Editor’s Letter: New year, new pills

The last time I wrote about my health was two years ago. I lost more than 100 pounds through exercise and diet after being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2016. Four years on, I thought it was time for an update, especially in light of my last doctor’s visit.

Over the last couple of years, I’ve put about 30 pounds back on. I’m not happy about it, but I’m working on taking it off. There are plenty of reasons: dealing with my mom’s cancer and subsequent death, grief, getting off my exercise routine and, while I’ve been able to maintain a fairly healthy diet, I’ve been eating more. I’m one of those “a moment on the lips, forever on the hips” – in my case, stomach – kinda people.

Last month, my doctor said my A1C level was rock steady, thanks in part to daily doses of metformin, but new guidelines issued in 2019 by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend that someone of my age and weight with diabetes take a daily statin to maintain cholesterol and prevent a stroke or heart attack. So, now I’m on Lipitor. I’m going to need a bigger pill box.

Sigh.

Taking a statin also means there’s possible side effects, including muscle wasting and liver damage, so I’ll also be having regular blood tests. There’s also a chance my blood sugar level could increase, which would mean an increase in the dosage of metformin.

Sigh. Again.

While I adjust to this new normal, it’s time to get back to my exercise routine and modify my food intake. That means I’ll be back out on the BeltLine and ramping back up to four miles a day. That’s likely going to have to remain my routine until I cash in my chips, which, with modern medicine’s help, should give me another 30-or-so good years.

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