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7-29-2020 – Metformin free

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by LGOberean, Aug 1, 2020.

  1. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Please pardon me in advance for rejoicing a bit, but for the first time in almost six years, I am Metformin-free!

    Wait...on second thought, I take back my apologetic tone. I’m not trying to gloat over anyone else in this, but I make no apologies for my celebratory perspective.

    This has been the result of almost six years of work, of discipline and lifestyle changes, of making new routines in my life that have worked for me. I achieved my goal. I won! To apologize now would be like getting a “participation trophy” after all my hard work.

    The story that started six years ago has been told. To quickly summarize, on August 28, 2014, I had a heart attack. At the ER, blood work not only confirmed that I had indeed had a cardiac event, but that I also had uncontrolled diabetes. (Those two things were no doubt inexorably linked together.)

    After quadruple bypass surgery and my subsequent deliverance from the hospital, I found a doctor, a General Practitioner. (Before that, I hadn’t seen a doctor since 1987.) The medication prescribed for the control of my Type II diabetes was Metformin. The dosage was three 750 mg tablets per day, or 2,250 mgs per day.

    In the following months, I began to make changes, and kept a daily log of my glucose levels. At my next appointment my A1C was better. Eventually, my dosage was reduced to two 750 mg tablets per day. Eventually my dosage was lowered again, to one 750 mg tablet per day. After that, the tablet size was reduced, from 750 mg to 500 mg, with the same once per day dosage.

    Last September, I had suffered a spider bite below my left eye. I posted pics of that here on TDPRI. At that time, after reviewing my charts, the founder of the medical practice said to me, "You are an excellent candidate for reversing your diabetes through diet and exercise."

    That really resonated with me. All along I had wanted to take as natural an approach as possible with respect to controlling my glucose levels. But to hear my doctor say it to me was tremendously encouraging. His use of the words “excellent candidate” lit a fire under me.

    For the next ten months, from mid-September of 2019 up to my appointment on Wednesday, I worked toward that end. Maintaining the disciplines, particularly exercise, wasn't always easy, especially during the winter months.

    Then, earlier this year, when I would have otherwise had a doctor’s appointment, it was canceled because of the Wuhan virus. My prescription was renewed without going in to get blood work done. I kept working to maintain the disciplines, eating well and exercising.

    Then, going in this past Wednesday, I knew what numbers I had been recording, as well as the amount of exercise I'd been getting. I've also been keeping a daily log of everything I eat: every meal, every snack, every day. So going in I was pretty much expecting a good report. I was even planning to ask what protocols they had for taking me off the Metformin completely.

    My weight was down 10 pounds from my last visit, my blood pressure was 112/70, and my resting heart rate was 54 bpm. But more to the point, my A1C was below 5.7%. In other words, a normal glucose level.

    I asked about getting off the Metformin, and my doctor readily agreed. I have an appointment in six months to see how I've been doing without it.

    And so far, so good. I didn't do all this hard work just so I could say, "Okay! Where's the Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate and Snickers bars?!?" I still maintain the disciplines of keeping a daily log of blood sugar readings and of what I eat, as well as daily exercise. And my glucose readings have been in normal ranges for these first three days off the Metformin.

    Okay, I'm being Loquacious Larry again. Sometimes I think that should be my username here. :oops: But I just felt like celebrating by sharing this with all y'all.
     
  2. Kloun

    Kloun Tele-Meister

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    Let me be the first to congratulate you! I, unfortunately, am not metformin free. Though the doc did lower the dosage on the glipizide. Slowly but surely getting there.
     
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  3. LOSTVENTURE

    LOSTVENTURE Tele-Afflicted

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    What are your blood sugar levels reading now?
     
  4. jannodude

    jannodude Tele-Afflicted

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    Congratulations @LGOberean

    I’m an advocate and proponent of a choosing and living a healthier lifestyle. It’s refreshing to see folks heal and minimize the need for prescription medications.

    Please keep up the good work! Your health is definitely your wealth.. :)
     
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  5. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Fasting on Thursday morning was 88 mg/dL, Friday morning, 90 mg/dL.
     
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  6. Lenny1716

    Lenny1716 Tele-Meister

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    Congrats..still on 500mg after 9 years. Not as disciplined.
     
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  7. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Do you mind me asking what a set of typical meals looks like for you on any given day. I can't keep my glucose levels anywhere near normal if I consume any obvious carbs. Of course everything has carbs so it would be more accurate to say if I consume more than 10g carbs in any meal, my glucose is way above normal. I've kind of lost hope that I can get where you are.
     
  8. harpdog

    harpdog Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Well done, keep it up!
     
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  9. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Poster Extraordinaire

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    Good job, congrats!

    I, OTOH, just got back ON Metformin, but in a way, I'm happy ( well, not really happy) as after a lapse of over a year, we got back on health care ( long story, but I screwed up, and we lost benefits)

    Suffice it to say my wife and I have both gone back to our Kaiser Dr.'s for '
    catch-up care'
    She is actually dealing with long term consequences of 5-10 years on unchecked type 2 diabetes, a whole litany...,
    And I have work to do, I've been bad!

