This is the second part of the series, Misdiagnosed Gallbladder Leads To Better Diabetes Management
Six years ago, my husband and I were invited over to another couple's house for 4th of July. We had great food, great wine, thoroughly enjoying the night. Nothing was over indulgent. We traveled home about 10:30, and by 11PM, I wasn't feeling well. I wondered if it was the red meat and red wine. Neither is regular in my diet, and I've been known to have trouble with tannins in red wine. I decided to just try to sleep, but was restless. By 3 am I was feeling significantly worse. All I wanted to do was get sick to see if I could get whatever was in my system out. By 5:30 am, I was lying on the bathroom floor thinking this is not red meat and red wine overkill, what was happening?
More than a year before my 4th of July incident, I started having signs of the trouble that lay ahead. For example, on several occasions, I had gone for a run between 6 and 10 miles only to return home with 300 to 500 blood sugars. One day, I ran 10 miles and when I had returned home, I had 538 blood sugar. What!? In 15 years of running, my body would respond by lowering the blood sugar while running and my diabetes management was easier when I exercised. A shift was definitely happening, but why?
I had been going to a general practitioner for my care. Because my A1C was pretty good - rarely above 7 - and my overall health was good, she never referred me to an endocrinologist. When I appeared in my general practitioner's office for a check up, I told her my blood sugar and running story. She felt this really wasn't her specialty, but she would recommend me to Dr. H., a great endocrinologist, that she referred lots of her patients to see.
I called and made an appointment for 2 months, and in the meantime, I worked like hell to follow my blood sugars more regularly and get on top of my eating. In 2 months, I went into see Dr. H and my A1C was 7.8. I told her about my blood sugar highs and without even looking up at me, she announced that I did not take care of myself. I was stunned! She accused me of missing injections, not eating proper foods and not knowing how to manage my diabetes. While her words stung, I took it to heart that maybe my management of diabetes was not so hot. It had been years since I was involved in diabetes education, so I thought "Ok, I'm game, fill me in!" She proceeded to tell me that I needed to see a nutritionist and diabetes educator, but only gave me the card of the nutritionist at my GP's office.
I met with the nutritionist and she gave me the food pyramid, which I found to be as helpful as a screen door on a submarine! She asked me if I knew how to carb count and I said sort of, but could use a refresher. My appointment was a half hour long and she explained how to measure food, follow the food pyramid and what a healthy meal should consist of. No carb counting or Calorie King recommendation.