Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bariatric Betty is happy to still be diabetic, but faces a sad reality.

Today I went for my 3 month check-up with my primary care doctor.  She hadn't seen me since I started the medically supervised diet (this is day 67 of 90).  She was thrilled with how I'm doing.  She agreed that I was right to lower my nighttime (long-acting) insulin when my morning numbers hit the 70's.  According to her scale I was 17 pounds lighter than 3 months ago!  I love her scale.  But, it lies.  I weighed myself three times at home before the 9:30 appointment this morning.  Once before I ate of drank anything and I was still in my pajamas.  Once after I drank 12 oz. of water and 12 oz. of diet coke (I will miss you, caffeine) and scrambled egg beaters with whole wheat bread.  And a third time after I was fully dressed.  Either her scale is off or I lost three pounds during the 1/2 hour drive to her office.  My scale is weighs me 1.5 pounds lighter than the one at the bariatric surgeon's office.  I'm not normally one to weigh myself numerous times in a day - just was wondering how much my weight fluctuated between eating / dressing/ etc. 

Anyway, she was really proud of me, and said she couldn't imagine how the insurance company would turn me down as a surgical candidate.  From her lips to God's ears!  I stayed and waited to hear my Hemaglobin A1C number... 6.4!  That is wonderful in many ways - first, it's the lowest it's ever been since I've been a diabetic.  Second,  while it shows my diabetes is marvelously controlled, it also shows I am still definitely considered a diabetic.  If it was under 6, my insulin would have been reduced (possibly discontinued) and then the question of my qualifying with the insurance company would have come into play.  Since I now have  a BMI under 40, I need to have at least one co-morbidity to qualify.  Diabetes is my only one.  Now I'm breathing easier, because my last set of labs before sumbission for approval from the insurance company show I'm still diabetic as well as compliant.  Yay!!!

Last night I got to go to my second local support group meeting.  It was just as fascinating as the first time.  Bunches of new people to meet, each with their own story.  Two women had lap-bands and one just a revision to the vertical gastric sleeve 6 weeks ago.  The other had hers a year ago and hasn't lost much weight or noticed it helping. Everyone was very encouraging and positive with her, suggesting that she talk to her new doctor about running some tests to see if the band is functioning.  One woman was a "lightweight" (BMI under 40) like me 15 months ago but has lost 90 pounds!  Another accidentally got pregnant just two months after her surgery.  Whoa.  Not recommended, but she and the baby are both fine.  She lost all the weight (including not gaining any during the pregnancy) she wanted to, and shared some great recipes with us.  She also recommended a latte machine at Bed Bath & Beyond for $30 - she said it reheats and reblends the latte during the day, and has a great recipie book with it that included a mocha latter with egg whites (it heats it enough that there's no samonela risk).  If I liked chocolate or coffee I would have been all over that.   Another woman who had just had plastic surgery to remove excess skin (and looked FABULOUS) and shared this recipe:
Kate'a Frozen Protein Treat
2 cups skim milk
1/2 cup greek yogurt
3 scoops unflavored whey protein powder
6 packets of splenda (or other sweetner)
1 1/2 cups of frozed strawberries

Blend and then pour in a sealable container and freeze.  She eats it as a high protein snack and said it's super.  THAT one I'm trying for sure.

On the topic of recipes, I came to a realization.  I may not be able to handle baking next year.  This may sound funny, but it's a huge tradition in my family.  We decorate our christmas trees with gingerbread, have a new year's eve cookie party for our kids and their friends, and after 3 years of practice I've finally gotten down the art of slovenian potica (a nut roll) making.  I'm very good at controlling my consumption of baked goods - it's before the baking that I am tempted.  Licking fingers and taste testing can sabotage a diet.  I've found a good way to handle it is to have other members of the family join me in the baking and to chew gum while I do it.  That works well for this year, but next year chewing gum will be a no-no (too much air being swallowed and the possibility of gum blocking my stoma) so I'm considering things like wearing a mouth guard, sucking on sugar free mints, etc.  Several of the members of the support group last night said that they can bake for their families without temptation now, so that gives me hope.  However, I have realized that if I find myself tempted, it would be better to give up this part of my identity than foil my brain re-training next year.  So I'll try; with company, mints, and mouthguards.  But if I taste one thing, that's it.  No more baking.  It's not worth ruining my tool.  And my friends and family would rather I was around than a plate of cookies.

For now I'm hopeful.  Hopeful I will qualify for surgery.  Hopeful I will make healthy choices and succeed.  Hopeful that I'm setting up good habits and supports that will help me in my new life.  And just having had Thanksgiving, I'm thankful that I not only have such a supportive family but that I found a way to work through all of this by blogging.  My thanks to you for reading.

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