    Need to cut way back on carbs, lose weight- again!- A1C is bad, but working on it.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2020
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  10. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    No, I don't mind. But let me preface my answer with this: how I eat is based on principles, not recipes. And the truth of it is my wife is the savvy one when it comes to this. She has been a licensed midwife with the North American Registry of Midwives for two decades, and counsels patients on their diet all the time. After obtaining her license, I became a diabetic, and so she began researching what to do for me, and it also helped her with her patients, since a lot of them are "gestational" diabetics.

    My meals are very routine. Some might say boring. But that's one of the adjustments I've made mentally. I now go by the slogan "I don't live to eat; I eat to live."

    My breakfast each morning is almost always the same. I have two eggs, scrambled, with one Hebrew National hot dog. The HN franks have no added sugar. I love bacon, but unless it's no sugar added/not sugar cured, it doesn't love me back. And since NSA bacon is hard to find, I switched to the HN franks. Also with my breakfast I have a half slice of toast, made from Ezekiel Bread (organic sprouted grain bread). That's my bread of choice. White bread is unhealthy, and it tastes like Styrofoam to me now.

    Lunch is typically either a salad or an Amazing Grass Supergreens shake. Supper is often a salad (especially if we didn't have one for lunch). But quite a few times it will be a steak or a burger patty sans any bun or bread, with a side salad or some other greens, like green beans, asparagus or broccoli.

    And what I drink is an important factor. I don't drink alcohol, never did much of it, but now usually just once a year, some wine on our anniversary. With my breakfast in the morning, I drink coffee, black. I've been drinking black coffee since I was a preteen in Boy Scouts. I'll have two cups in the morning with breakfast, maybe a third cup if my wife makes a little more or drinks a little less herself.

    For the rest of the day, I drink water. If I still lived on our family farm (which actually is no longer a working farm), I'd drink our well water. Here in the city of Corpus Christi, water quality isn't great, so I get purified drinking water via Watermill Express kiosks in town. Coffee is made from that water, iced tea (though I can't remember the last time we made that) is from that same WE water.

    But mostly, I just drink water. And actually, that's a long standing habit. As a teen working for a construction company, and later as a truck driver driving a bulk oil tanker, delivering petroleum products to refineries, oil derricks, machine shops, etc., I learned that nothing slaked a thirst like water. Sweet tea won't do it (even though I am a native citizen of the Lone Star State, I haven't had that since 1970); cokes (sodas or pops, if you live outside of Texas) certainly won't slake your thirst.

    Water, just plain water is my beverage of choice. I drink at least a gallon of it a day. That's no exaggeration. I have a 32 ounce thermal mug that is beside me all day long. We keep 2-3 gallons refrigerated, and I refill my multiple times a day. I've already finished off more than 32 oz. I will refill it again at lunch, again at supper, and after we go for our evening walk, I'll refill it again. And then once more, which will hold me until I go to bed.

    And speaking of our evening walk, exercise is a key aspect to my disciplines/daily regimen. My wife and I go for a walk every evening with our dog Bella. Sometimes during the day, I'll go for a walk without her (without my wife, that is, not without the dog). Our daily distance according to an app on my phone is at least a mile. When we go on camping trips in our RV, we like to hike trails in state parks and such, so that number goes up to 2-3 miles.

    Okay, another long-winded comment from me. Thus endeth the sermon from Brother LGOberean. :oops:
     
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  11. Deeve

    Deeve Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    That's straight-up Good News.
    I wish I'd been able to guide my dad into the diet & activity choices that helped your body take over, @LGOberean and heal so well.

    Peace - Deeve
     
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  12. Ronzo

    Ronzo Tele-Holic

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    Wonderful news! I wish I had your discipline.
     
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  13. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

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    Not a serman, and thanks! You've pretty much confirmed for me what I already knew. You just can't eat carbs period. I've been able to maintain periods of success, but have not been able to maintain it long term. Big props to you for having the fortitude to keep it up.
     
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  14. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    Thanks, everyone. I haven't had a perfect track record over the past six years, by any means. That's part of why it's taken me six years to achieve this goal. Winters and the holidays are usually the toughest.

    At that time of year, when temps are cold, or what I consider cold (which some of you would probably laugh at), it's tempting to eat comfort food and hard to choose a salad as a meal when it's cold outside. The holidays can be tempting, too, although less so than in years past because we don't do big family holiday gatherings anymore. Our children have grown children of their own (7 of our grandchildren are in the 18-24 age range), and none of them live down here anymore. So they do their own family celebrations, which is as it should be.

    A big part of the winter problem is the interruption of exercise. And I have it good here in South Texas, winter-wise. I don't know what I'd do if I lived in a colder climate. I have no tolerance for cold. I guess I might be able to get acclimated to it if I lived with it, but I never have.

    Extreme heat isn't easy on me, either, but my wife and I will start our evening walk close to 8 pm, earlier as days get shorter. By then, the evening temps are in the mid 80s, which is fine. I mean, I'm supposed to be getting my heart rate up and working up a sweat anyway, right?

    To be honest, one of the big motivations for me is so that I can reach my 50th wedding anniversary. That's a life event I want to reach. Granted, it's less than three years away, but still it's important to me.

    And I'm not saying I don't care if I live beyond 2023. But as a survivor of a heart attack and bypass surgery, plus being a diabetic and an American male, my life expectancy in terms of averages doesn't give me a lot of years left. I hope I beat the averages, but I'm not taking anything for granted.
     
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