I was just diagnosed today and I’m in shell shock. Doctor was not happy with my fasting glucose and A1C. So I’m not taking metformin twice a day and testing glucose. hoping to find insight and help here. Feels like the world just came crashing down
You’ve come to a good spot, @Veggiegal81. We are a supportive community and a wealth of knowledge. Don’t worry about learning everything at once. Be kind to yourself. You have time to learn. Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint. There’s a lot to know to live well with diabetes. With diabetes, knowledge is power. The more you know and put into practice, the better you’ll feel. There is life after the diagnosis, believe me. Life will get better and you will make it get better. Welcome! You are not alone.
Hey @Veggiegal81, I know just how you feel. I was in your shoes not too long ago. This is a great place to find more information and get real experience from other people with diabetes. Wishing you a lot of luck and love on your journey!!
welcome to tudiabetes. hope u like it as much as i do.
I’m just so confused. He didn’t tell me a good range for blood sugar, only said to stay away from refined sugar. And he will see me in 2 months to repeat tests.
You might want to get a blood glucose meter kit and start checking your blood (bg). keep a log of the numbers, and perhaps food eaten, activity. We are here to help you and answer ANY questions you might have. One step at a time.
How often should I test? When?
Well I guess it partially depends on how many strips your insurance covers, but I’d say at the very least your morning fasting one. What results have you been getting so far? How are you reacting to the Metformin?
This mornings fasting was 18.2. And I’ve only taken 1 dose of metformin. My stomach feels a bit turvy. Normal???
My insurance covers 200 strips a year.
Is this a general practitioner or an endocrinologist? What was your A1c?
My A1C was 17.9. And this was my GP that started me on metformin.
A lot to cover here, so I’ll do it in multiple posts in order to avoid writing a ten page dissertation.
First, you have absolutely come to the right place. TuDiabetes was founded on the simple principle that no diabetic should ever have to feel alone. You’ll find this community to be caring, knowledgeable, and endlessly supportive. It’s a deep pool of knowledge and experience to draw on as well as a community of people who actually get what you’re going through. Whatever aspect of diabetes you happen to be strugglling with at a given moment, there are people here who have already been there and are happy to share and advise based on real life experience, not memorized book learning.
17.9 is way up there. Your first priority needs to be getting your BG down to a reasonable range. To do that you will need to test several times a day, at least in the beginning. 200 strips a year is a joke. That’s less than one a day. You need a new scrip that permits much more frequent testing—I would suggest 4 a day as an absolute minimum. More is better, especially when starting down this road for the first time.
More to come.
One of the most painful truths about diabetes is that most of what you really need to know, you aren’t going to learn from doctors or other health care professionals.There are several reasons why that is so, but the two primary ones are listed below.
First, every case of diabetes is individual and distinct. No two physiologies are the same, and no two people react the same way to things. A medication that works wonderfully well for you may be useless or have unacceptable side effects for the person next to you. A pill or shot that lowers the other person’s blood sugar dramatically, may not have the same effect for you. The variations are endless. To use the brilliant phrase coined by one of our members, if you want to treat diabetes by the book, you need a different book for each diabetic.
Why do I make such a point of that? Because doctors, nurses and educators are mostly trained to apply a set of one-size-fits-all memorized rules to each patient. To be blunt, that just doesn’t succeed very well or very often.
The second factor also has to do with training. Diabetes, serious as it is, is one disease that can be extremely well controlled if one is willing to make the effort. But that is a full time job, and the only person who can do it is the patient. Doctors are taught to attack and defeat acute illness (“take these pills and your infection will be cured”). They are not trained in day-in day-out ongoing management of chronic conditions, and that’s what living a normal, successful, complete life with diabetes requires. Furthermore, the best doctor in the world can’t follow you around 7x24 to take care of your diabetes—you have to do it. No one else knows your body like you do, and no one else is there 24x7 to do the job.
I estimate that no more than 5% of what I have learned about keeping my diabetes under control came from the medical profession. The rest came from self study and interaction with peers, i.e., this community.
More to come.
Now, about learning to tame this beast . . .
When a diagnosis is brand new, it can feel pretty overwhelming. That’s natural and predictable and each one of us has been there. The feeling is temporary, rest assured. Similarly, when you start learning the ins and outs of management and control, there is a lot of information to absorb and it can also feel . . . well, overwhelming.
On that score, the best advice I know is not to try and learn it all at once. For one thing, you can’t—the brain will trip out like an overloaded circuit breaker at some point. You can only absorb so much at one time. One of our most-quoted clichés (because it’s the truth), goes, “Diabetes is a marathon, not a sprint.” You’re in this for the long haul. Diabetes isn’t going anywhere (and neither are you! ). Learn one or two new things a day. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how soon it starts to come into sharp focus.
