Sunday, September 24, 2006


Three years ago this December I failed my DOT physical because of sugar in my urine. I was sent to the doctor only to find out I had type 2 diabetes . I was given a 3 month DOT physical card to see if I could get my diabetes under control. My sugar was just a little high and could still drive.

Naturally at 248 lbs, the doctor said I needed to lose weight as well as eating healthier. Since I had to be retested at the end of 3 months, I knew I had no choice but do what ever I had to do go get my sugar under control.

A diabetic diet really is easy to follow but just not the amount of food I was used to eating. I have oatmeal (the first time in my life to eat the stuff) for breakfast and my other two meals were about the size of tv dinners, 4 oz of baked chicken a 1/4 cup of two veggies and a small salad. I would have an apple for an afternoon smack.

I also started riding a bicycle. The weight came flying off. In about 10 weeks I was down to 174 lbs. I was now riding my bike for 20 miles (about an hour and half) at least three days a week and was riding 30 to 45 minutes every chance I could.

My doctor decides my blood pressure of 120 on the high side was perfect for healthy people but she ( yes, I have a female doctor) wanted it lower because of my diabetes. She puts me on avandia, crestor and avapro.

The avapro is for my blood pressure and she starts me off with 1/2 the regular dose for a week and then on to the full dose. My appointments are scheduled two weeks apart. I started feeling light headed and would about pass out ( I did on 2 occasions) every time I raised up too fast.

I checked my blood pressure at Wal-Mart and it seemed low so I checked with the pharmacist and she said I might want to see my doctor about it. I go over to the clinic and ask that my blood pressure be checked. Well after hurrying across the parking lot and being checked as soon as I asked, it was over 100 an told not to worry about it.

On my next appointment (of course I get to set in the office for while), they have a young assistant take my BP. She didn't write anything on my chart and promptly left the room. In a minute she returns with the head nurse. After taking my BP she tells the assistant that she did nothing wrong and I didn't have any BP (72/46). The doctor comes in and tells me that she is putting me in the hospital. If you know me then you know "that ain't gonna happen".

I tell her I have worked 12 to 14 hours the day before and I can "get some rest" at home. After agreeing to go to the hospital (had to go in a wheel chair, she would not let me walk) for a heart valve check, she said if it came back ok then I could go home rest and come back after the weekend.

The test came back fine but showed I was 2 pints low on blood. What do you expect, you are starving me to death. She stops all my medication and they can find my reason for my lack of blood. Since I never take medicine, she surmises my body can not tolerate 3 medicines at once.

My sugar is under control but she is worried about my cholesterol. She is very young and can only think like the "book" says.

Fast forward, I kept my weight off for about 2 years but once I started cheating on my diet I couldn't stop. At 174 lbs I was so thin that when I lay down you could feel my backbone thro my abdomen. About 185 is about right but I am now close to 220, and eating pretty much what ever I want. Though my sugar is under control, I am having some other problems so I think I need to get back on the program. I haven't ridden any distance on the bike in over 18 months.

My problem is my "auto-pilot" is not working anymore. I now have to think about everything I do. Even then I find myself "lost". I have to go back and go thro the sequence of events to get up to speed as to where I can while performing my everyday tasks.

We all have from time to time been so busy thinking about other things that we momentarily get lost, but I now seem to be having this problem on an almost daily basis. My job is not "rocket science" but if you break down each task I perform then it can become overwhelming at times. Add to that the fact my mind seems to be constantly churning with ideas and it is easy to loose my way.

I went to Monticello and Hamburg yesterday and had to set my mind at ease several times that I was even going the right way. No, they are not long spells of being "lost", but just brief moments that I have to "think" about things that should come as second nature to me.

It may be "old age" but I am hoping it is just not eating right. I want my "auto-pilot" back. No one and I repeat no one hates to make a mistake that is my fault more than I.


Carole Burant said...

Squire, I think this has to be your best post yet...I find it gets harder and harder as I get older to achieve anything I want to do anymore! Where I could do a hundred things a day before, now I feel like the hours in a day have been cut in half...I lose my concentration very easily...I sometimes can't remember what I was going upstairs's like you we've lost our "auto pilot"! I really don't know if it's our eating habits or what but it's getting darn scary! As for your doctor, I really have a hard time with these young ones who do everything by the book...give me an old one with experience! Medications are not for everyone and it sounds like it was just making you worse instead of better! The only thing you can do is TRY to eat healthier and see if there's a difference in how you feel a couple of weeks afterwards. Good luck!

Annie said...

I too had a doctor (and she was also fairly young - gee, is it the same doctor?) who liked to prescribe rather than discuss lifestyle options. I switched doctors because I just don't like to take drugs when I haven't even tried exercise and diet changes yet. For me it is cholesterol that is high, not blood sugar. And I've got that under control now by eating only whole grains, no processed foods, only olive oil or canola oil, fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts. I only eat those things - and I feel great. I also walk a lot in the neighborhood (I could probably walk a little faster if I wanted to get aerobic exercise).

I think we have a lot more ability to address our health issues than we're given credit for.

About memory lapses, I wish I had some diet or exercise strategy to address that. There is a new Memory Center at St. Vincent's Hospital that does assessements and makes recommendations but I haven't felt driven to go there yet.

Anvilcloud said...

Alhtough I need to heed my own advice, eating better and being fitter might help. It sure wouldn't hurt. You work hard. Do you do things to stimulate your mind? Do you try to learn new things, for example? I wish you well. Keep us posted.

Annie said...

Squire, I posted something for you on my blog today. Come see.

Kerri said...

Squire, after reading this post I'm feeling a bit worried about you. I too have type 2 diabetes and had to change my diet a little. As you say, it's not too difficult. I find it harder to keep up the daily exercise. I walked most mornings in the summer with our young neighbor, but we're both back at work now (she's a teacher and I sub at school), so it's harder.
With doctors I don't know if it's youth and inexperience or just not good 'common sense'. I'm really surprised she put you that blood pressure medicine.
Do you still have the same doctor?
I hope you can figure out what's causing your 'auto pilot' to malfunction and fix it!
We have a Hamburg up here, below Buffalo. I guess that's not the Hamburg you were at :)
Look after yourself and take care.

Linda said...

As you know, my job is similar to yours in that we have a "route" that requires the same routine each day. I, too, find myself off autopilot more often than when I was younger. I blame it on boredom and lack of sleep. When I am here at home, sometimes I strap a portable CD player around my waist and listen to music or a book on tape to quiet my brain which in turn helps me to concentrate on one task at a time.


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