Fabulous Day, Fabulous Progress

Today, I had another visit to the endocrinology department. I didn’t see Dr. Lee, though. This was my chance to have follow-up meetings with Jen and Faith. And I have to admit that I had quite a pleasant time with them. Of course, the good news right at the beginning helped that a ton.

I got to the office at about 2:45, checked in, and paid $100 on my outstanding bill. That’s about half of what I owe from my last visit. I would’ve paid the other half too under other circumstances. However, with this being a non-payday week and already having spent a significant amount of money on other bills this past week, I decided I should wait another week or two to pay the full amount. At least I figured roughly 50% would be a “good faith token” that I am paying it and will continue to do so. So having checked in and taken care of the business portion of the visit, I sat down in the waiting room and patiently waited for my appointment. Faith was running a bit late and didn’t get to me until almost 3:15, for which she apologized. I didn’t mind, other than the fact that I was beginning to wonder if something had come up or something, but things turned out fine.

So before leading me into her office to pour over my food diary, Faith has me jump up on the scale to see what I weighed. And there was the pleasant surprise. It seems that since November 2, I have lost 18 pounds. I was a bit shocked. I had known I had lost some weight and I was hoping it was at least five or even ten pounds, but I’d never expected such high results. Needless to say, Faith was quite ecstatic, too. So we rushed into her office and I pulled out my food diary for her to look over. She went through it and was quite impressed with it. She commented that I was missing a few foods on the first page, which I explained was due to the fact that my mother and I had to spend the first few days doing some grocery shopping to help with my change in diet. (My family has never been very good about incorporating an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables in our diets, so it meant doing some serious restocking of foods for us.) She also commented on the few days where I seemed to “skip” meals and was fairly relieved when I explained that this was due to me forgetting to update my food diary in a timely manner and not being able to remember what I just ate. I did assure her that I ate, though, and she was satisfied. She said that I seemed to be doing quite well at making sure I hit all the major dietary needs as well as spreading my food intake throughout the day.

We even talked about my weight loss, and she reiterated her position on that. I actually like it. Her whole philosophy is that while she’s always happy to see her clients lose weight, it’s not her main aim. Her main aim is for them to do the work of eating a properly healthy diet of the proper proportions. In her mind, the weight will then take care of itself in turn. So I’m endeavoring to keep that in mind, because I think it’s a helpful philosophy. So my plan is to continue to keep track of what I’m eating in writing and monitoring my glucose levels. Then I can let the weight take care of itself.

After our conversation, Faith told me she’d like to see me again in a couple months and we determined that we could schedule my appointment on the same day that I go back to see Dr. Lee, which is March 3. After this, she handed me the paper and went to see if Jen was ready for my appointment with her. Jen was ready, so Jen popped in Faith’s office and had me come talk to her. Faith had already filled her in on the whole weight loss thing, and Jen was equally excited about it.

She went over my exercise calendar and saw that I’ve consistently met my goal of taking three twenty minute walks each week. She was quite pleased with this and inquired if I’d given any thought to any changes I might want to make to my physical activity. I told her that I had thought about it and decided that I did not want to increase the number of days I’m walking, due to the fact that it might prove difficult to make it someplace to walk more than three days a week when the snow starts falling. (Speaking of which, it was flurrying on the way home, but that’s probably best left for a different entry.) However, I did mention that I was considering the possibility of increasing the length of each walk to twenty five or even thirty minutes instead of the current twenty minutes. She felt this was an excellent idea.

I also discussed my plans to try and recall as many of the ballet exercises I did in my college dance class and make a twenty minute workout of that. She thought this was another excellent idea, especially as it would add a number of stretching exercises to my physical activity. Overall, that meeting was quite positive, and she commented that I wouldn’t have to come see her again as long as my therapy kept moving in a positive direction (i.e. going off medications rather than needing more). Since I’ve been walking so much, she also gave me a free pedometer from a bunch that she gets as gifts from one of the pharmaceutical companies. I checked it out when I got home and it’s kind of neat. It’s a talking pedometer, which I think is kind of cheesy, but it’s still a neat idea. Tomorrow sometime, I plan on measuring the length of my average step and entering it in. Then I can start seeing roughly how many steps and miles I walk during my exercise routine. Also, Jen suggested that I see how much walking I get in from a typical day when I’m not taking my walk.

Apparently, I also have Jen to thank for my reduced medication. According to her, Dr. Lee missed the numerous glucose readings in the fifties a couple weeks ago. He had sent her a copy of my readings with his recommendation of “no change.” She immediately sent them back to him with all the low values circled and a strong suggestion that he cut my glyburide. So it’s thanks to Jen that I haven’t been bottoming out this week. Well, other than Wednesday. But that was due to an insufficient supper, I think.

This was a highly positive visit for me. It seemed great to see the weight loss and know that I’ve made my goals. And it’s really encouraged me to keep going. I think I’ve about convinced myself to keep up with keeping track of my exercise and food diary, even after I don’t have to show them to anyone. And to celebrate, I ran to Vestal and ate at the Chinese buffet. It was absolutely tasty. I thought I’d had a bit too much, but I guess I didn’t do too badly. When I got home and tested my blood sugar two hours after eating, I was at a 78.

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