LindaB

LindaB
July 6, 2001

Gender: Female Ethnicity: Caucasion Height: 5ft 7in to 5ft 9in Weight: 150-170 lbs Onset Age: 31-40 Age Now: 41-50 Family Diabetes: Grandparent Treatment: Diet&Oral Medication: Metformin,Glucophage Meter: Other Tests: 3-4 times/day Exercise: 3-4 times/week Diet: Zone (30/30/40) Supplements: One-A-Day Vitamin

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in March 2000. I had been stricken with a horrible flu in October 1999 which left me bed-ridden for over a week. I had seen my eye doctor the week before the flu and he assured me that there was no sugar haze in my eyes so I am fairly sure that the flu triggered something in my body. I felt just awful right after the flu stuck. I actually diagnosed myself after noticing a few odd things going on with my body such as incredible thirst (I was drinking 1/2 gallon of orange juice a day), persistent yeast infection, a boil that would not heal and so on. I purchased a bottle of diastix at the Pharmacy and promptly went home and tested myself. After using 10 strips and my husband as a control I was convinced that something was wrong. I went to my GP (general practice doctor) the next day and my fasting blood sugar was 300mg/dL (16.6mmol/L)! So now I was scared. Really scared! I had visions of amputations and dialysis and my 40th birthday was only 4 weeks away.

I asked my doctor for a referral (HMO) to a dietitian. My GP started me on 500mg glucophage a day. The following day I went in for blood and urinalysis testing. My HbA1c came in at 15.3mmol/L (275.7mg/dL). My GP called me and upped the medication to 2000mg of glucophage a day. This medicine made me very sick, but I was determined to stick with the program. My husband and I joined a six week diabetes education program at St. Peters Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. I can't say enough good things about this class. We had endocrinologists, CDE, nurses, dietitians, and exercise physiologists in the class to help us learn as much as possible about our "condition". My first HbA1c reading after I took the class was 5.0mmol/L (90mg/dL) and no protein in my urine. I knew that I could beat this.

Diet

My diet is based on no more than 45g of carbohydrate per meal - as well as approx 3 ounces of protein per meal. I upped the veggies and have always used saccharin or aspartame so this was not a huge change. I have learned to treat myself to a cookie or small piece of cake but to exchange it in my meal for another carbohydrate. I eat chocolate but instead of the whole bar I now eat 1 square. I also tend to snack between meals on sugar-free candy. Getting diabetes was very depressing but it has forced me to eat much better and to take care of myself.

Progress

During the next year I watched my food intake very carefully and dropped from 237 lbs to 170 lbs (at 5' 9"). I intend to lose another 10-14 lbs before I will be content. I walk almost every day - either at lunch or after dinner down at the beach. My medication was lowered and as of May 10, 2001 I was removed from all meds completely. I still test 3 times a day and my fasting blood sugars have been between 85-95mg/dL (4.7-5.3mmol/L). My readings after meals rarely goes above 135mg/dL (7.5mmol/L).

Plans

I hope to be able to stay off the medicine as long as humanly possible. My husband has also lost about 30 lbs this past year and we are both so much healthier than before. My cholesterol level went from 240mg/dL (6.6mmol/L) to 153mg/dL (4.2mmol/L) in one year as well. I hope to be start CDE (cerified diabetes educator) training in 2002. After working in the Pharmaceutical Industry as an Associate Director in International Regulatory Affairs (getting drugs approved in foreign countries, mainly Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand), I will be made redundant in 2002. My husband and I decided not to get stressed out about this because that would make my sugar levels go soaring. We take one day at a time and always take time to stop and smell the roses.