It's So Noisy at the Fair: The Diabetic Thread

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Crossed the threshold a month ago--no surprise after three decades of eating whatever felt good.

There've got to be others on here too. I want this to be somewhere where I can come and ask any questions. The internet's helpful but erratic. And my doctor is terrible. (She's literally the only doctor still taking patients in my small town, and to get a new one I'd have to cut her loose first--risky.)

My frame of mind, after the initial shock, is good. My reading on the blood test that uncovered this was 9.6; after two weeks of drastically altering my diet, it was down to 9.0. Follow two more weeks of that, plus two pills a day, my home readings have been 7.8, 6.4, 6.3, and 5.9. I had another blood test on Monday, which produced a reading of 10.1, but I know that's a months-long average, so I'm taking the home readings to be more current. (Typical example of my doctor's incompetence is the e-mail that accompanied the latest lab reading: "Your average blood sugar is coming down, it is 10.1, this is good carry on." It would have been a lot of trouble to actually check that, evidently.)

Anyway, looking for positivity, and please, no gruesome tales of the worst that can happen (visions that dominated my thoughts the first few days after finding out). Spoke to a friend of my dad's, in his 80s now, and he's been managing it for 30 years.

clemenza, Saturday, 19 November 2022 20:32 (six months ago) link

my dad got diagnosed a few years ago (he's in his 70s) ... he is doing pretty well for a man who can no longer eat donuts, and he was very fond of donuts.

sarahell, Saturday, 19 November 2022 20:46 (six months ago) link

Oh man--my Achilles heal (pastries in general), as witness a couple of Tim Hortons threads on here.

clemenza, Saturday, 19 November 2022 20:54 (six months ago) link

Um, heel.

clemenza, Saturday, 19 November 2022 20:55 (six months ago) link

I got diagnosed several years ago after a lifetime of eating like a college freshman. I immediately cut out soft drinks, cut way back on pasta and beer and ice cream, and quit making homemade bread. The last was the saddest if not the hardest part. I've been treating it with metformin and glipizide and my A1C hangs around 6.3 to 6.5, fasting sugar around 105-110. The most heartening thing has been eye exams over the past years, where the optometrist says he wouldn't be able to tell I had diabetes from a close look at the eyes, no damage at all. Ironically, diabetes sort of gave me my second career as a bartender, when I started studying spirits and cocktail science after m/l quitting beer.

DPRK in Cincinnati (WmC), Saturday, 19 November 2022 22:49 (six months ago) link

ILX0r unperson to thread!

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 19 November 2022 23:01 (six months ago) link

That's encouraging, WmC. My vision's always been an issue--glasses since grade 4, tri-focals for the past decade--so I don't know what will happen there. I figure I've probably had this for the past 1-2 years, though, and I don't think there's been anything unusual during this time-frame (I've been tested for glaucoma).

"A lifetime of eating like a college freshman"--well said. For me, besides the pastries, it was guzzling fruit juice every summer, pasta and rice, periodic chocolate binges, bread and bagels, and the usual love of cheeseburgers/fries/pizza.

With all the changes the past few weeks, one bit of good news is that I'm less than a pound away from dropping under 170 for what I'm pretty sure will be the first time this century.

clemenza, Saturday, 19 November 2022 23:15 (six months ago) link

Takes me three tries to get a reading every time I do one of these finger pricks. I'm only doing one a week, otherwise this would get expensive fast.

clemenza, Sunday, 27 November 2022 02:59 (six months ago) link

diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 2 years ago. big diet changes (no more soft drinks / fruit juice, way less carbs and far less sweet stuff) and around 10 miles of very brisk walking every day reversed it. all that walking means i can sometimes eat a bit more of the stuff i love but need to cut out than i'd be able to otherwise.

stirmonster, Sunday, 27 November 2022 22:15 (six months ago) link

diagnosed type 2 in March
A1C was 8.9 and now after metformin, diet & exercise my last test was 6.1 so I’m getting there

daily fasting finger tests are usually in the 110-120 range

finger tests feel fucking pointless tho tbh without measuring pre and post meals but doc doesn’t seem to see the need so

