 5 days of results and it seemed the numbers were dropping but the doctor didn’t seem like, he liked my progress so far. I just looked at my chart for that week and maybe the doctor was right. But I just started testing and taking the drugs. Figured it was going to take some time to get them under control.
When I first seem the doctor he looked pissed off at me. He wasn’t happy about me going to urgent care. Said some remark about it. When I asked if someday, when my numbers come down, if I could stop taking the meds for blood pressure and cholesterol. He had a fit, called me a diabetic like it was a dirty word and ranted about how I was going to have to keep taking the meds. I already wasn’t too happy with him and I decided that he was only going to be temporary at best.