Diabetes Type 2 Support Group

Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which the body either does not produce enough insulin or does not make efficient use of it. Insulin is a hormone needed to convert food into glucose, a sugar that the body uses for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose can accumulate in the blood, and can cause serious health problems such as heart disease and strokes and organ damage such as eye and kidney damage.

1 Online
1 Online

Just diagnosed... Now What Do I Do?

Hi there, Everyone:

I apologize in advance if these are stupid questions, but I don't have any health insurance and am scared, so here goes.

I just was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at a free clinic, and they said that I should let my "regular doctor" know. I don't have a regular doctor, because we can't afford health insurance.

So I need to know what do I do now??? Are there ANY good resources out there on what I need to do? I haven't been able to find any good websites at all.

I know I need to modify my diet, so what do I eat???

Do I need to buy blood testing equipment / urine testing equipment? If so, which ones do I buy? will the pharmacist know what I need? (Or will he make me buy the most expensive stuff?)

How do I tell if I need to go to the emergency room?

What do I eat / do if I feel feint / confused?

I am sorry to have so many basic questions, but I won't be able to see a diabetic advice nurse for another two weeks, and I don't want to do anything that might jeopardize my health in the next two weeks.

Thanks in advance.

Replies

foxysdad
foxysdad

Do you have a county health service? Since I lost my job and now am on disability, I used my county's health service. I wasn't charged for their services. They take medicare and medicaid. They will have programs to get the testing equipment at no charge. A doctor there can help you with your diabetes and tell you how and what to eat. Now that I'm disability, I still use the same doctor I started with. Hang in there. There are programs for you. Another thing you can do is search the web for information. And, don't forget. We're here for you. Ask any question you have and there are no dumb questions.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi newly,

First of all, take a deep breath, and |I know that this is intimidating. More so because of your insurance situation. There is a lot that you can do, first of all what you eat is key. Start out by learning about what foods you need to stay away from. White breads, potatoes, white rice are not good, but there are substitutes, there are some wonderful whole grain breads and |I find that sweet potatoes make a wonderful substitute for regular potatoes. Of course, avoid sugars and start to exercise. That exercise should not be too strenuous at first, something that gets you into it without having to force yourself to do it.

Newly, you can do this, you really can! In terms of meters your best bet is to go to your local Wal-mart and I know that in the "USA they have some reasonably priced meters and test strips! That is your best bet without health insurance. If you have internet service, and i assume that you do, for food ideas, go to dlife.com, they have a really great recipe section! If you do decide to monitor daily, I have a free website that you can use to put your data into. It is at http://pcmdr.ca it is entirely free for diabetics to help them with their monitoring.

Don't worry, we will get you through this! Everyone here is really great and our goal is to help you adjust. There are no silly questions and we are all here to help!!!

Big hugs,

lary
grannie
grannie

Can't give any advice, your profile does not state were you live, each State has a program. I can only suggest you go to your county seat and find out what is available for you.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thanks, everyone, for the encouragement and the suggestions.

the encouragement is REALLY appreciated because my wife is not so sympathetic to my condition. She blames me and my (admittedly) unhealthy eating habits.

So, this morning, she started to separate all the dishes and utensils into stacks; one stack that I can use, one stack that the rest of the family will use and that I am not allowed to touch.

When I mentioned to her that, to the best of my knowledge, diabetes is not a communicable disease, she then went into a tirade. I will try and save you all the long story, but I think the highlight of her rant was when she said, "I swear I won't even cry when I see your casket being placed in the ground."

So, I am guessing that my spouse is NOT going to be the pillar of strength that I was hoping she might be...

Stranger Than Fiction: She was laying into me tonight while I was trying to come up with something for dinner. I finally turned to her and said, "Can't I just enjoy my fat-free cottage cheese in peace?"

I actually used the words "enjoy" and "fat-free cottage cheese" in the same sentence...

@ foxysdad:

Thanks for the mention about the county. Yes, I will see if I can get medical here.

Ad for searching the web for information, I will give it another go tomorrow. It seems that MOST of the sites out there are not that helpful; they are more just a referral service for private practitioners, or an affiliate service for medical supplies.

@ Lary;

Again, thanks for the encouragement :)

You mentioned, "There is a lot that you can do, first of all what you eat is key." I have a lot of catching up to do, but in the meantime, is it safe to say that I should be eating low fat AND low carb diet? (I think that is similar to the South Beach Diet)

I used to do atkins diet, but from what I understand, that has too much fat, right? All the red meat and cheese.

