I had gestational diabetes with both of my kids, and so I knew that type II diabetes was probably coming down the pike for me. Around 2008 or 2009, my doctor in Maryland told me I was pre-diabetic, and put me on metformin. When we moved to California, my new doc decided to upgrade me to diabetes. Ok. Fine. Knew that was coming.
Last month, after meeting with my new general practitioner (an NP), she and my oncologist decided that I should stop taking metformin, because it can cause stress on the kidney (remember, I’ve only got one kidney left now.) They switched me to glipizide, which is what caused so much discomfort for me. Now my NP wants me to be off of all diabetes drugs because my numbers have been so good. What I don’t think she understands is that my numbers are good because I’ve been taking metformin. In the five days since I went off my fasting numbers have gone from pre-diabetes level to firmly in the diabetes camp. My post-prandials are close to or above 200, probably 50 points above where they’d been.
A couple of years ago, I would have taken this as a challenge, adjusted my diet again, and probably would have been able to keep my numbers closer to where they were with the metformin. But I just don’t have the mental ability to make those changes right now. It is still a challenge just to get everyone fed each day. And, really, Reil takes care of so much of that.
The other issue I have is physical, not mental. The best way that I’ve found to keep my blood glucose levels low is to eat lots and lots of vegetables. A big bowl of greens would make it possible for me to eat a not small bowl of pasta without my numbers going through the roof. Eating lots of vegetables also helps with keeping the weight down, slightly. The problem? I can’t eat veggies now without expecting a number of lengthy visits to the bathroom. They go right through me, in not so pleasant ways.
So, how do I balance all of this? I’m keeping track of my numbers, and will send them to the NP when the full week is up. I think they’ll convince her that being on the metformin is the right thing.
I’m still struck by how quick I was to label all my problems of last month cancer related. It’s my new go to. If something is wrong, it’s obviously cancer, right? Well, not all of the time, apparently. And it’s a good lesson to me to remember that my body is more than just cancer, and that I’ve got to take care of myself as much as possible, which means sometimes looking beyond that big ugly C word.