Type 2 Diabetes – Two Visits

Last week, I had two appointments, one after the other. The first was with a dietician, the second with a nurse specializing in Diabetes.

Each appointment lasted an hour and they were very informative.

I am very happy that I live in Canada where all medical care is covered by the government (and our taxes).  

I brought a notebook containing the list of meals I had had during the previous week. I also noted my exercise including two bike rides of 12 km and 14 km respectively. I wrote down my water consumption as well. The results of my blood glucose self-testing was also noted.

It seems I have been doing quite well. My total weight loss is 15 pounds and all of my glucose tests have been in the normal range.

Here are a few things I learned from Alia, the dietician:

  • It is important to eat meals at regular hours.
  • They should not be more than five hours apart.
  • Each meal should have approximately the same amount of protein (30 g.)
  • I need to eat even more vegetables.
  • No processed food as it turns to sugar very rapidly.
  • Instead of white bread, rice, pasta, substitute brown.
  • Use seeds and nuts, and cinnamon to help flavor food.
  • Berries are recommended.

The dietician also gave me a “recipe” to be eaten every day. One-third ground flax-seed + one-third oat bran + one-third psyllium. The goal is two tablespoons a day, starting with one tbsp. I was able to easily buy these items at our local Bulk Barn but I am sure grocery stores carry them. Today I had a serving of plain Greek yogurt with blackberries and blueberries and 1 tbsp. of the mixture. Not the tastiest but I am sure I can get used to it.

The nurse, Kelly, gave me a lot of helpful facts and advice. She told me to share this with everyone I know.

Uncontrolled diabetes can cause various other serious problems:

  • Kidney problems and failure
  • Circulation problems, which can lead to amputation
  • Problems with the eyes which can lead to blindness
  • Problems in the brain, which can cause Alzheimer’s

With Type 2 Diabetes, the glucose sticks to your red blood cells. This is bad. What else can I say?

I was originally diagnosed with T2D about 20 years ago. Since that time it was totally controlled with diet. But in the last couple of years, since retirement, the weight crept back on and my sugar levels began to rise. I guess at age 70, it all caught up to me and I was prescribed Metformin, which I take twice a day.

Metformin helps your cells use the sugar your body produces but it also encourages the liver to not make so much sugar.

Here are a few of my goals:

  • lose more weight (5 – 10 pounds in the next few months)
  • continue to exercise every day (walking, cycling, weights)
  • share my (limited) knowledge of Type 2 Diabetes with friends and family
  • get good results on my blood glucose tests
  • incorporate all the important information received from Alia and Kelly

When I was finishing up my appointments, Kelly gave me a card with their direct phone number and their email addresses in case I had concerns and/or questions. I have a follow-up appointment with both of them on October 14th, but before then I will be having blood tests for which I have a standing order every three months. I certainly hope that my next doctor’s appointment will be one of good news.

Thanks for reading about my latest baby steps on my Diabetes journey. Have a nice weekend. – Maureen

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type 2 Diabetes – Another Step

The journey is continuing. But the path is not always easy. This past weekend, I ran into a rough spot.

On Saturday night, into Sunday morning, I was sick. The Metformin I have been taking has been giving me digestive problems on occasion, but this was the worst yet. I was up for two and a half hours and in agony.

I hadn’t exercised much in the previous few days and I don’t know if that played a part in that unpleasant scene. All day Sunday, my whole tummy was shaking and I still had pain. I didn’t eat much during the day, but after I went for a 15-minute walk on our local trail, I felt a little better. I was able to eat a small supper and it felt good.

After supper, my husband and I went for another walk on the trail, this time for about 20 minutes. Last night was much better and today I feel back to normal.

August 9, 2015 – 1 p.m. Blood Glucose level – 8.3

August 10, 2015 – 8:30 a.m. Blood Glucose level 6.4

My average level over the past couple of weeks is 7.3

Now I have a few questions.

  • What part did my lack of exercise play in my feeling of illness?
  • What role did my eating play?
  • What fasting BG level should I be aiming for?
  • What level should I be aiming for after a meal?

I will be seeing a nurse for an hour and a dietician for another hour on August 18. I hope they can answer my questions and help me feel confident that I am doing everything possible to minimize the effects of this disease.

The worst part about getting sick the other night? I had to cancel a visit to my sister’s house for dinner and a “mystery evening” to say good-bye to my brother, David, who is leaving for the States quite soon.

I have been planning my exercise sessions over the coming week and have been to the local farmer’s market to buy fresh veggies. This morning’s breakfast was sautéed zucchini, an egg, and a clementine. And lots of tea.

By the way, my computer’s spell checker wanted to change “Metformin”” to performing”.

Have a healthy week and thanks for reading. – Maureen

Type 2 Diabetes – Testing. Testing.

I have recently gone on medication for Type 2 Diabetes. It has been just over a month and my stomach problem due to the new pills is getting much better. It happens every few days but only lasts an hour or two.

Today I had a call from my pharmacist to tell me that my glucose monitor, lancets, and test strips are ready for to pick up.

I need to know when to test and track my glucose levels. I am sure there is an app for that which I can use on my new iPad Air 2.

*****

My visit to the pharmacy was very informative. The pharmacist took about 15 minutes to set up the monitor, explain everything to me and then watch as I did my first test.

To tell the truth I was a bit nervous.

First you get a lancet which is like a needle that is enclosed in a protective case. I inserted the lancet into the monitor and then I got out a test strip and inserted it into the monitor. That turned the monitor on. The prompt came, “Add blood.”

I then loaded the lancet by pushing forward on a button. I placed the pad of my thumb over the opening and pushed a white button to activate the lancet and get a drop of blood. I applied this to the side of the test strip and then waited for my reading.

In Canada, the results are shown as mmol/L. In the US measurements are expressed differently.

My result was 7.3 mmol/L.

Ideal numbers would be 4.5 – 6.5. But 7.3 is pretty good. It is in the “range”. Six weeks ago my number, after fasting for 12 hours, was 8.4.

The pharmacist told me to test only 2 or 3 times a week, and to keep a record of the results to show my doctor. The monitor will show you your average for a couple of weeks and will alert you when a “high” trend is noted. For instance, if you have tested high at a certain time of day, you would be alerted so you could perhaps change your diet.

The cost for all this? $4.99. I thank God that I live in Canada where our medical system provides such good care for such a low cost.

I will be seeing a nurse and a nutritionist in a couple of weeks, which is good because I still have a lot of questions.

By the way all the Apps I have seen so far have measured results in American measurements, so I am still looking for a “Canadian” Blood Glucose Logbook.

Thanks for coming with me on my next step in this journey. Have a good day!