Okay, here goes nothing. Well, I am actually hoping that here goes something.
I just returned from the doctor after not seeing her for a couple of years. This is not a good thing, but without insurance, it makes it very expensive to manage type 2 diabetes. Just an office visit without any tests is close to $300.
Anyway, I was able to qualify for Minnesota Care which is a form of insurance for those of us who are not exactly destitute but don’t make enough to afford traditional insurance.
As soon as I was approved for this insurance, I made a doctor’s appointment and told them I needed to get everything related to diabetes checked.
We checked everything.
I told them to take enough blood to test everything they possibly could.
They didn’t need that much. Three small vials.
This was on a Friday. I checked MyChart—which is an app that some healthcare systems use to make for better communication between a healthcare team and a patient—that evening and got the results I had dreaded…
When I looked at the results I felt like I was receiving a death sentence.
The A1c result
My A1c was 11.2. That is a pretty high result. It means over the previous 90 days my blood sugar was around 270 on average. A 270 blood sugar/blood glucose reading is undesirable.
A standard range for an A1c is between 4.8 and 6.0%.
I knew the result would be high. I had been testing about 350 on average in the morning. After I ate, sometimes over 600.
I saw the number and I was honestly frightened. I had been having a lot of pain in my feet. And I felt like crud most of the time.
The Lipid Panel
The test results just kept looking worse and worse…
The next test results I looked at were for my Lipids. I just about had the heart attack that my lipid panel suggested I was on my way to.
We hear so much about cholesterol and I really don’t know what to think about it other than it is a bad thing when it reads 287 and the max for it is 200.
The thing that really got to me, though, was the triglyceride number which was 420. It should be at a max of around 134!
I had to look up what triglycerides are. Basically, it is the amount of fat in your blood. My first thought was, “Wow! It is pretty bad when even your blood is fat!”
I quickly looked up what this would be to my life…. Heart Disease was the answer. Not the answer I was hoping for, let me tell you!
I then looked at what I could do to lower the triglyceride number. Lose weight, exercise were the main ways to lower it. Watch what I eat.
These were always the same answers. I wanted to shout, “I do watch what I eat. Everything I eat…I watch it as it goes from my eating utensil to my mouth!”
What does “watch what you eat” even mean?!
Well, most of us probably know what it means, but it is frustrating! Watch what I eat! In other words, eat food that is fairly bland or tastes like the stuff it was fertilized with, or isn’t available in small-town Minnesota! I can’t tell you how many times I have looked for eggplant and couldn’t find one—even in the larger grocery stores.
Urine Microalbumin Test
I found this on WebMD to better explain the Albumin and the microalbumin urine test. You may explore this more at their website WebMD.
What Is Albumin?
Albumin is a protein your body uses for tissue growth and repair. But if your kidneys aren’t working quite right, albumin starts to leak into your urine.
What Is a Microalbumin Urine Test?
A microalbumin urine test checks for small (or “micro”) amounts of albumin in your urine — at levels so small a regular urine test might not find them. It can be a sign of kidney disease.
Well, fortunately for me, my kidney function is still within the normal range. Definitely, something to be grateful for!
Basic Metabolic Panel
Everything in my basic metabolic panel was within normal ranges.
The basic metabolic panel includes things like sodium, potassium, chloride, ECO2, BUN, creatinine, calcium, ANION GAP along with some other things.
It also included my blood glucose reading which was 308 at the time… I had only drunk a couple of cups of coffee that morning and my level was still that high…
My doctor’s office called me on Monday and went over the results with me. We set up an appointment with a diabetes educator for later that week.
My next post will go over what happened at that meeting.
It gave me a lot more hope I can tell you that much.
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About the author
Karin Nauber is a professional journalist who has worked in the newspaper business for the past 25 years. She is also a grandmother who, along with her spouse, is raising one of their granddaughters. Karin has nine grandchildren with whom she enjoys spending as much time as possible. Karin also was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes about 13 years ago and has faced many challenges with the disease. If you would like to contact her, please do so at firstname.lastname@example.org.