The Diabetes Forum Support Community For Diabetics Online banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,607 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone. All my life I have been fairly healthy (I admit to being a bit of a wimp, but I was hardly ever ill). I'm about 5ft 10in and weigh in at around 175 pounds. A modest beer gut, but hardly significantly overweight.

We moved here to the middle of France in 2004 to enjoy a long healthy retirement and until this year we didn't even know the name of the local doctor.

Anyway, just to keep it interesting my brother and his wife came to visit us for a week starting 9 August. The plan was that the car would need a clean out since our dog sometimes forgets to take all her fur with her when she jumps out of the back seat. That was my chore for the afternoon after the shopping. Oh no it wasn't: I felt so under the weather that the wife had to do it and she let me know what she thought about that :eek:

By evening, I felt a good bit better and the brother was collected from the station and we went to bed. Tuesday dawned but I didn't - I felt terrible:confused: Finally the wife decided that I needed medical help (she doesn't drive) and went to have a word with one of our neighbours who kindly offered to run me to the ER room of the main hospital. Then she waited with the wife for the whole day whilst I was examined.

Fairly quickly it was decided that I had a serious kidney infection and was in the process of going into a DKA coma. However, it did take them over five hours to tell the wife and our friend that I would be staying over and that they might as well go home :(

The following morning, still plugged into the saline drip, the insulin pump and the antibiotics, the doctor repeated the question I had been asked in the emergency room - perhaps she thought I hadn't understood the French?

No, I had never been diagnosed as diabetic. No, I have no family history of diabeties. My weight has always been about normal.

I'm convinced she thought I was lying!

So now I ask the world - why me?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
Welcome to our support group, where we all prob'ly wondered once or twice "why me?" But it's a moot question - and we're better advised to apply our energy to getting our blood sugar under control. There's a wealth of wisdom and knowledge here, so ask all the questions you want; did they test you for antibodies? Maybe you're a type 1 or 1.5 - obesity isn't necessarily what causes diabetes. What has your doctor prescribed to manage it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,607 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Shanny, I take your point entirely.

My problem here is that the French medical system takes some getting used to.

I'm not aware that they did any tests for antibodies - if they did, they didn't give me any results but since they also didn't give me the results of the PSA blood test either, I wouldn't be too surprised that they are holding out on me to some extent. (I found out about the PSA test result later in discussion with another doctor).

After they had nipped the kidney infection in the bud and got me off the insulin pump, they had me on Novamix (morning and evening) and then let me out at the weekend to entertain my brother and his wife who were visiting. I think the mindset was "No way is this idiot going hyper again.." and sure enough after dinner on the Saturday (low carb), I went hypo at 58 mg/dl. (Easy fixed).

The deal was that I had Saturday and Sunday at home, then back Monday morning to finalise treatment regime.

The endocronologist at the hospital was a bit surprised when I went back with a breakdown of my weekend diet and first of all had a go at the reduced starch content of the meals. However she trotted off and came back that afternoon to tell me that she was changing me over to basal insulin (Levemir) at night, and prandin to be taken just before meals.

The instructions she gave were for meals to be taken regularly and no further mention was made of the carbohydrate level other than to say that I could skip the prandin if there was a risk of going hypo. She started the Levemir dose at 20 units with instructions to cut by 2 units if my morning blood sugar was below 80 mg/DL two days running and up by 2 units if over 120. We've been running me at about 80 grams of carb per day since mid August and we're now running at a dose of 7 units. The prandin is un-opened.

My wife Judy is a total convert to the concept of a reduced carb diet and I'm with her 100%. My average blood sugar for the last four weeks is around 91 and I'm feeling better than I have done for months.

I'm doing a lot of homework at the moment since I do want to know more detail of the diagnosis but discussing it in French is quite a challenge since the doctor's French seems to include some expressions which I can't find in my dictionary - and they're not medical expressions which are pretty much the same in French as they are in English.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
Wow - you've settled down very well in a very short span of time! Good work, John! When you see results like yours, you know you're on the right track, regardless what the medical experts think. I wish my total average were 91! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
You are certainly making good progress. Here in the US there are many programs that offer a comprehensive education to the newly diagnosed. Maybe there is a similar program in France.

