Diabetes Dialogues

Sharing My Story: Jana

Sharing My Story: Jana

Jana Franzen lives in Osage City, Kansas. This is her story:

Oh, let's see. Diabetes runs in my family. I had gestational diabetes with my third pregnancy, which covered most of 2002 and the first bit of 2003. Sugars leveled out not long after kiddo got born. I got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in December of 2015. Had what was originally believed to be a heart attack February of 2016, and another in November. The first got downgraded to angina, and the second was labeled heartburn despite being more severe. The t-thingy indicators (my memory sucks) indicated heart attack for the first, so I'm inclined to disbelieve the downgrade.

By the time my state insurance dropped me for making too much money in February 2019 (my 2018 taxes showed I earned $10K), I was on Invokana, Januvia, glipizide, and metformin for the diabetes; atorvastatin, nitro and metrolprolol for high cholesterol and things heart related, and low-dose aspirin partly for heart and mostly for late stage ITP (apparently it does a reversal). Without the insurance, the only one of those I currently have is Invokana, acquired with the aid of ECKAN directly from the company, the aspirin when I can afford a bottle, and the dandy new stuff that starts with an 'o' that's for esophagus issues that is on my pharmacy's discount list... that I probably won't be getting again for awhile because even discounted it's painful.

I frankly have no idea how many of those issues are related to the diabetes. The only one I'm certain isn't is the ITP, because that I got diagnosed with in 1986. I'm not sure how the meds I take/took interact, and might be causing ineffectiveness or issues.

Now, mind that I don't make a lot of money. A lot of my food comes from food pantries, which tend towards pastas and other such non-diabetic-friendly carb-heavy stuffs, and what little I can grow in container gardens. I don't have a lot spare for food, meds, doctors, or anything of that nature, so I'd been putting off going to the doctor until I absolutely couldn't anymore. I've got a bad hip, too, so there are even more issues with getting a lot of physical activity in.

My blood sugars are, with the Invokana, running 170 and higher for fasting. This morning's, for example, was 202. Two hours after a meal? I'm usually in the 300-400 range. Finally broke down and went to the doctor. Not looking forward to the bill. My A1C is 10.5. Doctor's note says a low-carb diet is essential.

I keep a food diary. Sometimes it's downright detailed, sometimes I don't do anything but write the food. I went through last night and looked at how I've been charting things. I've been keeping one since 2012 or 2013, when I first participated in LBtL. The first couple years are on a hard drive somewhere. I've got Oct. 2014 on in notebooks, so those are what I looked at. For 2020, I'm reverting back to the detailed version that charts what, how much, when, carbs, sodium, cholesterol, and calories. Those are all the things I have listed in 2016 with limits.

And I can already tell that it's gonna be hell figuring out how to plan a healthy, low-carb diet with what's in my kitchen and what I can expect to be able to afford.

I don't qualify for health insurance through work, and I can't afford to buy it outright. The resource people have helped me with what they could. I buy what I can when I can, but, basically, I'm getting worse and can expect to die from the complications if things don't change somehow. I'm just not sure what I can change, aside from being very stringent about menu plans, and hobbling about a bit more. Or, you know, using the rocking chair a lot!

I suppose that's my story.

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