My official A1C test results came it at 6.0 on the nose. Just got back from my quarterly visit with my primary physician and all of my numbers looked good. He said I should be very pleased with my numbers and I am. I plan on spending the next quarter working on getting my A1C number below 6.0.
It has been a long road the past 6 months, but worth it. I have halved my A1C from its peak of 13.1 while hospitalized to 6.0. I understand what my body is telling me more than ever, and I know how to handle hypo and hyper glycemic moments as they happen. Luckily, I have few such moments these days.
A lot of hard work has gone into getting my numbers in order. First, I stick to a strict diet and have eliminated all sugary drinks and alcohol. Second, I make sure at least 3 days each week have over 60 minutes of physical activity of at least a medium effort. Finally, i take my medication as prescribed and check my blood glucose level 4 times a day.
So here’s to 6.0 and lower going forward, and to having less reliance on medication and insulin to keep my blood sugar in check! Here are a few pictures from a stop on made in Yosemite last year while headed to San Francisco.
Exactly six months ago I went to hospital as something clearly wasn’t right with me. After the usual check-in to the ER I waited a few minutes before being taken to triage to have my vitals taken. That is when the fun started. I had a resting heart rate above 150, and it was only going up. Right away I was hooked up to an EKG and the tests started to happen. I was moved to a bed in the ER and spent the next few hours of my life getting tests done and answering a myriad of questions.
The doctors and nurses were awesome, and we joked with each other as the night progressed. Then it started to get scary. The couldn’t get my heart rate to go down, even after a few shots and several IVs. There was very serious discussion on whether or not to stop my heart and restart it to get the pulse to basically reset. This scared the crap out of me, even with the nurses telling me it’ll feel weird, but you won’t pass out. Yeah, something tells me restarting my heart would probably feel a bit strange.
Luckily it didn’t come to that as my first round of blood work was just coming back to the attending doctors. My blood glucose level was well over 500, so that gave them an explanation to go on for what was happening to my body since everything else was checking out ok. I waited in the ER for a couple more hours before they decided to admit me to the hospital, starting my diabetic journey.
Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much that night. It didn’t help that the IV machine would start to alarm randomly at times, and that every 15 minutes I was being given this or that in terms of medication, or getting more blood work done. By morning I still didn’t have a full idea of what was going on, let alone the extent of things. The doctor assigned to me came in, we talked, at that point he didn’t think I was diabetic, he said I just had a hyperglycemic moment which dehydrated me, which in turn caused the high heart rate and so on.
So, more waiting as they worked to get my numbers more in check. After most of the day passed the doctor came in and said, in his own words, ” well, you are super diabetic.” Oddly, it was a bit of a relief at first, at least I knew what the heck was going on finally. He continued on and told me what my A1C test came in at, it was 13.1, an average blood glucose of over 350. This was very high, and then the conversation turned to possible organ damage.
The worry came flooding back at that point. Did I have damage to my organs, if so, what. They ordered ultrasound tests and some x-rays to look at things. Luckily for me nothing looked out of the ordinary and I was spared the complications of organ damage. At this point I was able to get some sleep, and slept through a few of the regular 15 minute intervals of people checking in on me. I think some of the hospital staff attending to me were happy to see me finally sleep.
I woke up feeling better, but knew I had a long road of recovery ahead of me. I spent the day talking to doctors and a diabetic nurse. The diabetic nurse coached me on a number of things. Basically she explained what was going on in my body, how to read the signs of hyper and hypo glycemic moments, and most of all how to properly eat. After a few more hours I was released from the hospital and went home.
Once home I started right in on changing things up. I went through and got rid of anything I should no longer eat. I was a bit shocked at how much stuff I was eating that was harming me. My mom had flown in to help out, and we went shopping after creating a meal plan that would work. She helped cook a few meals and made sure I stayed on track. After a week she went home and life got back to normal.
So here I am now, 6 months in to this journey. I went in for my latest A1c test last Friday. I am eagerly awaiting the results. I went from 13.1 to 8.4 in two moths time, and am really hoping for a number less than 6 this time around. Anything less than 7 would be good, but under 6 would be awesome. I keep myself busy, donating my time at Manna, a local food bank, and Habitat for Humanity. I donate at least 10 hours a week, and most of those hours are doing physical work. So, not only is it rewarding, it is like having a free gym membership. I take my medicine on time and as directed. I check my blood four plus times a day, and I track it using a blood glucose meter and a device from Glooko that is a must have for any diabetic. Oh and did I mention, I am also a full time student in college and work a full time job in the IT industry on top of all of this.
In the end, I am glad for the diagnosis. My life has actually gotten much better. I know my body more now than ever, and I understand what is going on when I start to feel ill or just plain crappy. I have a loving family (my 3 dogs, 1 parrot, 3 outside cats, and most important my beautiful wife) who have supported me through this journey and will into the future. Maybe someday down the road I won’t have to take insulin or medication, but until then I am happy with myself, I am happy regardless of being a diabetic.
Here are some pics of the meals I prepare regularly. Some portions are for two people. All are easy to make and take in general less than 30 minutes to make.