Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Healthcare Fun

This afternoon was an exciting adventure in running around as no one seemed to be of much help.

I had a follow up appointment this morning because my doctor wants to closely monitor my blood sugar until I see the specialist Friday. He told me that my blood sugar level yesterday was 849. The normal range is 70-130 or so. One of the nurses I talked to said, "You're the one with the enormous blood sugar level. Some of us were talking and we couldn't believe you're still up and about." The glucometer again could not read my blood sugar level because it was so high so I had to give them a vial of blood. The doctor also said that he wants to treat the disease more aggressively now rather than wait for the specialist. He gave me a prescription to get a glucometer and supplies. He told me to go pick it up and sometime after lunch come back and he would have a nurse show me how to use it and give me a supply of syringes and insulin.

I went and picked up the glucometer and went back to his office a few hours later. The nurse told me she hadn't used them much, so she busted out the instructions and together we figured out how to operate the machine. We were doing fine until we pricked my finger and put my blood on the test strip. Suddenly the machine just stopped working. I told the nurse it was probably the massive amount of sugar in my blood; the machine couldn't handle it and just fizzled. She got another nurse and we decided that it was probably a bad battery or unit. They looked for one at the office I could have, but none could be found.

So, that meant a trip back to the place I got the glucometer. The girl who had set me up was cute and it was fun giving her a bad time about "giving the guy just diagnosed with diabetes and a blood sugar level over 800 a bad piece of equipment." She apologized over and over and got me another one. She worked on setting it up this time to make sure it worked, but admitted that she is not a "gadget girl" so she ended up calling my doc's office to talk to a nurse about what the settings should be. Finally, she got it figured out. She smiled and told me I could call her if it didn't work. She's probably got a boyfriend, though.

Leaving, I got a call from the nurse at my doctor's office that had been helping me earlier. She told me that another doctor at the office is diabetic and said she would make sure the glucometer was set up properly for me. I drove back there and waited around while she looked it over. Finally the nurse brought it back and said it was properly calibrated and such.

Now the problem is getting blood. I might have to mess with the settings on the skin pricker because I tried it four times on three different fingers and on my palm and I could never get more than a tiny drop of blood no matter how much I squeezed. It was never enough for the machine to read. I never thought not being a bleeder would be a bad thing, but what do I know? Maybe I'll just have to get my knife out and slash open a good vein somewhere.

I did give myself an injection of the insulin before I ate dinner and I have to say that I felt much better this evening. Of course it was probably the first meal I have eaten in weeks that my body was semi-able to process. Thank God for modern medicine, eh. Maybe I can start gaining some weight and not look quite so much like the anorexic white boy as some at work have dubbed me.

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