HealthBoards (
-   Diabetes (
-   -   First Steps, Tests (

jdmaley 06-29-2012 12:05 AM

First Steps, Tests
Hello. New guy here.

I've been doing some reading, and thought I'd post here to vent some of my worries. I don't like the odds at this point, so it's just a waiting game.

I'm 33 and pretty overweight (around 340lbs). I have high BP (it's on the low end of high, if that makes sense, and controlled with medication). I also have a terrible habit of eating a lot of junk. (Have chronic GERD as well, take Dexilant once daily and it is well controlled.) I've been diagnosed with "sludge" in the gallbladder and have bouts with it from time to time. I have held off on getting it removed due to the risk of Bile Reflux that sometimes follows its removal. My esophagus is already scarred a little from the GERD - Bile Reflux would undoubtedly make it much worse.

I've started showing some symptoms in the past week or so that concern me. First, it seemed like I was drinking more than usual. Not that I felt the need to really go to the fridge all the time, but when I did drink I usually gulped it down. No dry mouth at first, just really wanted to drink.

Then one morning last week, I woke up and my left eye was really bugging me. It hurt a little, felt a little dry, so I used some non-medicated drops to naturally moisten it. Eventually the pain stopped, but it's been blurry off and on ever since. (I do wear low-power glasses due to astigmatism, and am pretty far overdue for a checkup; plus it's just the left eye that seems affected, and only my distance vision.)

I've also had 2 pretty bad charlie horses, one just last night and the other a week or two back. Both were in the calves.

I now also seem to have a yeast infection in the genital region. However, I can pinpoint to the exact second I started feeling that discomfort, and it was shortly after some private time with the Mrs. wherein a particular, uh...lotion made contact. I've had these in the past, but not recently. Symptoms are typical of what I've experienced before. This particular product has been used before though, so...not sure if that matters.

The kicker was tonight, around 11:30 or so, when I tested my blood sugar using one of those OneTouch Ultra II devices that I borrowed from my mother-in-law. The reading was astronomical: 390. Of course, I immediately started to panic. It was my first time testing with the device, and though I had washed my hands about 15 minutes prior-to, I did not do it immediately. I also did not have an alcohol pad to clean the finger area. then I looked back at my diet tonight: 2 toaster scrambles for breakfast (eggs, cheese, sausage); Starbucks frappuccino to drink; Lean Cuisine Mac and Cheese for lunch, with a small bag of Lay's potato chips; 3 cans of soda at work, and a bag of TGIFridays bacon and cheese chips; 7 buffalo chicken strips (dipped in cheese sauce) with about 8 cheesy breadsticks for dinner (and a tall glass of Mountain Dew Code Red); Wendy's frozen coffee; Gatorade G2 (12oz); 3 bottles of water; 24oz Mountain Dew code red that I had finished probably 60 minutes prior to taking the test. I also had a handful of sandwich pepperoni slices. Last actual food intake before the test was probably four hours or so, though as I said the 24oz Mountain Dew I finished an hour before the test.

Now - I realize that this kind of food intake is incredibly destructive. I have a major problem with stress eating and depression eating, which is why I'm so darn fat in the first place. I do have general anxiety disorder, and am a very obsessive (especially "frightening thought" obsessive) thinker. This is a perfect storm for a sleepless night.

I had my blood sugar (and all other bloodwork) done about 2 years ago, and everything came back all right. I've gained and lost weight since then, though I've definitely gained a lot more over the past 2 years (shortly after my father died). I've never been this fat. I used to weigh 235 or so. I have an office job and a somewhat sedentary lifestyle, but I am disgusted by my weight and appearance and it is definitely having a negative psychological impact even beyond my worries tonight.

I know what I have to do to get myself on track. Controlling food, exercising more, losing this darn weight. That number is hanging around my neck like a weight right now. I can't even think about going to sleep. My intent is to check in the morning, around 7:30 or so maybe, and see if the number has dropped any. I understand that doesn't necessarily mean I'm in the clear or anything. I'm really just hoping that the awful, awful eating habits I displayed this evening (and really, the past few weeks) are responsible for a temporary spike. But based on the reading I've done, temporary spikes usually aren't nearly that high. (Then again, that's a heck of an intake list.)

As I analyze the individual symptoms, as I often due because I'm an obsessive thinker, I see potential "other" causes for some of them. I'm well overdue for new glasses, and the blurry vision is only really impacting things at a distance, it's not consistent (for example, I see the screen just fine right now, with my glasses on and even without to a degree). The yeast infection could have been do to a number of things, like the uh...product that was used, or by something else that is a little too personal to share. The nights I got the charlie horses in my calves, we had our A/C up pretty high and my legs were exposed...could have caused me to contract the muscles wrong or something. The thirst seemed to only strike when I was really hot or overheated at first. After I started obsessively worrying about it, it predictably got worse.

But that number, to me, just seems to be the thing that ties them all together.

