Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Diabetes Annual Review

I've just returned from my first ever Diabetes Annual Review (DAR), for free at my new GP's office. Good golly they checked everything. It even included a smear test!

I had a bunch of blood tests a couple of weeks ago, and we discussed the findings in detail. I also got the "tickle test" (where they check you still have sensation in your feet - I was pleased I didn't giggle too much this time), the "read the letters from the chart test" (to check vision), pulses wrist and feet, heartbeat in chest and back, and liver check.

I was passing with flying colours, I even scored a brilliant HbA1c of 6.5% (down again! Yay!)

By the way, if you are a diabetic in New Zealand, or if you know a diabetic in New Zealand, get them to login to TuAnalyze and add their HbA1c data to the map! Look, we only need 12 more NZers to get NZ to light up!

But then came the bad news :(

I have proteinuria, which mean that I spill protein from my kidneys into my urine. Usually, with a diabetic, that is a sure fire sign that your kidneys are on the way out. With me they are not so sure. I had a kidney biopsy way back in '95 (I think??) and the results were inconclusive. Basically they told me that I "might just be one of those people who spill a bit of protein".

Well, with this latest round of blood tests it showed that my kidneys are getting worse. I got a microalbumin of 577, which is waaaaaay to high. All other kidney function tests were failing too. Wah. The GP has duly sent me off to get those big lovely bottles so I can do a 24hr urine collection test. (Translation: you will spend an entire weekend at home collecting pee). He said that if the protein comes in over a certain ratio, then I will have to have another kidney biospy. The biopsy itself was not too bad, but diabetes and me and anaesthetic DO NOT GOT WELL together. :( So everyone please cross your fingers that it's not a high result.

The only thing I can do to protect my kidneys is to take an ace inhibitor, like enalapril or lisonopril. I did try that a couple of years ago, but I stopped taking them after only a couple of weeks due to problems with low blood pressure. The GP couldn't believe it today when he checked my blood pressure and it was lower than before! Now down to 110/60 (and he said that the bottom number needs to be above 60 for efficient blood flow throughout the body or something, i.e. not being dead). So two things will now happen: 1) I get put back on the lowest dose ace inhibitor available, about 1/2 a 2.5mg tablet per day, and I go for another blood test, this one to check my cortisol as it may be affecting my blood pressure and making it go too low.

And the last thing? Yup, even with my good cholesterol (HDL) coming in with excellent numbers, and my ratio of HDL to LDL being great, my LDL is still ever so slightly too high at 2.2 - so he's putting me on a daily statin as well! I am awful at taking pills :( Can never remember them and have lots of trouble swallowing them :( But if it helps prevent me having a heart attack or kidney failure, then it's a good idea to TAKE THE DAMN PILLS ALREADY! (p.s. I'm yelling at myself, not at you, dear reader. Feel free to join in and yell at me to take my pills!)

Today is the last day of my mid-semester holidays and we had torrential rain yesterday and now we have gale force winds. I bought my lunch and drove down to the cliffs overlooking the beach and islands, and got actually very scared when it felt like the wind was going to tip my car into the sea. I reversed back into the hill a bit, and the car stopped rocking about like a aeroplane in turbulence. I ate my custard square looking out over the sea. It was pretty and violent and windy.


  1. My dear, that is certainly a bunch of bad news from the doctors. I am in the same cholesterol boat as you. I hope to hell your kidneys aren't as bad as they could be. I'm quite sorry to read all this but I'm glad you are in good spirits.

  2. Me too, but so far so good. I don't *feel* sick, so I shall continue on as normal until something stops me!