Doctor’s orders

I take care of myself. I get my eyes checked annually, my teeth cleaned twice a year. I visit my ob/gyn every fall and my GP every other summer. I waited longer than I should have for the dreaded colonoscopy but finally made an appointment for next month.

I did drag my feet on getting blood drawn. One morning last week, before drinking my usual cup of coffee, I finally went to the lab and handed over the crinkled request form from the depths of my purse, where it’s been since July. The doctor performing my procedure next month needed the results before my appointment.

The results arrived in the mail last night. I stood at the kitchen counter, still in my jacket and ripped open the envelope. I scanned for numbers in bold print signaling any problems. And there it was. My hemoglobin A1c, an indicator of diabetes, was high, the number listed in the “Out of Range” column. This is a family problem: my dad’s diabetic, one of my brothers is diabetic, my grandmother on my mother’s side was diabetic and there are others scattered throughout our family tree. So when I saw that number I experienced a moment’s panic, especially when I thought about the meals I’d eaten over the last three days while we were in NYC with friends. I don’t drink but got my sugar fill straight from (daily) dessert.

Within minutes of reading the lab results my cell phone rang. Not immediately recognizing the number I let it go to voicemail, then realized it was my doctor. Damn! I wanted to talk to him, tried calling the number back but got a busy signal. I settled for listening to his voice mail.

He told me what I already knew, added “lose 5 lbs and that number will go down.” He said he’d send me another lab request, told me to go back in March, reminded me to lose 5 lbs.

I’ve gained 10-12 pounds over the last couple of years, was not surprised my doctor prescribed losing five. So, I’m on a mission; I’ll need to cut back on my sugar intake, will be googling food plans for diabetics. I already miss the piece of Dove dark chocolate I eat most afternoons at work. With the holidays, parties, cookie baking around the corner I’ve got to strategize and prioritize my way to losing weight.

Does prepping for a colonoscopy count?


53 replies

  1. I’m sorry to hear about your blood work, Geralyn. My level came back high once, but then the next time it was normal and has been since.
    As for the colonoscopy…yes, you’ll lose weight from the preparation. I have mine scheduled for next week. I’ve been having them since my early 20’s, they’re not that bad. The preparation is the worst part.

    • My number is usually on the high side, Jill, but this was the highest it’s ever been. And I really do need to lose a little weight…training for marathons all those years kept it in check but not running like that anymore. Time to change a few things in my diet. I’ve heard the prep is the worst part of the colonoscopy. Hope all’s well!

  2. The colonoscopy will definitely be a jump start to your program. (I swore I pooped out my lungs!) Eat more veggies and fruit with some protein. It’s not easy (especially at this time of year) but after a while you will lose your taste for sweets (it may take a year or two). Don’t give up the chocolate. One piece only! Good luck to you!

    • Yikes, Kate! That sounds like a lot of pooping! I generally eat lots of fruit and veggies but I don’t eat meat so I seem to fall back on too many carbs. Will be adding fish into the rotation. I can’t imagine losing my taste for sweets but stranger things have happened.

  3. Please don’t think me insensitive, but I let out a huge whooping laugh at that comic…(but not at your blood work results)
    And if you come up with any strategies for navigating a weight loss regimen during the holidays other than the colonoscopy, please share…

  4. Welcome to the club! Reviewed my blood work results while rummaging through papers the other day and there it was AIC pre-diabetic. I also am on a mission to get that number down. Here’s luck to both of us! Xo

  5. One never likes to get those results that’s for sure. Yes the colonoscopy prep will help in the short term. A food journal/diary that you need to show someone at the end of each day/week is a strategy that works for many. It definitely gives me pause for thought before shoveling something in when i have used one. 🙂 Best of luck in your quest for a healthier weight.

    • Can I simply say what a relief to find someone who truly knows what theyre speaking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring a problem to mild and make it important. Extra individuals have to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant consider youre no more fashionable because you definitely have the gift.

    • Hey Big Kev…U just don’t know how much you’ve helped me with this vid… water intake has been really poor and now that you have explained the science about it, i can now be more effective with my training and how I look and feel. Thanx brother…..Im def going to try to make that Shawn Ray Muscle Camp…God willing…PHILLY POWERHOUSE BABY!!!!

  6. I admire your decision to take the bull by the horns and make some dietary changes. Studies have shown even small weight losses can lead to improved A1c numbers and prevent the need for medication down the road. But yes, I know all about that Dove chocolate that calls. (Or any type of chocolate for that matter!) Sigh. But good for you for being proactive. Best of luck to you!

    • Thanks, Carrie. I don’t want to rely on medication and know I can avoid that with a couple of tweaks to my diet. Tough with the holidays coming up but I could find any excuse. So, it starts now!

  7. Sorry about the results of the blood work but so glad you went in! Now you can take a small step to fix things! I have high cholesterol and have had to fight that for a few years! You will do great!

  8. For years (all my life?) I’ve tried to lose weight on for vanity’s sake. It wasn’t until I was in my early fifties, though, when my blood pressure was high, that my GP told me I could take medication or lose weight to control it. Finally, I had a good reason to lose weight – and I did. Best of all: no meds and blood pressure well within normal limits. It must be another indicator of middle age when health trumps vanity.

    • I am always trying to lose those 5 – 10 lbs for the same reason. Having my doctor suggest I lose weight for health reasons got my attention; he has never told me I needed to lose weight before.

  9. That comic strip is hilarious. I did a 7 day cleanse back in April and it really helped me choose better foods. Unfortunately, I gained back 5lbs and I haven’t been making good food choices any more. Thinking about another cleanse sounds dreadful…

  10. OMG! Geralyn you look like a paragon of fitness and muscle. I can’t believe you must lose weight. I’m sorry you have this dreaded “D” gene in your blood. Dang it. I feel your misery.

  11. I’m sorry to hear that – always a bit freaky to get any out of the ordinary medical results, even if it is something fairly easily fixed. There are some sugarless dark chocolate options (do you get Green & Blacks over there?) which are an acquired taste but do scratch that itch once you get used to it! Good luck!

  12. I REALLY need to do something about my weight. It’s been creeping on with these last two babies. I don’t even want to go to the doctor because NOW it is going to be like…”Please lose 50 pounds…” 😦

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