Sunday, June 10, 2012

Hitting an all-time low.

[Note: I am stranded at the Caalgary airport, delays in my flight from Ottawa having caused me to miss my connection to Saskatoon (or S'toon, as Saskatchewanianianians call it). No pictures in this post because Blogger and iPad disagree on that.]

The problem with being an "early adopter" is that you get to work out the glitches in whatever cutting-edge technology is using you as a guinea pig. My most recent experience is with the relatively new diabetes medication Victoza.

It's been available in Europe for a while, so I'm not worried about any ghastly side effects or anything (or I wouldn't try it), but I did Suffer through my doctor's lack of experience with this new drug that has garnered rave reviews for controlling blood sugar while also suppressing appetite which obviously has health benefits in terms of weight loss.

For me, the suppressed appetite has been truly eye-opening, as I mentioned in an earlier post. I'm still enjoying the effects, though the weight loss has slowed.

More importantly, my blood sugar has slowly but steadily been sliding into the normal range.

But it wasn't moving swiftly enough for my doctor, (I am the first patient she's tried Victoza with.) so she prescribed a third medication. The effect was almost immediate . . . And alarming. I took a dose with dinner and woke up feeling . . . weird. Like simething was wrong. Couldn't put my finger on it.

I wasn't nauseated. Didnt havea headache or feel the hands of the grim reaper around my neck.

I finally got out of bed and realized I was a little shaky and my legs felt like rubber. That's when hypoglycemia occurred to me.

3.5 mmol/L. Hypoglycemia is anything below 4. WhAt's more, if your blood augar has been high for a long time, you can feel hypoglycemic even at higher measures.

Hypoglycemia is a medical emergency: if the muscles and brain are deprived of energy for long enough you can slip into a coma and even die.

Because of this, the body has a built-in panic response. Adrenalin floods your system.

So on top of feeling wobbly as I stumbled downstairs to find my sugar pills, I was panicky and couldn't think straight. I had planned to go for the ECG the doc had ordered (more about that later), but couldn't figure out what to do first: get dressed? Make the bed? What about my hair? Make up?

Even after my blood sugar was back to normal, I felt uneasy.

Stupidly, I took another dose. The same thing happened twice more that day. And that was that.

Meanwhile, Victoza has been ever so slowly working my sugars down into the normal range. Part of that, I am convinced, is because the "normal" appetite makes it so very much easier to say no to large helpings and non-stop snacking.

And I feel great!

But I wish I were being treated by a more up-to-date doctor. Still waiting for a referral.

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