I was at another kind of doctor appointment last week and we were talking about babies and the future. I said I was still on the fence. She told me, “Well if you want to you really need to sit down with us and your endocrinologist so we can make sure you are healthy and ready for it.” I’ve read many a pregnant type 1 blogs, have personal friends who have had multiple children while a type 1, even read up on the matter myself. I feel fairly informed.
I go to my endo about every three to four months depending on his availability and my schedule. He’s a busy man and I know I am lucky to have him as my doctor. But I HATE how long it takes me to get through my appointment. Here’s the rundown:
- My meter, pump, and CGM are downloaded and I am weighed and my blood pressure is taken. That’s quick. (10 minutes)
- I go into another “lab” to get my finger poked and my A1C test is done. It sucks my insurance doesn’t cover this test but I love how I get the results within 10 minutes. (5 minutes)
- I am escorted into a room and wait for usually a Certified Diabetes Educator. (10 minutes)
- We go over any changes, troubles I may be having, suggestions, questions, thoughts, prescription refills. (15 minutes)
- After she has finished, I wait. (20 minutes)
- Then I am moved to a room across the hall and… I wait. (20 minutes)
- Doctor comes in and we high five. (Awesome second)
Alright, so the high five doesn’t actually happen but I pretend it does.
But in all honesty I can’t hate on waiting for my doctor. Why? Because he takes as much time as I want and/or need. I have questions about rising sugars at night? I’m trying to lose weight and keep going low? I’m traveling overseas and need to figure out the time change? Any teeny tiny thing I want to talk about, he does. And he doesn’t rush me. He gets answers for me. We talk about options and different ways we can go about treating me. He makes me feel comfortable and confident talking to him. There’s a reason my a1c is in great shape. So much of it has to do with him.
I hate to admit this but I will. I was diagnosed in 1996 and after five years of living with it, I hated life. (Diabetes life) My a1c was around a 12.8. My doctor at the time made me feel like a terrible person. He shamed and guilted me. (yeah I know it’s not a word) Every time my mom drove me to the doctor I would get this pit in my stomach. I felt like nothing I did was ever good enough so I stopped trying all together. Oh and did I mention I was 13? And losing weight by not taking insulin? Yeah… life.
Then I switched to the Barbara Davis Center and met Dr. Gottlieb. Thank goodness. At my first visit he said, “Well your a1c is a bit high but we can work to get it lower. Let’s see what you are comfortable with and we’ll go from there.” And from there, I turned my a1c around. It took me about three more years to get a serious grip on it but hey, I got there. Now I am proud to say that 12.8 a1c is down to a 5.7. I know it took a lot of work on my end but I really have to thank Dr. Gottlieb. People say, “it takes a village to raise a child”. In my opinion “it takes an amazing staff and doctor to keep an a1c in check”.
So when I get antsy waiting on him I have to think to myself, he’s helping another patient just like me. I’d hate it if he shuttled me in and out under three minutes so it’s okay. Take a deep breath and deal.
P.S. I’ve been watching a ton of Scrubs lately so… EAAGGGGLLLEEEE!
Last week I had my quarterly endo checkup. The past few years I have been doing relatively well in the diabetes health department. Blood pressure, cholesterol, liver and kidney functions, thyroid, a1c in the 6’s and 7’s… all in range of where my doctor wants to be, so I have been extremely happy with how I have been doing.
About a month ago I was in a study and my a1c was a 6.1. The lowest I have ever been. But after that I felt like I kind of fell off the diabetes wagon and let things slide. I didn’t test nearly as often as I usually do. I was eating more carbs. My exercise dropped off. I wasn’t burnt out but I was not on top of my game.. because clearly I have “game”. So when I went in for my checkup I was expecting my a1c to be around 6.5 and I knew I was going to have to be okay with that. It’s still a great number, don’t get me wrong, but I knew I could work hard to bring it down again.
Then my doctor broke the news to me. So you’re a1c is a 5.7. I was floored. I actually said, “excuse me?” He then shook my hand and said congratulations. This is the lowest a1c I’ve ever had since turning diabetic 18 years ago. BOOM bitches! (and by bitches I mean pancreas) I felt like shouting it from the rooftops.
But I won’t lie.. I’m kinda freaked out about keeping it there! Even if I do go above a 6 again, it’s totally fine but I know I can be below it, so let’s do this thing!
And while this news is amazing I am sad. What makes me sad, are my parents. I happened to see them the same day as my appointment for a Pride Concert: I Am Harvey Milk. (Wonderful production by the Denver Gay Men’s Chorus) They asked what was new and I said I had a checkup and that I was doing really well. Everything was in check and that my a1c was a 5.7. They just said okay and didn’t even take note.
I wish they would say that’s great news and congratulations. I wish they knew how hard it is to stay between the lines. I wish that when I have a high or go low they wouldn’t judge me. (Maybe they don’t but it feels like it) I wish they were proud of me as a diabetic.
But what makes me happy are my dpeeps. When they heard the good news they congratulated me, said I was amazing, asked how do I do it… claiming I was “cheating” somehow. (I wish there was a cheat!)
So for now I can’t let my parents get to me and bask in the awesomeness of my friends. I am a happy and proud diabetic. I schooled these past three months and I will continue to do so. And according to many websites “For someone who doesn’t have diabetes, a normal A1C level can range from 4.5 to 6 percent” Awwww yeah!
I’m shouting it from the rooftops: 5.7 A1C!
Usually you don’t want to hear the word ridiculous come out of your doctor’s mouth but today, it was a good thing. I went in for my 3 month check-up and was shocked when my a1c came back at a lovely 6.2. My doctor said 6.4 or lower is ideal. Awesome-sauce. Then he looked at my meters and said, “An 112 average is ridiculous”. As in ridiculously good. What what! And my Dexcom average (I’m fairly positive) was 144. I’ll take those numbers any day. I was a little nervous going in today. I’ve been having some funky high trends and I thought that was going to kick my a1c up a notch or two. Super happy it didn’t.
So on that note, I’m going to celebrate the small victories in diabetes management and see David Sedaris tonight read from his latest book, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls”. (Note: the book doesn’t have anything to do with diabetes or have a story with diabetes in it. When I meet him I am going to offer myself up as someone to hang out with in case he ever needs diabetic material for any of his books. I heart David Sedaris. And check out what the owl is perched on)
I am also going to do November 18th’s National Health Blog Post. “Three Truths and a Lie: Tell us three things that are true about you, your condition, your Health Activism, or your life. Now tell us a lie. Do you think we will be able to tell the difference?”
1. Meeting a man is what made me change my perspective on diabetes and taking care of myself.
2. At times I blame my parents for my diabetes.
3. Every time my a1c comes back stellar, I think this would be great if I was trying and/or pregnant.
4. Sometimes I over bolus just so I can eat more.