By the Numbers — Post 5 on My New Diabetic Life

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  😀

diabetesWhen 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 images-1unwavering 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.

71iZCH40fvLThat’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.

MeterReviewAugust2008011—-small_lancet

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!

030pro3I 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.

😀

And this is good news I’ll take any day.51J19g5yFUL

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.

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