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I got my blood work back from my last blood test a few weeks ago. My LDL (bad) cholestoral has gone down, my blood sugars are improving, and everything looks good for the most part. BUT...

I have to bring my HDL (good) cholestoral levels up. My level was at a 29, and it's supposed to be over 40. My doctor said he's like to see it at 50. So we changed my medication to something that has Niacin in it. From what he was telling me, Niacin helps raise HDL levels. He also suggested oat bran, and salmon, which are also good for HDL.

So, we'll see what I can accomplish before Thansgiving, when I get to go in again and have him steal my vital fluids for his barbaric tests!
payne_n_diaz: (Headshot)
Many of my friends who have known me for a substantial period of time know that I have always been a big guy. Now, when I say big I mean it in the nicest sense of the word (and literall sense as well). I have a big personality, large stature, circumference, height, attitude - it all comes with the package. Over the years I have been saddled with a label that I have grown to despise (yet accept): Big Mike. Let me use it in an example of a conversation between a friend and their spouse:

"Who's that on the phone?"
"It's Mike."
"Mike who?
"You know, Big Mike!"
"Oh! Tell him I said Hello."

Riveting dialog, isn't it? Anyway, after years of being referred to as 'Big Mike' and the addition of being diagnosed as a diabetic a couple months ago I have instituted a bunch of lifestyle changes. Some of the more notable ones include no more drinking soda like it's the elixer of life, more salads before meals, more physical activity, etc. Since instituting these changes, I have noticed my pants getting very loose - to the point that my belts are also too loose and I have to add notches (I am too cheap to buy a new belt just yet). All of this has culminated in going to a Weight Watchers meeting last night with my wife. I guess we get to pay them $10 weekly to use their scale. The nice thing about it was that I weighed a lot less than I thought I would on the initial weigh in... About 50 Lbs lighter actually... Which was a nice ego boost, and quite motivating to say the least.

So, I am supposed to list some of the 'weight related outcomes' that I want to achieve. These are supposed to motivate me further to stick with the program. Considering that I have always been a 'big' guy I think these may sound a bit simplistic, but to be honest I would like to do the following eight things:

1) Purchase an item of clothing with only one 'X' in front the the word 'Large'.
2) Buy a nice suit and wear it without breaking out in a sweat.
3) Ride every single roller coaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain.
4) Go horse back riding and not feel I am commiting cruelty to animals.
5) Catch a pretty woman (other than my wife) in the process of checking out my ass.
6) Sit in 'Coach' on an airplane and not be uncomfortable, or use the seatbelt extension.
7) Go to my next high school reunion and have NOBODY know who I am.
8) Get seated in a reastaurant without the hostess asking "Would you prefer a table?"
payne_n_diaz: (Default)
Ugh! I went to the pharmacy today and was looking at the price of blood-glucose testing strips (for diabetics) and I was amazed at how expensive they are. Granted, I have to buy them as well, but I found a medical supply place that can get my insurance to cover them (price in full) for a three month supply. The funny thing is that I tried to do that with another company, and they said my insurance wouldn't cover the expense. My presription plan wouldn't cover it because they aren't drugs - even though my doctor wrote up a scrip for them. How can one medical supply place get it to be covered when the other one couldn't? I guess it's all in how you fill out the paperwork, or list the supplies, or something arcane and stupid like red tape!

What amazes me is that with all the money that we pay to insurance companies, they are constantly looking to disallow coverage for the little things. Hey, my employer and I paid for the benefit, and they should honor it without a hassle! But they don't care...

So, now I have my testing unit that I keep at work and I supply my own test stuff for it - Accu-Check Active (the unit and supplies are very inexpensive for those of you who may need one). I have the unit that my doctor gave me free of charge (Precision Xtra - nice machine, but the test strips are EXPENSIVE!). But wait, now I also have the unit given to me by the medical supply place (Assure - big, bulky, but it has a cool touch screen menu and I'll leave that one at home for home testing).

The moral of this story? Stop drinking soda like it's water! It'll screw up you blood sugar and next thing you know you'll be testing your blood everyday.

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