Wednesday, October 19, 2011

C-peptide and Medicare

This is for all the friends that love me.

Backstory: I have agonized for 20 years about what type of diabetes I have, and whether I'm faking it, and had bouts of denial, and binged myself into a coma last year which almost killed me. I know it's emotionally crazy, but I'm being honest about all my horrible feelings.

I will be eligible for Medicare in less than a year and a half, and I've been in excruciating emotional pain thinking that my C-peptide would be too high for them to cover my pump. So when a friend on TuDiabetes got hers done, and JUST squeaked in under the line (110% of the low end of normal), I put my heart in my mouth and decided to get mine done too. She suggested that I do it privately, because I have been just too scared to ask my doc because once a higher than cutoff C-peptide has been recorded, the shit has hit the fan.

So I went and got a blood draw yesterday, and wasn't expecting results so soon, but there they were in my email box this morning. And:

0.9 (normal range 1.1-4.4) !!!!!

This is EXCEEDINGLY good news, for 2 reasons. First, I'm solidly below the cutoff, AND I do have residual insulin production, which clearly contributes to better control. How lucky can I get?

I'm just shaking with relief, and now I have to ask my endo's office to request the results, because I CAN share them. And hopefully never have to have another test.

Still reluctant to actually call myself Type 1, (still prefer Type Weird), but at least I know I'm not a hyperinsulinemic, insulin-resistant Type 2. No insult to Type 2's -- you know that I have utmost empathy for them, but I really needed help with dealing with all the shame and blame issues that are imposed on Type 2's when I believed in my heart of hearts that that's what I really was.

Maybe this is a ramble, but I needed to do it. And if you respond to me, I'll feel even better!

Friday, October 14, 2011

A Member of the Tribe

Someone posted a video on Facebook of a dying man and his message, supposedly from God -- and it turned out to be deathbed evangelism. So I posted that it was repugnant to me, and she apologized. I was pretty impressed by that. So many Christians are utterly unaware of the effect their religious words and actions have on those of us who are not members of the majority. A friend told me, jokingly, because she knows I'm Jewish, that I was a "good Christian", meaning that she thought I was a good person, but why couldn't she just have said "good person"? Instead of saying, like they did in Nebraska when I lived there, "That was a Christian thing to do", why can't they just say that was a good, or moral or ethical thing to do? Because the implication of using the word "Christian" is that people who are not Christians do not do good things.

And then there is the Nebraska (Bible Belt?) expression "to Jew someone down" meaning to unfairly get the better end of a bargain. I took several people to task on that one, and they were completely taken by surprise -- they had never even thought about it. I was glad to get out of Nebraska -- they were not bad people, but I couldn't be a part of their culture.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tonight at my folk dance group, I was telling my friends about my fantastic, better than average blood lipid panel. And their first reaction was, "oh, you must have really cut down the fat!" Well, no, I didn't. "Well, what about the saturated fat?" Nope, didn't pay any attention to that, either. "Well, what did you do?" I cut back on carbs. " Well, the Mediterranean diet is really the best" Then I stopped talking. I don't REALLY know all that much about the Mediterranean diet, but one of the ladies gave me a copy of Nutrition Action Newsletter, published by CSPI, and it has a distinct bias toward plant food in order to save the earth (when what would really save the earth is to get the human population way down), and there were recipes, and one of them (red lentils) had 40g of carbs per one-cup serving -- I couldn't get full on THAT! They also gave a sample menu that included an all-carb breakfast of fruit, fat-free milk and oatmeal -- no way I could tolerate that, a salad and hummus for lunch -- I would be starving 2 hours later, and stir-fried veggies and tofu over brown rice and yogurt with banana and a little granola for dinner. And I got to thinking -- let the non-diabetics save the world. Those who can handle that kind of diet should follow it. My insulin-impaired metabolism requires a medically indicated diet, and that's what I'll follow!

And for those who are curious as to what a better than average lipid panel is: Total cholesterol 170 (range under 200) LDL 90 (range under 100) HDL 65 (over 60 considered protective) Triglycerides 77 (range under 150) and VLDL 15 (range under 40). I have NEVER had such a good lipid panel in my life, and the only thing I can attribute it to is having reduced my carb intake. The proof is in the low-carb pudding!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lab results to exult!

Natalie ._c-

High five!

Just can't resist proclaiming it to the world!!!!

It's been just about a year since I decided to get serious about diabetes control, and started limiting carbs. That does NOT mean going "no carb" nor as low as Bernstein suggests -- I've been aiming at around 60g a day. It also does not mean resisting occasional treats, an occasional piece of fruit, a restaurant meal, or an occasional bit of grain here and there, including wheat.

So I got my lab results today. The easy stuff first: A1c of 5.8, which I was expecting. For me, being a low glycator, this is NOT "excellent" but it IS good enough. :-)

Now for the stuff I have ALWAYS had problems with: cholesterol. I inherited the genes for lousy cholesterol from my father, who was thin, and had no diabetes in his family. So, voila!
Total: 170 (range 100-199)
Triglycerides 77 (range 0-149) First time EVER in the normal range
VLDL 15 (range 5-40) I've NEVER had it this good
HDL 65 (range >39) >59 is supposed to be protective, but again, I've NEVER had it this high! And I DON'T run marathons!
LDL 90 (range 0-99) I read somewhere that LDL really shouldn't go below 25, and that diabetics should be under 70, but given the above results, I really think I'm not going to worry about it.

Vitamin D was low normal range, but I can supplement a little more in order to be mid-normal.

My TSH was still low and my T4 was still high, but that's because my body was really screwed up after the coma, and they raised my thyroid dose a lot, and still haven't brought it down to where it was before the coma, which was 125 ug. When I see the APN, I'm going to suggest that -- it's a pretty normal dose for my size.

The only conclusion I can draw from my year-long experiment is that for MY metabolism, it works. I don't have any trouble staying on this plan, and am confident I can keep it up long term. I'm not having weight or hunger issues, I'm not using excessive doses of insulin, I'm feeling good, and I really can't think of any cons or disadvantages. I'm NOT craving carbs, and I haven't lost any brain power as far as I can tell!

Everyone is different, and I'm definitely not telling anyone what to do, just reporting on what has worked for me. I'll take it! :-)