I've been having a lot of health problems in the past year and my doctor and endo seem to continue to dismiss them. I've posted different questions about the symptoms, but the responses I've been getting give me an indication that I shouldn't be suffering like this. Hoping maybe someone has an answer?

I was diagnosed with 1.5 officially in Jan 2009, but was on and off insulin since Jan. 2008. My A1cs had always been in the 6s, even at diagnosis. I got a pump in January because I'd been having the following problems and I thought maybe better control would help. I've gotten really sick over the last few months and to be honest, I've felt hopeless. I worked really hard, eating well exercising 5 days a week and no improvement. I gave up trying as hard and my latest A1c was 8.7. I was also diagnosed with hypothyroidism in Oct 2008 and I'm on 0.75 mg. My TSH is under one consistently since I started taking the pills.

What's been happening:
- Slow-healing cuts (for example, the needle poke for my lab blood tests is still red more than two weeks after I took the text). I'm sick with colds a lot up to once or twice every month (I have a four-year-old who brings home whatever's going around preschool)
- My arms and legs "fall asleep" very easily. And when they do I get pins and needles that are very painful. Some days both my arms all the way to my hands are tingly. I can't associate this with any activity or time of day/month.
- Sorry to male readers but - extremely heavy periods. Like more than a pad an hour for the first three days (and changing twice a night).
- My wedding ring leaves an indent on my finger and my socks leave rings around my ankles. I think this is called "edema." Is this a side effect of taking insulin?
- Severe constipation. I've taken metamucil three times a day and still can't go. I have to take 2x extra strength exlax just to go once every three days. And I have about 90 g of carbs a day and they're high fibre carbs (no white bread).

My doc's response - the slow-healing is in my head, the heavy periods are an adjustment after having two children, the pins and needles are due to the recent A1c, and my doc gave me a stool softener for the constipation.

I'm desperate for these things to get better. I'm in hot water at work for the amount of days I miss. I'm a working mom and it's so hard to take care of kids and work as it is. To be dealing with all these things and still be expected to be all things to all people -- I just don't know how much longer I can keep it together.

Tags: and, constipation, edema, immune, needles, pins, poor, system

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Gerri, actually the once-dominant PCP-referral model is shifting in the health-care insurance industry in the U.S. Patients have complained, and many of the insurers have responded by offering patients more flexibility in choosing PCPs and specialists. For example, when my insurance was with BC/BS a few years ago, I had to have an in-network PCP, and I had to have a referral from my PCP to see a specialist. However, CIGNA, the insurer with whom I have been with for the past few years, allows me to choose all my physicians. I don't even have to have a PCP at all. If the doctors I choose are in-network, then I get a deeply discounted co-pay.

Quite a few insurers have moved to this model. It really makes better sense for patients and for insurers. For patients, they have the flexibility to see a specialist without having to also see a PCP first. For insurers, prospective customers are more likely to enroll with insurers who offer such flexibility.
I didn't have any problem just calling an endo when I moved a couple of years ago.
Other than an ob/gyn, I need a PCP referral to any specialist & can only go to in-network providers unless I pay myself. Glad to hear this is changing.
Sorry to hear you are having these issues. I am wondering if you have had your VItamin D or Calcium levels checked? Have you ever been diagnosed with PolyCystic Ovarian Syndrome? I have these issues along with Type 1 Diabetes and Hypothryroidism.
I've been checked for Polycystic Ovarian Sydrome and I don't appear to have it. I haven't had my Vitamin D levels checked. But i do live in Canada, so there's a good possibility that I don't get enough sunshine!

Thanks for your responses!
FWIW, I've noticed the slow healing deal, despite decent A1Cs and pretty tight control. I've sort of given up on it but pay close attention to wounds. blisters, scratches, etc. One thing I notice recently is that this stuff called Aquaphor, that the tattoo place recommended, cleared up a TreadmillKnuckleWound pretty quickly? It doesn't address the other stuff but if it might help one issue for you?
I thought this was just part of the whole diabetes deal?

I have found that a cut or pimple now heals about six times more slowly than before -- e.g. when I had a biopsy on my shoulder it took about six weeks to get to the same level of "nearly healed" that would have taken place in a week pre-diagnosis. Bruises take a lot longer heal, too. Insulin seems to help (lower blood glucose = more normal healing) so I guess it's not diabetes per se but tied to control?
Sorry you are having so many problems. What you describes sounds like what I went through Peri Menopause. I would have such heavy periods for the first 2 or 3 days that I couldn't leave home. When I had to I would wear a tampon plus a couple pads. It was the worst time in my life. I was so happy when full menopause hit around 53. I think the slow healing is common in some diabetics. That is why they tell you to watch cuts on your feet. I had terrible edema last summer and whenever I walked or travelled by car my legs would swell up like watermelons. I finally found that a statin drug I was on was causing it.
I can tell you that a Vitamin D issue will cause weakness, mine was at 11 when caught and it made me feel like I was 90 years old. Get that checked.

I do think there is a thyroid issue going on here as well, many of the symptoms you are describing sound thyroid related. So, start with those two issues along with working on your blood sugars. I know it is tough when you don't feel well to see the benefit of even trying but it is worth it. Plus, your doctor won't be able to point to that as the reason all of this is happening.

The slow healing is rather common for us even with good blood glucose levels so you have to take extra precautions with that. I had hand surgery last fall and the stiches disolved before the hand healed and the whole insision opened wide. It was a mess. However - lesson learned the second surgery on the hand I insisted that they use old fashion nondisolving stitches and surgical glue and absolutely refused to start the phycial theraphy they wanted started day one until two weeks after surgery.Everything turned out perfectly.
Have you been tested for celiac? My arms kept falling asleep and it was caused by celiac disease (low vitamin levels in my blood). In addition, I had uterine ablation for heavy periods - best thing I ever did!
Hey Kelly,
I've had hypo thyroid for 22 years, mostly pretty stable, untill diabetes arrived ! Recently my thyroid numbers were off again, So they do need constant checking. I agree the vit D is super important especially living in Canada,worse yet the rainy west/wet coast... oh where is the sun ! but have you also had your Iron and B12 checked? they will both cause you to feel like a slug among a dozen of other symptoms if low, the heavy monthly will also cause low iron. I've found myself with both of those causing my entire body to become useless. Difficult I more than understand how you feel when trying to work, be a mom, wife, cook, ..... and more ! Being not well is horrible. Just really be strong at the Dr's and demand some more testing ! You need to start checking things off the list. Also did you know you can request blood work results... a lot of canadians don't realize they can.
good luck and keep us posted.

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