Friday, April 26, 2013

Seeing Double A1cs

So it has been three more months from THIS POST and I have to say with as much as I talk the talk about not worrying about how your children's appointment will go and trying not to stress about seeing those numbers, for the first time in a long time, I went into our appointment with a bit of trepidation.


The problem was that the anxiety really wasn't about my girls or their blood sugar logs.  I didn't even have a concern regarding their A1c.  I already had a hunch from keeping tabs on their logbook.   

However, what made me nervous was walking back out that appointment feeling unsupported. 

Three months may not seem long, but in reality to a T1d family, three months can be a lifetime! 

With a bit of dread, and maybe an extra cup of coffee, or four, I gathered up the family and off we went to the appointment.

Walking into the clinic office, my concern heightened a bit when the kind receptionist said, "FORMS?  You have THE FORMS?  Hey, 'so-and-so' did you know that THE FORMS are online?  Yes, 'so-and-so' these people have THE FORMS!"

Are you kidding me?????

Because if you remember from our last appointment, apparently THE FORMS are the match stick to the raging fire of tension for some of the staff.  Clearly, I was deranged for being so prepared.  It made me wish that I had just taken the normal way and waited to do the typical three-minute scramble of filling them out in the office.  Why oh why, did I not learn???

To my surprise, instead of yelling at me, the receptionist giggled and said, "Well, it is your lucky day because you can have a seat and relax!"  Then the receptionist shared how eventually the protocol for check-in will be to use an automated kiosk where a patient simply uses a touch screen to announce their arrival.  Cool!

After that, I 'relaxed' for those three minutes before a pair of vitals nurses called the children to head back for weigh-in, measure and vitals check. 

Let me just share that other families usually stare at us as not one, but two kids are called back at the same time.  It must look so odd from that angle of parenting just one with type 1 diabetes when two vitals nurses step into the reception room. 




I am sure that somewhere there is a circus theme song playing in the background as we walk in.

As the kids take their separate cubicles for weighing and measuring, we confirm that once again, our daughters had a tremendous growth spurt (now I can clearly explain the jump in the grocery bill to my husband).  A moment more, and then, we were escorted to Room 22 for blood glucose and A1c checks.

Because we are frequent fliers in this clinic, one of the games that we routinely play is called "Guess that A1C" and all four of us place our bets in front of the vitals nurse (mostly for accountability because at one point, one of us, ahem, switched guesses after hearing the results.  I promised not to name names, but HE is guilty and HE knows it!!!!).

It doesn't take long to get our results so after meeting with the dietician, our endocrinologist came in with the A1cs. 


Really and truly.  This is so funny because time and time again, the girls have had the same blood sugars despite the fact that they are two separate people with two very different pancreas.  The odds defy this kind of matching game but then again, our family does tend to defy the odds.  I know!  What a bunch of weirdos we are.  Good thing we are happy weirdos!

Back to the A1c result.  Now some of you might be thinking that isn't a very good A1c.  Before I go further, you should read THIS.

In our world, this number doesn't measure our value as people or how even how hard we are trying.  It is just another way of looking at blood sugar.  According to our average number of 756 +/- blood sugar numbers in the log, this points to an average of 185 and 186 respectively for the two girls. 

What this does not tell the world is that oldest daughter grew two more inches and gained 8 lbs in 3 months. 

It does not explain that youngest daughter grew an inch and gained three pounds.

It didn't shout that oldest daughter has been taking care of her own diabetes for an 8-hour school day and a 2-hour after school activity.

The number doesn't show that our youngest daughter was sick or that we went on vacation or that we had an unfortunate incident with Sigums (Dexcom G4). 

Yet, all of that is REAL STUFF.  Stuff that happens to a REAL FAMILY. 

Wow!  When I read that list back, I am almost giddy.  We kicked butt, people!  That is some serious type 1 diabetes booty right there.

And guess what?  The best part of this is that our endo team celebrated right along side of us.  Cheering us on.  Making us feel good.  Lifting us up and acknowledging the hard work that comes into play from all of our team members:  Mom, Dad, Daughter, Daughter, School. Endo, etc.. 

Now this is EXACTLY the way it should be when you go to an appointment.  Truthfully, this is really the way it has always been for our family.  I'm glad too.  Until there is a cure, we need this support.  It is a long and winding road, for sure.

In case you wanted to know, that aforementioned nurse was not in attendance today.  We never did see her.  I am sure that there is no correlation between our great appointment and her absence, it just happened to work out that way.  I meant it when I said that I would give her another chance, because I would.  I owe it to my daughters to set the example of forgiveness and to live the life that I hope they follow. 

Maybe that is what the take away from this post is... 

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
―     Winston Churchill


Scott K. Johnson said...

Yay! I'm so happy you guys had such a positive experience! And WAY to ROCK those numbers! It's impressive to me, especially with all that's been happening (growing, taking control, etc).

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thanks Scott! Me too, my friend. Feeling like a million bucks today and thinking we are rock stars for staying on top of the massive amount of growth. I know you know, so thanks in joining me for a happy dance! Even if the tune is circus music:)