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Chemist tested me for diabetes - sent me to the Dr TODAY urgently...please come and talk to me...

(723 Posts)
MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 22-Jan-13 15:28:34

<Sorry, just got to the end and realised how long this is!!>

These are my questions

1: The reading the chemist got was 20 - can anyone tell me what this means (ie how 'serious' it is) and if they think it could be controlled and/or preferably gotten rid of through diet and exercise.

2: What will the Dr do today.

The rest is whittering background.

Also, I just wanted to say that I'll have to go in about an hour and wont be able to get back on line until tomorrow afternoon, but I haven't done a runner and will be grateful for any help/advice.

[I'm a regular - I've namechanged because I'm not sure yet if I want to tell anyone or not and I have a few RL friends on MN. It's not that I mind people knowing as such it's just that I don't want it to turn into A Big Deal]

I have been wondering for quite some time if I might have diabetes. A few things have made me wonder about it such as

- Excessive thirst (always having to have a bottle of water on me)

- Eyes a bit blurry at night (been blaming the overhead light and the small tv screen with tivo bright red background and only a problem at night and spending too much time looking at screens)

- Occasional 'shakes'

- I am overweight and struggle with feeling like my 'blood sugars' aren't right

...but what made me 'man up' to getting tested was that last week & yesterday I had a couple of episodes of light headedness/feeling faint when doing things such as changing a lightbulb, I had also been having them in the shower, but put that down to it being hot/steamy etc

I called the chemist about a year ago blush to see if they did the tests, but ended up not going <hence my name for this thread>

I also went to my Dr about 3-4 years ago with constant tiredness and no real reason for it.... he put it down to my weight (which although I'm overweight was not stopping me doing anything, being reasonably fit etc), he really wasn't interested in looking further. I haven't been back, but am and have been pretty much constantly tired since before then. I know I should have seen another Dr but it's hard when you are overweight and they don't seem interested in seeing past that and accept their might be something other excess weight causing the problem.

I wonder now how long I might have had it for and thus how much damage I might have done already to my body, especially my eyes, that's pretty scary.

I was already overweight, but I was pretty fit - then something quite lifechanging happened and I've put on more weight, stopped exercising and I am not unfit. I'm certainly not can't move off the couch unfit - I could still easily walk 4 miles, run for the bus (i'd be panting but I could do it and would recover pretty quickly) - but something else I've noticed (just yesterday I really 'thought' about it) is that I have been putting off doing stuff like walking places (now I take the car), running up the stairs (now only ever walk), kicking the ball about with the kids etc and I realised yesterday it's because when I do I feel awful - not just tired/worn out but light headed and a bit pukey - it's been a gradual thing.

I am totally committed to exercising - a minimum of 30 minutes every day without fail (have just been for an hours walk - about 3 miles) and to improving my diet (which I fully accept hasn't been great for a while, since this 'thing' happened and for a wee bit before then).

I'm not looking for any magic cure - I just want to know if I can get rid of the diabetes through diet and exercise.

Thank you if you made it this far - or even if you didn't wade through it all but can help.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Fri 25-Jan-13 16:20:22

LMR - I am, at the moment, more angry/upset at being told I don't have it then I do. I was just so elated and then dropped from a height, whereas previous to the first phone call I was expecting it, so it wouldn't have made me feel like this.

Sorry, I will reply to everyone else's very helpful advice soon... just a bit cross at the moment and now how have a pounding headache as well. Sigh.

starfishmummy Fri 25-Jan-13 16:32:52

In your position I think I would be asking the Practice Manager to review their procedures for telling people test results. Surely telling someone the test has come back as positive for diabetes should be down to the doctor, not the receptionist, especially as they got it wrong!

girliefriend Fri 25-Jan-13 16:46:04

Hello I am a nurse, that is rubbish that someone rang you with the wrong information and tbh I am shocked that it wasn't a g.p that rang you. I would complain to PALS.