Funny Story: I stopped off at Trader Joes and asked if they had a list of Low Carb (or diabetic-friendly) foods. The woman behind the counter had like 11 lists that they keep. Literally, she was reading the titles of the lists out to me: low fat, wheat-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegetarian, vegan, kosher...

I figured if I looked at all 11 lists, then if I could find something that was on ALL of them, it would be safe to eat.

@ grannie:

Thanks for the mention. I will try and call them up on Wednesday. I am in northern California.

A while back I tried to get medical for our son (four years old at the time), and that was a NIGHTMARE. Mostly because the office only accepts people from 8 to 10 am (two hour window) and people start lining up at 5:00 am.

It turns out that children get automatically enrolled for 6 months every time they go to one of the county clinics.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I'm not sure about California's policies, but in our state (IL), if you are on public aid or below a specific income level, you can apply for medicaid. That might be something to look into.

Low carb is what you want to think about. Yes, low fat if you have to lose weight, but remember, you can't go no carb or too low, because you need to have a minimum number of carbs for your body to function. A good internet site is www.dlife.com. There are articles, recipes and lots of good information, and they're not asking for anything from you.

And remember, your spouse might be as terrified as you. She doesn't understand what's going on (if she's separating dishes), and doesn't even know how to approach it. You both will need to learn how to deal with diabetes. But it is doable - all of us here are facing the same diagnosis and trying to figure out how best to handle it. I know that reading up on a number of websites, and coming here to ask questions, has made a huge difference for me.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank you for the info and the encouragement, AmDK.

In California, we have something called medical (instead of medicaid). I think there are a few differences, but it is basically the same. Except that our medical budget is about to be slashed big time.

right now I need to find a web site with just a simple meal planner, so I have an idea as to what to eat for each meal. If anybody can point me in the direction of a SIMPLE meal planner, I would be very much appreciative.

Thanks in advance.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi neighbor, I live in N California too.

The public library should have books on diabetes, meal planning etc.
to get you started.

John7013
deleted_user
deleted_user

ok...it is NOT contagious. you should get a monitor they are not really expensive but you may be able to get one through the clinic.

You can eat most things...meat, wheat bread (some) veggies, fruit. I was told to keep the carbs between 30 and 45 a meal and make sure you have protein with your carbs.

try to get active. can you walk everyday?

we are here to support you!
mzizgayle
mzizgayle

It is NOT transmittable between people, have your wife come here and learn with you....amazing what people think about this disease. Yes this disease can be helped along with poor diet, overweight but there are many of us who have this just because of family history, and whether or not your body just decides you have it....I am one of those - family history and was in excellent health, etc but I got blessed.

You are not going to die from this, unless you decide you will not take care of yourself, it is the complications from this disease that do the harm.

Ok first - is there a walmart near you? they have a very inexpensive meter their brand - relion and test strips for this meter are inexpensive. You should start monitoring your numbers - morning fasting (before breakfast) and night before bed. Then at least one more during the day say 2 hours after a meal - pick a meal...I rotate one day after breakfast, one day after lunch, etc.

The goal is to control the numbers between 100-140 but this won't happen overnight. Some doctors say anything under 125 or no higher than 160, just depends ...were you given any meds? metformin is the usual and most common one many are started on, and if you have a walmart pharmacy you can get this for a couple of dollars. usual dosage is 1 pill a day.

Ok diet - basically it is not a 'diabetic' diet it is a healthy diet...no fried foods constantly - loaded with fats...one in a while won't hurt but not right now until you get into control. Stay away from white breads, white rice, potatoes and pastas. Find the light style breads, in multigrain or wheat, no white potatoes but try a sweet potato, no pastas but there is a dreamfields brand which is diabetic friendly and you cannot tell the difference, don't let people tell you they can lol.

Learn portion controls, don't think "sugar free" or no sugars since carbs are sugars and they are in everything including celery lol. Once you learn to read labels you will see many "sugar free" items have more carbs than something normal.

Yes it will help if the family is on board but sometimes they are just as scared by the unknown, that is why I think it would be great if she learned with you, went to the diabetic nurse with you etc.

And now for my words of advice I am becoming known for on this site ROFLMAO (I have had this 16 years, I do what I want still, every active, not many complications, eating is healthy and exercise is part of this...humor is also part of my way to control and deal and yes I eat chocolate, and I am in very tight control)

So, go stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself "I will do this, I can do this, I will do this first for myself in order to be there for my family", tell yourself this everyday....and it will be hard to do this since you have a food policeman in the house, I had one and it takes a while to train them but it can be done with patience (just look at her and smile, say thank you for your concern) Remember she might be just as scared as you, overwhelmed with this, maybe heard horror stories.