Of course everyone is unique but I have had my best success with increasing my activities. I enjoy my time in the gym because it gets me away from the usual headaches of the job. But it is also valuable because I am finding the fitness I never really had. You might find that a daily walk is good step in the right direction.

Why me? Who knows. But live today for tomorrow and don't look back.

Bryant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,607 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hi Bryant,

In this part of France, the nearest town - 5 miles away - has a HUGE population of 823, and where the main hospital is - 20 miles away - all of 3,000. What's a gym? :)?

Walking, running or cycling are the only exercises on offer and with our idiot dog demanding exercise too, walking at least 5 miles each day is more or less compulsory!

Whilst I'm fairly happy with the French crisis management of my DKA incident, their follow up and education program seems to be entirely in the hands of my GP, who seems to be very happy to leave us to it. Perhaps he was thoroughly impressed by log of blood sugar results? Maybe as he gets to know us better, we'll be able to drag more information out of him.

As you say, we're not going to let this spoil our long and happy life here in France!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Hi John,

I have an idiot dog too. I also have three boys who are responsible for walking her - gets me off the hook I guess.

I am envious of your isolated location. We live in a small suburban community near a large city. That's good for health resources and the arts but not much else.

I am new here but from what I see you have a good support group here that can offer plenty of sound advice.

Bryant
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,771 Posts
Hi everyone. All my life I have been fairly healthy (I admit to being a bit of a wimp, but I was hardly ever ill). I'm about 5ft 10in and weigh in at around 175 pounds. A modest beer gut, but hardly significantly overweight.

We moved here to the middle of France in 2004 to enjoy a long healthy retirement and until this year we didn't even know the name of the local doctor.

Anyway, just to keep it interesting my brother and his wife came to visit us for a week starting 9 August. The plan was that the car would need a clean out since our dog sometimes forgets to take all her fur with her when she jumps out of the back seat. That was my chore for the afternoon after the shopping. Oh no it wasn't: I felt so under the weather that the wife had to do it and she let me know what she thought about that :eek:

By evening, I felt a good bit better and the brother was collected from the station and we went to bed. Tuesday dawned but I didn't - I felt terrible:confused: Finally the wife decided that I needed medical help (she doesn't drive) and went to have a word with one of our neighbours who kindly offered to run me to the ER room of the main hospital. Then she waited with the wife for the whole day whilst I was examined.

Fairly quickly it was decided that I had a serious kidney infection and was in the process of going into a DKA coma. However, it did take them over five hours to tell the wife and our friend that I would be staying over and that they might as well go home :(

The following morning, still plugged into the saline drip, the insulin pump and the antibiotics, the doctor repeated the question I had been asked in the emergency room - perhaps she thought I hadn't understood the French?

No, I had never been diagnosed as diabetic. No, I have no family history of diabeties. My weight has always been about normal.

I'm convinced she thought I was lying!

So now I ask the world - why me?
Welcome to the forum! First of all I want to clarify something, you don't catch diabetes, it is not contagious. MOST of the time we inherit the disease. And as to why you have gotten the disease....that is a good question and you probably will never know the answer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24,394 Posts
Your location sounds about like ours, John . . . six miles from a town of about 1000, and 40 miles from our doc & hospital. Fortunately, our doc recently spearheaded a drive for a new medical facility there which is state-of-the-art, wired for complete EMR, and bringing in many more specialties, although not yet endocrinology.

But we love our isolation, and are willing to accept the trade-offs. Our idiot dog loves it too, because he gets to run free & not have to be walked on a leash, unless we're traveling & out in public.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,607 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Yep, we picked the area because it was isolated. After 20 years living with London traffic, the peace and quiet was delightful - even if I did have to learn to drive on the wrong side of the road!

Our doctor is in the village, about a mile down the road but state of the art? I don't think so. Still, we'll cope.

We rescued our dog from a the nearest rescue centre here in France (20 miles away, the same town as the hospital) - She's a seven year old Labrador cross - a complete dope and she loves running mad in the forest - just as well because that's all there is round here!

John
 

·
Anti-Man Made Carbs!
Joined
·
1,891 Posts
Welcome to the forums John!
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top