A fasting blood test for life insurance could have possibly saved my life.
2019 didn’t end on an upbeat note. I forgot about checking my online blood work results from November — and when I did, I was shocked to see my blood sugar was 244 and my A1C was 11.4. Anyone who knows anything about diabetes (at the time, I didn’t as much as I thought) knows this is indicative of being diabetic.
On December 19 I spent three hours at my primary care physician’s office. I met with the Physician’s Assistant, a Diabetic Nurse. But the most important person in the room was my best friend of 40+ years, Danielle, the Practice Manager. Very few people have the bragging rights I have — I have three best friends, all from elementary school. We will discuss them later — I’m sure!
So back to the diagnosis. It makes sense… now.
I would drink two bottles of water on my drive to work, drink an entire pitcher of water at lunch, and down multiple glasses of sweetened iced tea at dinner. I was exhausted (I still am, it’s only day three — at the time I originally wrote this), irritable, had mood swings. My skin was so dry and itchy that I would scratch until I bled. And, prior to knowing this diagnosis, I was thrilled to see that I lost around ten pounds, without trying.
My dad was diagnosed with diabetes in his mid-30’s. His story is much different than mine, and I never gave it much thought — simply because I blamed every health problem he had on Agent Orange from the Vietnam War. I figured diabetes, kidney disease, and heart disease wasn’t inheritable since we aren’t certain if he would’ve ended up with any of those if not for Agent Orange.
SURPRISE! It is.
So my journey to feeling better and being better December 20, 2019.
Label reading is second nature to me. I’m allergic to sesame and all nuts. I check every label, every time. But reading labels for carbohydrate content is an entirely different story. Do you know there are carbs in canned beets? Do you know how many carbs are in a 13 ounce glass bottle of Starbucks Frappuccino? FIFTY-THREE. Some yogurts can have 20+ grams per serving. A 1/3 cup of pasta is about 15 grams. I most likely ate two cups each time we made Italian… which was OFTEN (See my Insta site: Instagram: Pasta and Primitives). After my husband and I left the grocery store, I estimated I probably ate about 1.5 million carbs a day. Kidding. Sort of.
So between a lot of tears, hugs, and a TON of information — I am ready to take this on. I couldn’t have a better support system. My family is amazing (especially my husband Rob — who gave me the nightly insulin shot until I got the nerve to do it myself), my friends have all sent such encouraging messages and support, and my team at the PCP is truly invested in my well-being.
This change hasn’t been easy. I’ve given up on gallons of powdered tea mix. I’m counting carbs and eating a protein with every meal. I had a dull headache for days but it has subsided and rarely comes back.
My next A1C check is scheduled for March 23. Will I be able to go to the doctor’s office and have it done? STAY TUNED!
3/18 EDIT: My 3/23 appointment has been cancelled — but they offered to let me do a drive-by to get my finger prick for A1C next week. I’ll let them know I’m coming, call when I’m there, and they’ll send someone out to my car. So far, I’m going to take them up on it!