Health Update

Dr. Gabriel Prado (@gabrielndsprado)
Neurologist, São Paulo, Brazil

I mentioned Monday that I was going to the doctor for my quarterly diabetes check-up. I had an excellent report. My weight is down a few more pounds; my blood pressure was good; and my A1c (a measurement of your average blood glucose, or blood sugar, level over the past three months) was 6.0. To put that into perspective for those of you not familiar with A1c readings: 

  • A person who does not have diabetes has an A1c result of less than 5.7%.
  • A person with pre-diabetes has an A1c of 5.7% to 6.4%.
  • A person with diabetes has an A1c level of 6.5% or higher.

This does not mean that I am back to being pre-diabetic, but it does mean that the medicine I am taking is working. The only issue has been that my blood sugar readings have gone down to nearly hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) levels a few times, so my doctor cut back on my medicine by a little bit.

In addition, my blood test results for everything else came back normal. I have no idea what my levels are on any of the other tests because I cannot access them electronically as I usually do. I know they came back normal because my doctor called and told me that everything looked very good. I did not ask for details because my county (he is the only doctor in my town) is having a surge in COVID-19 cases. Thus he is swamped right now. As I mentioned on Monday, his office has no working computers because of the cyberattack, so he has to write everything by hand and use paper charts. I did not want to add any more work for him by asking him to explain all my levels when I wouldn’t remember them five minutes later anyway. It was bad enough he was calling after 5:30 pm when he should have been on his way home.

My doctor has done a great deal to keep our little town mostly safe from the pandemic. Vermont has not been hit as hard as many other states, and we have been fortunate, but that appears to be rapidly changing as our positive case numbers are rising daily. Currently, we are not allowed to have people gathered together from different households. Since the beginning of the pandemic, my doctor has gone on Front Porch Forum (FPF) to update the community on the state of the pandemic in our area and urge people to follow safety protocols. I doubt many of you know what FPF is, especially since it is something unique to Vermont. 

Each day Vermonters use FPF to connect with their neighbors and the community by sharing postings. We get the postings through email or a cell phone app.  FPF has nearly 160,000 members, or just under a quarter of the state’s population, and FPF is now available in all 251 Vermont towns. Whether it’s a lost dog or car, someone has too many roosters and wants to give some away, the theft of a pride flag, or vandalism of a BLM sign, people post to FPF. More importantly, it’s where our legislators give updates, the town and school board post their minutes, and where my doctor can urge people to follow pandemic safety protocols. I find out so much about what is going on in town through FPF. It’s also local. You have to have an address to use the service, and it ties you to the announcements for that town. I used FPF to find my first apartment. I signed up using the university’s address since I didn’t have a local address of my own.

Bonus picture of Dr. Prado

About Joe

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like October 7, 2015 is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's. My profile picture is "David and Me," 2001 painting by artist Steve Walker. It happens to be one of my favorite modern gay art pieces. View all posts by Joe

One response to “Health Update

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