Monday, February 22, 2010

BLAME it on Diabetes!!!

The cardiac surgeon said, and I quote word for word:

His diabetes has literally chewed up all of his arteries.

I sure hope diabetics will start to listen to me now! He had the cardiac catheterization this morning. They went in just enough to look at the damage and came right back out. So the good news is that very little dye was used in today's procedure, so very little risk of additional damage. He will get tests to verify this in a week.

BUT.....he is going to have to have FIVE bypasses done! Every artery has been destroyed by diabetes.

Not by high cholesterol.

Not by coronary disease.


Now, tell me this has no impact on the spouse, family, everyone involved in his life? He will be out of work for up to 6 weeks. A minimum of a month. He could have "the big one" any time between now and surgery...or even during surgery.

the"news" has been coming in all afternoon with each visit from a doctor or a nurse as he is still in recovery. He has to modify the low glycemic menu to a heart healthy menu. Immediately after surgery, he will start with cardiac rehabilatation. He HAS to lose weight. He HAS to follow the diet. He is not going to be allowed any options. So all that is wonderful news as far as I'm concerned.

Bottom line, I still am the one to play police and monitor what he heats, what his activity level is.

But backing up. Lots of issues today with just this procedure. He was fasting and woke up to glucose at 57. Yikes! Took orange juice with the stuff to protect his kidneys Got to hospital and glucose was at 87. They started a dextrose IV. Wanted it higher.

Then, had to use an ultrasound to find pulse in his feet. Did a special test called AVI to determine difference between BP in feet and arms. Had to be at least 1.0 and that was where he was. IV drip with more stuff to protect his kidneys. His pain shot up because he couldn't move (back and hip pain) so they called an anethesiologist in for standby in case they had to put him under during the cath (ended up not having to go this route). Couldn't administer any pain meds until he had signed all of the releases. So lots of tiny little details to consider. Excellent hospital. Wonderful staff. Thank goodness!

After the cath, they put hard pressure on the incision point in his groin for 20 minutes. We are now 3 hours post op and they still have the IV with the kidney stuff going. He cannot get up until 30 minutes after that is turned off.

I think the biggest problem for him has been the pain from his hips and back - he has to lay perfectly flat and cannot move his leg or hip. Pretty miserable, but he is handling it well.

So, let's have that famous argument now. If you take all your meds and follow your can STILL get right to where he is needing to have al 5 arteries bypassed. Why? because even if you have a NORMAL can be going equally high and low and have it average out to a normal. And there is no way to know this unless you test your glucose 8 times a day and also throughout the night. And for each time your glucose goes high, there is probably going to be damage to your arteries. And yet....your doctors will not pick up on any of this because your A1C is normal.

He has had a normal A1C for the last 30 years. It only went to 9.2 in December. His heart did not get to this point in the last 2 months! It has been coming on for years and that is according to his cardiologist. Yet no one ever did a thing about it until his A1c shot up....and he reported angina pains a full year after they started happening.

So just because you have a normal A1C - that does not guarantee you anything!

If you are the spouse of a diabetic who has a normal A1c.....I would recommend that you insist they test 8 times a day and ate least 2 - 3 times at night. If it truly stays normal - great. But if it goes low or high, even once, understand that it has to go equally the same distance in the other direction in order for it to average out to be normal. For instance.....if it goes up to 300 and the average is 120, then it has to drop to ZERO at least once, or go down to 50 or lower twice, at some time, to have it average out to 120.

I would have to say that a good A1C is really not a good test. Testing every 2 - 3 hours around the clock is the only thing that will tell you what's really going on. We did that back in 2006. He has not done it since I feel certain that he's been doing the high/low thing for at least the last 4 years!!! No wonder he needs 5 bypasses.

Please remember, I'm merely writing about the life of one guy, and my life as his primary care giver, and my battle to accept this "lot in life" that has been cast upon us. It is the ugly truth about what hapens to a diabetic who has passed stage 3 of kidney failure and entering into stage 4.


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