Monday, February 2, 2015

Quarterly A1c Appointment and a Visit Back to 1st Grade

Recently, the girls and I went to 'our' quarterly endocrinology appointment at the University of Michigan - outpatient clinic.  Between the beginning and the end of the day, there really wasn't much to tell.  All of the boring and tedious tasks were completed; weight and height measured, finger pokes for blood sugars and Hemoglobin A1cs taken, and the usual small talk about recent school activities and blood sugar management - all discussed and recorded into their electronic patient records.  

Not surprisingly, oldest daughter hadn't changed in growth over her last three month appointment. 

In relation to her lack of growth, she also had her best A1c since the first year she was diagnosed with T1D.   For those that want to know, the snapshot (because that is all that it is) was 7.0.  

We (the team of endocrinologist, CDE, oldest daughter and myself) discussed that meant that she was close to reaching her adult height; a fun-size height of around 5'1" or 5'2".  As a 5'3" or 5'2" snack-size, I can say that with a smile.  Petite is perfectly fine!

Then we also talked about the fact that, with little effort on oldest daughter's part, this lack of rampid growth hormone has also allowed her body to lower her A1c - with basically NO EFFORT. 

An immediate correlation came to mind.  There is a family story repeatedly retold from when oldest daughter was a first grader.  We retell it because as an all 'A' kid, it seems crazy that we ever had a situation where she wasn't eagerly racing to learn more.  

Years ago, I remember her teacher worrying about her reading skills about mid-way through the first grade year.  After a phone call and in-classroom parenting meeting, the teacher came up with a plan to allow our oldest daughter  to spend time with a 'Reading Specialist' with the hope that would help her catch up to where her teacher wanted her to be.  

As my first born, having a teacher tell me that she was concerned about our oldest daughter's word recognition and reading fluency scared and worried me.  Even though she was only 6 years old starting first grade, common sense failed me and I began to panic.  I had many sleepless nights and a few tears in thinking about the million ways that I had failed as a parent.  I LOVE to read and having a child that was behind in the first grade world of literature had to have meant that I wasn't doing something right.  After all, everyone else seemed to be learning how to read at lightening speed.  Or so I thought after reading parenting blogs and articles that told me that.

Fast-forward to the end of the school year.  Oldest daughter passed into second grade and her reading did pick up marginally.  While in second grade, she kept her scores up with the class average but still, wasn't exactly a lover of books.  Then, third grade came and a book series about mermaids.  Since we spent a lot of time at the lake, oldest daughter felt a deep kinship with mermaids and fell in love with the idea that there was actual stories about girls like her that could be mermaids.  From there, she devoured books.  Her reading scores shot up from average to grades beyond.  As an eighth grader, she scored at college level.  

What happened?  Well, I firmly believe that when her brain was ready, she was ready.  Pushing her did no good.  We just had to be patient for her mental growth.  

I wish I would have known that first time that learning happens for each child at their own pace. 

Much with an A1c, when hormones aren't as active, a lower blood sugar will be much easier to achieve.  

That doesn't mean that you should stop reading to your child and it certainly doesn't mean that you should let up on pre-bolusing or carb counting, but it does mean that it will get easier and things will 'click'.  

So on that note, pre-bolus and enjoy a snack while reading a good book.  And for me, well, I am going to be more relaxed for the next two years as her sister goes through her growth period.  

It is a Naturally Sweet Sisters doctor order!  

No comments: