Monday, April 12, 2010

Warning: Useful Information Follows

So far this year I've only paid $421* out of pocket in medical expenses, which is apparently not enough to warrant any useful medical advice in return. One doctor told me taking more insulin wouldn't help, so he sent me to a specialist who told me to take more insulin. It didn't help. Since I've been desperate to find something that would help, I've been surfing through WebMD looking for any hints or tips beyond "see your doctor and do what he says". One article mentioned that some doctors may prescribe an 81mg aspirin daily for high blood pressure (mine never did - just more prescription medication) since it thins the blood. A lot of my problems (like the foot wound that won't heal) is directly because diabetes thickens the blood preventing it from carrying oxygen to vital parts of the body, so even if my blood sugars remain high then I hoped that thinning it would help me to heal a little better. So, I took an aspirin, and - cazart! My blood sugars dropped by 60 points.

I won't bore you with the blow-by-blow, but I've been experimenting for almost two weeks and for the first time since I was diagnosed, I've actually got the blood sugars into a safe zone (where safe = 80-140, 100-125, 0r 80-120, depending on your doctor's healthcare beliefs). Raising the insulin did help, but only in conjunction with the aspirin. I'm now doing 80 units of Lantus/day plus two 81mg aspirins, and that seems to be the magic combination for me. My symptoms have abated and my foot finally seems to be healing. Don't ask me to explain. I'm a database administrator. I only know a little more about treating diabetes than a a gastroenterologist, a family practitioner, and a pair of endocrinologists combined.

If you know somebody with diabetes who is having trouble keeping their blood sugars down to a safe level, please pass this information along, unless you hate them in which case tell them my miracle cure is to replace the insulin with battery acid and inject it directly into the eye. Bear in mind that just because it worked for me doesn't mean it will work for them. If my miracle treatment accidentally kills your loved one, please know that you have my sympathies, I'm not legally liable, and I call dibs on half of the inheritance.

*not including my $100/week for insurance or the $50/month on meds

16 comments:

Avitable said...

Aspirin can eat your stomach lining if taken habitually, though, right? So be aware of any ulcers that might form.

Grant said...

Avitable - I probably should have mentioned that I'm taking an enteric aspirin which is coated and is supposed to release in the intestines instead of stomach. If the power sharting hasn't already ruined my intestines, nothing can hurt them.

Jay said...

It's all different for everybody. Every person I know who has diabetes (usually type 2) has a different combination of things that work. Some can even keep things under control through diet and exercise alone. Lucky bastards.

Kira said...

Grant, your body doesn't follow any of the rules anyway. I'm not sure we can say that anything that works for you would work for other people ;)

Mighty Hunter said...

At least you have some relief. This is good news, so here is yet another nameless, faceless internet entity telling you that he's thinking about you.

Plus, dude. Power sharting? Now these under-cooked brownies don't look NEARLY as appealing as they once did.

tiff said...

bunnybunnybunnybunnybunny

dr.alistair said...

i have some blood-suger irregularities that manifest in fatigue and odd swirly things that appear in my eyes.

since i started taking oatmeal for breakfast and 100mg of dhea (which americans can get in thier local gnc...)the symptoms have disappeared.

the dhea i take in two 50mg doses, one in the morning and one at night.

in canada you have to have dhea prescribed by a doctor after batteries of tests which i refuse to subject myself to. i get mine from a store owner who caters to the bodybuilding crowd.

metalmom said...

Doesn't amputation follow the "wound that won't heal"? If you just skip to that, you would't have to worry about it anymore....unless the amputation won't heal. You want me to come there and just cauterize it with hot iron? I will....if you ask nice....and show me bunnies....

Martini said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Martini said...

Yeah, everyone just assumes doctors are smart and know everything. But it's impossible to know everything. I've been to so many doctors who told me 100% contradictory things. I've even had doctors say that what the other specialist told me was impossible. Yet when I go back to that specialist, he completely disagrees with the first doc. They are human, and they will make mistakes. It sucks.

Kerry said...

Congrats Dr Grant. You should write a book or be a special speaker at an Alternative Medicine College or something special.

Glad you're feeling better! :)

Captain Dumbass said...

You should write a medical book. And have bunny's pose for all the photos.

Robin said...

I'm frustrated just reading this.

Grant said...

Jay - I'm learning that illnesses affect people differently and treatments have to be tailored to the individual. Now I just need to find some doctors with the same beliefs.

Kira - can you bring Firepaw during your next visit so I can check to see whether or not swinging a dead cat over my head by the light of the moon will lower my blood sugar? Worth a check.

Mighty Hunter - I'm lobbying to have sharting included as an Olympic event so I can fund my retirement with all the medals I'm sure to win.

tiff - I double bunnied today so you can get your fix.

dr.alistair - oatmeal is no good without loads of butter and sugar and maple syrup, which kind of kills it for a diabetic, but I'll try the dhea. Amazon carries it.

metalmom - amputation comes when the extremities die from poor circulation. They amputate to the point where circulation still works. Fortunately no doctor has tried to proactively apply that approach.

Martini - my issue is more that they feel the need to act like they have all the answers instead of admitting up front "this may not work for you, but let's try and see".

Kerry - I'll write the book when I have enough pictures of Japanese nurses.

Captain Dumbass - bunnies improve everything.

Robin - it's so much more fun to live through. :p

Whitemist said...

This is new, they always told me to take aspirin because it lowers heart attack risks, but nothing about blood sugar levels.

Grant said...

Whitemist - I didn't read anything about aspirin affecting blood glucose levels either - I was just taking it for my heart and in the hopes it would thin the blood enough to improve circulation, or at least kill some of the pain.