April 9, 2011

Just Diagnosed And In A Panic? – Part 1

Some people put their entire fist through the panic panel while others throw a pity party and will milk it for all they can as the world is so unjust. Go ahead, I'll wait for you to calm down. You are not ready to read this.

I read this all the time on several of the diabetes forums which I follow. Even then some are unwilling to believe what the doctor told them and don't understand that we have all been in this situation. They claim we could not possibly understand how distraught they are. Yes, we do!!!

Some say they are mourning the carbohydrates they have had to give up. Many feel that it is only sugar they have to give up, but are they in for a surprise! This blog is primarily for those with Type 2 diabetes, but others can gain some information.

The doctors in the U.S. can be very subtle about how they say things and at times I wonder if they don't want to even mention diabetes, to say nothing about diagnosing it. They like to say “watch your food intake, your sugar was a little high” as they usher you out the door. Now just what does that mean? This is when you need to stop and look the doctor squarely in the eye and ask for an explanation. Did I? Unfortunately, no, and I paid the price and needed to go on insulin within a few months after being diagnosed officially. It is no wonder that many patients feel very lost in the beginning with diabetes.

If they do tell you that you have diabetes, some doctors will not refer you to a dietitian, nutritionist, or certified diabetes educator (CDE). If they are in a largely rural area, they may not have these available. Other doctors may have had less than positive experiences and so will not work with them. As a patient, I have had experiences that have been very positive with these supporting occupations, and a few that left me wondering if they even have heard about diabetes. Some are prone to contradicting the doctor and undermining the good he may have done.

While you are waiting to have meetings or classes, I recommend that you stop by the blog site of Alan Shanley. He has some excellent information about what to eat while you are waiting for your meter. If you do not have access to the dietitians, or CDE's, then Alan has three other excellent blogs; for getting started, testing, and reviewing and adjusting. While meters can deviate up to 20 percent, what you are looking for is trends and how different foods affect your body. Learn to trust your meter and use it. Alan also has an excellent blog on painless pricks to assist you in testing and care of your hands.

Those of us in the USA may have limitations imposed upon us by Medicare and our medical insurance companies if we are on oral medications. Some still decide it is worth the out-of-pocket expense to learn how our bodies react to different foods, being our own science experiment. Much of the time the doctors, educators, dietitians, or nutritionists will supply you with a meter, it is the test strips that will cost money.

Rather than run this into pages and pages, I would refer you to some books and websites so that you may read them at your leisure. I have a blog on books here, and another with some websites here. There are many more, but this will get you started and hopefully enthused that you can do something to manage this chronic disease called diabetes. If your local library does not have copies of any of the books, obtain them at your local bookstore, or order them online at a source you trust and try to obtain the latest edition.

More in my next blog about medications and home remedies. Part 1 of 3.  To read Part 2 and part 3 of this blog click on the links.

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