Sunday, June 7, 2009

בס''ד

Diagnosed with Diabetes

Sunday morning started out like any other Sunday morning except that I had a doctor’s appointment. Little did I know the shock that I was in for later that morning.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My blog is about being a diabetic. I have a need to write about my first experiences. The only problem is that I don’t know where to start. Do I start with the shock of being diagnosed or the 4 times a day I had to prick my finger to check my blood sugar or my new diet, where I have to watch everything I put in my mouth.

Do I write about the fears and frustration that I feel?

Desperately in need of information I spent hours checking out the web sites of the Israeli, American, Canadian and British Diabetic Associations.

These sites were full of practical information, recipes and good suggestions. Diabetes can affect your eyes, kidneys, cause severe fatigue and unusual thirst plus a list of other problems. I recognized that I had many of the symptoms that were listed.

But let me back track a little. I took some routine blood tests you know the ones we all do every now and then.

Checking my results, my doctor was shocked to see that my glucose number was very high...out of control high. ”This must be an error” he said to me as he took me to the nurse’s office and asked her to do a blood glucose check with her hand monitor. The reading...dangerously high 410......

My doctor shaking his head and said that the high glucose came out of nowhere. “Maybe you have an infection or you are very stressed out” he said as he ordered more tests.

Fortunately for me, the diabetic assistant to the diabetic doctor was in her office. She only works in our clinic one day a week. My doctor introduced me to Dalia.

Dalia is very nice lady who is professional, kind and understanding. She explained what the readings meant and how my life was about to change and gave me some helpful tips. When Dalia handed me a blood glucose monitor, her comment was, “this monitor is going to become your best friend.”

Dalia told me to be in touch with the dietician and said that I should make an appointment with the diabetic doctor for the following week. My doctor gave me a prescription for anti diabetic medicine and told me that he wanted the see my blood reading results from the rest of the day the next day.

I don’t know what I would have done without the internet. Dalia gave me good information, but truthfully I was in shock and when I came home I couldn’t remember anything that she said.

So started my daily routine of watching what I ate, checking my blood glucose and recording numbers.

I was so consumed. When I told my children, they were very concerned and had a million questions that I couldn’t answer.

The next day was Monday, I went to show my doctor my numbers, and he was pleased as they were down a little. I asked him for a requisition to see the dietician and he said that she was in the kupot [clinic] that day and called her to come to his office.

In walked Yifat, a young woman who tried very hard to speak to me in English. She was pleasant, professional and kept on apologizing for not having any reading material in English, but translated an instruction sheet line by line.

Yifat told me that I needed to eat five times a day, three small meals and two snacks and then said that I have to loose a half a kilo by my next appointment in two weeks. She gave me very specific foods and amounts I could eat and what I had to stay away from. She told me to exercise half and hour everyday and I could call her if I had any questions.

My husband, our dog Rocky and I go walking every evening. The exercise is good for the three of us.

Having to use the blood glucose monitor everyday posed a sheila [question] about Shabbos. Everything about the procedure and the machine was against the Halachot of Shabbos.

A question was posed to the Rav. He quickly said that he was not versed enough to answer such a question and said he would pose it to a Rav that specialized in Diabetes and would have an answer in a couple of days.

The answer for me was if I am taking pills and I feel okay then I can’t use the machine on Shabbos. I should check my glucose level just before I light the Shabbos candles and again Moetzi Shabbos. If don’t feel well during the day then I can use it. If I take insulin then I must use the machine as needed.
[Every diabetic has to ask their own question]

The week passed quickly, I was still afraid to put anything in my mouth and I lost 3 kilos. My numbers were constantly going down and I really felt okay.

Monday evening was my appointment to meet with the diabetic doctor and Dalia. The doctor, a professor at Soroka Hospital was a middle aged man, with a smile, a good sense of humor and he spoke perfect English.

He looked at my numbers which were getting lower everyday, and asked me when I was first diagnosed. I told him ten days earlier. All he could say was “interesting.” He then turned to Dalia and said, “You see what happens, when you follow a diet and take the diabetes seriously.”

The doctor said to me “I don’t know what you did to have these great results so quickly, but obviously whatever you did was the right thing, so keep on doing it.” He also told me that I don’t have to prick my finger four times a day anymore but only check it four times one day a week.

In two months I have to do all the blood work again. G-D willing my results will be good and my diabetes will be completely in control.

Having diabetes is just one more thing that Hashem has put on my plate, but I see His Hand everyday helping me. Everything fell into place. The diabetic assistant was in her office the day I was diagnosed, the dietician was in her office the day I went for the requisition. The diabetic doctor who only comes twice a month was going to be in his office a week later....but most importantly my glucose numbers are really good and I am feeling well..........

Miriam

8 comments:

Chaya said...

Thank you for sharing that Miriam! May your diabetes be so well under control that it disappears completely!

Alissa said...

Miriam, kol hakavod for your hard work and following instructions so diligently! Coming from a family of diabetics (although insulin dependent, in their cases), I have seen first-hand what a difference it makes when you eat carefully, keep your weight down and exercise.

Keep up the good work, and may your numbers continue to stay well down!

Av Goodman said...

Hi Miriam,
Diet and exercise are extremely important. I was at a meeting on Food Share and the comment was that we have two issues surrounding food on this planet: starvation and obesity i.e. diabetes. Take one day at a time. Ava

Yehudis said...

You are a model patient! Excellent work.

Lois said...

Dear Miriam I wish u health strength and hatzlacha . all of which u already have. Take good care of yourself One day at a time! Lois

Noa said...

Shalom Miriam,

I read your blog and wanted to say that I wish you good health and dropping glucose numbers. You re already doing well and knowing you (just a bit, I know) - makes me believe you will do all it takes to control the diabetes. As a pregnancy-diabetes alumna, which of course is totally different, I think that having diabetes today rather than 10 or 15 years ago is much much much easier. It is simply possible to live with all the substitutes available.

Be well,
Noa

Dedi said...

Very good. You are "ten"!!

Dedi

דבורה said...

As your daughter, all I can say is "kol hakavod". I am really proud of you.
Lots of love, Devorah