Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Matters of Health

Well, yesterday I had my four-month check-up with my endocronologist. Yes, four months, not three. Thing is, I go to my endo for two main reasons. First, to get my A1c and other lab work done on schedule, and second, to get my prescriptions. I don't really need my endo for matters of improving my control. I pretty much handle all that on my own...and frankly, anytime my endo gives me advice on what I might try to improve things, it usually ends up not working.

Take, for example, the "formula" that 50% of your daily insulin intake should be basal insulin. For me, it is more like 25%. His advice is to increase my basals and decrease my bolus factors. Only problem with that is then if I don't eat on a certain schedule, I'll end up low. My way, I can go all day and never eat a bite and my BGLs stay in range. I'm guessing the whole 50% rule comes from people coming off of a old-school diet for Type 1 diabetics who have traditionally had set times they ate with set exchanges or carbs.

So, I handle it myself. I've managed to keep my A1c's at or below 7.0 now for quite a while. This time was no different. A1c was 7.0. Woohoo!

And this time around, my endo decided not to schedule my appointment for five months out instead of four (which was instead of the usual three). I'm glad about that.

He still pushed statins on me, which I declined. I've been trying to stick to a low saturated/trans fat diet, etc., so I think my next cholesterol test for LDLs will be even lower. In the meantime, he did tell me that I should at least start taking 81 mg asperin a day. Good for the heart, even at my age. I can handle that. (And don't you just love the taste of baby asperin?)

In other health matters, however, I'm falling apart. Well, not really. But I think my age is starting to catch up to me. For the past couple months, I've been experiencing joint pain in the hips, and this weird, apparently related, "burning" pain in the top of my leg just above the knee. It doesn't hurt for most normal movement, but if I move my leg just the right (or wrong?) way, it is painful.

My first thought is that it is cancer. Then arthritis. Then I think it is an injury from me walking up and down the steps constantly at work. (I avoid the elevator in the name of exercise.) Then I go back to thinking cancer, and then I think it is gone, but then it is back and I have no idea what it is. But whatever it is, it has grown to the point where I'm pretty sure it isn't just a temporary injury that will heal itself. So, I'm forced to make myself a doctor appointment. I didn't raise the matter with my endo because despite the fact my endo is a medical doctor, typically he doesn't like to deal with anything that isn't diabetes-related.

It is funny, because my "primary care physician" I see maybe once every few years. So infrequent, in fact, that the last time I saw him he shook my hand and said, "Pleased to meet you." Nevermind I've been seeing him for about fifteen years! So, it'll be interesting to know how it goes this time around. I'm expecting the whole, "Take some ibuprofen for the pain," routine. But ibuprofen nor Tylenol seem to do much for the pain, so I'll have to press for more.

What then? I've been watching too much House, MD lately, because I imagine having to strip naked and they'll run me through one of those MRI machines. Then I imagine I'll have forgotten to take off my Medic Alert bracelet, and the MRI machine will rip it from my arm, and I'll have lost my right hand as a result. Or maybe they'll have to do X-rays, find nothing, admit me, and I'll be on the verge of death twice before they finally realize that it was a reaction to a change in our laundry detergent or something.

Nah, I know. That's not really how it will go, I know. I'll keep you updated as to what I find out. First I have to make an appointment though, which means making a phone call. I hate making phone calls!

Okay...finally, another reminder. E. J. Knapp still needs your help. He is partway to his goal of $3000 to get his car back. (See my "Down, but not Out" thread below.) So if you haven't already, go buy a story. And just to make it more enticing, more personal...there are a lot of stories there. But one of those stories is mine. [i]Butter Knives and Sun Spots[/i]. Very different from anything I've posted on my website. More literary, I suppose. So go buy my story. Or buy someone else's story. I don't really care! He only has a few weeks before he loses any chance of getting his car back.


Minnesota Nice said...

Yeah, yeah, "House" certainly has a tendency to put ideas into one's head.
I do not go to an endo, but my primary has some very weird "cookbook" formulas for bg control. I say "if it's not broke, don't fix it".
I have been doing some online research on the correlation between joint/soft tissue inflammation and diabetes. I never get any communicable stuff - not the flu that sweeps across my office each winter nor the hacking crude that everybody on my ommuter bus gets. But, I have carpal tunnel, trigger finger, tmj, various sites of tendonitis that come and go. Not long ago a physical therapist told me "oh, diabetics 'stiffen' up as they get older - there's nothing you can do about it".
When I asked my primary about it he said he'd never heard of that. Go figure.
Congratulations on a great A1C.

RyanBruner said...

I've never heard about "stiffening" as part of diabetes. When my endo goes through all the standard list of questions to see how I'm doing, "joint pain or stiffness" is never among them.

Of course, the physical therapist COULD have meant, "diabetics 'stiffen' up as they get older -- just like everyone else in the world!"

art-sweet said...

Sometimes I wonder if our over sensitive immune systems give us a boost when it comes to colds, flus, etc. I also don't get a ton of those.

But I have, like MN, had more than my share of weird bone and joint issues. Stress fractures - with no bone density issues - irritating tendonitis in my shoulder...

And I have yet to find an endo who can tell me something I don't already know. And yet I'm forced to kowtow to them to get my perscriptions. Drives me nuts. I walk out of there every time with a Plan I have no intent of following, because they can't NOT do something for you...