Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dare I hope?

Just got off the phone with my sister. She's 65 yrs old and in pretty good health. But, she's diabetic and has high blood sugars and high BP.

Here are her meds: "Meds are Glyburide, 5 mg each tablet, 2 in the AM, one in the PM and Metformin HCL 500 mg tabletsan, 2 in AM, 2 in PM" I'm not sure what her BP meds are, but last I heard she was taking 2 different ones.

And here is her most recent A1c: "my last Ac1 or A1C (can never remember proper letters.........was 6.2 or 3 lat April, also they did a finer prick the 18th of October when I was there and that was very good"

I have (gently) tried to talk to her in the past about her levels, but today I said the hell with it and told her that I was concerned about her meds.....what's next? Another med? or insulin? She (finally) admitted that this was also worrying to her.

FINALLY she asked me what I would recommend, and without hesitation, I said LOW CARB!!! We talked for almost 2hrs, which is amazing with conversations with my sister....and I really feel she listened to me! (I'm the little sister, and even at 52 I think she often thinks of me as being just 13yrs old! LOL)

My sister is overweight, but not that much. According to BMI calculators, she's "officially" obese, but to me she's just overweight.....but, she carries almost all her weight in her belly!!! And she always has.....even when she was much younger, she always had a big belly!!! Classic sign of insulin resistance and/or diabetes!!! And also a sign of higher risk for heart disease!!

My sister is also trying.....she's trying to follow her diet as recommended by her doc....and she gets her exercise. But over the years her meds continue to increase (she's been diabetic over 15yrs). So far, however, she has no evidence of heart disease, vascular problems (other than high BP), or kidney disease....the usually complications of diabetes. I guess even with the family history of diabetes, we're pretty lucky as so far there is NO heart disease in the diabetics in the family, and most live well into their 80s.

She seems to be very lucky, in that she's not showing any signs of complications of her diabetes, although I think now she may have gastroparesis, as she says she's rarely hungry. My sister has always had a healthy appetite! She's also lost a little weight recently, which concerns me. Unfortunately, I strongly suspect that her recent improvement in her weight and blood sugars is due to her lack of appetite, not better diet choices. (2 summers ago she visited and her blood sugars were running in the 160's, but now they're in the 140's)

Now, let me tell you a little about my sister. She's my "big sister", 13yrs older than me. She was almost a second mother to me growing up. She married fairly young and had her first child with that marriage, a daughter. She then divorced and lived on her own.....struggled on her own....for about 8 years before meeting and marrying her second husband. They have 2 more children, another girl and a boy. All 3 are now adults with kids of their own.

About 15-20 yrs ago my sister started having problems with sore throats and was eventually diagnosed with cancer of the epiglottis. She was treated with radiation and was actually overdosed, but she survived (her voice is quite hoarse sounding even to this day). Several years later she was diagnosed with cervical cancer and had a hysterectomy as treatment. Since then she's been cancer free....oh! almost, she's had several skin cancers removed and is watched for that.

My sister is no shrinking violet!!! She's a formidable and very intelligent woman!!! She has pretty much raised 3 children on her own (i don't think her hubby wasn't much help there, but I'm sure she'd disagree), and she's worked hard all her life. Currently she's retired, but still works as a union rep. She's a writer, and keeps saying she's going to write more now that she's retired, but so far I haven't seen any evidence that she's done much. My sister can pretty much do what she sets her mind to!!!

I have only 1 sister.....and actually I really only have 1 sibling. My sister and I are 1/2 siblings, but I've never considered her anything other than my big sister! I also have/had 2 brothers. My other 1/2 sibling died at the age of 24 (he was 11 yrs older) from an accident, and left behind 4 young children. I never really knew him. My other brother, a "full" sibling, has divorced himself from the family and won't have anything to do with me or my sister. He's 3yrs older than me, and I really miss him. Last time I went home to visit, I tried to contact him, but according to his wife (who I don't trust or believe), he was away. I haven't seen or talked to him since my mom's death over 12yrs ago. His loss, I know, but I still miss him!!!

I am praying my sister takes my advice and talks to her doc about changing to a low carb diet!!! I was very careful to tell her (repeatedly) to talk to her doc before doing anything on her own, as the diet will likely require her to cut back on her meds and she needs him to help her there....I just hope he doesn't talk her out of it!!!

I've got together a list of websites and bloggers for her to read up on.....I hope it works!!!

I want my sister to live a LONG life!!! She's currently financially comfortable and seems to be enjoying her "retirement". I know in my heart that a low carb diet can help her.....and I just hope she follows my advice and gives it a try.


Sherrie said...

Good luck with your sister, sounds like you made lots of progress!

Cindy said...

Thanks Sherrie!!! I sure do hope so!!!

Just started reading your blog....keep up the good work!!