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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Update: the last Endo appointment, life.

After being tortured in my intravenous blood draw a few weeks back, I anxiously anticipated my lab results over the course of a few days (and was delighted to see an email from my practitioner a few days later). However, I was disappointed to see that although my thyroid, lipid panel, and cmp came back normal (and my glucose level was "high" at 103 mg/dL :), there was no mention anywhere of my A1C (although I read the order and there was supposed to be an A1C done.

In the end, they did one (finger-stick A1C) at the office last week. My Endo always does this thing where he comes in a starts chatting and lets you talk, and it's like you have to guess (or ask) what your A1C is. So I was chatting about how much insulin I was injecting and how I thought I had figured out a better I:C ratio for breakfast during and how that changed based on what week I was in my cycle. And about how I decided to stick with a consistent amount of Levemir daily (split) throughout the month. "Well, your efforts are paying off."  "Oh, really? what was my A1C?" (there, cracked and asked). "Ummm, six point.. six point... Ummm.." [searches through computer files].  But I had heard enough.

I am in the sixes, for the first time in years I'm in the sixes again. "What? I don't care even what it is" I blurted out. "I don't care if it's statistically insignificant from seven. I haven't been in the sixes in years."

I should have known when he asked to bring in the two medical students (he doesn't do it if it's not good news). They were 1st and 4th year D.O. students (worlds apart, basically), and we chatted about me finishing up my Ph.D. (this year!) and the long job search (in progress and still ahead). They tried to follow all my logic and chattering about my care, and stared at me as the Endo checked my feet, lungs, my injection sites. "D you have a cold? There is a little rumble. Not pneumonia or anything, nothing serious... Hmm, your Potassium is a little low, make sure you're getting lots of fruits and vegetables. Not worried/concerned by anything else... Your cholesterol levels are extremely good, just pristine..." [wow, thanks]

There, a clean bill of heath. And a sigh of relief.

My A1C was 6.8. When I first started treating, I had plenty of A1Cs in the sixes. But, I never tested, while taking good amount of insulin and just eating whatever I wanted, and I probably had a lot of lows. In fact, it's kind of surprising I didn't have any serious emergencies or hospitalizations occur during that time. However, after I realized that insulin could kill you (something I think my doctors avoided telling me at all costs in fear I wouldn't treat) my A1Cs jumped to the 8s and 7s for several years, despite obsessive/compulsive testing. In the end, I must (at least partially) credit to my ability to wear a CGM at least some of the time, today, largely due to generous donations from DOCcers (who switched to the G4 and had left-over 7+ sensors to spare).

It's spring time in Southern Ohio. In two days, I take off for San Diego, and I am super excited. I will be attending a cancer conference, as well as meeting up with my mom (whom I haven't seen in six months). I'm a little nervous about the earthquakes as I haven't been out west before (hopefully that's just paranoia). I am already planning how I will manage to shove all my diabetes shit into my carry-on. For this trip, I plan to wear really cute clothes and possibly a bathing suit, and although Dexcom old-faithful is on the back of my arm today, we shall part ways for my time in California.

I feel refreshed. I really needed to see a concrete improvement in my D-management, because I have been putting in a lot of effort, and sometimes lots of times, based on my averages and logs, I'm very disappointed. I really needed to see/hear from my doctor that something is getting done right. And now, although I won't lie to you all by saying I didn't give myself a few "sort of fuck-it" days after the appointment, the lowered result makes me want more improvements and makes me actually believe for a second that I might be able to will definitely actually try to do the pregnancy thing down the line. Things in my life are changing rapidly, and heath care is no different - next month I turn 26, and will no longer be on my parents' nice heath insurance. Will cross that bridge when I come to it.

For the time being, I want to live and enjoy the season. And I will keep walking the dragon, as I must.

Peace out.