Tag Archives: A1C

The Longest Sentence In The History Of The World (or at least the D-world)

So there is this awesome thing out in the universe called Diabetes Blog Week. I was waywardly meandering around the internet last year about this time, usually a very dangerous thing, but this time it was pure goodness. I happened upon a diabetes blog that mentioned the upcoming event where D-bloggers from around the world all write about the same topic each day of the week and then they are all posted in one place for everyone to share their thoughts and feelings. If you are a type 3 (often times those who do not have diabetes themselves, but care for someone who does, call themselves type 3’s), you know how lonely this disease can be. The diabetes online community, lovingly referred to as the DOC, is an absolute LIFEBLOOD to many type 3’s. When no one, not your mom, your sister or your best friend, can relate to how worried you are about the correction bolus you just gave your child at bedtime because he was 285, but then you remembered that he played in 2 baseball games, a soccer game and a football game that day, and now you are wishing you could suck some of that insulin back out of him like you can suck venom from a snake bite because he’s now fast asleep and rightfully exhausted from his day so you don’t want to wake him, so instead you set your alarm to check him in 3 hours, and then wonder why you even set your alarm because you have just laid there and worried for the whole 3 hours, and then you check him and he is a perfect 123 with no IOB (insulin on board) so you get back in bed hoping to catch a few winks before you have to get up, but then you can’t fall asleep because you are praying to God and thanking Him that he was alright and then you start thinking about the other possible outcomes that could have been which leads you to think about how much you hate diabetes which makes you wonder for the bazillionth time why no one has found a cure for this dreaded disease yet which makes you so sad and angry that you can’t sleep, and then, hey, guess what, it’s time to get up,  yeah, when no one can relate to THAT, you get on your iPad and seek out your friends in the DOC who are also awake, fighting the same battles and you commiserate. (I am also submitting this blog post to the Guinness Book of World’s Records for longest sentence EVER!) And even though they aren’t there to do the work for you, or directly help you, just knowing that others KNOW, I mean REALLY know, what you are going through makes you feel less sorry for yourself and less lonely.

At this point I have already written 474 words and I haven’t even gotten to today’s topic! Oh how I love my First Amendment right!

Anywhoooo…..

Today’s topic:  Share and Don’t Share

“Often our health care team only sees us for about 15 minutes several times a year, and they might not have a sense of what our lives are really like. Today, let’s pretend our medical team is reading our blogs. What do you wish they could see about your and/or your loved one’s daily life with diabetes? On the other hand, what do you hope they don’t see?”

Medium was only diagnosed 15 months ago so we have only seen his endocrinology team about 5 times. And I have to say, they pretty much rock. But I wish they could really see how tough Medium is and how he is not letting this disease slow him down for even a second. I wish they could really know how great his attitude is about his diabetes and I wish they would make a big, no, a HUGE deal about it! I wish they would know this and then invite him to stand up and speak to an auditorium full of people who have lost hope. He would NEVER in a million years do this, but it would be nice to be asked! I wish they would make it a point to really recognized him for how well he handles things. Because as much as I can tell him, I’m still just his mom and kids always think their mom’s are blowing smoke and just say nice things that they don’t really mean. It would go a long way to boost his confidence if someone else recognized his struggles and acknowledged his hard work. (I also wish they could magically get him to eat vegetables, but that’s another thing all together!)

And I hope they DON’T see that we change his set out every 3-4 days instead of every 2-3 and that I can’t remember the last time we changed the lancet in his poker! I also hope they don’t see that he eats pizza 3-5 times a week, but they see his A1C and that is telling enough!

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I Am Kicking Ass Over Here!

Today’s theme: One Thing To Improve

“Yesterday we gave ourselves and our loved ones a big pat on the back for one thing we are great at. Today let’s look at the flip-side. We probably all have one thing we could try to do better. Why not make today the day we start working on it. No judgments, no scolding, just sharing one small thing we can improve so the DOC can cheer us on!”

This week has been so busy with school year-end activities: field trips, awards ceremonies, concerts and the ever-so-prestigious-and-totally-necessary (enter eye-roll) Pre-School graduation (hey, I am all for celebrating my kids and their accomplishments, this is just one that I think is a little silly and self-indulging, but what the hell….) that I have not been able to get my posts for D-Blog Week up until almost 11 p.m. We were done with all activities by 7:00 tonight so I thought I would be able to post sooner but alas, here I am, the late night poster again. But the reason for my tardy post is a good one. I have been overwhelmed with the amazing and totally supportive comments from all of my new friends! Just think, on Monday, no D-friends. Two days later, so many I have lost count! What an amazing community that is the DOC! Someone said it is the greatest club you never wanted to be a part of! Ain’t that the truth! I have never been so easily accepted into a group before. If you have or care for someone who has diabetes, then you are in, and in with love! Simply amazing!

