Entries in Diabetes (6)


Good news today! Diabetes Managed!

On Saturday, I went to see my doctor for my regular 3-month check-up and bloodwork for my diabetes.  He said that everything looks really good!  I found out he is a runner and was going to run the Chicago Marathon the next day.  So we discussed how my running was going, if I was doing enough stretching before and after my runs, etc.  He definitely suggested that after my warm-up walk/jog, I should stop and do some stretching before I begin my actual 'run'.  Combining that with my usual post-run stretching and foam rolling should help me prevent injury (something I am very interested in avoiding).

My weight is continuing to drop, which has been one of my main goals since May 2010.  I am certain that being overweight (obese, actually) was a major contributing factor to my diabetes, and a major drag upon my overall health.  With over 110.2 pounds shed thus far, the doctor is overjoyed.  My next goal is to lose 20 more before the end of 2011 and to lose a total of 160 pounds by the end of April 2012 (when I plan on running the Illinois Half Marathon).

He and I discussed my medication and whether stopping the Metformin is a possibility now that I have demonstrated continuing success as managing my blood glucose levels over the past 6 months.  He said I could stop the meds but that on Monday, when the results of my bloodwork are in, he would 'confirm' that decision if the results came back as we both expected.

Well, the results are IN!  And, NO MORE MEDS will be required for me!!!!  My HbA1c came back at 5.8% which is a non-diabetic level.  My test results for this have been between 5.5 and 5.8 since April -- even as my meds have been slowly reduced over this period -- so he is very pleased with that.

While I could say "I am no longer a diabetic", that would not be entirely honest.  Diabetes will always be something I need to keep under control, so that I never have to experience any of its damaging and potentially life-threatening complications.  So my job is to continue exercising and eating healthy (and appropriately portioned) meals in order to successfully manage my diabetes and weight.  In other words, to stay a 'lean, mean, running machine'.

I will slightly adjust a line from Harry Potter and say "Diabetes Managed!"



Hey Diabetes! I am kicking your butt!

I go see my doctor next weekend for my regular 3-month bloodwork and diabetes checkup. I have been maintaining a good eating regimen and checking my blood glucose levels pretty regularly since my last checkup in July. So I am pretty confident that I have been managing my blood sugars well. I am hopeful that my doctor will decide, based upon the bloodwork results we get, that I no longer need medication to manage my blood sugar levels. Right now, I am off of everything except a very low daily dose of Metformin (500mg). Going off all medications, and managing my blood sugar via diet and exercise alone, has been a primary goal of mine since I was first diagnosed back in April 2010. This might be it!

I am so excited about this possibility, that I couldn't wait until the appointment. So I went to the drugstore and purchased a Home Self-Test Kit to analyze my blood sugar levels over the last 90 days. This is called an HbA1c Test, which can assess your average blood sugar level over that period based upon your red blood cells (which have a 90-day lifespan). So I took the test this morning. It takes about 8 minutes to administer the test and receive the results.

A1cNow shows my awesome test results!Awesome news!! My A1c percentage was 5.5! Why is that good? Because the regular range for NON-diabetics is between 4-6%!! (For a diabetic, having an A1c around 6.5% is considered good.) To be at 5.5% is awesome! What is even better news is that I have scored below 6% on these tests since March. Because of this, the doctors have been cutting back on my medications a little bit at a time to see if my blood sugars remain stable/good. Well so far, that has been the case. So, there is a good chance the doctor will make the decision to stop the Metformin at my next checkup!

I cannot tell you how great this makes me feel right now. With the adoption of better eating habits, food choices, and portion control, and the significant increase in exercise into my daily routine, I have been very successful at lowering my blood sugar and losing weight. When I started this journey, my A1c percentage was 11.7 -- very high -- and I was 108 lbs heavier than I am today. Now, I am at 5.5% and wear a size XL shirt (instead of the 4XL I used to wear).

And the journey continues. I still have 52 more pounds to shed so I will stay the course. I am bound and determined to reach my goal. In fact, if all goes according to plan, I will be running in the Illinois Half Marathon just about the same date two years ago when I was first diagnosed. So finishing that race (actually, finishing both the 5K and the Half) will be a sort of culmination for me -- a milestone of achievement in both health and fitness. There might be tears that day, just sayin...

In other news

I ran 3.5 miles on Thursday to finish up my second maintenance run for this week. I was feeling pretty strong during the run which I took at a 11:15/mm pace. I took a different route, running over to Woodscreek Elementary, then down to Golf Course Road, to Miller Road, and then back to Glacier Ridge Elementary, and finally back to the house. It was kinda cool to run to the two elementary schools that my children have all attended.

Tomorrow, October 1st, I am running in the Chicago AIDS Foundation 5K Run in Grant Park in Chicago. It should be a fun race, and it supports another worth cause -- research towards the fight against HIV/AIDS. I am proud to be supporting this research and if anyone feels similarly called to help with this fight, you can lend your support at my pledge site. This will be my third race in as many weeks so I will have to admit that I will relish the next 15 days before my next race to rest and just do my training runs and strength training. Races can take a lot out of you, and I was definitely feeling a bit tired this week. But I am feeling ready for tomorrow!

This week LifeTime Fitness published my fitness journey article on their public 'weight loss' web site, along with a 'before and after' set of photos (which you can see on the About Me section of this blog site). They actually contacted me about a week ago and asked if they could republish this story because they felt it would be encouraging to others who are going through similar journeys of their own. If you want to read it, click here.

Polar USA, the makers of the RS300X sport watch that I use for training, also published an article about me on their web site. It is a little harder to find it since I cannot put a direct link to it. But if you go to their "Polar People" site, you just have to scroll down the photos on the left until you see mine and click on that. Then the article will appear on the right.