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Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Medically Close to Death

My diabetes - when it and I was bad!

Today my fasting BS was 122
BP was 99/65 (Doctor's office) and HR was 57

The doctor took me off blood pressure medicine so I am now totally free of all prescribed medicines.  What a six month journey it has been!  But as you will soon learn - it is not just the six month journey that is the real story.

I know today I said I would discuss what I learned about the drugs we take and how they can be our best friend and our worst enemy - love/hate relationship.

But today, with so many people asking me questions and wanting to hear more, I thought this was a good time to discuss my entire journey with diabetes and how I was most likely near death just 8 years ago.  So please be patient and I will get back to the research in the next blog.

In 2000 I was diagnosed as pre-diabetes, meaning I had to watch it and monitor it with diet and exercise.  I never really ate meals or food and that was supposedly my big problem - I would go 1-2 days without eating.    You might think I have a bad wife; but, when I was on the road all the time - she could only ask and I would say "I forgot or did not have time."  So the change I made was to teach myself to eat more regularly.

In 2005 I had a gig in Cincinnati and I would come home on Friday and drive back on Sunday night.  I was losing weight and feeling pretty good about myself.  But my wife, was not seeing it the same way.  I later learned she was extremely distraught by my weight lose and the fact I had a gray color to my skin.  Later I found even my neighbors were concerned by my color.  They all knew I was not really healthy.

Anyway, God sent her to the YMCA one day and the YMCA had a health fair going on.  At the fair, a doctor was looking for people who had diabetes, was not taking any medications, and who had an A1C between 7 and 11.  She got me all of the information and talked me into registering and going in on Monday before going back to Cincinnati and get into the two year program.

I thought great - diabetes (check), no medicines (check), and A1C between 7 and 11 (check - especially since I was losing weight).  Monday I fasted as we diabetics know we have to and went in to get enrolled in this magical 2 year program that would provide free medical support for 2 years.

After taking the tests, I was asked to stay around and if I passed the tests, then he could enroll me in the program.  After waiting an hour, I was getting impatient and was going to leave.  But something (God) kept me in my chair that day to stick it out.

The doctor called me in and said he had two levels of bad news. I could not join the program as my A1C was 13.3 and my fasting sugar level was 530.  I thought I was going to faint as I become so scared I did not even know what to do.  Then he dropped the big one on me that he was not my doctor and could not prescribe any medicines until I had a full physical.

There I was, near death from this crap, and I had to drive to Cincinnati to get back to work.  I had to tell my wife and leave her worrying about me.  We discussed what I needed to do and that was basically cut out everything but meats and good vegetables.  I was so scared and felt so alone.  But she was there that week and I would call her from the grocery store to ask her about products or how to cook something.  This continued for 6-8 weeks.

Then we received a call from the doctor saying he had great news - he had another study that had the same requirements except you had to have an A1C over 11.  I was really excited and drove down just to get into the program.  After taking the tests, I blew it as I had starved myself so hard that my A1C had dropped to 10.9.  He felt so bad he asked me to sugar up a little and used my daily sugar level and got me into the program.  I hope his drug company never finds out - TOO LATE!!!

For two years he took care of me and I took care of my diet.  The only bad news - I started the slow death march of some checkups being good and some being bad.  Sometimes he would add medicine and other times take it away.  It was a study paid for by a drug company - what else should I expect.

Anyway - after the two year study he was at his patient limit but made an exception for me as we had become friends over the two years.  He said he would take me on as a patient if I promised to quit smoking, lose some weight, and work on lowering my blood sugars.  I never really did any of that and finally I started going to the VA for other medical reasons.  I do need to get back and see him - I think I will do that this week.

With this story now out there, you can understand why my family was extremely disappointed and alarmed when my March doctor visit was so bad and I was now looking at insulin.  The battle was being lost and my daughter did not want me to give up.  She laid out the ultimatum that I described in my first blog and that started this six month / life changing journey.

We had already received one scare that this disease was doing its thing and now another one.

Once again I can only thank God for the interventions he has had in my life through my guardian angels - it has been an experience over the past 8 years.

Anyway - now the truth is out there and I can get back to the six month journey and what I have been doing to change my health.

I am off to the YMCA to work out.  May God grant you peace and help you with your health journey.


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Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support