An ongoing look a life as a type II diabetic...
Last year at this time, I was in the 8 range for my A1C readings and pushing 160-190 on my glucose readings. My weight wasn't going anywhere, either, so in June, I sat down with my doctor and discusses my options.
I had been taking a combination of Metformin and pioglitazone to control my glucose, plus supplementing those with broccoli sprout extract.
I hate the pioglitazone because it doesn't do a lot for my readings...a very temporary drop of 10 points or so...and has the troubling side effect of weight gain. It also increases your risk for bladder cancer.
My personal research showed that SGLT2 Inhibitors also lower your numbers and have a common side effect of weight loss. This class is where you find the likes of Trulicity, Farxiga, and Jardiance.
The bad side effects of this type of drug, where it triggers your kidneys to flush out excess blood sugar through urination, is dehydration which can lead to a urinary tract infection.
Still, it sounded like something that would work for me...I'd just have to make sure to stay hydrated.
Before my June appointment, I check with my insurer to see how much these meds...which currently have no generic equivalent...would cost. Jardiance, for example, without insurance would be well above $500 for a 1 month supply. With my insurance, Trulicity would be $100 a month and Jardiance $35.
My doctor preferred the once-a-week injection of Trulicity but I preferred paying the lower amount for the pill form of Jardiance. He said he'd consider it after he reviewed the results of this visit's tests.
Low and behold, the lab got the instructions wrong and didn't do a A1C test...the main test to check on a diabetic's progress. The doctor told me to come back in for another blood test. After being stuck 5 times for the last test, I wasn't thrilled with that prospect.
I told him I'd wait until the next 3 month checkup and would appreciate it if he'd make the call to the pharmacy for the Jardiance. He was agreeable to this so I started the new Jardiance regimen (at 10mg a day, the lowest dose).
I haven't gotten any UTIs yet but I do get very thirsty and dehydrated at times. I now have a liter sized sports bottle that I bought in Calgary last year. This gets filled once in the morning, drank from during the day, then filled again at dinner so I drink two liters of water a day.
As you can imagine, I need to know where the nearest restroom is at all times but, otherwise, it's a small price to pay.
In addition, I had my first hypoglycemic incident when I took my midday metformin at a local diner after ordering. The food didn't come out for 45 minutes and I got real woozy until the manager gave me a glass of orange juice. I'll never take metformin again with having some food handy.
Fast forward to October, it's time for my next checkup. A1C has dropped to 7.4. Still too high but headed in the right direction. My weight has finally started to drop again, another 5 pounds came off bringing my total weight loss from diagnosis (three years ago) to 30 pounds. My blood sugar numbers have dropped back to the 120-140 range, with occasional forays down below 100 and up to 180.
For now, it's not a perfect score but it's headed in the right direction. The doctor agrees, too, so we'll keep this regimen in place and keep monitoring every few months. Since this is a progressive disease, there will come a time when we'll need to adjust again but I'll enjoy this level for awhile.
(DISCLAIMER: This series about Type II is not meant to apply to everyone. This is what works for me, you need to consult with your own medical professionals to find out what will work for you. My goal here is to simply give you hope that once you're diagnosed, life as you know it does not have to end...you can still enjoy life and the treats it offers.)
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