(my eyesight is a bit of a battle still, as that was what led to my diagnosis, i had a vein occlusion behind my eye brought on by diabetes & high blood pressure that is now being treated w injections but it’s unclear if i’m to do this forever or if it will “clear up”)

i’m working hard at building new eating habits, trying not to long for things i can’t eat anymore. enjoying new vegetables and i look forward to daily walks which i never ever thought would happen. did successfully make a sugar-free cheesecake and shortbread which at least scratches my baking itch & helps me through my first holiday without a houseful of pies and cakes.

i think the worst part is all the conflicting info online & bored doctors leaving you to your own devices which was def my experience as well.

the most helpful mindset for me has been, perfection is not the goal. the goal is just, you know, “better”. even a little bit better is good. don’t eat things you don’t like, don’t punish yourself. it’s not prison, it’s just a new lifestyle. how you feel is what matters the most. and: don’t let numbers ruin your day.

idk. it’s a learning process

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Sunday, 27 November 2022 23:28 (six months ago) link

Diagnosed Type 2 in 2003 or so. It came on suddenly; I went to the doctor because I had lost a lot of weight in a matter of a couple of weeks (from 205-210 I dropped to about 175), was dying of thirst all the time, and almost passed out in a couple of meetings at work (TBF they were very boring meetings).

For many years I struggled, because I don't like to exercise — I fucking hate to exercise, honestly — and I like to eat what I like to eat. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, but a low-carb diet is out of the fucking question. I do try to eat less bread, less pasta, and less meat than I might if I was feeling super self-indulgent, and that's helped a little bit. Switching from Coke to Coke Zero, and from Snapple to unsweetened iced tea (Pure Leaf or Arizona) has helped, too. I was never a big drinker, so giving up alcohol immediately upon diagnosis (my first doctor told me it would interfere with my medication) was no sacrifice at all.

A couple of months ago I had a genuine breakthrough. I'd been taking 1000 mg of Metformin with breakfast and 20 units of injectable Toujeo insulin with dinner, and my numbers were OK but not great. So I asked my doctor if we could add 25 mg of Jardiance to that, and we did, and all of a sudden my numbers are normal to even below normal. When I test in the morning my glucose is in the 60-75 range, sometimes below that. As I said on another thread recently, it's gotten to the point where sometimes I need to eat carby garbage for dinner in order to make sure I don't wake up with the shaking sweats. But in general, I'm feeling pretty good and optimistic.

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 28 November 2022 00:24 (six months ago) link

All very helpful, thank you.

i think the worst part is all the conflicting info online & bored doctors leaving you to your own devices

Big yes on both counts. As I said above, my doctor is useless.

Because I only want good news, I do my one self-reading a week at 9:30 in the evening, three hours after dinner. I know a morning reading will be higher, so I don't do one. Right now, because this is all new, I'm inordinately focused on these readings--I'm sure that will pass soon enough.

My eyesight has been as issue since grade 4; I hope this doesn't hasten bad stuff, but I was probably headed in that direction regardless.

clemenza, Monday, 28 November 2022 02:29 (six months ago) link

I will ask my doctor about Jardiance, but I suspect I already know what the answer will be: "Let me look that up in my book."

clemenza, Monday, 28 November 2022 02:31 (six months ago) link

re readings: it helped me not to think of them as an accusation (which i did for the longest time). this will sound corny but now i try to treat it as a compass? like, this reading is where you are ~right now~ and just make your course corrections accordingly. let it help you

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 28 November 2022 04:00 (six months ago) link

sorry that sounds so dumb out loud

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 28 November 2022 04:01 (six months ago) link

sounds like good thinking to me

assert (matttkkkk), Monday, 28 November 2022 04:04 (six months ago) link

it’s just, like i found my first 6 months so stressful bc of fluctuating readings, plus my blood pressure was high & i was struggling with those as well and it just felt like every test result & reading was just there to tell me i sucked

i couldn’t cope but the stress of that feeling was also helping to keep those readings out of whack

it’s so easy to drown in the microfocus & lose sight of the bigger picture. how you ARE getting better, you ARE making changes, you can just get up out of your chair & still live life regardless of whether your reading was high or low.

give yourself permission to fluctuate, to course correct, and to just try to do our goddamn best. that’s all we need to do.

