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The Best Medicine?
May 23, 2007
My husband walked into the house bearing shirts from the laundry and, as usual, hung them on the handlebar of my stationary bike.
“Honey,” I said, “I do use that to exercise.”
In response, he muttered something about not wanting his jacket to get wrinkled, then proceeded to hang the aforementioned jacket on the other handlebar.
Or he’ll ask me a question, I’ll answer it, then he’ll ask me the same question five minutes later.
Then there are the times I clean the refrigerator so that it actually has empty space in it and remind him that we’re having company in a few days and I need to store food in there. The next day, the empty spaces are filled. And I didn’t go to the store.
Tell me: Do wives’ voices come out at a pitch that is impossible for a husband to hear? Kind of like those whistles that only dogs can hear?
What really annoys me, however, is that he has Type 2 diabetes. And he really doesn’t listen to me about that!
For some time, I told him that a fasting blood glucose level of 130 mg/dl was too high. But his doctor didn’t seem concerned about it, so Hubby wasn’t either. It wasn’t until his doctor said: “Oh, your fasting is 140. We’ll have to keep an eye on that,” that I…well, I went ballistic.
Not that he listened.
Then he broke his ankle and decided that, if he was going to heal faster, he had to get his blood glucose under control. Now, his primary care provider (PCP) didn’t seem too worried about that blood glucose level, so I suggested that he go to an endocrinologist (endo). I honestly don’t know if he would have or not, had he not landed in the hospital with a blood clot in his lungs. The local endo, who was a friend of ours, stopped by his room as a courtesy and finally got him on some medicine.
Unfortunately, that endo moved away, and while Hubby canned PCP No. 1, the next wasn’t much better when it came to diabetes. I believe his philosophy was that he loved “diabetics” because they never got well and just kept coming back.
Now that doctor is moving, and it’s time to find another one. Maybe I’ll just take the initiative and make an appointment or two—with a PCP who has a clue about diabetes and with an endocrinologist. Maybe he’ll listen to one or both of them. I’m getting increasingly concerned about his health, and especially so since the recent death of his younger brother. His immediate family hasn’t been particularly long-lived and I’d like to keep Hubby around a bit longer. I kind of like him.
Frankly, I’m becoming less comfortable with the drug he does take—Avandamet, which is a combination of Avandia (rosiglitazone) and metformin.
Avandia, which was linked to an increased risk of certain fractures in women in March, closely followed by similar reports about pioglitazone (Actos), has now been linked to an increased risk of heart attack. (For more information on these findings, see “Diabetes Drug Linked to Fracture Risk”, “Second Diabetes Drug Linked to Increased Fractures”, and “Type 2 Drug Avandia Linked to Increase in Heart Attacks”.)
You know how we’re advised to eat foods that are as close to natural as possible (e.g., a baked potato rather than mashed potatoes)? I’m beginning to think that we should also strive to stick to drugs that are as close to natural as possible. Too many drugs—and not just diabetes drugs—have been shown to have adverse effects years after they were released.
I know one doctor who won’t prescribe a new drug to his patients until the drug has been on the market for at least six months. Based on recent disclosures, however, even that may prove to be too short a time for the guinea pi…er, general public…to have helped the drug companies and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determine the real risk factors of that medicine.
It’s not that I’m antimedicine: I take drugs for blood pressure, cholesterol, depression, and, of course, diabetes. I just don’t think we should blindly consume drugs without doing some research so we can be as informed as possible. Luckily, with computers and the Internet, doing the research is easy.
For diabetes, the closest-to-natural thing I know of is insulin, so I think that’s what I’m going to suggest to Hubby.
Not that he’ll listen.
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