This is the story of Pam and John; she in her early 50’s and John is 62. Pam is a college professor. John taught at a local community college until diagnosed with Parkinson’s in March 2008, then Lewy Body Dementia in April.


Thursday, October 2, 2008

my health

When my family doctor saw me in July she was concerned--my A1c (a measure of diabetes control over several months) was up significantly and my LDL cholesterol was up as well. She was also concerned about my emotional struggles with caregiving and told me that menopause is a very vulnerable time for depression. She suggested either an anti-depressant or estrogen. I said give me two months and see if I can find a solution for myself.

Today she was very pleased with my numbers. My A1c is back to its usual excellent level (5.6), my LDL was lower (still somewhat higher than recommended but with an HDL of 78 I refuse to worry about it much). I also reported that while it is still hard I don't have days when I feel hopeless.

I actually give a lot of the credit to the supplement I am taking, which lowered my fasting blood glucose 20 points (from a high level due to stress back to my usual level) and seems to take the edge off the depression. My exercise is also back up some from what I had time for in the spring and I am being careful to stick to my low carb way of eating.

The doctor asked me if I was worried about my weight. I said I've tried to take the attitude that if an extra 20 pounds is what my body wants to get me through menopause with nothing more than mild hot flashes, that is fine with me. But I've gained some more from stress and I am disappointed that it hasn't come off when I brought my A1c back down. I don't believe in dieting (see this for why) but I wish I could go back to the weight my body settled at when I started controlling my blood sugar (which was at the top end of the normal range for BMI).

After I talked defensively for a while the doctor said: "I'm not worried about your weight, I only asked if you were worried. If I were you it is the last thing I would be concerned about; I wouldn't even weigh myself." It was such a good feeling to hear that from a doctor, particularly one who was also telling me that she was very pleased with how I was doing in other respects.

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