Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Diabetes, Labs, And Taking A Beat Before Clicking On The Link.

Back in early August, when I was dealing with a nasty viral infection that made me break out all over and feel like crap; required a slew of lab work and forced me to finally signed up for LabCorp’s patient portal. 
Bottom line it made communicating with my GP's office easier, especially since the staff was in rotating vacation mode, which resulted in unreturned phone calls re: my labs. 
I’ll admit that it was cool to see years worth of my lab work online, at my fingertips, and organized in one place by date and doctor.
In August I thought it was great. But last Wednesday? Not so much.
Cut to last Wednesday afternoon. 
3pm, me deep in thought and working on a project that was due on Friday.
I took a break, opened my email tab and immediately focused on the Subject Line of an email from labcorp, letting me know that my labs were available online.
All I needed to do was click on the portal link and sign in. 

I knew if I clicked on the link,I would be either happy... or I wouldn’t - because of my A1C.
Clicking on that link would take me down the rabbit hole of numbers that I didn’t have the time or mindset to go down.  
And at that moment, I knew I was reaching the brink re: my diabetes numbers breaking point. I took a beat, told myself my Endo appointment was the next morning and I would go over my results with Dr. J.
Until then, I was going to give myself a break so I could assess and be proactive at my appointment - no matter what. 

It wasn’t easy to ignore the email.... at first. 
Seriously, (like for the first 20 minutes,) I kept toggling back and forth between screens. 
But slowly, I forgot about it, except for when I didn't - but I never clicked on the link.  

Cut to Thursday morning at my Endo’s office. 
I sat in the exam room with a slightly elevated blood sugar and a normal blood pressure of 120 over a number I can’t recall. 
Dr. J walked in, said hello, shook my hand and stated: The good news - your A1C didn’t go up.......It’s exactly what it was last time you were here.

And at that moment I was so glad I'd stayed above ground and hadn’t clicked on the link and ventured down the diabetes rabbit hole of numbers and what-ifs. 
I would have lost focus and been upset for the rest of the day. 

I wasn't thrilled, but I ready to talk it out and make some changes. 
Sidebar: I know a 7.4 A1C isn't terrible - it's not.
But honest to God I really thought that I'd made strides since the beginning of August. 
I'd started on the Omnipod, (and really like it,) I'm taking less insulin per day, (by at least 10+ units,) and I thought my A1C would have reflected that. 
I was expecting it to be 7.0 or lower and not stuck in an the same a1c moment - and I told him that.

I was frustrated with myself and with diabetes - and I knew Dr. J was too - even though he remained calm and kept his game face on. 
We talked it out. Dr. J asked me what changes I’d made that led me to believe my a1c would be lower.
I told him about cutting back on my daily insulin intake and how I’d been trying to eat healthier. 
He asked if I’d been sick or dealing with anything that might have contributed to my A1C.
I explained about the viral infection that had me down for the count for parts of July and August... but it was November 18th. 
I was grasping at straws and we both knew it. 

He asked me if I thought I was getting enough exercise.  
I was honest. I told him that needed to do better in that department. 

And then he asked if I’d downloaded the Glooko app on my phone so I could download  my Omnipod PDM’s info, and share it with my Sorceress of a CDE, Cheryl - so she could work her magic on my basal rates, carb ratios, etc and assist me in getting unstuck. 
Sidebar: Insulet (the company that makes Omnipod,) and Glooko have been data management partners since last year - the Glooko cable and instructions are included with your first PDM and first pod order  - and my cable and instructions were still in the box. 
“Cheryl’s really knows what she’s doing,” he said. 
And he's totally right, Cheryl does know what she's doing. 
She and I had discussed me getting my data to her via Glooko when she was training me on the Omnipod. 
I told her I would - and I talked about doing it. 

But I didn't.

I needed to revisit and reconsider.
Calmness prevailed and Dr. J pointed out the positives in my labs - and I love that he always points out the good. ALWAYS. 

And then I blurted out to Dr. J how I’d ignored yesterday’s email - and he looked a little surprised and asked me how come. 
Me: I knew that if I clicked on the link and it didn't take me to the number I wanted to see - I wouldn’t be able to concentrate or get things done. I’m always dealing with numbers - I knew I was seeing you this morning. I needed a break, so I took one. 

Dr.J: OK, fair enough. Set up the Glooko, share your PDM data with Cheryl; make an an appointment with her for December. I'll be right back, I’m going to see if we have any insulin samples for you.

When he came back with insulin in hand, I'd downloaded the app to my phone and was willing to try it out. 
Because I am going to tackle those damn basal rates with my CDE. 
I am forging ahead.
I am keeping the promise I made to my healthcare healthcare team.
I am going to keep the promise I made to myself. 
And we'll see how it how it goes. 


Richard's Rambling Review said...

Hi k2, I'm gonna be perfectly honest with you. I have never used an app for doing anything with my numbers on my computer, or to communicate with my endo. I guess it is just my being old fashioned and dealing with T1D for 62 years before using a pump. It has been hard enough for me to start pumping, and using a CGM. I love both of them, but I was doing very well without them. I have smoothed some bumps in the road with those devices, and I am pleased I am using them, but putting all that info on a computer, and forwarding to my endo is just too much.
Don't get the wrong idea, I am pleased that you go the extra mile, and use the apps, and a CDE. Keep it up, you are doing a great job!!

Rick Phillips said...

Heck, I didn't see a doctor for almost 20 years, so not opening the app? Ahh, your ok in my book.

k2 said...

Thanks guys -
I hear what you're saying, but I need to get a handle on my basal rates - I haven't been able to figure them out on my own and my CDE & Endo both requested that I download my Omnipod PDM info and send the information via the app since they use it.
I am going to try and see what tweaks my cde cones up with!