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 28 November 2022 04:28 (six months ago) link

Type 1 over here. Got diagnosed about 5 years ago, it sucks.

just sayin, Monday, 28 November 2022 04:46 (six months ago) link

xp yes it's important to realise there is a very direct link between stress hormones and blood sugar level! That's one of their main immediate effects.

assert (matttkkkk), Monday, 28 November 2022 05:31 (six months ago) link

Went to the doctor on Wednesday; he actually wants me to get my numbers up a little (aiming for a morning glucose number around 90 rather than 60-75) so I've cut my dose of Toujeo in half, from 20 units to 10. Which means I no longer get to/have to eat cookies after dinner but I am waking up in the target range.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 10 December 2022 12:21 (five months ago) link

Good to hear. I'll be doing another three-month reading on Tuesday; my last one, my fourth, was down to 7.5 from 10.1. My home readings have levelled off in the ~5.5 range. I'll have to fight against complacency; I do find myself eating the occasional extra Keto cookie and such now that the initial panic has subsided. The one thing that's going great is weight loss; down to 164 this morning.

clemenza, Saturday, 10 December 2022 15:40 (five months ago) link

all encouraging news, good stuff!!

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 10 December 2022 17:33 (five months ago) link

The one thing that's going great is weight loss; down to 164 this morning.

Nice! Once I got my medication dialed in properly, and made the accompanying mental adjustments, weight control was and has remained pretty easy. I've weighed roughly 175 (at 6'2") for 20+ years.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 10 December 2022 20:14 (five months ago) link

One thing I'm just becoming aware of--who even thinks about these things until you have to?--is the extra sugar in regular 2% milk. It's like all the fruit juice I've been guzzling the past 20 summers: "Isn't that great for my health that I don't drink pop?" As soon as I finish the milk I have on hand, I'll probably switch over to Joyya (knowing full well I'll over-pay for it).

clemenza, Sunday, 11 December 2022 03:32 (five months ago) link

three weeks pass...

my fourth A1c test today since March 2022 diagnoses (initial was 8 - and subsequent results were 6.1 and 6)

today I’m at 5.7 which was a welcome surprise

i expected it to higher but honestly i am still learning what does/doesn’t affect it, still a bit mystifying tbh

i thought maybe since I wasn’t able to exercise at all the past couple of months due to back problems that that might put me higher, plus christmas brought inevitable carbs that I couldn’t avoid & felt like my diet got a bit lazier

anyway, with these results it feels encouraging to finally get something like a win, and i am taking it as a sign to keep doing what i’m doing

will f/up w doc to see what they say

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 7 January 2023 02:09 (four months ago) link

Good job. I was worried about Christmas too, but got through with good levels (5.3 - 5.5 at home; last three-month was 7.2 but before the holiday) and my weight's down to 162 some mornings, the lowest it's been in three decades. And I'm not as panicky about everything I eat now.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 January 2023 02:16 (four months ago) link

hi-five :D

the not-panicky about eating the wrong thing is huge, it’s like you want to go back & hug yourself for all freaking out you did, i can totally relate to that

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 7 January 2023 02:44 (four months ago) link

Yeah, getting over food panic was a major step for me. I try to eat healthy but I refuse to eat joyless flavorless food just because it's theoretically better for me.

Perhaps it will help to consider a diabetes anti-role model: Lemmy. When he got diagnosed (which included spending a week in a coma), he took his pills, but other than that his only lifestyle change was switching from Jack Daniels & Coke to Jack Daniels & Diet Coke. I don't think he even gave up speed.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 7 January 2023 03:34 (four months ago) link

lmao <3 u Lemmy

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 7 January 2023 03:43 (four months ago) link

As long as I can still shoot speed, I'm happy.

