Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Illness Pays!

Remember the surgeries I mentioned in my last post? Well, to make matters worse, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes last January. I should've known. I had "the thirst" for the better part of the previous year. I ignored it.

But I plunged into caring for it with all the gusto I brought to my heart surgery in 2004 and my endarterectomies in 2005. 2006 was going to be my year for diabetes.

My old internist (I fired him in March) put me on an aggressive pharmaceutical regimen almost immediately. My A1C1 (a blood test) was 13.4, which was not good. I joined a gym. I stopped eating sugars and carbs (I looked at the labels on everything.... you'd be shocked to find out how loaded with carbs things like fruit-juice are).

I took another A1C1 test in early July, as part of my introductory physical with my new internist. It had dropped to 6.1 in six months.

I didn't know, until today, how astounding that was.

As part of my regimen for monitoring my diabetes I have a monthly 1/2 hour telecon with my diabetes coach at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick. She's an RN who specializes in caring for diabetics. About six weeks ago she asked me if I'd be interested in serving on a diabetes education oversight committee at the hospital, as a civilian "stakeholder". It involved sitting in on a meeting once a year and offering my input as a "non-medical" interested party. I said yes. It seemed like the least I could do.

We started to meet in the lobby of the hospital around 11:30 a.m. today. I was surprised at the number of high "muckety-mucks" who were on the committee. The doctor who heads the Endocrinology Department, the AVP in charge of nursing and other, important, department heads were all there. Mostly I just listened, but I piped up regarding a couple of issues, mostly having to do with the importance of "face-to-face" medical care. They'd been making a lot of noise about doing internet (read: e-mail) coaching. I bridled at that one, and said so.

They're going to do what they're going to do, but I stuck up for the patients as best I could. My coach thanked me afterwards and said that I had done a fine job of representing patient interests. Then she surprised me by asking me if I'd be willing to become a permanent member of the committee! I was flattered and said, "YES, OF COURSE."

All of this is well and good of course, but what I really want to KVELL about is the lunch. They fed us, buffet style. I was afraid it was going to be typical "hospital food." Boy, was I wrong! They had tuna wraps, turkey & cheese wraps, a really delicious salad and all kinds of fresh fruit. It was great!

It occured to me on the drive home that, at long last, one of my various medical conditions had FINALLY started earning its keep.


Bev Sykes said...

So now that you're a well respected member of the community, don't you think that you are worthy of owning your own home?

JoyZeeBoy said...


And I can see now that publishing a blog is a lot like having a sponsor and a home group.

They're FOREVER reminding me of all the crap I said last week... month... year... yesterday.

Anonymous said...

Milk it, baby! Milk it!!

JoyZeeBoy said...

This from a man who knows a thing or two about working medical conditions into the act!

I know the NYTimes got to you last night (they may see it again tonight -- just to "tweak" the review), but break a leg anyway.

But no matter what happens, remember this... you are loved by the people who matter.

Alan said...

Glad to hear your diabetes is under control. I got that same diagnosis a few years ago and the South Beach Diet worked wonders for me, though I have been off it for awhile (eating healthy Is more expensive). Luckily I have been very bizzy with the Safeway gig of late (mostly changing the shelving in the Frito Lay aisle with the fringe bennie of not wanting to so much as LOOK at another chip ;) so finances are improving....are you really gonna buy a house??

JoyZeeBoy said...


Yup, I'm seriously considering taking the plunge into long-term debt.

Oh, I guess handling Fritos all day is like being a bank teller who handles money all day. It stops meaning anything after awhile.