But knowlege is power, ask all the questions you have, all the concerns, ask us about her concerns, etc ...that is why we are here to help the newbies not learn the hard way some of us have had to learn, but you can do this...

get out by walking, take the family on a walk, exercise will help control your numbers. Do visit us often, don't just fade away...
mzizgayle
mzizgayle

and there is no stupid questions
deleted_user
deleted_user

@ mzizgayle:

Thanks so much for the response:

> > > You are not going to die from this, unless you decide you will not take care of yourself, it is the complications from this disease that do the harm. < < <

Thanks for reassuring me of that.

When I was first diagnosed, there was no consistent message of what I would need to do, how sever it COULD become, what my diet should be, etc., The only info I could find was on the internet, and that info ranges from it being a non-serious disease to a potential life-threatening disease.

> > > Ok first - is there a walmart near you? they have a very inexpensive meter their brand - relion and test strips for this meter are inexpensive. < < <

I will look for that type of a meter. At the clinic, they gave me one by biodyne for free, but I kind of get the feeling that biodyne supplies the clinic with free meters so that we will end up paying lots for the test strips and lancets.

> > > You should start monitoring your numbers - morning fasting (before breakfast) and night before bed. Then at least one more during the day say 2 hours after a meal - pick a meal...I rotate one day after breakfast, one day after lunch, etc. < < <

Yes, the doctor said I should monitor once a day (when I got into the clinic, my blood glucose level was 180, so maybe he thought it was low enough that it didn't need to monitored more than once a day???)

> > > ...were you given any meds? metformin is the usual and most common one many are started on... < < <

Yes, the doctor at the clinic started me on metformin 1,000 mg per day (500 mg before breakfast, 500 mg before dinner).

> > > Ok diet - basically it is not a 'diabetic' diet it is a healthy diet...< < <

Ah... do you have any recommendations for cookbooks, meal planners, etc? The doctor mentioned the South Beach Diet is pretty healthy (low carbs and low fat, I am assuming?)

A great cookbook / recipe planner would make this A LOT easier. For example, ever since the diagnosis, I have been too scared to eat anything OTHER THAN salad for dinner. I just don't know what to make for dinner!

I CAN eat healthy, but I need variety. Unfortunately, my wife is from Asia, so rice and noodles are constantly present (I am doing a good job of avoiding them... so far).

> > > Once you learn to read labels you will see many "sugar free" items have more carbs than something normal. < < <

Yes, I have noticed that. Or, they have lots of fat instead.

> > > Yes it will help if the family is on board but sometimes they are just as scared by the unknown, that is why I think it would be great if she learned with you, went to the diabetic nurse with you etc < < <

Thank you for bringing that up. I will see about bringing her to the next appointment.

Again, thanks so much for the advice. And thanks in advance for any cookbook / diet book / meal planner recommendations.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hey newlydiagnosed, tell you what, I have a website that is free for diabetics to give you a hand to monitor your blood sugars. Since the demand seems to be there, we are in the process of doing a food log and an exercise log. Now that you mention it, we will also be probably do up a meal planner as well. The site is http://pcmdr.ca and you are more than welcome to join up. We are currently in the process of doing a complete rewrite making the site look somewhat better and work a little bit better. We have some issues with Internet Explorer 8 but the rewrite should handle that as well.

Keep it up and we are all here for you!

lary
mzizgayle
mzizgayle

You can pretty much find all kinds of low carb recipes, etc. Just make the substitutions and watch the portions and you will do fine. 180 is a little high, but the metformin will help with that....it does have a side effect of stomach upsets in the beginning but should fade away...if it continues there is an ER version (extended release) that is easier to handle, and another side effect for some is weight loss.

Most of us shoot for 35 -45 carbs a meal, and snacks about 15-20. This is not the end of life as you see it, it is just another way of life and in time it becomes 2nd nature...

Keep a food log for what you eat, try to get a book that shows the carbs, calories, etc so you can keep track. Frankly in my opinion once a day testing/monitoring is not enough, you could be fine at the time you tested/monitored but then you would not have an idea how the food you had reacted to you.

Do watch these specialty type diets, you need a balanced diet, ones that are high in protein low in carbs can affect your kidneys since diabetics are prone to kidney issues and to restrict the amount of carbs to almost nothing could send you into a diabetic low which could result in a coma,....not to scare you.

Do drink lots of water to keep the kidneys cleaned out also.

