Thursday, May 21, 2015

Female/ Fat/ Forty/ Family HX ??

When I went to nursing school we learned all about the dangers and complications of being diabetic.  The risk factors that they taught us were the four F's: being female, fat, in your forties, with a family history of diabetes.  My mother and father did not suffer from diabetes so I thought that I would be safe.  However, when I turned 40 I started asking my physician to check my hemoglobin A1C at the same time that he was checking my thyroid levels every year.  My results have been in the range of 5.6 - 5.8 every year, until this year when I went to the doctor and asked him to check my levels.  I was shocked when it came back at 7.5.  I asked for a redraw, surly this was incorrect.  The redraw one week later was 7.6.

The scariest thing about this for me is that I have had NO SYMPTOMS of being diabetic.  I have not had an increase thirst; I haven't had blurry vision, no increase in the amount of urine output, no numbness in my feet, no excess fatigue, nothing.  Had I not requested a test be done, I would not have known my levels were elevated.  It would have taken an illness or a complication of diabetes before I would have been tested and then damage would have already been done.

Because I asked for a redraw I know that cost to me of this test, with my insurance, is $28.  From doing a quick search online I have found that even without insurance the cost of having an A1C done is roughly $50.  I recommend every female who is in their forties (or above) to have this test done at least once to get a snapshot of your numbers.

Now about the “fat” portion of this scenario…I wear a size 12 (or 14 depending on the maker).  I do not consider myself to be overly obese or “fat” per se, but since I did have three of the other four “F’s” in my corner I considered myself at risk.  I mention this because if you are female and not in the medical chart of “ideal weight” for your height, and/or extremely fit, or if you have any two of the four “F’s” against you, please have the test done.   It’s too simple of a solution to a problem that could seriously end your life.   It is listed as a silent killer because of the way that it sneaks up on you and slowly destroys you before you even know that you have it.

Today I begin I new chapter in my life, that of being a diabetic.  Since I haven’t had any known damage done I am bidding a fond farewell to sweet tea and beginning a 15-minute a night walk around my neighborhood in hopes of reversing the curse of diabetes.  And here I thought that I was active with all of my hikes and photography adventures.  I pray that this adventure will be short lived, but it has been a wake up call to my life, love and pursuit of happiness for sure!