Jul 292014
 

This post will probably sound rambling, and angry, and hurt and…the list goes on and on. So, forewarning.

Recently I went to the doctor because I was having dizzy spells that were becoming increasingly worrisome. I thought high blood pressure, inner ear infection, brain tumor, low blood sugar, dehydration, side effects of my acne medication…I had been taking sudafed on and off for months because I kept having issues with my ears feeling like there was liquid it in them (popping, crackling, etc). He did a bunch of tests, examined me, came up with nothing conclusive. He did a test where he took my blood pressure with me in different positions (laying down, sitting, standing). Thankfully my blood pressure was almost back to normal. (A few months ago it was super high when I went to the doctor.)

My doctor had me get an EKG to check my heart and then ordered a bunch of blood work. The results came back and I was pretty surprised by the results. I have to get my blood tested twice a year to check my kidney functions/potassium levels due to the acne medication I take. That test was ok. The platelet count reflected that there was some inflammation in my body or I was fighting off an infection (yay) but I don’t feel like I’m sick or anything.

The test also said I was anemic. I was anemic as a teenager and when I was a vegetarian. I’m really surprised that I’m anemic again considering the fact that I eat meat now and I have a pretty healthy/balanced diet with lots of veggies. My iron levels were 82 and I guess the normal range is 50-212, my saturation was 22% with a range of 20-50%. Eeek that’s a little low. Ok I can fix that. Iron supplements it is.

The glucose levels should be 70-200 mg/dL and I’m at 85. I guess that’s ok? He then said: 

“Your hemoglobin A1c is normal at 5.6, but this is very close to prediabetic range. An A1c between 5.7 and 6.4 indicates pre-diabetes, while an A1c equal to or greater than 6.5 would indicate diabetes. This makes it even more important for you to find ways to get active and moving again. Eating a healthier diet and trying to lose 5-10% of your current body weight over the next year or two would also help drastically reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the future.”

Um, what?!

My heart fell when I read that. Then I went through a roller coaster of emotions. I was hurt, I was scared, I was angry. Mostly angry. I felt cheated. The wake-up call I had 8 years ago that scared me straight was that I was pre-diabetic. Those words had terrified me beyond belief. I didn’t want diabetes. I didn’t want to have to test my blood all the time and take insulin pills or injections. It scared me enough that I realized it was time to lose the weight.

I worked SO HARD to lose over 100 pounds and I successfully lowered my blood pressure and avoided diabetes. I’ve kept my weight off for 6 years now and I exercise 5 days a week. I’m very active, I eat healthy, I count my calories, I log my food. So HOW is this happening again???

“For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c test is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% indicate increased risk of diabetes, and levels of 6.5% or higher indicate diabetes. (source)”

So I am just at the border. I don’t know what my levels were 8 years ago when I was scared straight so I don’t have anything to compare this to.  The article goes on to say this:

“Patients with diseases affecting hemoglobin such as anemia may get abnormal results with this test. Other abnormalities that can affect the results of the hemoglobin A1c include supplements such as vitamins C and E and high cholesterol levels. Kidney disease and liver disease may also affect the result of the hemoglobin A1c test.”

I emailed my doctor to find out what was going on, why this was happening, and what I could do. I told him everything I’m currently doing and since I am ALREADY very active and eating right, what ELSE could I do? Seeing that above fact about things that can effect levels made me feel a little bit better I guess. If I was anemic, maybe that was effecting the test? I don’t have kidney disease but my acne medication can effect my kidneys…so maybe that is contributing to something? These were questions that I had and wanted answers to. Unfortunately I think the only real answer is to check my blood again in a few months after taking an iron supplement to see if things have changed.

Diabetes wordcloud

I’m not naive and thinking that just because I’m skinnier doesn’t mean I can’t get diabetes. I know that thin people can have it too. Sometimes it’s just genetic. My grandfather was diabetic. It could just be my family history. But I tell you, it’s a difficult pill to swallow to think that after all that work I did to lose the weight and how hard I’ve worked to keep it off…it could all be for naught. How could that be??

