Medications & Supplements

Ever since little, I always heard my parents telling my sister and I to take our vitamins. Back then gummy ones were not as popular as the Flintstone ones. Even though they were cute and colorful, I did not enjoy taking them. I was never good at taking medicine or getting shots. I remember my parents would have to hold me down just to give me some cough medicine. And getting shots….was the worst. However now I’m in my mid-thirties, I have really done a lot of growing up. I take medicine like they are candy and as for shots, well I don’t love them but I can tolerate them just fine. No real anxiety before hand, just fully accepted the fact that…it hurts.

Within the matter of weeks, I’ve changed over many medications and are still trying to learn my insulin dosage. Before all the changes, I was on the following:

Metformin 1000mg twice a day for my diabetes. These are oral pills that helps me to even out my blood sugar throughout the day. However I’ve been on it for 8 plus years, it hasn’t really done all that much for me. I am already on the maximum dosage.

Lisinopril- 40mg in the morning. This is for my high blood pressure. Been on this one for 3+ years. Started out at a much lower dosage before but increased to 40 just the end of last year.

Sertraline- 50mg in the evening. This is to help my anxiety and sleep. I was put on this about 3+ years ago as well. I have always been able to handle my anxiety issues but after an episode I had when I went to Disney World back in 2016, I decided to tell my doctor about it. It has helped me mellow out a bit, however I feel it blurs my thoughts a little. Not sure if I loved not remembering little things like did I close my garage door???

Levemir- insulin injection twice a day. Mainly injected into my stomach or inner thigh. I have been using this for about 2 years. In the beginning of the year I was around 10-14 units twice a day. Now I am at 25/26 morning and night. This is what the doctors called a basal insulin. This functions like the metformin, a long acting insulin that is supposed to last me all day. There are many brands but it was narrowed down to this due to planning for pregnancy.

Humalog- insulin injection 3 times a day(per meal). Injected into stomach and inner thigh area. I alternate because it would get very bruised and looks like I’m a heroin addict or something. This I just started towards the end of January. Doctor wanted me to start eating carbs and use humalog so we can observe how my body reacts to this medication. I am only using 3-5 units per injection for now. I know I will be using much more once I get pregnant.

Besides these medications the supplement I was taking are:

Nature Made(I will abbreviate it to NM from now on) Daily Diabetes Health Pack, Ubiquinol, NM B12, NM D3.

After numerous blood and urine tests, my Nephrologist was still trying to find answers for some unknown issues. Proteinuria means very high levels of protein in urine, which is not a syptom that I should have yet and it does not align to other syptoms that other long term diabetics have. Also Calcium and vitamin D levels are through the roof in my system. There was a few weeks of me trying to calm my racing mind. Keep going over in my head the possibility the doctor listed; it could be autoimmune disease, or hepatitis , or cancer. Which one sounds like a good alternative? I felt if there was another explanation maybe that means I could be fixed, cured of this scary proteinuria that may lead to preeclampsia during pregnancy. Also during the whole ordeal I thought it was funny that my current doctors here at UCLA asks me to do my own research online, but he made sure to emphasize to look at well trusted sites. At first I was a little taken back by the thought of having to do my own “homework” on these diseases that I may have. Who in their right mind would want to look into this? Back when I was up north, all my wonderful doctors at PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) would print out these type of information for me and provided during check out. With all these thoughts running through my mind and butterflies in my stomach while I drive home . What could it be? I eventually sat down in front of my laptop and slowly typed in proteinuria, kidney disease etc. The next time I looked up, it was over an hour into the research and it felt like I just sat down from running a merathon. Then that’s when I realized, it is better to do my own research. Because before when I was handed the paper, did I read them? NOPE!

So now everything has narrowed down to simply taking too much supplements that contains calcium and vitamin D. I had to take out certain ones within the health pack. I also stopped the D3 and B12 because both of them have added calcium in there. I’ve switched from Lisinopril to Diltiazem (Cardizem) since Lisinipril is a class X which mean it is an absolute no-no for pregnancy. However Diltiazem is a class C which means they don’t know the effects on humans while pregnant. I guess not knowing how it affects a fetus is better than not harming the fetus?!?! I’ve tried hard to find mommy groups for diabetics and type 2 diabetics. I’ve asked and searched for anyone on Diltaizem. So far, no luck. It’s just sad that this is a non-glamours drug there’ll no real reason for any big pharma to do any research. But I’m not here to take on that part of the world. I’m just trying to live my day and learn to have better self-control.

I just started taking folic acid like I mentioned in my V-day video. I found out all the pre-natal vitamins have all the added calcium and D and many other things, therefore I will have to stick to folic acid as instructed. Good thing a nice lady at Costco helped me, if not I probably had to find a GNC or other crazy expensive stores to locate what I need.

I also would need to stop taking sertaline while I’m pregnant. I will eventually tapper off, but need to see my primary physician to do that. I know the alternative is to see a mental health specialist.

Lesson learned this time. Never just take supplements blindly. Anything and everything you put in your body can and will affect you! I will read labels more clearly and carefully from now on. I will ask questions, I will do my research! I will do what it takes for me to succeed. I will continue to document my journey while I am on Diltiazem in hope it will help another mother-to-be in their decision making process. Hope it will help another person to not feel as lost and worried as I am.