If It's Successful, Nothing Happens. Keep Waiting.

1115701_13954916I knew the day would come when my existing medication regimen wouldn’t be enough for my diabetes. The reality check came when I got the results from my calcium score

and admitted that if I was a betting woman (which I’m not, for I’d be broke by now), my cardiologist would suggest putting me on a statin.

I would have won that one. I’m joining the millions of individuals who, along with a low-dose aspirin,  are part of the Crestor wave that’s sweeping the nation. 10mg for now and we’ll see what my liver is doing in about 5 weeks. The side effects that everyone has talked to me about (muscle pain and weakness) didn’t happen, so I’m thankful that I seem to be tolerating it. My cholesterol, while not being fabulous, wasn’t in the danger zone. (I love bacon and cream in my coffee. I avoid fried foods and red meat.) Will Crestor make a huge difference in my life? Much like everything else we do these days for diabetes, the only way we’ll know for sure is the absence of anything happening.

“If it’s successful, nothing happens. Keep waiting.”

The kind doctor also broached the subject of lisinopril as a protectant for my kidneys. I’ve been down that road before. In fact, I was one of the first subjects in the Captopril clinical trial that proved that ACE inhibitors can help people with diabetes protect their kidneys. My blood pressure has always been a little on the low side. Even the smallest dose of an ACE inhibitor sends me into dizzy world with an occasional “I’m going down, please clear a section of floor” moment. Until they can make an ACE inhibitor that allows me to keep upright, it’s not happening. (Don’t get me wrong. I’m very happy with having a low blood pressure, because I have friends who take ACE inhibitors because their blood pressure is high.)

I’m beginning to wonder what’s next on the list of diabetes complications that I should be tackling. I’m not being pessimistic or negative. After thirty years (almost 31!) of not always stellar control of diabetes, the reality is that I’ve been lucky. One incident of CSME (clinically significant macular edema), trigger fingers, frozen shoulders, slight gastric delay and really? I’m just as healthy as the next person.

But we can never let our guard down, can we? Diabetes doesn’t always follow the “If it’s successful, nothing happens.” philosophy. Kidney issues develop without symptoms. Retinopathy in early stages have no symptoms. Neuropathy happens slowly (until I am told it bears down like a freight train…). Nothing happens for a long time, then it’s there.

I want to know what I can do (and what I can’t, like taking an ACE inhibitor) to mitigate the risks of complications. I want to know what the latest research has proven and what clinical trials I can participate in to help myself and others.

So, in my case, if I’m successful, nothing happens. But I’m not waiting.