Hello everyone! This is my first post on this forum. :)
So, I've been a pretty horrible diabetic for the last 8 years (Been diabetic 18 years). I just found out I have the earliest stage of retinopathy and i'm not afraid to say that I am terrified. Although this has been a huge wake-up call for me I am in need of some help. I have been keeping my sugars lower, around 149-160ish and testing myself 10 times a day but I am scared that if I lower my A1c (currently 9.7) too fast I will shock my nerves and, cause more damage? I've heard of this happening before from a fellow diabetic. My endo appointment isn't until May 22nd and i'm a new patient of his (Will be the first time meeting him) So I don't want to just call him when he doesn't really know my case. Anyway, any advice, support or just comments would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
Certainly understandable to be scared. Were you diagnosed with retinopathy by a retinologist or ophthalmologist? That's who I'd be asking for the pros & cons. I've read that lowering BG slowly is the safest. Don't compare your situation to someone else's because your eyes may have a different degree of retinopathy.
Here's a good article http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/16162167.php that I hope helps.
Thank you for your reply.
An ophthalmologist diagnosed me, and thank you for the article, it helped tremendously!
Glad it helped. Everything we deal with is complex. Not fair!
I am really proud of you for standing up and wanting to take better care of yourself. You aren't a "horrible" diabetic, you just made some choices. And that is water under the bridge, what really matters are the choices you make today and moving forward.
I actually think that you have probably made some really big changes already. If your average blood sugars are now 150-160 mg/dl, then your A1c should drop after three months to 7.2%. Be honest with your endo. You might tell him your concerns about dropping your blood sugars too fast and actually ask him about a fructosamine test in addition to the A1c. The fructosamine test will tell you your average blood sugar over the last 2 weeks, while the A1c averages over 3 months. That will give you and your endo a better basis to decide whether you need to tighten your control any more right now.
You are not a horrible diabetic or a horrible person. You just fell off the wagon for a while and will climb right back on and do the right thing for your future health. We are always here to give you support when you feel you need it.
You're not a horrible diabetic or even a horrible person. You've been handed a disease that no one asks for and which requires an INCREDIBLE amount of work to manage (and even with all that work, some of us still end up with complications). Anyhoo, you're doing the right thing.
Yes, my understanding is that when bringing yourself "back within range," you want to do so slowly. I think the only true correlation between a sudden drop and A1C and complications has to do with retinopathy, but I could be wrong about that. That said, I developed the first signs of retinopathy back when I brought my BGs down fast. Was it just coincidence? I'll probably never know. But that's what happened.
Taking worsening complications out of the equation, you will FEEL BETTER if you bring your BGs down slowly. In the past when I've fallen off the wagon and then quickly gotten back in control, I walked around feeling constantly low even when my BG was 150 or 160. It was frustrated and almost thwarted my efforts to gain better BG control. So, my advice would be to take it slow so that you can feel better as you bring your BGs down.
If you get your blood sugars under control stat you can possibly heal the nerves, I had a leak in my eye from my sugars going out of control and I immediately got them back to normal and my next visit they leak healed itself. I also had the tingling starting in my feet and I did the same thing and got myself back on track and I have not had that sensation again, and this was 2 years ago. I really find that by cutting back on the carbs my blood sugars are great and my insulin is reduced and I feel better. I would have good carbs and avoid the bad ones like bread,potatos,etc... I wish you luck and stay positive dont let it get you down;)
It's a great feeling knowing that there are people out there I can relate to, I haven't talked to another diabetic in over 7 years. (Type 1 anyway)
Thank you all for your support! :)