I have had this 16 years and the only thing/complication I have is some neuropathy in my toes, and some eye issues which at the moment they are thinking my thyroid since it is acting up now lol. A lot of this is common sense, do see if the clinic will refer you to a dietician to help you.

and keep asking questions..and answers to your others:

if you feel faint, it is possible you are having a low..under 70, we all react differently, I get very nervous and feel like I could eat a horse, carry gloucose tablets or eat a small snack to bring up the numbers...rule of thumb is 15 carbs, monitor numbers in 15 minutes.

if you ever test and your numbers are 400 or more, go to the hospital and if you suddenly notice your eyesight is going, go to the hospital. Don't be like me - I went thru a stressful time and suddenly in about 1 week I started losing my eyesight so I went to the eye doctor who had a major hissy fit, and come to find out my numbers were almost 1000, I kid you not, and they were surprised, amazed I was not in a coma and the kicker I drove myself LOL and still working...but all is fine now but it is a lesson to learn

Stress, hormones, sickness can affect your numbers, even some meds, watch for bruises, injuries since it takes longer to heal, same with being sick.

And with your wife being from Asia could explain her reaction, since some countries don't even deal with diabetes as prevelant as we do in the states, and it is usually their diets but yes stay away from the noodles, etc lol
deleted_user
deleted_user

@ mzizgayle:

Again, thanks so much for the advice and the virtual hand holding :)

> > > Frankly in my opinion once a day testing/monitoring is not enough... < < <

Thanks for confirming that. It does seem like most people test a LOT more than that to me. Maybe the Dr. at the clinic was more worried about my blood pressure and didn't want me to freak out by telling me to test more than once a day (he noticed that when I was at the ER my BP was about 170).

> > > if you feel faint, it is possible you are having a low..under 70, we all react differently, I get very nervous and feel like I could eat a horse, carry gloucose tablets or eat a small snack to bring up the numbers...rule of thumb is 15 carbs, monitor numbers in 15 minutes. < < <

See, that's another thing that the doctor at the clinic DIDN'T tell me about. He just said, "Metformin is unlikely to cause low blood sugar."

Let me ask this: Is it easy to tell the symptoms apart when it is HIGH blood sugar and when it is LOW blood sugar?

Also, I guess that means I should carry my testing meter with me ALL THE TIME, right?

> > > Don't be like me - I went thru a stressful time and suddenly in about 1 week I started losing my eyesight so I went to the eye doctor who had a major hissy fit, and come to find out my numbers were almost 1000... < < <

Ok, two things:

1) were you NOT testing your B/S level regularly at this time? How did it get up to 1,000 without you knowing?

2) My eyesight seems to be changing... for the better, since starting the metformin and eating smart. It was getting bad before I went to the emergency room back on February 8th, and it is MUCH better than then.

But right now it seems like my eyesight might be better than it has been in a long time. I am noticing things I hadn't seen before (like a large radio antennae on top of a nearby mountain). I've been looking at that mountain for about 8 years and never noticed the radio antennae before. And my son confirmed that yes, it DOES exist, and I am not just seeing things.

Since I have an astigmatism, meaning I am both nearsighted and farsighted, I guess, the bad part is that I am having to sit farther and farther from the computer to be able to type. To read books, I now have to slide my distance glasses down my nose and hold the book further away.

The good thing is that I can now read books WITHOUT glasses, if I hold them real close.

I am going to monitor it carefully though because I don't want to mess around with my eyes.

(BTW: My latest readings over last few days have been between 128 and 148, so nothing SUPER high. It's unlikely for a B/S in that range to CAUSE eye problems, right?)

Thanks in advance.
mzizgayle
mzizgayle

In time you will figure out what is a low and what is a high by your feelings. When I have a high, my toes get all nervy and I sometimes get a headache, eyes ached.

I did not test when the diabetes went wild with me...I was "unofficially' not diagnosed at that time, all they would do when I would say something didn't seem right is do a yearly A1C which would be under 7 and tell me "I was healthy, ate right, exercised, so don't worry " , plus the old lady speach lol... naturally when I called said doctor and said I was almost blind, eye doctor figured diabetes, she brushed that off and said "make an appointment if still concerned!! I told her I would be at her front door first thing. She called at work acting all concerned and surprised "said she knew my family history, could not be (brother and father with D) So I said told you so and by the way you are fired..send me my records ROFL

So I learned the hard way via internet, my own feelings, etc (didn't have the normal diabetic symptoms, my body decided to give me wierd ones)

And that is how I ended up here, helping the newbies so they don't go thru what I went thru

Metformin does protect of course from causing lows like some meds can but you can still have lows if you don't eat enough carbs, or do as I do spend hours outside in the gardens without snacks

Your eyes will change, in fact they constantly change so you sound like me, glasses off for computer now, and some times I can read the newspaper without glasses. In fact mine have changed to what they use to be about 6 years ago which is a good thing for me