Six Of One, Half Dozen Of The Other…

That time came once again to visit my endocrinologist. If you read the previous post, my last appointment was last May, when I received news of the lowest A1C reading I’ve had in almost two decades: 6.9. Why is this reading important? For you non-Diabetics, the A1C results basically calculate a Diabetic’s average blood sugars over a period of three months. Although still an important reading, one’s A1C can be manipulated through extreme highs and lows, making it a less efficient means of proper blood sugar control than one’s percentage of “time in range.” Time in range can’t be manipulated; either your blood sugars are good or they aren’t.

I made my way downtown quite early this morning; well before most businesses were open. The air was crisp and the morning had the feeling of autumn. I was only semi-caffeinated but the walk did its job and woke me up properly before I reached the doctor’s office. I was almost half an hour early, which wouldn’t have been an issue, pre-COVID. Now, most clinics and doctors’ offices frown on arriving early, since they try to keep patients from interacting as much as possible. But my laptop was outdated and couldn’t update to support the Medtronic CareLink Uploader, meaning I needed the office staff to do it for me. This did not please them.

Once my pump was uploaded, I saw my endocrinologist and discovered that my A1C had increased to 7.4, which was disappointing but I had expected a rise of some sort. I expected it because I’ve had a significant amount on my plate since the last appointment. Between starting a new job and a new routine in April, we’ve got major renovations happening in the house as well as my son Nathan, deciding to use his bedroom as a public washroom and basically hosing down every corner. This resulted in the removal of the carpet and discovery of asbestos tile, which obviously needed to be replaced. Then, we repainted, put in new flooring and new baseboards and basically dropped some serious G’s into renovating his bedroom far ahead of plan. And budget. FML.

Long story short, added stress and life issues caused some variations in blood sugars that I’m not proud of. What can I say? I’m human and far from perfect. As I said, I expected it. What I didn’t expect, was the increase in cholesterol and blood pressure. To the point that my doctor has increased some of the “preventative” pills that I take. My Endo considered me a bit of a medical oddity, since despite the increase in cholesterol, I somehow managed to lose about ten pounds. Ain’t medicine wonderful? He also added a new pill that would work in tandem with my other medications to help bring my cholesterol and blood pressure in check.

Despite the medicine aspect, we discussed some things that I could do to improve things on my own. The reduction (but not elimination) of sodium in my diet, increased water intake and reduce my alcohol intake (I don’t drink constantly, but everyone could stand to drink less) and ensure I cut back on foods that may be fried or processed. He also suggested trying to eliminate some of the stress in my life. This aspect can be a bit tougher, since some stress is inherent in the course of normal life and can’t necessarily be eliminated.

I left the doctor’s office feeling a little down. It was a strange combination of victory and defeat, considering one of my main goals has been to breach the 200-pound weight level. It was nice to have the doctor acknowledge my hard work in losing ten pounds, even though I haven’t crossed that 200 mark, yet. But the raise in cholesterol is concerning. Certain lifestyle changes will need to take place. I think that first and foremost, and if this wasn’t written here, many who know me wouldn’t believe it, that I need to cut back on the caffeine I consume in a day. I should refocus my efforts towards some herbal teas and water. I can easily recognize that the multiple caffeinated beverages I consume throughout the day easily contributes to my increased blood pressure.

My wife and I have been on a decent salad kick, recently. We fell away from that, somewhat. So tonight’s supper involved some chicken with a very lovely salad. The best part is that there was enough salad left over for me to bring to work tomorrow. The day wasn’t all bad. I got notice today that karate classes will resume tomorrow evening. That’s been a long time coming. I haven’t trained with others since March of 2020, so it’ll be good to get back at it. And last but not least, I’m currently typing this post on my newly purchased MacBook Pro. Since my old laptop could no longer support any updates or sync my phone, I decided it was time. In today’s world of technology, I think that six years is a pretty good lifespan for a computer. ☯️

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Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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