Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Blood Sugar Level: 632

So, jumping right into it:  I recently discovered I had a blood sugar level of 622.  For those who don't know what that means, average blood sugar levels should be below 100.  Diabetes occurs when glucose levels elevate above that (and it's different for everyone).  Organ damage starts occurring at 300.  So now you should be wondering how I am still a functioning human being right?

Well, so am I.

Over the past several months, I've not been feeling my best.  Standout annoyances were cramps in my calves and shins mostly at night but sometimes during the day, drinking like a fish and pissing like a racehorse, and a general overall feeling of malaise.  Back in June, I scheduled my annual physical which would eventually take place on August 6th.  When that day came, I hopped up on the table in my doctor's office, whipped out my list of ailments and watched him put it all together.  All of my symptoms seemed to trace back to my Lipitor prescription.

I've been on Lipitor for just over 14 years, ever since my heart surgery in August 2005.  And since then, the dosage had stayed the same (40mg/day), that is until this past February when my cardiologist increased the dosage to 80mg/day since my bypasses were now 14 years old.  A side effect of Lipitor (which I didn't know at the time) is elevation of blood sugar.  In 1996, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Lipitor for the purpose of lowering cholesterol. Following its release, researchers found that more people who are on statin therapy are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes compared to people who are not on statin therapy. In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revised safety information for the popular statin drug class. They added additional warning information stating that a “small increased risk” of high blood sugar levels and type 2 diabetes has been reported in individuals who use statins.

So apparently, from February until August 6th, my blood sugar levels were steadily increasing to incredible heights.  So my doctor lowered my dosage back to 40mg, I am also on two more medications to get my glucose lowered, and am wearing a Free Style Libre glucose monitoring system that tracks my glucose levels throughout the day.  I am happy to report that my levels are lowering and as of this morning, my new normal is 158.  I have every expectation that my levels will go back to normal within the next week.  

Until then, and probably continuing, I am on a low/no carb and low/no sugar diet, which is rationally the best way to eat.  It makes me more conscious of my food choices and prevents me from absentmindedly just grabbing something for the sake of eating it.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Tell Us How Great I Am

Now and then upon checking out at a store or coffee shop, my egress will be halted by a sales associate eager to point out the corporate satisfaction survey "conveniently located" at the bottom of my sales receipt, as well as the accompanying incentive for completing said survey, e.g. a free drink size upgrade or $1 off my next purchase, for example.  The eager sales associate also takes the time to circle his/her name with yellow highlighter, or perhaps even writes it boldly on the bottom of the receipt so that I won't miss it, and asking me to mention them in the process. 

How bold.

I mean, I get it.  That is, I knew something was up when you voluntarily started helping me.  Because I've shopped in your store, like, 100 times already and not once did anyone, including you, step forward to assist me in any way outside of your basic job description.  So if you think that because your company is seeking feedback from customers on how "we" are doing that I will also take the time to mention "you" - you're absolutely right.  And thank you in advance for sharing your name with me.

When you point out your name to me on your corporate survey and cheerily tell me you would appreciate my feedback, I am completely sincere when I respond, "I'll be happy to."

I'll be happy to say that in the two years I've been making purchases in your establishment, the first time anyone assisted me was during corporate feedback survey time.

I'll be happy to say that I have seen you in the store texting on your phone at the checkout while I waited for you to finish.

I'll be happy to mention that you are all so dedicated to restocking your shelves that you make the aisles completely impassable and don't seem to care about it.

I'll be happy to say that one time I asked you where something was located in your store and you responded with a flat, "I dunno".

I'll be happy to mention how well you roll your eyes when someone asks you for assistance.

I'll be happy to say that you wear earbuds while you're working which makes it challenging for me or any other customer to ask you for simple assistance.

I'll be happy to talk about the time you and a co-worker got into a verbal altercation while several of us remained standing in line and I was the only one with the guts to tell you both to knock it off.

I'll be happy to mention how we - you and I - went through an entire transaction without you once speaking a single word: not a "hello", not telling me my total, not even a "thank you" at the end.  I mean, I'm only guessing you're not mute because I would have expected perhaps a friendly expression in lieu of conversation.  (I didn't get that either.)

And I'll be MORE than happy to say that on more than one occasion, I've had to listen to your banal  complaining to a co-worker about another co-worker or (better yet) a manager and how things just aren't fair for you and how you are being picked on at work, only taking a break from talking to check your cell phone.

So if my "feedback matters" really, I'll be happy to complete the survey and mention your name.  And you can keep the soda upgrade, free fries, a $1 off my next purchase, and the chance to win a gift card. Because what I really want is a best customer service experience which you have proven you cannot provide.

And just like I have to think before asking for your assistance, you should now think long and hard before asking for mine.