Last Wednesday night (the 2nd), I didn’t get to sleep until probably 6:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and I had UTI symptoms. My resident just got hired on by Family Medicine as a sho’ nuff doctor and wasn’t going to be starting at the practice until the 9th so I hit up Urgent Care, hoping that La Bruja wouldn’t be one of the doctors on duty. (I had to deal with her several times last summer and she has the bedside manner of a rabid wolverine.) I gave them my UA and got triaged quickly.
As I’m sitting in the triage room talking to the medical assistant and telling her my symptoms, I suggest that they check my blood sugar on the off chance that my symptoms might be related to my sugars being screwed up. I was diagnosed as pre-diabetic 10 years ago and have been borderline for a while so it was a possibility. The medical assistant stabs my finger, puts the blood on the test strip, and announces to me that my blood sugar was 365. She then asks me when I last took my insulin. I looked at her, the color draining from my face, and told her that I wasn’t on insulin and that this was twice as high as I had ever seen it.
While I burst into tears and sobbed from exhaustion and fear, the medical assistant ran to get the doctor so the two of them could decide whether or not to treat me there or send me to the ER. I texted my mom (who was watching Daniel) and let her know that ish was going down and I might be headed over to the hospital. She texted back not to worry about Daniel (he was doing botany with her and engaging in some testing of the new washtub). The medical assistant came in, gave me a hug, and took me straight to an exam room.
The doctor came in shortly after and was wonderful. She checked me out very thoroughly and ordered bloodwork stat. After finding an antibiotic I could have, she came up with a game plan until my annual exam on the 17th. After showing me to the lab room, she went and sourced a new glucometer for me (thankfully Medicaid covered it) as well as giving me a prescription for test strips. I told her about my food issues and she gave me some suggestions for lunch, promising to call the second she had the labs back. (She sent them to the hospital to be processed *IMMEDIATELY*.)
When she called back that afternoon, I got some good news. My blood sugar was wonky but everything else was good so we were catching this early. She had me call her a few days later with my numbers (after testing 4 times a day) and they were on a positive trend down. She prescribed some Glipizide for me… which my pharmacist refused to fill because it could kill me. (It’s a sulfonurea medication and I’m very allergic to sulfa which puts me at great risk of a reaction due to cross-sensitivity.) I’ve opted to forgo the Glipizide (obviously) and work my diet for the next week and a half.
Right now, my numbers are steadily improving. I’m figuring out what I can order at $tarbux and what I can keep down. The theory is that I crossed the line into Type 2 diabetes within the last year or so and my blood sugar spiked because of the infection and stress. (PCOS-related insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes are on both sides of my dad’s family so genetics, as usual, are not in my favor.)
The game plan when I meet with my doctor in a week is to get a referral to endocrinology for the PCOS issues, nutrition to see if we can find a workable diet for me (hint: gluten-free is not an option — I don’t have a gluten sensitivity and it would further limit what I *can* eat), and an allergist to get a handle on what I am allergic to foodwise.
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