Walking on sunshine

Last Thursday, I  had my own personal judgement day – my endocrinologist appointment. After 3 months of 4-5 times a day finger sticking, pre-meal boluses, a drastically changed diet and a few more things thrown in for good measure, I was feeling pretty good about this visit.

I was still a little nervous, though. Deep breaths.

When my doctor knocked and entered the examination room, I took another deep breath. She looked at me, smiled and said “What have you done?”

I thought to myself “Oh no!” and then she handed me the paperwork that showed this:

  • Hemoglobin A1C: 6.9% (was 8.6%) [4.8-5.6%]
  • Serum Glucose Fasting: 73 mg/dL (was 229 mg/dL) [65-99 mg/dL]
  • BUN: 15mg/dL (was 17 mg/dL) [6-24 mg/dL]
  • Serum Creatinine: 0.70 mg/dL (was 0.83 mg/dL) [0.57-1.00 mg/dL]
  • TSH: 1.270uIU/mL (was 1.880 uIU/mL) [0.450-4.500 uIU/mL]
  • Total Cholesterol: 178 mg/dL (was 170 mg/dL) [100-199 mg/dL]
  • Triglycerides: 126 mg/dL (was 240 mg/dL) [0-149 mg/dL]
  • LDL Cholesterol: 90 mg/dL (was 70 mg/dL) [0-99 mg/dL]

That’s 8 out of 8, all in the desired ranges. (And lest you question the A1C, for diabetics, they want it to be <7.0%). I haven’t seen an A1C in the 6’s – and even the 7’s – in a long, long time.

That is a HUGE drop in my A1C in just 3 months, from an average BG of around 200 to 150. That is very significant and very hard to do (A1C can often lag).

And my triglycerides went down almost 50%, too!

What’s more, my liver function tests – which were out of whack last time – were also back in the normal range.

YEA!!!

I think I deserve a pat on the back.

patonback-400w

Needless to say, this news made both me and my doctor very, very happy.  It was so nice not to be scolded (even though she does it very nicely) and to talk about positive things instead – like how the changes I’ve made are working, low-carb recipes for Thanksgiving, participating in the Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes and more.

As I left her office – and even now, a few days later – I am still walking on sunshine.  And it feels good!

You’ve got to look back to move forward

No, I did not publish my last test results (from October). I was, frankly, dismayed. Since I am going back to my endocrinologist on February 24th, and I have been trying, trying, trying…I am  hopeful that the numbers will be better.

For the sake of completeness and chronology, here were my results from October 2014:

  • Hemoglobin A1C: 8.8% (was 9.0%) [4.8-5.6%]
  • Serum Glucose Fasting: 84 mg/dL (was 114 mg/dL) [65-99 mg/dL]
  • BUN: 14 mg/dL (was 13 mg/dL) [6-24 mg/dL]
  • Serum Creatinine: 0.66 mg/dL (was 0.83mg/dL) [0.57-1.00 mg/dL]
  • TSH: 1.330 uIU/mL (was 1.390 uIU/mL) [0.450-4.500 uIU/mL]
  • Total Cholesterol: 213 mg/dL (was 201 mg/dL) [100-199 mg/dL]
  • Triglycerides: 137 mg/dL (was 167 mg/dL) [0-149 mg/dL]
  • LDL Cholesterol: 124 mg/dL (was 103 mg/dL) [0-99 mg/dL]

What is going on? Some things up, some things down. Overall, very disappointing. And yes, if I look at it, now 5 of the big 8 are in “normal” ranges, but:

  • My A1C inched down ever so slightly. That’s the right direction, but nowhere near where it should be.  I’ll take anything under 7%, to be honest. That would be MAJOR for me.
  • Both my cardiologist and my endocrinologist want my triglycerides to be under 100.  Looks like the Crestor is helping with that, but the rest of my cholesterol numbers are going up.  And my endocrinologist said I am maxed out on Crestor, and there is nothing else medication wise that she can do for me. So (and I knew this was coming), I am going to need to adjust my diet and increase my exercise.

My endocrinologist also showed me the Medtronic graphs of another patient who tests her blood sugars 4-5 times a day.  Her A1C was in the 6% range, and she didn’t have the fluctuations that I have. So…I promised myself that I would get back to testing more frequently (I was testing 1-2 times a day at best).

Plan of action:

  • Increase my exercise.
  • Test my blood sugar at least 3 times a day.
  • Eat better (less red meat, more vegetables, less carbs, less fat).
  • Take my medications every day.
  • Decrease my wine consumption.

Basic tactics that just about everyone should do (except #2).

I guess I’ll find out how well I’ve been doing in a couple of weeks.  Have I been perfect? Of course not! But I have tried. Anecdotally, I have lost 10 pounds since Christmas, I wear my Jawbone Up24 (my Christmas present) daily to track my steps and sleep, I’m eating less snacks, eating a lot more chicken and seafood, drinking wine spritzers instead of wine at night, and not missing my medication as much. I’ve also been wearing my CGM for the last several weeks, which MAKES me test my blood sugar more regularly.

With the increase in exercise, I am getting more lows…and some of those lows have hit me like an oncoming train! I’ve even had to adjust my basal rate down (less insulin is always a good thing).  I’m still experiencing more lows than I think I should, so there’s probably still some more adjusting to do.

Keep your fingers crossed for me! I don’t think my A1C will be under 7%, but I’m hoping for under 8% this time. Please.