Well, after all that sticky-sweet (pun intended) talk, it’s time to trash myself. I told you yesterday that I am much more comfortable at finding my faults. Actually I don’t have to find them at all, rather I try to hide them. Sigh.

So grab yourself a cup of coffee, (or vodka, I don’t judge) and pull up a comfy chair because here goes….

I need to be a better, wife, mom, sister and daughter. My family bears the brunt of most of my flaws.

I need to eat better, exercise and loose weight.

I need to stop buying bags and purses.

I am addicted to McDonald’s fountain diet Coke.

Oh wait, this is supposed to be something I could improve on related to my son’s diabetes…..sorry, I am so well aware of my flaws that they just roll off the tongue!

Hmmmm…….let’s see….something to improve on….um….well, there is….no. Well, what about….huh, no. Okay, okay how about…. hmmm……well this is awkward. I can’t really think of anything. It’s ironic. I am keenly aware of all of my personal faults, but when it comes to Medium’s diabetes, I AM ALL OVER THIS SHIT!!! Don’t get me wrong, I make mistakes, there are too many moving parts of diabetes care for even the long-time veterans to not make a mistake now again, but for a rookie such as myself, I pretty much ROCK! (Anyone else find it interesting that in the post where I was supposed to praise myself, I could barely do it, but here where I am supposed to call myself out on something I am calling myself a ROCK STAR?) But seriously, a carbohydrate doesn’t enter Medium’s body without me knowing about it, we have test strips, glucose tabs and snacks with us at all times, we have glucometers and cake gel in every level of our house and in both cars, I download Medium’s pump and pour over his numbers every 3-4 days, I buy home A1c kits so I won’t have to wait 3 months to know how he is really doing, I talk to the school nurse daily. Actually at Medium’s three month check up the other day the diabetes educator was almost irritated that I already knew everything he was going to tell us after downloading the pump; when Medium tended to be high, how close his CGM was to his meter BG’s, what his A1c was.  I am telling you, I AM KICKING ASS over here!

But it is exhausting, draining, paralyzing and all-consuming and my personal health and relationships are suffering because of it. I need to learn how to let up a little bit. I need to understand that I can’t be in control of this horrid disease at all times. I need to remember that I have two other kids who need me, too. I need to praise Medium more often for being such an easy diabetic kid to take care of. I need to remember to breathe.

Huh, look at that, I do have some things I could work on!

(You didn’t really think I was that conceited, did you?)

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Happy Mother’s Day

Medium had his 3 month endocrine appointment the other day.  We got an A+ from our diabetes educator.  He liked our numbers  and what we were doing with adjustments and such. His A1C was 6.5–at diagnosis it was 11.4–a “normal” A1c is between 4-6, they don’t actually want it much lower than 6.5 because that probably means that we are having too many lows. So we are doing great! I say we as if I am the one with diabetes, but diabetes is a team sport. And I am the captain. Both the diabetes educator and the endocrinologist asked Medium if he had any questions or concerns.  They asked how he was doing with diabetes and if having diabetes was miserable or if it was ok.  He looked at them like they were speaking Japanese. He has taken all of this very well and is relatively unbothered by it…..for the most part.  There are times when he is frustrated, like yesterday when all the siblings of Small’s baseball team got to have the extra juice boxes and he couldn’t have one. Or when everybody wants to go to Sonic after a game and he can’t have a slushie. But he gets over it almost immediately. One of the best things about Medium actually is that he has virtually no short-term memory, he gets mad about something (REALLY mad sometimes) and then poof, he’s moved on.

I’d like to think that part of why Medium seems unaffected by diabetes is because I am doing such a good job of keeping his sugars in tight control and making sure he is leading as close to the same life as he was pre-diagnosis, as possible. But it probably is really because he just goes with the flow. That part of him has me in awe. I wish I could be more like that.

In any event, he is doing well.  We are kicking some diabetic ass over here! It’s hard work, but so worth it. I would move heaven and earth if it meant my kids would be healthy. There is no greater Mother’s Day gift than three thriving kids!

So a happy Mother’s Day out there to all the great mom’s I know.  Especially the ones who sacrifice everyday, go above and beyond, never have time for themselves, endlessly worry about their kids’ futures and then get up the next day and do it all over again.  In short, happy Mother’s Day to every mom!

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Am I Weird?

I was talking with a coworker of mine today who is a nurse. She mentioned that when she was 18 her 9 year-old sister was diagnosed with T1D and she talked about helping take care of her. Another coworker asked if that is what made her want to be a nurse. She said that it was part of the reason, the other reason was that her own daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was 7 and that taking care of both her sister and her daughter made her realize that nursing was her calling. And then she said something that struck me as odd. She said that taking care of a chronically ill child changes you, it makes you weird.

