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10/24/13 9:43 P

I feel for you but don't give up! :)

I was diagnosed with Diabetes Type 2 in 1999. In the doctor's office, the physician said, when I asked what I should eat, "Watch your sweets." That's it, nothing more. She gave me prescriptions for Avandia and Metformin and sent me on my way.

I went home and started researching. I read until my eyes were about to cross! I changed my diet and started walking at least one mile most days and three or more on many days. A month after diagnosis, I was off the medications, had lost 15 lbs or so, and my blood sugar rarely went over 140. Four months later, I was 45 pounds lighter and consistently had an A1c under 6.

My point is this - you don't have to see an educator to get things headed in the right direction. You have almost all, if not all, of the needed exercise and nutrition information at your fingertips. You have a great support system here and a lot of people willing to help. Research, read, and test, test, test!

Oh by the way...the initial diagnosis was incorrect. I actually have Diabetes Type 1.5.

BEINGFIT26 SparkPoints: (1,051)
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9/4/13 2:19 A

that is frustrating indeed, waiting for days just to get checked. i feel you.

HEALTHYJ29 SparkPoints: (0)
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9/4/13 2:02 A

I am sorry for the frustration and the dx. I don't have diabetes but have health problems where I have to go to a lot of specialists who have wait lists and when you make an appointment it can be many months ahead. What I do is ask to be put on a cancelation list and then I call every day to see if there is any. I have gotten into see doctors months in advance by doing this. I have a feeling I annoy the receptionist but what ever works to get in early in my opinion.
Also I would look on hospital websites in your area for support groups or even online at least as a starting point.

RUSSELL_40 Posts: 16,826
9/2/13 11:21 A

I have been a Type 2 diabetic for at least 11 years. I have a heart condition, so finding out I was diabetic was something I found out at a church's health fair. My blood sugar was 526.

They sent me to all the classes, and I got a dietitian. None of it worked for me, but it didn't take me 6 months to go. I would ask your doctor for a referral to a different place. I took classes at my dietitians office, and they paid doctor's to come and hold the class. Maybe I was just lucky with my timing, but there has to be more than one option for diabetes education classes.

In the end though, cutting carbs by 50%, didn't work for me. The quality was more important for me than the quantity.

You should head to your library, and read up on diabetes, and I suggest a book on Low Glycemic foods. If you are going to limit yourself to 150 grams a day, might as well get the best carbs that you can eat. Hopefully that is enough to do the trick.

For me, it wasn't enough. I had to do low carb, and within a year I dropped all my diabetes meds, because I was having low blood sugar reactions. That was 40 months ago, and my A1C hasn't been over 5.5 in the past 2 years.

Don't settle for getting your A1C below 7.0, or being on pills. Focus on the carbs you eat, and find a way to get it to a normal level. They will tell you to manage your diabetes, but the goal should be to get it down to the same level as people who don't have diabetes. There are no good results from having elevated blood sugars, even if they are just slightly too high. That just slows down the damage being done.

Do your research, read the books, and see any specialist who can help you improve your knowledge of the disease. You most likely will have little help after these initial classes. This is a disease they manage, not cure, so they have little interest in it. Now, if your kidneys fail, or you start to go blind, then they get all excited, but you need to use the advice you accumulate to help yourself.

Those numbers you take daily for blood sugars before a meal, and 2 hours after? those are important. They aren't random. Pay attention to what carbs you eat compared to the reading you get. A meal of chicken and low glycemic veggies will create a smaller spike than chicken and a side of corn for example. You can control how much your blood sugar spikes, by controlling what you eat. Fat and protein will not cause high readings. That is only from carbs. I found that pasta, bread, and obviously sweets caused my blood sugars to go over 300, but also that cereal and fruit spiked it over 200.

You will be different, but choose the foods that don't spike your blood sugar as much. Hopefully this still allows you to eat more carbs than I can.

** My opinion is that these foods that spike your blood sugar are what caused your diabetes. So for me, removing them seemed sensible. Being off the meds for 40 months, in my unique situation, lets me know, that FOR ME, it worked. I had a theory, and tested it, and it worked. The theory the doctors had was for me to take meds till I needed Insulin, and then went blind, and had my foot amputated, while on kidney dialysis.

This disinterest in diabetes, and lack of any concern, since it is managed, is a cause of frustration for all diabetes sufferers.The disease just isn't sexy enough for anyone to care enough about to address.