I feel like I haven't given up anything in terms of regular meals--or at least I'm loving everything I'm eating, and not thinking about the pizza/cheeseburgers I've given up. With snacks, I've given up a little. The Keto/Good Fats/Good Eats stuff I'm buying does lose a bit, but I've found one really good yogurt (Two Good vanilla) that tastes great and only has 3g of carbohydrates per 1/3 cup.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 January 2023 04:06 (four months ago) link

I've been eating a lot of Healthy Choice microwave dinners — they're meat and vegetables with maybe a little bit of pasta, with optional sauce/gravy that I almost always skip.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 7 January 2023 04:12 (four months ago) link

There a couple of those I like, and I always add extra vegetables. I cook lots of fish and chicken, and I found a Thai soup I really like.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 January 2023 04:20 (four months ago) link

Had my last two bi-weekly blood tests, won't go back for three months now. In view of how engaged my doctor is--not at all--I'll be on my own till the spring.

Readings are good: 6.7 then 6.5 for the three-month levels, 5.2 at home last night (lowest yet). Had my first cheeseburger in almost three months to celebrate, probably the worst thing I could do--but added chick peas to my nightly salad as penance.

clemenza, Monday, 16 January 2023 22:32 (four months ago) link

lol yeah my doctors office called after my lab results came in & they’re like “yep everything looks stable ok bye”

last 3-month visit i waited in the exam room for 30 minutes for a pointless 5 min “keep doing what you’re doing” consultation

so i guess no visit at all is an improvement

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Monday, 16 January 2023 23:18 (four months ago) link

My doctor's receptionist retired a couple of weeks ago, and she was an intermediary I had some rapport with. Typical: I didn't realize that when we'd been communicating via e-mail, it was her address, not the office's. ("I've just retired...please contact Dr. _______ at the office.) Wouldn't be shocked if my doctor doesn't even have an e-mail address attached to the office.

clemenza, Tuesday, 17 January 2023 04:53 (four months ago) link

one month passes...

Buses cancelled where I was today, so a lot of absent students; it was pizza day, and there was extra for any teachers who wanted some. So I had my first pizza since getting the diagnosis in October. Plain cheese, two small slices--I was fine with that, though there was a little guilt about not limiting myself to one. I probably should have self-tested tonight to see if there was a spike, but it would have been nine hours later, so I doubt it would have shown up anyway. Plus I only like good news.

clemenza, Saturday, 18 February 2023 06:32 (three months ago) link

sometimes not knowing is more manageable than knowing & not being able to do anything abt it.

i had a work dinner last week at a thai restaurant. except the catch that i didn’t learn, that no one knew until we all got there, was that my boss was ordering for everyone! for 25 of us. unhinged. random dishes would get passed around unannounced so it was like a game of telephone trying to establish what any dishes were - not great for me but worse for ppl with serious food allergies

i just ate like 12 random scoops of various curry & like a teaspoon of rice …. and then made a protein bowl when i got home.

not ideal

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 February 2023 07:18 (three months ago) link

if i could have ordered an actual dish for myself like i had expected, it would have been fine! grr

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 February 2023 07:19 (three months ago) link

Yeah, I wasn't totally happy with the restaurant (pub, really) my sister chose for her birthday last night--the fish was good, but nothing in the way of vegetables except salad. But you don't want to end up being a drag when it's her night (what I ate was fine)...I've been eating this Thai soup once a week and the food-label numbers are really good.

clemenza, Saturday, 18 February 2023 13:40 (three months ago) link

Just to be clear, I wasn't ambushed like you; we both thought the mains were okay from the online menu, and I think just assumed there'd be a vegetable option on the side.

clemenza, Saturday, 18 February 2023 13:46 (three months ago) link

i had a work dinner last week at a thai restaurant. except the catch that i didn’t learn, that no one knew until we all got there, was that my boss was ordering for everyone! for 25 of us. unhinged. random dishes would get passed around unannounced so it was like a game of telephone trying to establish what any dishes were - not great for me but worse for ppl with serious food allergies

Ugh, this sounds like a nightmare. "Welcome to the mandatory meal! Here's your slice of cake!" "Uh, thanks...?"

