As they say… I just wish they never got worse in the first place. 😀 For a few weeks I thought I had reached the peak with PMR and it was under control… but then this massive flare-up with muscles aching and even my bones were beginning to hurt.
Being put on steroids, had ultimately made me gain a lot of weight (and I mean a lot) which was not helping with the PMR, but since Christmas I have lost over 4 stone and that weight loss did help a bit. Thankfully… 😀
Anyway going back to March this year… I had to concede and get myself a set of reading glasses… I already had long distance glasses (which I never wore… *slapping wrist here*)… so off to Specsavers I went. Eye test done… reading glasses issued and a new pair of long distance ones. And I did the same again… stopped wearing the long distance ones. I know my eyes are bad simply because I nearly get run over before seeing the bus number 😀 but glasses to me are uncomfortable and the thought of contact lenses and having to insert them doesn’t appeal to me at all… so I just don’t bother wearing them. Anyway the reading glasses were good, I could now see the computer screen… yes that is far more important than seeing the bus number… believe me.
Then as the months progressed, even my reading glasses things were getting blurred and as I was going to try to drive around the road to my mother’s I thought I should wear my long distance glasses. Shock, horror, everything was bloody blurred…. in fact I could see better without them… and I could see things in the distance a little clearer in my reading glasses. Brilliant… what do I do? After a lot of umming and arring, I phoned Specsavers, and booked another eye test.
Anyway I booked it for a Saturday, in fact the Saturday my husband had to pick up his glasses. So off we went… and after a bit of confusion, because I asked for another eye test.. they agreed to retest my eyes, to make sure… hey presto results… Dramatic Change in Vision. Which did rather concern the optician, bless her… so she told me to go to the Doctors and have a blood test as she wanted to rule out diabetes and that it was the decreased dosage in steroids, that I had been taking, that had actually made my eyes get better as I was on a high dosage at my initial eye test. If the test came back OK, then phone them and make an appointment to go in and choose my glasses.
So Monday came and I phoned and booked the blood test… and of course the Doctor wanted me to have another blood test anyway to check my CPR and ESR readings.
Blood done, bruised arm in the process…. so now to wait for the results.
Anyway I went to the New Forest, had a lovely weekend and forgot all about things for a while… convinced that the eyesight changes and weight loss was because I was lowering the Steroids and now taking Leflunomide which has a side-effect of making you lose weight.
Tuesday after I returned from the New Forest, I went to the Doctors, to get the result… well the fasting blood sugar test came back with a reading of 18.3. I think the normal shouldn’t be above 6 or something close to it. Mine well I had tripled the normal limit. So that was it …. I was diagnosed as Diabetic Type 2…. and that was the reason by the eye sight changes and loss of weight.
The Doctor told me medication would be needed and immediately prescribed Metformin, 1 x 500mg to be taken one a day for a week, then 1 x 500mg twice a day for a week, then increase to 1 x 500mg three times a week, and on the fourth week and there after to increase to 2 x 500mg twice a day. He wanted what was called a Hba1c test to be done and a water test …. oh no not another bloody blood test… and another bruise. And as I was tapering off of the Prednisolone, he wanted to get me off of the steroids quicker and would be talking to my Rheumatologist to see what dose is best to take to get me off of them quicker.
And of course he said having diabetes means a change of lifestyle… do the NHS prescribe two-bedroom bungalows in the New Forest? Oh so not that kind of change then… more about what you eat and the exercise yet get…. drat there I was mentally hoping for a two-bed bungalow. 😀
By luck as I came out of the consulting room and went to book the blood test, the receptionist told me if I could wait half an hour they could do the blood test there and then and as I was busting the water test was no problem. 😀
Well by Friday, I still hadn’t heard about what dose to decrease the Prednisolone by so I phoned the Doctors and the receptionist got the Doctor to ring me back. And he informed me that the result of the Hb1ac was back… yes I had a very high level of 110… whatever that means… so the Doctor me and asked if I was OK on the Metformin and that this test definitely confirms Diabetes Type II and to ring him mid August and they will then start the decreasing process of the Prednisolone.
During this telephone conversation I told him I had tingling in my hands and in my feet at times and he said this was due to the diabetes and hopefully would go when my sugar levels were levelled out properly. He couldn’t say for definite it would, because untreated diabetes can leave you with nerve damage…. brilliant… there I was for all these months thinking that decrease of the steroids was making me lose weight when in fact it was diabetes. 😦
Anyway it is being treated and if I have any concerns I can phone the surgery and he will ring me back…. So when I see this in today’s news GP Phone Calls Don’t Save Money, I would like to say they have been invaluable to me… over the last couple of years, what with the PMR and now Diabetes.
For those couple of minute calls, that I have had with my doctor on numerous occasions, they have saved a me having to book a 10 minute consultation appointment with him each time… they have saved me the money in trying to get to the doctors, and they have saved me days of worry and anxiety of having to wait to see the doctor to find out what is wrong, because our practice does book calls from the doctor that day if deemed urgent, if not the following day.
Cost of healthcare is important, but patients feeling looked after, cared for, and having this kind of access to their GP should be paramount, and it would be a great shame to see this service ended due to cost cutting measures.
And things for me can only get better…. with the aid and help of my GP and his practice that offers patients great care and understanding.