Diabetes Is Certainly a Journey.

Life With Type 2

Diabetes Is Certainly a Journey!

| May 31, 2013

Diabetes is certainly a journey. The more I learn about it, the more I want to step off this path and onto a new one. So, how do you change the course of such an expensive and frustrating chronic illness?

In the beginning I was a studious and meticulous note taker, attending seminars, conferences, and speaker presentations, all of which were on my calendar and as important to me as my daily blood glucose readings. I prepared a complete three-ring notebook containing all my medical history, lab results/comparisons, and doctor's notes. It accompanied me on every appointment, sharing pertinent information between doctors. My Diabetes Team was formed.

As the illness progressed, so did the list of medical professionals needed to continue my care - primary care physician, endocrinologist, nephrologist, certified diabetes educator, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, and a PWD mentor (you know your list). I lost about 30 pounds, cleaned up my eating, began exercising and my A1c dropped from 14.4 to 6.0 in a period of approximately 18 months. All good news.

Weight loss occurred quickly in the beginning, but as different drugs were introduced into my routine, the pounds were harder to get off. Carbohydrate adjustments helped offset the rise and fall caused by the drugs, but the daily process left me feeling sluggish and unable to sustain continued weight loss. 

The quarterly doctor appointments continued without significant change, until I conducted a side-by-side comparison of my lab results on an Excel spreadsheet, and discovered several outside-of-normal readings, which were disconcerting. There was reason to believe that certain medications were causing distress on my kidneys. It was time to press the issue.

Exactly how do you get off diabetes drugs?

I began questioning everything. Why did I have to be on particular medications?  If I could maintain an A1c at 6.0 or under, could I achieve the same results with modified/structured eating, more exercise, and detailed recordkeeping/glucose testing? Who or what program would be available to assist and monitor me while I went through this process? Would medical insurance cover any of these providers, programs or other costs?

I also asked everyone on my team and discovered no structured post-diabetes (yes, I know we are never truly "over" diabetes) education, no emotional support groups, no beautiful four-color brochures filled with information on how to face the challenges, and basically no insurance coverage for this type of success.  

So, here I am today, holding steady, yet standing at the fork of the road. Is this all there is?


(Vicki Christensen resides in Tempe, Arizona, and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in August 2011. She has become an advocate for change in the diabetes community and would enjoy your comments and suggestions.)



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Categories: A1C, A1C, Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes, Diabetes Health, Diabetic, Type 2 Issues

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Posted by Anonymous on 31 May 2013

This is my biggest frustration exactly. I live in The Netherlands, was diagnosed with T2 about 6 months ago. I've read a lot, changed my diet, started exercising, worked hard, lost 30 pounds and got my A1c down to 6.5 from 9 just using some methformin. And that's it. The doktors congratulate me and send me off. That's it. There are no other T2 patients who even care about achieving these results. I meet patients who's glucose readings are over 400 on a regular basis and don't even seem to care much.

I visit a large hospital in a major city and they don't know of any T2 patients who have read Dr. Bernstein. I could really use a group of like minded T2 folks for the support and the motivation. Such a thing does not exist. it is amazing...

Posted by Anonymous on 18 July 2013

Hi I feel you,been diagnosed for about 3 years and have gone from 500 sugar to 115 fasting sugar with metformin. But when I ask my doctor if its possible to reverse he says no! I do not believe this and was somewhat discouraged

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