Now, I agree with the first part of that statement. It has not even been three full months since Medium was diagnosed, but I am definitely a different person. Most notably, I am exhausted. Actually, I am beyond exhausted. I am exhausted on steroids. I am almost non-functioning exhausted. I keep dragging my butt in to work every morning and saying, out loud, as if anyone really cares, “I don’t know how much longer I can keep up this pace”. I sit at my desk and think about whether I think I can make it through the whole day without going to the parking lot on my lunch break and taking a nap in my car. I pump myself full of caffeine and I trudge through the day. It feels like I am walking through quick-sand, like I am in slow motion. Somehow I am making it work, keeping up with my responsibilities at work and, for the most part, I feel I am pulling my weight. I know that I am capable of doing more, being sharper, going above and beyond. But I don’t even feel bad that I’m not because I am giving all I can right now. I am all tapped out. That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger–if that is true, I am IRON WOMAN. But I still don’t get what she means by the “it makes you weird” part.

I don’t say these things so I can get sympathy. I am not the only tired woman in the world, not by a long shot. And I am keenly aware of how, even though things are pretty rough right now, they could be so much worse. On my daily prayer list are so many other families that are going through far worse. But the fact remains, that right now, life is hard. And I am trying my best to get through with my sanity and dignity in tact (incidentally,bursting into your bosses office and announcing that you have to leave because you forgot to pick up one of your children does not help this plight).

Besides being beyond exhausted, I have changed in other ways, too. I carry needles and glucose tabs everywhere I go, I can divide by 30 in the blink of an eye, I know the carb count of a plethora of foods, I stab my child with needles frequently, I no longer make jokes about being in a diabetic coma, I buy home hemoglobin A1C tests, I have insulin pens in my butter dish in the fridge, I know what basal and bolus mean, I regularly inspect my son’s feet, I stab my non-diabetic children with needles on occasion, I have Skittles and Kool-Aid in my underwear drawer, there are smears of blood all over my son’s sheets and some other random places around my house……

Huh, I think I know what my coworker meant now.

At least I don’t have a zipper on my tongue.

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Happy Anniversary!

Seems odd to think of an anniversary of being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as “happy”, but we have real reason to celebrate today!  No, we didn’t discover the cure, and no, I didn’t figure out a way to turn back the clock to a time when Medium didn’t have diabetes.  But our lives have been altered, the path of our journey has changed course and we have a new normal, so different things make me happy now. Like Medium having an A1C of 6.8.  Oh yeah baby, sweet! The hemoglobin A1C test is the litmus test for diabetics to make sure they are staying in range.  A diabetic only knows what their blood sugar is when they test it and who knows what it is doing the rest of the time.  The life of a red blood cell is 90 days, so the test is able to look back and tell you what your average blood glucose was over the last 3 months.  A healthy, “normal” A1C is between 4-6.  When Medium was diagnosed and in the hospital his A1C was 11.4 which told us that his average blood sugar for the 3 months before diagnosis was in the low 300’s.  I bought a home A1C kit which had two tests in it and we took one at his one month mark and it had gone down to 8.6 and now at  the 2 month mark it is 6.8.  Now, I don’t know how accurate the home kits are, but most research I have done says they are accurate within 20%.  We will get an official A1C at the endocrinologists office when he goes for his 3 month follow up.  I will probably do a home test before we go to compare it to the doctor’s office test and check for accuracy.  But none the less, I am so excited that his A1C is so good.  It is almost in normal range and that is even with one month of pre-diagnosis, non-medicated blood cells on board!  So basically we are kicking diabetes’ ass, even without a pump!

And speaking of the pump…..that leads me to my next reason to celebrate today.  I found out yesterday that the insurance company paid the claim for the pump! They denied the claim for the continuous glucose monitor but after a few phone calls, I am fairly certain that will be paid, too.  (They only cover the CGM for one diagnosis code and they must have overlooked the code on his script because it was on there).  So we are spending this weekend going through the all the instruction manuals and taking the online lessons so I can call on Monday and we can schedule our pump training.  Woohoo!

We spent the evening with some of my oldest friends (they aren’t old, I have just known them for a LONG time).  One of the families lives out of town and the other family lives about 25 minutes away and we just don’t get together very often.  There are 8 kids between us and they are all between the ages of 5 and 12, all boys except one girl.  The kids all had a great time together and Medium was right in the mix, hoopin’ it up having a great time.  And I couldn’t help but get a little choked up watching him.  Because while we still have a long road ahead of us and a lifetime of managing this disease, I took comfort in seeing just how far we have come in 2 months and watching Medium having a normal, happy Saturday night with friends.

But I still hate diabetes.

Me and "My Savior".

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