KPA1B2 Posts: 780
9/2/13 11:07 A

So frustrating when that happens. I had a referral, this summer, to see a sleep specialist. They couldn't get me in for a month. I found another one; I had a diagnosis by the time the first doctor could have gotten me in. My husband is having major back pains. He can't get an appointment for at 3 weeks & he's not a new patient, he tried the doctor who did his original surgery and that appointment is almost 7 weeks away. He's on a wait list.

In addition to calling your insurance company, call all of the local hospitals and see what they have for diabetes education.

Good luck with your journey. My hubby lost almost 60 lbs., controls his diabetes through nutrition and exercise. He doesn't take any meds and tests his blood daily.

CAH-RD Posts: 1,038
9/2/13 10:49 A

That's really too bad and really frustrating on your part!! I'm a Certified Diabetes Educator and our system is NOT like that. Typically a physician will send a referral over the day that they saw the patient or maybe the following day. I call the patient as soon as I can after getting the referral. This is usually 1-2 days after I get it.

I JUST came back from maternity leave and while I was gone nobody was seen, BUT we had a system in place so that contact was made immediately between our facility and my patients. Granted, that doesn't help you any. :) I just find it sad that it can take so long! We need more CDE's out there!!

I wish I could help! I always feel bad when people are given a diagnosis such as this and then forced to fend for themself. I can't/won't give out official medical or nutritional advice via SP, but if you have specific questions, I'd be happy to give you my "opinion." :)

9/1/13 12:43 P

I have been a type 2 diabetic for about 10 years. the doctor sent us to the hospital just last year for a refresher for hubby but he got sick and we didn't go. Call your hospital and talk to a dietician and see if they give classes there.
You can find tons of information on the internet. There is a list of high and low glycemic foods called the glycemic index. It tells you what foods raise your sugar slowly or fast. good luck.

ALGEBRAGIRL Posts: 1,925
9/1/13 12:17 P

.' So I called them today to schedule an appointment - mind you it is August - the first availability they have is MARCH 2014!!!'

I recently had a similar experience. My doctor is new to this area, having replaced my old doctor (who left the practice): when he told me he was going to give me a referral, I told him there would likely be a very long wait. He didn't believe me. Well, now he does.

CORTNEY-LEE SparkPoints: (67,852)
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8/29/13 6:15 A

That would be so very frustrating!

Best of luck to you!

SUNCOUNTRY58 SparkPoints: (9,122)
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8/28/13 9:00 P

I have successfully avoided diabetes for years and have read a lot in the health area. My brother is 5 years older and has had it for almost 10 years. I watched my mother suffer from many of the side effects of diabetes and later cancer.

I would avoid most anything the ADA or nutritionists tell you. I would take a look at books by Richard K. Bernstein for details on how to control or eliminate this disease.

Jenny Ruhl also has a wealth of info in her book and website.


CHIBI_TOTORO SparkPoints: (147)
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8/20/13 4:05 P

I feel for you. One, that has to be really quite scary, and two, frustrating to no end.

there are great sites around that can help you, and as you said, you have Sparks with it's diabeties section.

Good luck. My dad pulled it off at 71, and turned everything around in 3 years, to the point he is no longer on meds. he's a stubborn old goat. if he can, you can!!!!!


GIPPER1961 Posts: 739
8/20/13 2:40 P

I have sympathy for your medical run around. I have fought with medicare for my moms medicines quite a bit and I'm sure they aren't the only ones that are frustrating.

for the diabetes info I truly believe info on the web is very helpful. Webmd is a good source and of course spark people. Just remember that any carbs are going to spike sugar , even the good carbs. That doesn't mean you have to eliminate them. just need to get a good balance and choose the good carbs over the sugary processed carbs. One thing I have found is that exercise is essential for good glucose maintenance.

