Monday, March 3, 2014

She's Worth The Effort

Oldest Daughter and NSS Dad

On Friday, we had our quarterly A1c appointment.  It wasn't extraordinary nor was it horrible, but it was eye-opening.

With little fanfare, we went, we received our A1c results and we watched with great sadness as our oldest daughter fell apart in a puddle of tears.

Her A1c was 8.2% and for an almost 13 year-old girl that is managing as independently as one could, that number barely reflected the amazing job she has been doing.

But she is almost 13.  And she is sensitive.  She is also a high-achiever and displays typical first-born characteristics of being mature, responsible and goal oriented.  No matter how we comforted her, she was not to be consoled.

And to make matters even worse, her younger sister had an A1c of 7.5%.

An 8.2% A1c wasn't 'good-enough'.

So it hit me like a ton of bricks.  This is much the same as I felt when I was striving for perfection in our youngest daughter's blood sugar numbers.  I worked so hard to ensure that I did everything right and felt completely deflated when the A1c hovered at 8.0.

The difference?  I learned the difficult rule of type 1 diabetes being an art and not a science.  Sometimes, despite our best attempts, diabetes will not cooperate.

The other difference?  She is not your typical teenager.  This young lady WANTS to have good numbers.  She complies with her blood sugar testing and happily wears a CGM.  She just wants to hear (and see) that she is doing a good job.

Unfortunately, the A1c seems to be making her feel less than, despite all of my learning and instruction to 'let it go'.

Over the weekend, we talked about it and oldest daughter is back in good spirits.  I am once again left holding the bag of emotions and wondering how to best navigate this new world.  It is clear that she is listening, she is feeling the tug of a never-ending, imperfect disease that is difficult to manage.

In the next blog article, I will write up a few ideas that I have tossed back to the clinic to help make it better for older patients that are taking on the responsibility of type 1 diabetes management.

She's worth the effort.

The NSS Girls

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