With regards to diet, I always tell patients that a diabetic diet is no different to what anybody elses diet should be. So a healthy, everything in moderation, diet which covers all the main food groups should be fine.

If your blood sugars are 20 shock then you definately will need to be on medication poss insulin. That really has gone past the 'manage with diet and exercise alone' threshold.

You should also be pointed in the direction of a diabetes specialist nurse who will be able to give you lots of advice and hopefully.


girliefriend Fri 25-Jan-13 16:47:26

and hopefully support !! Sorry posted too soon!!

Mynewmoniker Fri 25-Jan-13 17:30:47

Hi MyHead.. I was reading your post with great interest as I have recently been diagnosed as T2. Genetic and/or weight related.

I so recognise your confusion about the conflicting information, recommended diet, the 'safe' numbers and the unaware receptionist.

I'm still angry at the diagnosis and as much as I read on specialist forums I feel I'm still having to sift the info. I was sent on a DESMOND course which I understand all diabetics ge the chance to do. That was helpful. I had one day of pure meltdown where I cried for the whole day but knew I had to do it and have been more accepting.

I'm a person who likes to have the upper hand on illness/conditions and when the specialist diabetes nurse said I couldn't be given a monitor because I would be over testing I felt insulted. We all know it's the cost to the NHS. I went and bought my own but cannot afford to keep buying the lancettes and testing strips. I don't go mad but now feel I'm 'getting it'.

I have had the eye test, the flu jab and a chiropodist appointment.

One plus is that diabetics get lots of free alcohol!

It's rubbed on your arm before you have your blood tests grin

PM me if ever you need to.

Mynewmoniker Fri 25-Jan-13 17:34:04

Oops! Forgot to say, take care with the exercise at the moment. I joined an exercise class and after an hour of, what was for me, rigerous exercise I got home and nearly collapsed with the shakes.

Take it steady.

SCOTCHandWRY Fri 25-Jan-13 18:21:38

shock at that MYHEAD, really you must complain. You have not been getting the best of care IMO but that takes the biscuit!

I am still worried about your headache/lethargy, have you actually told any Dr/nurse about this? Wed is a long way off. Please stop drinking lattes - very blood sugar spiking! and eating other processed carbs, at least until you get you insulin sorted.

I think you need to spend a few days reading up on the condition, the thing is, what is still recommended for diabetics is a very high carb, low fat diet (a normal healthy diet as it would be described), but that's diet which has almost certainly caused your diabetes! Newer thinking (and yes, there is evidence to back it up), is that cutting carbs right back and eating as fresh and natural as possible (with plenty of fat!), gives much better control of blood sugar and so less medication is needed. This is not the advice you will be given and you need to decide for yourself which diet you want to follow - it's your decision.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Fri 25-Jan-13 19:00:16

Hi all

Thank you for your posts smile I'll write more later, but I've just got back in & I have to go out soon (tiny little bit of work - have to take it when it's on offer!), so just a quick update.

I don't think I mentioned before that I moved away from the Drs I was registered with (not too far, about 8 miles) but hadn't changed to anywhere closer as I really never go to the Drs (last time about 5-6 years ago) and it wasn't inconvenient to go to the old one if I needed to.

In amongst the calls today there was some serious tutting about them calling me on a different area code and was I still living there etc so I was already thinking about changing to one near here and thought that if I do have D, having one closer might be easier. Well, todays debacle made it an easy decision.

So I went and registered with the new Drs. I asked if they had any 'sticks to wee on' having explained about the recent dx of D. They said 'not in reception' and that they can't just give them out (etc) anyway, they said they'd have to give me an emergency apt this evening and then I could get some - maybe.

Fortunately they had one 15 minutes later with my new Dr.

She is lovely. Really, really lovely. I briefly explained what had happened and she was astounded that they a) were so blunt and b) rang with the wrong information. I said to her how I'd felt so elated to hear I didn't have it, then so crushed afterwards and she said she totally understood and wasn't at all surprised that I was upset by it.