One more bit of info that shocked me when I was diagnosed, if you go too long without eating (overnight for instance) your glucose will go up. This was a huge surprise to me. The liver spits out excess glucose. They call this the dawn effect or the somogyi effect

BUNNYKICKS Posts: 2,433
8/20/13 2:01 P

I second what Icedmeter said about looking around on your own.... I have personally had BAD luck whenever I've put too much faith in the "doctor's referral" route. For example, I once waited 10 months for a "sleep screening" ... at the end of 10 months I was given a device to take home and wear overnight. Another week for the doc to get the results and direct me to the Sleep Clinic for an on-site overnight assessment... so another six week's wait. Finally at the end of a year's worth of screening and assessment, it is concluded "you have sleep apnea" (DOH, yeah, I believe that's what I said at my initial appointment??? My husband was quite aware of it!!!!).... but finally, FINALLY, I am directed to a medical equipment provider for sleep apnea devices. I go in for an appointment with the equipment provider, get talking about my 10 month wait for the test, and she says "oh? we have those units here, usually it's not more than a week or 10 days wait, to get one..." YEAH. Could have knocked TEN MONTHS off the time it took to get treatment, had I known....

Look around for local dietitians, phone a few, see if they offer what you want in the way of diabetes nutrition education and if they are currently taking appointments. THEN approach your doctor and ask for a referral to one of those (and/or check with insurance to see if it will be covered).

Edited by: BUNNYKICKS at: 8/20/2013 (14:02)
LOVE4KITTIES Posts: 4,690
8/20/13 1:58 P

Contact your health insurance company and let them know that adequate and prompt services are not being provided to you and tell them that, since your providers cannot provide you with adequate/prompt services that you need them to authorize an out of network referral where you can be seen sooner. If they won't do it, you might want to find out if your state has a department of managed health care and give them a call to see if there's anything you can do about this (e.g. filing a complaint at the very least). If they say this is something you can file a complaint about, I'd do it and I'd let my insurance company know that I was going to do it. Don't know if it will do any good, but I think it's worth a try.

MILLIEHUBBARD SparkPoints: (22,260)
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8/20/13 1:39 P

Thank you, yes, that is exactly what I meant by an AHA moment. If i'm going to face this kind of challenge with the health care system, then I choose NOT to have to be engaged with them, and the only way that is going to happen is if I take care of myself in a way that won't require medical intervention. Time to get SERIOUS!! One day at a time, one meal at a time, one healthy choice at a time.

Regarding the other suggestion that I call the local hospital to ask about was the hospital based clinic that couldn't fit me in until March 2014...and the really sad thing is - I work for the parent organization of this hospital!!!

I'll also be checking the ADA website for helpful information, I know there are resources out there, I'll find them and figure this out...just need to vent my frustration. Thanks for "listening" and offering encouragement. :-)

Edited by: MILLIEHUBBARD at: 8/20/2013 (13:41)
DMJAKES Posts: 1,634
8/20/13 1:32 P

Millie - wow, that is quite a wait for an appointment. Have you called your doctor's office and let them know about this? Is there anywhere else you could be referred to? While you have them on the phone, ask for a list of resources (web sites, books, etc) that you can use to begin educating yourself. See if there are any diabetes support groups in your area too.

Perhaps this is an AHA moment for you......time to take the bull by the horns, you know?

Good luck on your journey!

ICEDEMETER Posts: 1,332
8/20/13 1:29 P

I'm not sure where you are, but you might want to consider either phoning your local hospitals or checking their web-sites, as many of them offer diabetes nutrition classes. You could also check the web-site for your national Diabetes association to see if they offer nutrition classes in your area.

It is incredibly frustrating when you know that you need the information sooner rather than later, but you're taking the right path with choosing to find out all that you can to have a healthier life.

Good luck!

MILLIEHUBBARD SparkPoints: (22,260)
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Posts: 330
8/20/13 1:11 P

I looked for an appropriate board for this thread, not sure if this is the right place, but here goes.

I'm newly diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I'm working on adjusting my diet to cut down on the bad carbs, increase the protein etc. My doctor has put me on meds to manage my A1C level. Time will tell if I can learn to manage this. I am using the SparkPeople diabetes info. Watching the amount of carbs per meal/snack etc. Still, I asked for a referral to a Diabetes Educator so I can get some help/advice and confirm that I'm doing the right things.

I called the doctors office today to ask about the referral. They told me they made the referral two weeks ago. I have heard nothing from the clinic. So I called them today to schedule an appointment - mind you it is August - the first availability they have is MARCH 2014!!!

I'm sorry for venting, I just needed to get this off my chest, I'm so frustrated right now, what is the point of having health coverage if you can't get in to see anyone. Anyway, maybe this is just what I needed to have happen so I'd get serious about managing my own health. An AHA moment...

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