Friday, 16 September 2011

The Good, The Bad and The Excellent

Mark Wing-Davey as Zaphod Beeblebrox with anim...Image via WikipediaThe Good

I'm still feeling positive and motivated despite some small setbacks I've been having.  One thing that's influenced me the most is it's getting easier to wake up in the morning and the grogginess that I used to experience is going.  All this means that the diabetes has been affecting my recovery through the use of CPAP for my sleep apnoea.  It's setting me up for a better start in the morning, which has a knock on effect for the rest of the day.

I've finally been contacted by the diabetic clinic so I'll be able to find out if the changes I've made are right, too much or possibly wrong.  As I've said before it's important to be able to talk about diabetes, it helps me that I've got people with the condition that I know, and I'm now looking forward to seeing the people at the clinic.  The topics that they're going to cover look good, diet, carbohydrates, exercise and problems, all to do with living with diabetes.  I'm getting myself a digital voice recorder so that I can tape the sessions so I can use them with any notes I take.  My aim is to set up a mind map to make it easier to remember what it is I'm supposed to be doing.  I'll be able to highlight the things that I am doing and identify the things that I'm not, then it should just be a case of maintaining the correct level of some things whilst changing the level of others.

The Bad

The last two months have been a bit hit and miss, I'm still feeling odd but my sister says that's because my body is used to having a high blood sugar count and as I've dropped it quite quickly it'll take a while for it to get used to the lower levels.  I figure once this happens I'll start to feel a lot better.
Things weren't helped by having a cold for a week, that left me feeling really grouchy, tired and generally down.  One thing I noticed during September was that I was starting to feel tired earlier in the evening, I'm not sure if that's related to the cold, sleep apnoea or the changeable weather we've been experiencing.
I've had a number of skin infections as my blood sugar has dropped each one treated with some antibiotics, the latest one is a rather large lump on the side of my head making various parts of my face feel numb at odd times, this may be
(a) an infection
(b) chicken pox
(c) shingles (what I used to describe as the single most painfull experience I've ever had before my appendix burst)
or (d) I'm turning into Zaphod Beeblebrox, which I think is far more preferable to any of the others and probably a great deal more fun.

The Excellent

I had a blood test at the start of this month and my HbA1c count is now 6.5% (yelps of joy), which equates to 48 mmol/mol.  According to Diabetes UK this puts me at the lower target for people with Diabetes and at the top limit for people without Diabetes.  The one thing I'm not sure about is how much of this progress is down to medication and how much of it is down to changes in lifestyle.  The one thing I'm sure of is that medication alone is not enough but I'm very confident that you can use lifestyle changes in place of medication, it probably just takes a little longer.

For those of you who don't have diabetes and are reading this, it's not too late to look at how you're leading your life and make some relatively small changes, you'll be glad you did.
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Thursday, 25 August 2011

My First Blood Sugar Update - August 2011

idealized curves of human blood glucose and in...Image via WikipediaThis is my first progress update in my personal battle with type 2 diabetes, everything I've read so far says it's important to record your blood sugar levels in order to track progress but also to allow you to determine if there's anything you're doing wrong.  Because I'm only type 2 and on medication I don't track my blood sugar levels throughout the day and I've had no requests to do so from any medical professionals.  Whilst that remains the case I'm more than happy to have the occasional blood test to check my Hb1Ac counts.

Here's an overview on my HbA1c counts since I was diagnosed.

  • April 2009=10.5% (14.6mmol/L) Fasted test - first noticed but not followed up
  • April 2011=13.3% (19.8mmol/L) Fasted test - test used to confirm diagnosis
  • May 2011=10.5% (14.6mmol/L),
  • June 2011=8.9% (11.7mmol/L)
  • end of July 2011 = 7.4% (8.9mmol/L)
Apparently it needs to be between 4.5mmol/L and 6 or 6.5mmol/L.  I'm not certain of that as I've had no contact from the diabetes clinic since diagnosis and I'm still waiting for an appointment.  It would be nice to know what my target is.

All of this remarkable progress has been done using oral medication and a couple of life-style changes. I've cut down on biscuits,and chocolate is currently a no-no or in extremely small portions.  Desserts and cakes have gone or have been swapped for low or sugar free varieties such as oat cakes.  I make sure I've plenty of water to drink throughout the day and I'm using oatcakes if I fancy a snack between meals.  I've bought some granulated sweetener for cooking and baking so I'll write about my experiences with that when I try it out.

I'm not due for another test until the end of September so my next blood sugar report will be around that time.  So far I'm extremely happy with what I've achieved and it's not just down to taking tablets.  I'm hoping to be somewhere around 6%-7% when I'm next tested.
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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Type 2 diabetes can remain undetected for many years

Prevalence of diabetes worldwide in 2000 (per ...Image via Wikipedia
Prevalence of diabetes worldwide (2000)
The World Diabetes Foundation has some interesting facts about Diabetes on their website.  The headlines are quite shocking ...
  • Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions
  • More than 70% of people with diabetes live in low- and middle income countries
  • Lack of sufficient diagnosis and treatment
  • Diabetes costs – a burden for families and society
I am one of the statistics these days, I only discovered that fact in April 2011 but apparently I've had Type 2 Diabetes for quite a few years, the symptoms were being disguised by my Sleep Apnoea.  It didn't come as too much of a surprise as I was aware something else was wrong, it just needed someone to identify it.

I first started blogging in November 2010 with a Wordpress blog called Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas.  As a  first blog it's ticking over, the last 3 months have caused me some problems but I think I'm ready to start managing the blog again.

In that time I've been dealing with the onslaught of problems associated with having Diabetes, starting my medication, combining that with additional medication for some complications, coming to terms with what it means to me and how it's likely to affect my friends and family.

With that in mind I'd like to share with everyone my experiences of how I'm combating Diabetes, hence the creation of this blog.  I'd like to run this one alongside Fish, Chips & Mushy Peas, there may be some cross-over when it comes to diabetic food related posts but I'll try and be consistent about what I post on which blog.
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