I apologize, because this seems like a long, rambling mess...probably because it is a long, rambling mess. I'll be calling the doc in the morning, and getting in to see him as quickly as possible so I can get some legitimate bloodwork done and get tested properly. In the meantime, I guess a lower number in the morning will help pacify me a little until I get to that point. Then again, I'll probably want to obsessively check my numbers throughout the day, before and after eating, to see what's happening. I'm very nervous and impatient when it comes to my health. I spent the vast part of my life being a little overweight but otherwise very healthy, and in the past few years all that just seems to have come crashing down.

So, there's my very lengthy situation and introduction. Thanks for taking the time to read it. I would appreciate any advice/words of wisdom or comfort/verbal lashings for eating so darned irresponsibly in the first place. :) When factoring in that abysmal food selection for today, and adding it to similar selections over the past week or so, would such massive spikes be unusual, or their time to dissipate longer? Logically, I would think so, but I'm so unfamiliar with diabetes and its precursor, I'm just not sure.

Thanks again for listening.

Thanks for reading.

jdmaley 06-29-2012 06:16 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Well this morning the number is not what I hoped for: 304. That was without any food for a little under 8 hours and with definite clean hands and alcohol wipes and so forth. Time for that phone call.

Cora1003 06-29-2012 08:21 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Absolutely call the doc. Those numbers are not normal. A non-diabetic will spike somewhat with bad food, but not anywhere near that high. In the meantime, I wouldn't try to change everything at once. This never works. Try to add more lean protein and snack on things like nuts (almonds are yummy) that have no carb.

Best of luck and keep us posted.

jdmaley 06-29-2012 08:52 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Thank you. I took it easy on breakfast this morning; had a toaster scramble with just 2g of sugar and some decaf coffee. Also had three glasses of water. Two hours after I ate I tested again: 400! Now I'm really confused and wondering if I'm doing something incorrectly with the testing. Hoping I will get that return call real soon here.

captjane 06-29-2012 10:34 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
The main thing is, don't panic, diabetes doesn't kill you overnight and it's unlikely your vision problems are related because it takes years of diabetes to affect things like vision. It is worth getting tested though, early symptoms are often tiredness, drinking lots of water, peeing a lot more frequently, dry mouth etc.

jdmaley 06-29-2012 11:27 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Thank you, I appreciate that. I'm as calm as can be. I took an Ativan earlier which helped. I wonder if that caused the spike to 400? Anyway tests are done just waiting on results to see if they're going to call in a medication or admit me for the weekend to get it down.

jdmaley 06-29-2012 03:23 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Well the initial bloodwork came back and it was at 340. That's with nothing on my stomach but what I mentioned before, plus some water. The one test they were really wanting, the three month history, had not yet been completed. I have an appointment on Monday morning to go into more detail. They said I didn't need to go to the ER and to be careful of what I eat. They also said if the symptoms worsen, to go ahead and go.

I don't really feel symptoms though outside of the thirst. The vision thing is infrequent and it's just the one eye. It only began after I used those eye drops to relieve the pain.

I guess I'm confused at how my levels jumped even from 304 to 340 (much less 400!) when I did not intake that much sugar. My breakfast had 2g and maybe 3-4g in my coffee creamer. I've followed the advice of many websites, staying well hydrated, drinking water a lot. And aside from the ridiculously oppressive heat I feel ok. Getting depressed and anxious now but physically feeling all right.

Rather discouraged at this and at having to wait for answers until Monday.

ladybud 06-29-2012 03:42 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
The levels you are getting in testing are too consistent to be in error, and you really need to see a doctor now. It is best to avoid glucose testing during the two hours after a meal. A non-diabetic will spike after eating up to 200, but return to normal glucose levels within 2 hrs. after eating. A good test for overall assessment that your Dr will want to do is a hemoglobin A1C, which reflects blood sugar levels over a 6 week period of time, and a baseline would be good to get now, then repeats to monitor how well your treatment is working. You will need to meet with a nutritionist to get on a healthy diet, as that is the cornerstone of treatment for diabetes, plus weight loss, which will most likely help your BP too. Most adult onset diabetics can achieve control with weight loss, diet, exercise, and oral medication.

jdmaley 06-29-2012 03:49 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
I think the test you mentioned is the one we are waiting for. My appointment is Monday morning. I'm just concerned that they're so high and not really coming down despite me drinking plenty of water and avoiding high carb and sugary foods today. I'd probably rest a little easier if I could see some kind of positive impact.

SamQKitty 06-30-2012 02:22 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Hi JD,

From what you've posted, there is no doubt in my mind that you are, indeed, diabetic. You're probably going to need medication to get those numbers down, at least until and unless you lose a significant amount of weight.

I have a couple of suggestions. First, make sure your doctor refers you to a registered dietician for advice on meal planning and how to count carbs and make sure you're not eating too many at one sitting. Second, I would highly recommend therapy for the anxiety and/or for the compulsive eating issues. I, myself, have been greatly helped through Overeaters Anonymous, but there are other programs that can be very helpful, such as WeightWatchers.