A friend of mine who is diabetic said I shouldn’t be worried. My levels weren’t alarming and the blood test wasn’t a fasting blood test. So perhaps she is right and it’s just a fluke. I decided to consciously cut out processed sugars the best I can, take iron, and ask my doc to do a fasting blood test to see what it says.

Anyways, I don’t have much else to share other than I feel stressed and unhappy about all of this. Time will tell. Perhaps this stress will be for nothing…

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Jun 302014
 

wedding

Last week I was having a hard time. I was hormonal, I was grumpy, I’d had a bad headache for several days, our dishwasher broke, our pantry was attacked by sugar ants, I’d been taking care of most things around the house because of Michael’s back, and just in the mix of all of that my knee had a flare up…something I hadn’t experienced in a long time and it was lingering. Whenever my knee acts up like that I get very depressed. Suddenly the idea of walking across the room seems like it’s miles long instead of a few feet.

During this time I was also doing a little stress eating. When I’m super stressed out I default to food. I wish I wasn’t that way. I wish I could turn off that default and not use food as the salve. A lot of the time I can use exercise instead–but when you’re injured and that’s not an option it’s easy to feel lost. What sucks is that it is NEVER RUNNING that gives me Runner’s Knee. It always seems to be something else. Why? Why!

The animals are pretty good at sensing when I’m upset or need some cuddles. Fat Kitty is always spot on. I was crying about my knee and he jumped on the bed and started sniffing my tears. Dork. But it made me laugh and that cheered me up a little. Bella did too:

ygg3

 

bell1

I was at work one day and had been partaking in treats from the Candy Room. I’d made three stops there in one day. Not good but at least one of those stops was just for chewing gum. The last stop was right before a meeting and I got about 1/2 a serving (maybe even less) of cashews to munch on. I kind of grumbled about visiting the candy stash too much that day and one of my coworkers said, “Are you going to be able to fit in your wedding dress?”

My first reaction was to think, THANK YOU. Thank you for slapping me in the face with that reality. The wedding is coming up, I’m anxious about a lot of stuff, my knee is CRANKY right now and I’m starting to stress out about my weight. Maybe this is the reality check that will scare me enough into being better with my food?

My next reaction was to feel deflated and sad. Like, yeah right that dress won’t fit now…And go through the typical cycle of negative self-talk — the “I’m so fat” and “Why can’t I lose weight” and “Why can’t I make better choices?” In that moment of self-pity and self-loathing I wrote about the interaction on Twitter. A very sweet blogger buddy of mine responded with this:

Capture

 

Like my coworker’s insensitive joke, it was also a reality check. DUH. This wedding isn’t about the dress or the flowers or whether or not we serve fancy wedding cake (that doesn’t taste very good anyways). The wedding is about Michael and I celebrating our relationship and future together. It’s about JUST BEING ME because that’s who Michael proposed to. So why am I putting so much pressure on myself?

Karla also sent me a link to this article: Why We Need To Stop Talking About What Women Are Eating. It was a good article discussing a lot of topics around food, body image, weight loss and women’s self-esteem. I could relate to a lot of what was said. Here are two snippets:

“We all had to take health class but we didn’t learn A THING because all of us thought that skipping breakfast and eating Skittles for lunch was the way to stay thin, which A) didn’t work and B) made us dumb, because we were 14 years old and didn’t have any actual fuel to think. If I were teaching health class today, I’d do a special part where I’d say, “As teens, you shouldn’t feel like you have to diet, but let me be very clear: Not eating doesn’t make you skinny.” On repeat.”

“I think it also highlights just how quickly our body standards/ideals change — 15, 20 years ago, it was ALL ABOUT the heroin-chic super-skinny Kate Moss look. Now it’s all Pilates arms: You should look toned, but not TOO ripped, because then you’re scary Madonna. Such an impossible line to tread.”

I don’t know that the article made me feel any better but it was interesting. Anyways, this post doesn’t really have any wrap up or solution or easy answer. Still kinda feeling crappy about it! I keep repeating to myself that the wedding isn’t about how much I weigh and my knee will get better. Maybe one day soon I will believe it…

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