I’ve spent much of the last 24 hours being low energy and feeling sorry for myself. Yesterday afternoon, I had more annoying & distressing follow-up from last Friday’s distressing news, so I gave myself yesterday evening and most of today to lick my wounds and regain some level of equilibrium.
I’ve held off on writing about what’s going on for this past week because I was waiting to get to some place where things were sufficiently processed/sorted/settled that I’d be able to lay things out clearly. However, I’m realizing that my thoughts and feelings are likely to be changeable for a nice stretch of time, so I might as well just start talking about things. So, welcome to JALC: The Messiness.
Here’s what’s up: Last Friday, I officially received a diagnosis of prediabetes.
I’m actually a bit surprised that the diagnosis threw me for as much of a loop as it did last week. After all, this is a possibility of which I was aware; I even mentioned it in passing in one of my posts about Veronica.
The possibility was first floated with me by my sleep doctor last fall. Strike that: my sleep doctor definitively diagnosed me as prediabetic. Of course, when I began researching the condition, I discovered that the blood test Mr. Sleep Doc used is one that, according to NIH standards, should never be used to make a definitive prediabetes diagnosis.*
Still, that blood test’s results made the topic something worth exploring with my regular doc. And, since my dietary habits are pretty crappy, I also took the (false) diagnosis as an opportunity to start cutting down on empty sugars and bringing a few salads back into my weekly routine.
Flash forward to last Thursday, when I was having a check-up with my main doc. In addition to the main topics on our agenda**, I used this appointment as an opportunity to ask my doc–well, her nurse practitioner–about prediabetes. He was pretty incensed at the hubris of the sleep doc to have made this unfounded/hasty diagnosis, and pointed out how solid my glucose and cholesterol levels are in my annual bloodwork. Nonetheless, we both thought it made sense to do the real blood test, just so we knew what was what. He even threw in a urine test so we could check on whether there was an elevated glucose level there.*** So down I trooped to the lab.
I got the first set of lab results in my patient portal Friday morning. My kidney functions were fine—no elevated sugar there. And my regular glucose level had dropped by 20 points since last summer, from the high end of normal to mid-point. I think the positive nature of those results got me thinking I was totally off the hook for this prediabetes thing. Which, I guess, answers that question up above about why I was thrown for a loop when the NP called late Friday afternoon to confirm that my A1C level was in the prediabetic range.****
Flash forward again to yesterday, when I had my first specialist appointment with the endocrinologist to lay out treatment options and start mapping out a plan. I looked this woman straight in the eye and told her I was willing to work towards nutritional goals and towards movement/activity goals—even though I hate exercise with a passion. What I was not willing to do is play along with a weight loss goal.
“I want to focus on healthy behaviors and healthy lab results, not an arbitrary number on the scale.”
And she smiled, and nodded, and praised me for focusing on the concept of healthy behaviors, and said we were absolutely on the same page as each other. And then she documented her prescription for my treatment as “Weight loss.”
Literally. I only wish I’d managed to snap an iPhone photo of the page before she handed it off to her nursing staff.
So, I guess I’m gonna be pretty much on my own figuring out how to treat/manage this condition in a HAES-aligned way. I have faith in my research abilities and the odds of finding helpful resources. Still, it just feels so lonely to have to do it this way, now that I’ve seen exactly how easy it is for this specialist to disregard my perspective and autonomy. And I’m also thinking I need to finally read all the books I’ve accumulated about the lies that rest beneath the myths of diet culture and fatphobia.
‘Cos I’ll be seeing Ms. Endocrinologist again in 3 months, and I need to be better-prepared to push back against her destructive alliance to diet culture.
* Imagine my joy.
** Meds check for my depression and a follow-up chat about Veronica and my clear MRI results.
*** Sorry for the TMI.
**** It was still lower than in the Sleep Doc’s blood test: I’m not sure whether that’s a tribute to the inaccuracies that make it a non-NIH-reccommended diagnostic tool, or to some positive effect of my efforts to limit sugar consumption in the last few months.
Image credit: Flickr user Internet Archive Book Images, public domain.