Diabetes Appointment #1

So this appointment was about a month ago now.  I’ll try to remember all the relevant and interesting stuff… Starting with the nurse’s name: Bonnie.

Bonnie explained the differences between Type 1 and Type 2; The former is an autoimmune disease & usually strikes in childhood, and the latter is caused by your pancreas working too hard and not making enough insulin to regulate the amount of glucose molecules in your blood & is usually found in adults.  Also, with the added glucose in your bloodstream, your body tries to flush it out, and that’s why diabetics drink more water and have to pee more.  (It all makes sense now!)

In the process of explaining the functions of glucose and insulin (which is what gets the glucose into your cells, BTW), I interrupted with “Yeah, C6H12O6,” and she gave me this blank look.  I’m thinking, ‘You are a diabetes specialist.  You cannot possibly have forgotten the molecular formula for the thing your work revolves around.’  I took both Chemistry and Biology; You can talk science to me, it’s ok.

She gave me the results of my blood tests.  The FGT (Fasting Glucose Test) measures blood sugar when you haven’t eaten anything for at least 8 hours, and the A1C measures your average estimated blood sugar over the past 2-3 months.  I should point out here that the morning I’d had the blood drawn, I didn’t know I was going to be doing this, so I’d had a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese before my appointment.  Therefore, the FGT results are not technically fasting; A1C does not have to be fasting.

FGT:  Normal <100  —   Prediabetes 100-125  —  Diabetes 126+  — My FGT = 128

A1C:  Normal <5.7% —  Prediabetes 5.7-6.4% — Diabetes 6.5%+ – My A1C = 6.1%

I also got this dorky book on carb counting and meal planning.  Bonnie explained that I could use my hand to measure portions; my palm for red meat, up to the first knuckle for chicken, and up to the second knuckle for fish.  I literally laughed out loud at that; portion sizing is depressing and doesn’t work for me.  I don’t think she thought it was funny…  I still carry the book with me, though, because it has tables of foods and their carbohydrates.  My food plan = eat mostly protein and veggies and switch to medicinal-grade (≥80% dark) chocolate.

Bonnie said that to start reversing this, I should be exercising 30-60 minutes every day and start by losing 5% of my body weight.  At the time, I was 271 lbs, so 5% = 13 lbs.  The last time I got on my bathroom scale I was 259 lbs, which is 12 lbs down.  This astounds me, that my nefarious plan is working, because I honestly haven’t been exercising as much as I should.  It also means that losing 10% (getting down to 244 lbs) is actually in the realm of Possible, so I’m going to keep working at it.

I did order a planner to map out my weekly exercise, and I keep the schedules for the YMCA classes and swimming times pinned above my desk.  I write into the planner on a weekly basis what my options are for the coming week, so I can plan around other things like overtime at work, contra dances, etc.  It’s kinda working…

A few random related notes:

  • My bestie still has not completed his YMCA application.  It’s hard to be a gym buddy when you don’t have a gym membership, dude…
  • I have been transferred to a different department at work for the next month (until the Seasonal job ends), and this job I will be standing all the time.  It’s also maybe 15 min to the YMCA I have a membership at, so I have fewer excuses to not go.

So my next appointment and bloodwork are scheduled for Tuesday this week.  Hopefully I don’t let this one go a month before writing about it.

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