Managing your own diabetes without medication

It was in the Spring of last year 2011, when I found a new internal medicine doctor in Celebration.  I haven’t had great luck with finding really good doctors down here, so here I was going to another new doctor.  And I was so nervous.  I was 100 pounds overweight, had let myself go, told myself it was because I was taking immunosuppressive medications that I gained weight.  And convinced myself that I ate pretty good.  I had no idea how bad my health was at that time.  But I was going to find out.

I had tried to find a good endocrinologist to see if my thyroid was the problem with all my weight gain, tiredness, dry skin and no energy, but even though I had an insurance plan that didn’t need a referral, all the ones I tried to see wanted a referral.  At that time, I was seeing a nephrologist in another city that was one of the worst doctors I have ever met.  I tried to discuss with him that I needed counseling for the depression I seemed to be in.  He said, oh, just up your medication and you’ll be ok.  I can take care of you.  So I then asked him if he could refer me to a dietician to help me with my eating problems.  He said, just cut back on your eating and you will be fine.  I will take care of you.  So the last request was to be referred to an endocrinologist to check my thyroid which had just quit working a few years back and a doctor had prescribed medication that I had been on and wanted to get it checked.  And he said, I’ll check your thyroid, you don’t need to see a specialist.  I’ll take care of you.  He never took care of me

So finally, my husband found an endocrinologist close to our house that did not need a referral and I immediately made an appointment.  I’m still not sure I like him, but there are not many around here.  So he took some blood work to check my thyroid, did a sonogram on it and found nothing and said if he found anything wrong with my blood work, he would give me a call to come back in.  Either way, he said his office would let me know the results of my blood work.

Weeks and a couple of months went by.  I heard nothing.  I called his office several times, but was told they didn’t have the blood work back yet.  Now his office is in a hospital and I knew he had that blood work back by then.  So now, I’m finally seeing my new internal medicine doctor and his office is located in the same hospital as the endocrinologist’s.  And amazingly, he found my blood work in the computer and told me everything I needed to know and some things that I didn’t want to know.  He told me my cholesterol was high, my lipids were too high and that I had diabetes.  That last part went right by me.  And then I said, what!!!!!!

My A1C was 7.3.  No one took my blood glucose that day, so I didn’t know how high it was or how long I had been diabetic, but I know that I had felt bad for over a few months.  And I had a couple of low blood sugars during those months that I didn’t feel well.  I had taken a long hot shower one night (something you are not supposed to do with diabetes) and did all the usual things after a shower – brush teeth, style hair, put on lotion, etc. – and all of a sudden, I started shaking and was dizzy and felt as if I were going to faint.  My husband gave me some Coke (Coca-Cola) and I started feeling better.  I had had to go to the bathroom a lot and my husband heard me say I was so thirsty everyday.  Little did I know what I had.

So I finally got to see my endocrinologist and he immediately wanted to put me on medication, but told me that with my transplanted kidney, there was a good chance that the medicine would damage it.  So I asked if I could try to manage my diabetes by diet and exercise and he agreed.  So here I am, learning as I go.  I did have an appointment with a dietician, but that appointment was 3 months away.  I could have been dead by then.  So I used the internet as my resource.  As we go along, I will share with you some tricks and tips I’ve learned.  But I am sure there is much more to know and hope all of you can share your health tips and experiences with diabetes or just with healthy eating and living.

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