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 18 February 2023 14:16 (three months ago) link

yeah it was quite stressful

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 February 2023 16:46 (three months ago) link

Well, the one thing I've learned over the last 20 years is that one bad meal won't kill you. There are definitely times when I've eaten really poorly and felt it (I remember once at work having a bowl of macaroni and cheese, with bread crumbs on top, for lunch and being basically in a coma for the rest of the afternoon) but I can always stabilize my system pretty well by the next day. I've even had days where my sugar spiked for no reason at all — I was eating healthy, getting an acceptable amount of exercise, and it just shot into the 300s for no reason at all, like my pancreas had just decided to take the day off. So, you know, do your best. It'll work out.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 18 February 2023 17:10 (three months ago) link

Which is actually something I've been wondering: if your level spikes and then returns to normal, is it like it never happened, or does every spike weaken your system a little more. (And I'm not even sure what I mean by "system.")

clemenza, Saturday, 18 February 2023 18:08 (three months ago) link

No question mark, but there is a question in there.

clemenza, Saturday, 18 February 2023 18:08 (three months ago) link

Based on my own experience, while diabetes does weaken your system over time, the process can be very gradual (like "river water wearing down a stone" gradual), especially if you are doing your best to be healthy. If you're disregarding the disease and eating pizza and snack cakes all day, drinking a lot, etc., etc., then sure, it'll progress faster than it otherwise might — that's just logical. But getting the right medication, eating as healthy as you can whenever you can, exercising (without even being a nut about it), all helps a surprising amount.

but also fuck you (unperson), Saturday, 18 February 2023 18:27 (three months ago) link

Mr. Jaq who has been trying to manage type 2 with oral meds for quite awhile (with occasional very long spates of denial and bursts of keto) is now on a small amount of insulin overnight. Hoping he takes it seriously and is consistent with it. Kudos to all y'all for dealing with it.

Jaq, Saturday, 18 February 2023 20:12 (three months ago) link

keto as an idea offers some useful recipes for me like when i am experimenting w desserts or baking or looking for a no carb option here or there but there is no way i’d ever go down that road as a whole lifestyle

rolling the dice on ketosis seems so scary to me & anecdotally v hard to achieve without encountering some p serious complications?

werewolves of laudanum (VegemiteGrrl), Saturday, 18 February 2023 21:41 (three months ago) link

After a day of Peg-Lyte and more or less fasting--if you know what I mean, you'll know what I mean--had a reading of 4.9, first one under 5.0.

with occasional very long spates of denial--this is what I worry about most. With me it would be complacency, brought on by good readings like that one, more than denial.

clemenza, Tuesday, 21 February 2023 22:13 (three months ago) link

Which is actually something I've been wondering: if your level spikes and then returns to normal, is it like it never happened, or does every spike weaken your system a little more. (And I'm not even sure what I mean by "system.")

― clemenza, Saturday, February 18, 2023 6:08 PM (three days ago) bookmarkflaglink

as a type 1, the thing the doctor checks these days (which they can now monitor) is 'time in range' and therefore it seems like the spikes don't matter as much? i'm guessing type 2 would be the same

just sayin, Tuesday, 21 February 2023 23:56 (three months ago) link

I had my first eye exam in three years this month and the optometrist said it's still not possible to tell from the close up pics of my eyes that I'm diabetic, so good result there. And my PCP checks sensation in my feet at every quarterly visit. Otherwise my A1C still hangs around 6.3-6.5, fasting sugar around 110, and the doc is not too worried about it. Steady diet of metformin and glipizide as usual. (Actually she may have taken her eye off my diabetes recently as she made a big error in my thyroid meds, raising my dose when she should have lowered it, and she's been focused on those getting those numbers back in line the last 2 visits.)

The Terroir of Tiny Town (WmC), Wednesday, 22 February 2023 00:14 (three months ago) link

(xpost) Thanks, that's how I've been approaching this--home-testing once a week, and picking an opportune moment. I figure if that number's good, then the whole week's good.

clemenza, Wednesday, 22 February 2023 01:39 (three months ago) link

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