At this point, I don't think you need to wait for the blood test results to get started. Since exercise and weight loss can dramatically help Type 2 diabetics, start with even 10 minutes a day of it becomes easier to do, add another 10 minutes. If you find it difficult to get 20-30 minutes at one time, it's still effective to do 10 minutes at a time 2-3 times a day. This will also help somewhat with alleviating anxiety symptoms.

As for food, until you've seen a dietician, just watch out for those high-carb foods. Sweets, pastries, cookies, bread, rice and potatoes are lethal, especially in large quantities. Doesn't mean you have to give up everything you love, but you need to eat them in small doses. So, for example, if you're having a potato with dinner, don't eat bread at that dinner. Small changes mean a lot, and you don't end up feeling deprived.

Good luck, and let us know how you're doing.


jdmaley 06-30-2012 06:55 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Thanks, SamQKitty, and everyone who has posted. I'm in shock, which I'm sure is common at the beginning. And being an analytical thinker, I immediately start to ponder all of the worst case scenarios I've heard about the condition and wonder if that's to be my fate. I understand there's no way to know any of that, that's just how my mind works.

I take ativan for panic attacks, but I suspect I'm probably going to need something more regular to deal with this. I do have a counselor for the anxiety problems. He'll be earning his paycheck this month, I'll tell you that, lol.

A month or two back I had a nasty gallbladder attack and I adjusted my diet big time. I dropped 10-12 pounds, but then I slowly resumed old habits. But during the weight loss period, when I cut out soda and all the junk I ate, I felt fantastic, had more energy, etc. etc. So I know dietary changes (and the addition of exercise) can be very helpful. 340 lbs is a big number, but I can still handle a workout. 30 minutes of walking daily won't be a problem in terms of ability - it's the mental drive to do it that I really need to work on.

I've been watching my food carefully the past two days. It doesn't seem to have helped all that much, I did a read earlier today and it was 350. Just seems like I can't get it down no matter what I do.

I did find out my reflux medication, Dexilent, has produced raised levels in certain people. I also have that yeast infection, which as I understand it, probably came about from the higher because of the higher levels, but can also itself continue to make the levels a little higher. Is that accurate information? It's hard to tell, there's so much out there. I've got a list of questions going in to my appointment Monday as well.

Thanks again to all who are posting, it really helps to know I'm not alone. I know "millions" of people have this condition, and manage it successfully, but those are faceless millions to me. I really want to approach the start of this in a positive light to set a better tone. But I'm really having a tough time doing that, being by nature rather pessimistic. But I'll keep trying.

jdmaley 07-18-2012 08:06 AM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Hi again. Just wanted to post an update. I realize I sounded pretty depressed before. I can't say I'm dancing a jig at the moment, but there's been some progress.

For one thing, my blood sugar is now consistently at 130 or less. Sometimes it spikes higher, sometimes not. I accomplished this through changes in my diet, as well as adding more regular exercise (which I continue to increase). I was prescribed MetFormin, but have not yet taken it as I wanted to get a sense of how low I could get things through diet and exercise. I guess with numbers as high as mine were (I topped off at 400 at my worst), I can understand why he prescribed such a high dosage (1,000 mg twice a day). But the diet change worked so well, and so quickly, I wanted to see how much control I could regain through that. (For the record, my A1C was 8% - much lower than my doctor's office expected, given how high my BS was when I called in for an appointment.)

I had an "education class" yesterday, and was a little put off by the educator, who had a very non chalant attitude about the whole thing. Rather than encouraging to reach for lower numbers, she seemed to content to say readings like 170 "aren't bad, for a diabetic." It seems a point of contention among health care professionals, but I've seen numerous cases where people have been able to safely get their BS back down to "not bad, for a non-diabetic," which is the goal to which I am striving. She seemed more interested in making sure I understood I didn't have to make any major life changes. I just don't agree with that assessment. My eating habits were killing me - whether from this or from some future heart problems or other health problems relating to obesity, those habits would have put me in the grave. I feel very blessed to have caught this when we did. I never thought I'd associate that word with this condition, but it's the truth. So yes, life changes are in order.

My focus has been to make them slowly. They need to be sustainable over the long term.

I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here. I've encountered many terrific people who have been managing this thing for decades, some to the point where it "disappears" (AC1's consistently below 6%). Whether it's personally achievable for me or not, that's my inspiration and goal. You may never get to the stars no matter how much you aim for them, but you'll damn sure reach the clouds, and that's better than the alternative.

So, I'm a bit more comfortable with this, in the sense that I feel empowered and capable of keeping it under control. I've got a great support team in place, and I'm enjoying the benefits of losing weight (I've lost 10 lbs since diagnosis). Thanks again to those of you who were with me for those first few days and who offered advice and encouragement. One thing I've consistently seen is that a positive attitude really impacts things. I don't look at this as a plague, but as an opportunity to make better choices, learn more about myself and my body, and to once and for all shed this weight and get into the best shape I've ever been in.

I wouldn't wish this on anyone. But I'm going to take the positive from it, and allow the negative to help keep me focused on my goals and on the good old "straight and narrow."

BooksRule 07-25-2012 08:19 PM

Re: First Steps, Tests
Sounds like you're on the right track!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:01 PM.