When I had my initial blood-work done that identified me as diabetic, my fasting blood glucose was 310. For those who know what that number means (ack!) — and for those who don’t — 310 is high. WAAAY high. Dangerously high. Get thee to a hospital-high.
And — no wonder as my diet for almost 2 1/2 months had consisted of pudding, milk shakes, chocolate milk, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs, apple sauce, custard, and mashed potatoes/sweet potatoes. Maybe a few refried beans and some rice or pasta. But not much else as my TMJ was in full blast-mode, and my jaw dislocated every time I yawned or chewed. It was so swollen I looked like I’d had an allergic reaction to shellfish or something. And it hurt pretty much non-stop.
My jaw is now much better — only hurting and/or dislocating when I clench up in stressful circumstances. Like dealing with diabetes. lol 😀
When I went to see the diabetes counselor/nutritionalist, she gave me a blood glucose monitor, and when I used it to test my blood in her office, it read 305. She gave me the 10 test strips that came with the monitor — which were supposed to last until I could get my prescription filled — and every time I used one I got more and more depressed. I changed my diet almost overnight so that I was unwavering from the standards set by the Am. Diabetes Assoc. — and the numbers on my monitor were not improving. My only consolation was knowing that I hadn’t landed in this spot overnight — it took 59 years. So expecting the numbers to go down overnight is just not realistic.
In all, it took 4 weeks to get my testing supplies from my private insurance (United Health Systems) and the mail order supply warehouse they work with (Liberty Medical) — FOUR WEEKS. And, it turns out, my insurance will only pay for 1 test per day because I’m not on insulin — rather than the 2-3 my doctor prescribed.
That’s the bad news. It’s a racket. Full MSRP on those little 1″ test strips is about $1.50 each. The monitor is another $20. The lancets come 100 for $15. The test medium is another $15 for a thimble sized bottle. Alcohol swabs to clean the area to be pricked are another $15/100. I’m sure these are all wonderful products, but I’m guessing that the actual cost on them is less than 30% of MSRP, which means both the retailer and the manufacturer are in league with the insurers — squeezing millions of dollars out of the health care system that serves 1 in 3 of us over the age of 35 who have diabetes.
On a more personal note — it probably was just as well that I didn’t have test strips the first 4 weeks. It would have only depressed me to see those high numbers, day after day. As it is, I’ve had a full month to get my diet and exercise under control.
So when my supplies arrived yesterday afternoon, I tested my blood, and it was 219.
That’s still not officially a “good” number. But anything below 220 is considered moderately serious, rather than critical. And that was in the late afternoon!
I took it again this morning — and it was 239. Which sounds worse — but that was before breakfast, before exercise, and before even a drink of water! And — most importantly — that’s 70 points lower than my fasting number from 6 weeks ago.
I have evidence now that says I really can change this by choosing wisely. With some luck, it also means I haven’t done myself irreparable damage.
Very good news indeed.