Saturday, November 7, 2009

Manage Your Own Healthcare

First of all, happy Saturday- Happy November!

I had an apple/cinnamon pedicure this morning and then put a big pot of beans on to cook. It's fall, y'all!

My message today is to question, question, question and to be your own health advocate.

Wednesday I had my three month check up with the thyroid doc. I like him, I trusted him, I never had a problem. I HAVE asked him about insulin resistance before (which he has never answered and never tested me for) and I have spoken to him about the weight gain I've had since being diagnosed with Graves Disease. THIS particular visit, he asked how I was feeling, yadda yadda and immediately launched into what I can only call a sales pitch for a drug called Byetta- google it - it's for people with Type 2 Diabetes and while not insulin, it DOES do something funky with your blood sugar. It is also injected, twice a day, not a pill.

He tells me he has had some success giving this to his patients as a weight loss drug, for one year - after a year, the weight loss part of it wears off. One lady lost 45 pounds. He said we only had this small "window of opportunity" ... he also told me it's $200 a month and that my insurance may NOT pay it because it's not supposed to be used for weight loss and I am not diabetic. He gave me a one month sample and also casually told me I was Pre-Diabetic. WHAT?!

I had that test in MARCH and he told me I was fine ... it never came up again. This is NOVEMBER. I was very bothered. I went home with my sample and put it away ...

Friday I mentioned this to my friend, Kelley, at work who has thyroid issues as well. She was very concerned and asked me to call the doc and get my blood test results please for the entire year. In the meantime we looked up Byetta and WOW-EE folks. Nuh- huh. NOT doing it. It has been known to cause pancreatitis and more scary, renal failure. NO THANK YOU. Not for 45 lbs. It has caused enough renal failure (which is kidney) that the FDA is now looking into it. The drug is only 5 years old.... it said it HAS been known to cause weight loss because what it does is it shuts the stomache valve. Closes it tight. It is physically IMPOSSIBLE to eat while on this drug. The tummy won't open, so uh yeah- it causes weight loss alright! One of the side effects is severe upset stomache - which if you think about it, it's like plugging up your sink and turning on the water- eventually it will overflow, i.e. vomit.

My blood tests fax came over in record time. I even had gotten my results from the day before. My levels are good - no change. We looked and he did check my glucose in March and it was 93, which is completely within range. I also had not fasted that day because I didn't know we were testing it ... so basically he just LOOKED at me a few months later, ok almost a YEAR later and decided, hey I need to push this drug on her .... I am NOT pre-diabetic. In further conversations with Kelley she said I COULD be insulin resistant which makes you feel bad, whether you eat or not and makes it impossible to lose weight. They do have meds for that.

She helped me get an appt with HER doc for 11/18 and I am going to have a fasting insulin test as well as a PCOS test -Polycistic Ovarian Syndrome. Very common with thyroid patients and insulin resistant people. I do seem to have more tummy problems than most people. When I called to make my appt the lady answering the phone was VERY concerned and told me not to take the Byetta.

Thank goodness for my brain, thank goodness for my friend who REALLY cares about me and thank goodness for second opinions.

In the meantime, I am moving and exercising and eating as well as I know how. I can not wait to see Dr Wilson in a few weeks. I am very interested to know his thoughts on this Byetta pusher.

Seriously, google it. I would not get NEAR this stuff unless I was well and truly diabetic.



Jess said...

Wow, that is really unfortunate. I'm very sorry to hear that your doctor pushed this drug so hard. I'm really glad you did your own research and are meeting with another doctor.

Jeremy said...

I'm glad you did some checking. I can't stand most medical/dental "professionals" because of the kinds of things you're seeing now. I'm irritated when I get suckered into the "rust protection" for a new car, but this is my LIFE! Irritation isn't the word!

I really hope you get it figured out, though. I, too, have been reading about PCOS ($5 if you guess why). My family has a history of diabetes, and so does my wife's family.

Give me a shout if you want to compare notes, though. I've read up on it a little bit, and would like to hear what you've heard from "pros".

Also, keep kicking ass with the diet/exercise. Nothing pisses off (pre-) diabetes like consistency in the diet/exercise department.