Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Surprising A1C & Really Nice Talk With My Endo

I’m not really sure how the 6.0 a1c happened, but I’m glad it did. 

There used to be a time about 6 years ago and for about 10 years before that, my a1cs were in the mid high fives to mid 6 range - and then ever so slowly they started creeping up to the 7 to 7.4 range - And the a1c after my mom died was 7.8.
And I began a long game of tug-o-war with diabetes burnout. My numbers, weren't terrible - But not where I wanted them to be. 

The past 3 months have been crazy on this end. Lots of travel, lots of busy, a possible kidney stone (more on that in another post,) and just the craziness of a summer schedule. 

As far as diabetes was concerned, I did make concentrated effort to focus on being more aware re: diabetes - I mean I'm always aware of my diabetes - Just more... well, aware of my diabetes choices.  I continued to tested my blood sugars like crazy and I really tried not to snack when I wasn’t hungry. 
I noticed that I’d lost a couple pounds and that made me smile. 

But when I received my labs yesterday at my Endo’s office, I stopped in my tracks as I read them while following the blood tech to the scale to get weighed.  My a1c said 6.0 - And I literally said “WHAAAAT,” out loud. 

I shook my head and I didn’t understand - I mean I expected a lower a1c than the 7.4  (my previous a1c) because I'd been working on it, but how the hell did it go down 1.4 .points? 
Maybe there was a screw up at the lab - Maybe all my numbers were off - Honestly, it been so long since I was in the 6s that I couldn’t wrap my head around it. 

According to the scale I’d lost 7 lbs - OK, I'll take that fact without questioning the scale. 

My blood pressure was normal and my blood sugar was 230  - Which made sense because of low at breakfast and a crazy morning. So 6,0 a1c or not, crap numbers happen - A lot.

The tech led me back to the office and wouldn’t give me back my labs - The attending and Dr. J needed to look at them. 

I sat in the office and just breathed.  Before the tech took my labs, I'd  noticed that one of my lab numbers was slightly high, but I couldn’t remember the test acronym to google it on my iPad. 
So instead I just read emails. 

The attending came in - And I gotta give credit where credit is do. Young Dr. Eric asked all the right questions, chatted and talked with me instead of at me - Yes, Dr. J was teaching him well. 

I won’t bore you with out discussion - except to say I asked all the typical questions re: my labs - Dr. Eric answered the best he could, and then went off to find the rocking Dr. J. 
I sat on the exam table,  swinging my legs back and forth against it repetitively,  like a small annoying child kicking the back of your seat on airplane - and just kept breathing. 

I heard muffled voices in the hallway and finally the door opened and in walked Dr. J

Dr. J: KELLEEEEEE!!! Sidebar: That's how Dr. J says my name!
Oh my God & way to go - I was shocked when I saw your a1c. How did you manage to get it down 1.4 points? 

Me: Yeah, me too. I don’t know. Do you think the lab screwed up? 

Dr. J: No - Not possible - The a1c is not a complicated test - and it’s been around for a long time - No, you did this. 

Me: OK, If you say so. 

Dr. J:  I do. It’s been a long time since you were in the sixes - I’m really proud of you - And I’m so happy - you made my day, Kelleee. 

And when he said that I could feel myself blush and looked down at the floor for a beat before I looked up at him and said: Yeah, mine too. 

Dr. J: What are you doing that helped you get to 6? 

Me: I don’t know, I’m just really aware of my numbers and snacking between meals. I still have a cupcake or ice cream, but I don’t know - i’m just aware. And I’ve traveled a lot this summer - so I don't know - that might have helped. 

Dr. J:  Oh yeah, where? 

Me: Conferences - Children with Diabetes in Florida - They had a session on Diabetes & Stress - that helped a lot. 
AADE in August, Chicago for ADA - Where I saw you. 

Dr. J: How funny was that! 
Me: Very. Um, I did couple patient conferences in Philly these past two weeks. 

Dr.J: Which ones? 
Me: ePatient Connections & World Congress on Patient Engagement 

Dr. J: I need to know when you’re going to do that kind stuff - email the office.

Me: Ok, I will. So yeah, I still need to exercise more - I need to do better with that.
How’s my cholesterol, heart and kidneys? 

Dr. J: Good, good, good.  Stop worrying.

Me: How’s my thyroid? 

Dr. J:  Yeah, slightly off for the first time - not by much. But we are going to keep on eye on it - Lets see how your numbers are next time, OK?  

Me: Ahhhhh, OK. 

Dr. J: Show Eric your pump, he hasn’t seen a medtronic yet. He saw a omnipod this morning and tomorrow he’ll see a patient who’s on an Animas - I want him to become familiar with all the pumps. 

So I showed Eric my loaner pump (which reminded me that I have to start figuring out a permanent solution with my insurance on that subject,) and Eric discussed insulin pump pros. 

Dr. J brought up the Minimed 530 G announcement on Friday and and we talked about the Animas Vibe getting the OK in Canada. 

Dr. J: So besides diabetes, how’s your life going? 
Me: I’m good - I’m moving in the right direction and that makes me happy.  Not quite where I want to be yet,  but I’m on the right track - And that’s good. A lot different then this time last year.

Dr. J: Yeah... losing a parent is so hard.
Me: Yep it is................ So, do you watch 'How I Met Your Mother?' 

Dr J: No... Why? 
Me: Well, you better start because my niece landed the role of the mother.

Dr. J:  OhmyGod, I’m going to start watching -  what channel is it on??? That’s so awesome!
Dr. Eric: I love that show -& I saw her! She’s the pretty brown haired girl - She’s cute - And funny! And Dr. J,  it's on CBS, channel 3.
Me:  What Dr. Eric said!  

Dr. J: So everything is looking good - I love that. Here’s your lab script - Hey, do you need insulin samples?
Me: Yep I do, thanks! 
Dr. J: Let me go get you some. 

And he did. And when he brought them back, we said our goodbyes and he told me to book my  next appointment for February or early March - And he once again told me how happy he was for me. 

After scheduling my next appointment, I took the elevator to the first floor and like Elvis, I exited the building and walked out into the Indian Summer sunshine. And I felt happy. 

And regardless of what my next A1C is, I know for a fact that little ripples make some nice size waves, both in the ocean and in life. 

And I  know that my character is not based on my a1c, my life’s value is not about a number that describes the past 3 months of my diabetes management - And I believe that. 
And I know that all sorts of external forces factor into our a1c - forces we have no control over. 
But with that being said, I’ll take a good number when I can get it - along with the challenging ones - And I will learn from all my numbers. And I will keep trying and doing and becoming, regardless. 

And on the way back to my car I considered getting a cupcake to celebrate, but decided to save my cupcake for another day & order some kicking black high heeled leather boots instead. 

 Look,  I can have a cupcake any bloody old time, and I will -  But Lord only knows how long those fabulous boots will stay in stock and on sale!


StephenS said...

Honestly, I'm more jealous over your 7 lbs. as I am over your A1c. Great numbers all around! Enjoy the boots.

Colleen said...

Nicely done! Now you have to post a pic of the boots!

Unknown said...

Way to go and awesomesauce! I love cupcakes too, but you are a woman after my own heart! I'd reward myself with the boots too.

Unknown said...

Aw yay! That's so great, congratulations! But I love even more how you ended the post, our value isn't based on a number, but that being said, it still feels awesome when its such a great number!

PancreasticMom said...

Whoop!Whoop!!! Great:) Love that you have such a great endo.

NeurosurgeryNP said...

Awesome. You deserve every bit of it.