She asked me to do a urine sample for her to test there aren't any ketones in it but there is 'some' sugar (not a lot). We agree that it's Highly Likely that I do have D, but she has scheduled me in for a fasting test on Tuesday and a whole range of other things to give me a full MOT and get me back in working order smile She's lovely.

We talked about 'stuff' - the bereavement, my redundancy, basically why I'm where I'm at emotionally and physically.

The tests on Tuesday are being done by one of their nurses who specialises in diabetes.

She's declared me her project smile and is determined to restore me to good health - if not quite perfect!

Did I mention that she's lovely? grin

'Old' Dr just rang, he said he didn't have any idea why he was ringing me adn what did I need? He's not the one I saw, but 'my' Dr who I've never met (for some unknown reason they moved me from one Dr to another with no explanation). So I explained what happened today and that I've moved to my 'new' Drs. He didn't say much, except sorry for the inconvenience????? and that it was a waste of time doing the fasting test as the results were conclusive. I don't care, I'm happy to do it.

Anyway he said the results show I have a glucose reading of 15 and the other one (NCiap?? sorry got to run out the door, don't have time to check it out) is 76 when it should be 48-60. I'm sure you all know what he's on about.

I'm going to be late... but I just wanted to give you and update and say although nothing has changed, I feel heard about my health for the first time in about 20 years. I feel OK about getting this sorted and I feel so lucky to have met her...

Thank you all so so much for your support.

I'll be back later on.

LayMizzRarb Fri 25-Jan-13 19:33:26

Do let us know how you get on Tuesday. Pm me if you have any thing niggling. Your GP sounds fab!

girliefriend Fri 25-Jan-13 20:08:08

Glad you have sorted it op smile

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 28-Jan-13 18:35:32

Sorry - RL is a bit crazy at the moment! I've hardly been in, let alone near the laptop.

I have just read through the thread again (bloody hell, half of it reads as though english is my 3rd language not my first!! blush).

Thank you all so very much for all of your posts, they have all really helped me.

I am going for my fasting blood tests tomorrow so will know a bit more I guess when they get those results back.

I am going to try really hard to push for managing it with diet, weight loss & exercise, but if she says I need to take the meds I will. She knows I want to work towards coming off them if I do start to take them and I'm confident that she will fully support that.

She's going to make me an appointment with their dietician, but I've a feeling she's just going to push the high carbs route, which I'm not sure is the best approach. I'm going to do as much reading as I can between now and then, so I can back myself up if it comes to it.

Does anyone have a link to a good Low carb/low GI website to back up the theory that it's the way to go?

Thanks again everyone thanks

knackeredoutmum Mon 28-Jan-13 19:15:20

actually I very strongly think you should start to take control yourself right now.

Yes you will have to wait or the fasting blood test results, then subsequent doctors appointment.

You could buy a glucose meter today (ask for one with the most economical sticks), from almost any supermarket and start testing beore every meal, half an hour and 1.5 hours afterwards.

In this way you will very quickly see what effect, eating toast or crumpets for example has on YOU and YOUR body.

Everyone is different, and if you get higher sugars eating toast and cereals, and lower eating eggs and veggie sausages, then you have your answer right there.

Mynewmoniker Mon 28-Jan-13 19:52:13

I had/have a lot of support via here:

Bramblesinafield Mon 28-Jan-13 19:53:54

The accucheck range with fastclix lancet seems to be the most 'comfortable' lancet. My son is t1 and we all check ourselves from time to time, but not as much as him!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Mon 28-Jan-13 21:32:55

Knackered - thank you. I'm seeing the nurse tomorrow, so I'll see what she says about all the stuff - but I may well buy one at the chemist after.