And in that connection, there are some really excellent books out there that make good starting points for this journey. Here are three of the very best ones, in no particular order:
Richard K. Bernstein, Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Solution, 4th ed. (New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011)
Gary Scheiner, Think Like A Pancreas (Boston: Da Capo Press, 2011)
Jenny Ruhl, Blood Sugar 101: What They Don’t Tell You About Diabetes (Turners Falls: Technion Books, 2013)
Sorry to be so long-winded, but all of this should be enough to keep you occupied for a while.
You’re in the right place. We’re glad you found us. Welcome to the family!
I endorse everything @David_dns, has written. Don’t be lured into or at least don’t wallow in one of the many ineffective coping strategies that many fall into. Denial is a natural human behavior and it can take many forms. Brief denial probably helps protect the human psyche from information and reality overload in the immediate post-diagnosis.
If you get stuck there, however, it can be very damaging physically. It may not take the form of outright denial ( I don’t really have diabetes.) but can be more insidious (My diabetes is not that bad; my doctor said I just have touch of sugar.). Denial can block you from finding your personal and effective adaptations in order to live well with diabetes. In other words you don’t have to accept some lower quality of life given this new reality. Your physical health and life can be* better* than it was before. It may take more effort and persistence but you can live a higher quality of life.
I encourage you to take the time now to invest in yourself. Learn all you can about your diabetes. David’s book suggestions are a good place to start. Your investment now will pay countless dividends in the future. The incidence of diabetes is increasing dramatically. Personal truths you learn now may be passed on to friends, relatives, and coworkers in the not-too-distant future. Reaching out and helping others fight this scourge can become meaningful and enrich your life.
Another trap many succumb to is leaning too heavily on your doctor. Your doctor is not as much of an expert on diabetes that you may think s/he is. They have the medical degree and know the book definitions but they don’t live with diabetes every day like you do. I’m not saying to ignore your doctor, just make sure that you fill in the broad ranges of knowledge that s/he doesn’t know. Doctors are often happy with mediocre results because they see too much abysmal blood sugar control. Don’t settle for the mediocre. Reward yourself with more normal blood glucose. You will have more energy, flexibility, and confidence if you reach for better results.
Veggiegal81, I am a Type 2 diagnosed 12 years ago. My insurance only covers 50 strips per month. They can be real expensive. I sometimes test many times a day when trying to divine patterns of MY diabetes.
Someone alerted me to Agamatrix Presto Test Strips. I have twice purchased 8 boxes of 50 each (400 total) for only about $89. VERY CHEAP. You can order them on the Net. Other more well known strips (Freestyle, One Touch, etc.) can be 6 or 7 times more expensive.
12 years ago when first diagnosed I got very lucky in that a nice pharmacist recommended to me that there was such a thing as forearm testing. Almost utterly PAINLESS. I strongly recommend it. I had pricked my fingers for only about 2 weeks previously and it hurt a lot.
Low carbohydrate eating for me is also extremely helpful. Best of luck to you.
Welcome and good luck on the journey into the new part of your life.
When dx I was told by my CDE (Certified Diabetic Educator) to test twice a day, once in the morning upon waking up and once in the evening before going to bed. If you are sent to see a dietitian they will require you, in addition to these testings, to test 2 hours after each meal each day and to note down what the meal is, They normally want 1-2 weeks of this food and blood sugar reading tests.
A very old diabetic friend told me if I am under 4 to eat something and if I am over 10 to stop eating until it comes down. That is a VERY rough rule of thumb, but it will serve until you are further into your new life and have more knowledge.
You may also see if you can go to a specialist - I do agree with @David_dns that a doctor won’t teach you everything you need to know, but an endocrinologist or certified diabetic instructor can sometimes point you in the right direction. You will also need more than 200 strips per year, with certainty. I also think that you might want to ask about other medications that can help, besides metformin.
Thank you everyone. I will defitely look into cheaper strips. I don’t have a problem investing in my health but also don’t want to go in the poor house. And if I didn’t eat with anything over 10. I would be on a starvation diet. The lowest that I went today was 16.6 before lunch. What other medications should I ask my GP about? I don’t want to offend him asking for a specialist so early in the game. I did notice today while doing some internet searches that the local diabetes clinic takes self referral. So I will look into that. I also had the privilege of meeting @FatCatAnna while my daughter was in the hospital in the fall.