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Searching for a needle in a haystack

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

<< July 2009 >>
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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Jul 31, 2009 23:14
  • Searching for a needle in a haystack
    Wagon Train by Starbeard Flickr
    I've not been feeling 100% the past month - and today - I decided that enough was enough.  I called up Info Sante (a government run help line here in the province I live in)  - and spoke with a nurse to explain my situation.  In the end, she told me to either go to a walk in clinic or ER - she didn't want me to take a chance and wait until I saw my endo in September.  
    This is after a month of having to wait to see the same doctor I had seen a month ago (my spread your legs doctor - aka gynocologist).  At that last visit when he asked me how I was doing - I said "I feel like crap - I'm not myself".  It was like he didn't hear me - SCREAM - as he proceeded to plod along with the usual questions.  He eventually told me near the end of that appointment that my various descriptions of how I felt (I try to be a concise as possible with all doctors as they only have "x" amount of time to spend on patients) - meant 500 different problems and would cost $60K in blood work, etc. etc.). I think I caught him on a day when he'd rather be golfing.
    Now a month later this week, I'm back in his office again (I'm a masochist aren't I?).  Blood pressure is taken and high of course due to white coat syndrome.  In the end I break down as he drills me with questions, have a cry, try to be as precise with my answers as possible, sob, sob - and he actually listens to me!  He thinks that perhaps I have a spastic colon (IBS), that I should keep a diary for the next 2 weeks, and if I still feel the same (discomfort in left side of stomach, nausea, difficulty eating) - I should come back to him where he'll refer me to a gastrologist.
    Fine, I go home, start to do research on IBS.  Then I start to look into some of the other symptoms I've been having, swollen feet/ankles, varying hot/cold temps in those appendages, something doesn't sound right.  Kidneys perhaps?  I did have protein in my urine last endo visit. Hmmm.
    The wheels in my head start to turn -  what about Autonimic neuropathy?  This type of neuropathy effects the bladder, intestinal tract, genitals, and other organs - similar to what I've been going through lately.  I'm thinking maybe I have gastroparesis.   Nope, blood sugars are good.
    So, loaded with this info - and after the call to Info Sante - then drive to a clinic near my house - I wait 3 hours to speak to a doctor.  The results are that again, white coat syndrome - blood pressure is high (but not as bad as the other day), my lungs aren't filled with fluid, good.  I have been given diuretic pills to help ease the swelling in my feet/lower legs. 
    I'm not really keen on taking the meds that have been prescribed, but if they can help alleviate the discomort in my stumps (feet/ankles) without any ill effects - then I'll give it a try.   I've been prescribed a diuretic called Apo-Furosemide (strange that the doctor/pharmacist said to take with food and every article I've come across online says EMPTY STOMACH - urrrhhh). 
    I will be patient (pun intended) I'll find that needle in a haystack - or my bare feet will (ouch).   I am determined to go on a motorcycle ride tomorrow to Mount Washington - I'll just have to maybe stop at restrooms abit if these pills do what they are supposed to do.
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  • By: FatCatAnna: Aug, 05, 2009 00:48 AM

    Yes Doris, have been taking Avapro for kidneys prior to going onto the diuretic pills, blood pressure was never an issue of going onto it.  One reader of my blog at another website had said that Avapro for themselves created water retention. Also, another reader told me that I have something in common with race horses now - as Furosemide is given to them to stop them from bleeding during racing (they get disqualified after 3 bleeding sessions). So, I am now a race horse, neighhhhh.

    Joking aside tho' - will get urine analysis done in September. Again, our health system here in Canada isn't as efficient as yours for getting tests done - in order to have these done - require prescription from doctor - and to make an appointment is often a long wait - in my case - 6 months to see my endo.  I have done research on protein on urine - and what I came across said that testing urine after 3-6 months is standard. Tests cost money - therefore unless you are at deaths door - one must be patient in this country I live in. Tap, tap .  You know me, much like yourself, everything a doctor says - I take with a grain of salt - do my own research - present it to my medical team when I see them.  It's the safest approach to take today as a patient I believe.  We know our bodies best!

    Ankles/legs since starting on the Furosemide are back to feeling normal - just upped my potassium abit - banana (tres expensive right now - but I eat a small one every 2nd day) - and I also get it thru' various fruits/veggies that I eat normally. Also, menopause, which I am starting to enter into - I found out from the GP on Friday will increase BP  - hormones are out of whack - surprise, surprise! 

    In the end, never made it to Mount Washington - and yes - it's in New Hampshire. We got up too late on Saturday - and instead went for a cruise through the mountains in the Adirondacks in NY state. Perfect day for a bike ride!

    By: dorisjdickson: Aug, 02, 2009 13:32 PM

    Hi Anna,

    I don't want to be a witch but I think you are on target with your self-diagnosis of a form of autonomic neuropathy and gastroparesis. 

    You've been a diabetic a long time.  You're A1C only recently starting hovering in the slightly under 6.0 range if I remember correctly.  And I've said many, many times a 6.0 is still substantially higher than a non-diabetic and is prone to cause complications.  I know because I lived those low 6's for years.  I only got rid of my highly acidic stomach and often spastic colon stomach AFTER I got down to 5.1 - still not non-diabetic but a lot closer.  For the record ... my non-diabetic sister has a spastic colon and said giving birth was less painful! 

    The water retention is not likely part of it but the rest certainly sounds gastroparesis related.  Were you already taking BP meds?  Did the water retention start before or after taking them?  Or were you taking them and switch?  I started having swollen ankles AFTER I started taking lisinopril (for BP not kidneys).  It doesn't make me happy.  And in your case, because you're already spilling protein please consider having it checked again soon and try to get down closer to 5 (to ward off any further damage).  I don't want you to be a statistic please!

    By the way ... did you mean New Hampshire's Mount Washington?  Or do you guys have one too?  Just curious.

    Ultimately, please don't accept the answers you got.  Your instincts are right now and you need to know the cause, not just treat the symptoms.  I know.  I sound like a broken record but it's important!  Hope you had a good ride.


    pressure (1) blood (1) IBS (1) spastic colon (1) automic neuropathy (1) gastrologist (1) diuretic (1)

    Related posts:

    Are you really hypo unaware?  |  The Brain Battle  |  It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year ... NOT!  |  King Tut and his diabetic owner Marilyn Pharo  |  Protein in my urine  |  Weight Loss Challenge for the Summertime  |  Do You Hate Doctors' Visits?  |  Diabetic Warriors – be proud of our scars!  |  I survived sailing on Lake Ontario - despite thoughts of mutiny  |  Air Pressure on Medical Devices
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