Guest Post: Newly Diagnosed

Posted by on Sep 5, 2013 in Diagnosis Stories, Guest Posts | 2 comments

A guest post by Craig Thiebaud who recently got diagnosed with diabetes. He has a culinary degree from the International Culinary Center, and I certainly hope this won’t be his only post on The Type 2 Experience. —Bea

My life with Diabetes

I recently broke my foot and it was such a bad break that surgery was scheduled.  Already mad at myself for clumsily falling down a couple stairs, I had to do a myriad of things to get ready for the surgery…including a blood test.  The next day, I had to get x-rays and the results of my blood work so I went to the doctor for the third consecutive day.  To my shock, my blood work was a shambles.  My A1-C was 8.3, I had high cholesterol, and my blood sugars were through the roof.  Then, I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The doctor went through all the things I should avoid, the medicine I should take, the home monitoring system, etc.  It was all a blur though.  I really heard the word diabetes and then nothing after that.  I didn’t know what it all meant but I certainly knew I didn’t want it.  I didn’t know what to do or how to go about tackling what I needed to do to treat the disease.  So stunned, I left the office with a large amount of sample medication and got in my car and drove home to tell my wife, who works in the diabetes industry.

She was understanding and helped put it in perspective but it still hadn’t seeped into my consciousness just how serious this disease really is.  I started reading books and they were scary mentioning foot amputations, eye degeneration, kidney disease, etc.  So, I really started to worry and to blame myself for not taking better care of myself.  I could have dieted and exercised more.  I should been more acutely aware that diabetes runs in my family.  I knew it but didn’t think it would knock on my door.

Since then I’ve been monitoring my blood sugar every day in the mornings (fasting).  I’ve found this challenging.  The monitoring system is supposed to be easy to use but I’ve found it difficult.  I try to use the lancet and it usually does not produce blood.  I’ve found that only one finger works with the device.  Then sometimes the blood monitor itself won’t read the blood correctly and I get error messages.  I thought this would get easier but it hasn’t.  It’s really an ordeal every morning.

Today I diligently try to stay on a low sugar/low carb diet…something difficult for someone who is a chef and is used to eating and trying all sorts of exotic fare.  It’s challenging for me not to test my palate with whatever I want to eat, thus inspiring me to cook dishes from all over the world.  I’m saddened that this part of my life will have to change in either small or incrementally larger ways.   I go to the endocrinologist this week and I have a feeling that the rubber will meet the road then, and I’ll have a much better sense of what I’m facing and how to go about tackling this scary, tricky disease.

Read More

Guest Post: When Metformin Can’t Do It Alone Anymore

Posted by on Jul 20, 2013 in Guest Posts, Treatment & Medication | 3 comments

Our first guest post has been supplied by my cousin Christy, who writes hare about a recent medication change. — Bob

I’ve been T2 diabetic for a long, long time. I’m sure I was “pre-diabetic” for several years before an appendectomy and subsequent post-operative infection threw me over the edge into full blown Type 2 diabetes. I was sent to diabetes education classes and put on metformin. That was around 12 years ago. Metformin did a fine job taking care of my diabetes for me with very little effort on my part. My A1C was always in the 6.0 range, fasting sugars were in the 120-130 range, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides all near normal (with applicable medications doing their job).

A few months ago, my blood pressure began creeping up, and my blood sugars, fasting or not, began to creep higher and higher, and I began to gain weight. My A1C jumped to 7.1 in less than 6 months. Exercise didn’t help. I felt so sad, knowing that I have not done everything I could do to control my diabetes (let’s be honest – not much at all), instead, depending on the metformin to do it all for me. I met with my doctor, and he advised that not only is diabetes progressive, but that metformin eventually loses its effectiveness. He said most people get 2-3 years before they have to add another medication to their metformin regimen. He started me on Victoza along with the metformin. I am amazed how fast Victoza has brought down my fasting sugars, and I can’t wait to see what my next A1C is. If I overdo it on the carbs, the next morning glucose numbers are noticeably higher, but not like they were before.

The lesson? Even though Victoza seems to be the new answer for me, I don’t want to take it for granted like I did metformin. I’m extremely grateful for the number of years metformin worked well. I’m hoping with the addition of Victoza, better diet control, exercise and going to the monthly diabetes support group, I won’t have to go through this kind of frustrating scare again.

Read More