I'm dreading the self testing tbh. I'm sure I'll get used to it, but I give (gave??) blood and I hate the finger prick test, it's going to take some serious effort to do that at least 9 times a day sad Though I have to say, it didn't seem quite as bad when the pharmacist did it the other day... is that to do with where they do it or the equipment they use?

Can diabetics give blood? (on meds? on insulin?)

MyNew - Thanks smile I'll go and have a look there now.

Bramble - I'll bear that in mind!!

LayMizzRarb Mon 28-Jan-13 22:48:56

I have an accucheck, and you will be fine using the lancet. It is about the length of a pen, you put the end next to your finger tip, no need to apply pressure, press the bottom on the side, and it fires then retracts a tiny needle. As you're not actually jabbing it in your finger, you don't the exact moment it's going in IYSWIM :-)

LayMizzRarb Mon 28-Jan-13 22:49:47

press the BUTTON on the side!

ElectricSheep Mon 28-Jan-13 23:31:59

How GI foods work

GI Index

some meal ideas

More recipes

Hope these are helpful.

Generally, I think the motto is 'everything in moderation' and your stomach is about the same size as your cupped hand - so meals bigger than that will stretch it!

ElectricSheep Mon 28-Jan-13 23:33:07

And this time with the links working!

How GI foods work

GI Index

some meal ideas

More recipes

Hope these are helpful.

Generally, I think the motto is 'everything in moderation' and your stomach is about the same size as your cupped hand - so meals bigger than that will stretch it!

oldraver Mon 28-Jan-13 23:38:35

Diabetics can give blood so long as they are not on Insulin.. and any medication has to of been stable for 3 months

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 29-Jan-13 06:58:45

LMR - I'm disappointed, I was quite looking forward to a bottom to press on the side grin. (Thanks.)

OldRaver - that's good smile I had to put it off in Dec & early this month as I was feeling so crap. Partly I didn't want to risk giving whatever I had to anyone else and partly because I just felt so crap. The previous 2 sessions were really really awful and I was very faint afterwards for a long time. If the diet/meds sort me out, it will be good to resume giving blood.

ElectricSheep - thank you smile I am really after web sites that 'prove' it's the way to go for D T2, research etc.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 29-Jan-13 08:17:38

Right - off to do fasting bloods smile

LayMizzRarb Tue 29-Jan-13 08:40:10

It's not the end of the world if you are diagnosed; Sir Steve Redgrave has won Olympic medals, despite having diabetes!

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 29-Jan-13 13:31:34

LMR - I don't think there's a shadow of doubt that I have diabetes. Random blood results of 15 is pretty conclusive. It's just now a matter of how it's managed :/

Back tomorrow (3pm) for the results and weight/height/blood pressure etc.

The nurse said it would certainly be meds - probably Metformin, if not insulin injections, that doing it through diet/exercise/weight loss is not an option.

She gave me a book about diabetes (photocopied leaflet type thing) and a different diet guide 'Dietary Information and Advice for Diabetes' and she said the same as what's in there - carbs = good, fat = bad. To cut out sugar (chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, biscuits etc - most of which I never eat anyway, the only thing I do sometimes have is chocolate and tbh not having it isn't a big deal at all) and JUNK - now I was a litttttttle pissed off as she didn't even ask what I normally eat - just looked at me and assumed I ate a lot of JUNK and takeaways and I don't. I fully admit my diet hasn't been the greatest in a while (since my bereavement really) and I know I need to eat more veg etc, but I don't eat JUNK very often at all. A takeaway type meal once a month - maybe, if that.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Tue 29-Jan-13 14:47:49

Oh my, this is going to be an uphill battle with the nurse isn't it sad

It's all starch starch starch - you must have potatoes/pasta/bread with every meal, snack on fruit... etc.

It just doesn't make any sense?? Why are they still pushing this?

I mean, hell, if that worked it would be brilliant - but come on - eating those carbs is surely going to have your blood glucose going up and down like a yo yo??

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