Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Biannual Health Update

So two times a year, I come to work a couple minutes early, go up to the lab, and get my blood drawn to run some tests to check out how I'm doing with my diabetes and other things that are important to keep an eye for diabetes-related reasons (like my cholesterol and something called ALT). I can get my results through the Intermountain MyHealth patient portal as soon as they are available, which is cool. The results for the first 3 lab tests (ALT, Lipids (cholesterol), and a basic metabolic panel) come back pretty quickly, like in an hour or less. Unfortunately, the more important result, my hemoglobin A1c, which is a sort of cumulative measure for my blood sugar levels over the last few months, I don't usually find out until sometime in the afternoon. I always start to get nervous as I wait and wonder about how it's going to look. I can think back and say that my sugar levels have been pretty good in the last few months, though not quite as fantastic the last week or so, but I still fret until I find out what it's going to be.

I guess my biggest fear is of my doctor saying that I'm not doing a good enough job and suggesting that I start taking something for my diabetes. Right now I'm doing pretty good with just watching my diet and exercising. The next step would probably be some pills and then at some point if that wasn't working I'd probably be on insulin, which would mean giving myself shots which I don't really look forward. They say that it's part of the normal progression of diabetes and not to feel like you've failed when you reach those moments, but right now I'm pretty happy with the whole not-having-to-worry-about-my-glucose-being-too-low-and-passing-out-and-dying thing.

Anyway, my first test came back pretty good this morning, still waiting on my A1c. While I do, I just want to say that I feel really blessed in that so far my diabetes has meant only good things for me. It helped me have the motivation to take control of my diet and to exercise much more regularly and I feel so much better as a result. And because I found out in such a random way, I never had to experience something horrible to let me know that I was diabetic. So that was nice.

Ok, the final result is in and....holy cow! 5.1! So yeah, that's great news. Dr. Lee is going to be happy, I think. Just some background for you non-diabetics out there, when I was first diagnosed, my A1c was 7.5. Typically it is recommended that diabetics try to keep their A1c under 7.0. A normal person's A1c is typically under 6.0, and I've always been under 6.0 since 3 months after I was first diagnosed (5.8, 5.8, 5.9, 5.7), which is great, but 5.1...wow. Even I am impressed. :) Good times, people. :)


Larissa said...

Congratulations, Jake! Now you can have lime sherbet cake and just go crazy! :-) Well, for like a week.

Liz said...

Jake, way to go! Thanks for being conscientious about your diet and exercise.

Brenda said...

Jake, that is awesome! I'm going to Physical Therapy school right now and it always makes me happy to see people who are motivated to take control of their life. I'm glad that you are so driven to do what is necessary to prevent taking insulin as long as possible. Keep up the good work!