Twelve Angry Hemoglobins
I just came back from my appointment with my endo. I didn’t go in with particularly high expectations, but I still came out feeling kind of low (and I don’t mean my blood sugar).
It all started in a typical exam room when a friendly physician’s assistant came in to check my height, weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and all that fun stuff. Then she leafed through that blue folder with my first and last name on it making sure everything is in order. Height, weight, BP, BG, pulse properly recorded: check. Eye doctor report: check. A1C results —
That was in there too.
Then she closed the folder and carried it out of the room.
I felt like I was sitting at the defense table, watching the judge just peek at the verdict before handing it back to the jury to be read. She already knew if I’d be deserving of chocolate or coal in my stocking this Christmas (umm… about that: no one ever gives me chocolate … and I’m Jewish … and it’s practically summer. Moving on…), but I had to wait .
Sure, I knew that I’d done wrong. When it comes to respecting the limits of diabetes, I’ve fractured an occasional law. Hell, I’ve blatantly and willfully partaken of the forbidden fruit, then tried to cover my tracks with a few extra units of insulin, but that was more than three months ago and beyond this A1C’s statute of limitations. For this most recent period, I’ve tried. I really, really tried to do good. But when you spend lots of time around people whose eating habits should be a crime, it’s hard not to commit a few misdemeanors yourself.
But now’s the time to see if there was enough evidence to convince the Twelve Angry Hemoglobins (does that even make any sense?!) to put a damning mark on that lab result slip sitting in the blue folder.
Finally, the doctor entered the room, carrying with that same folder.
On the count of A1C…
He opened the folder. “Well, there’s no protein in your urine. That’s good news. Your kidneys are working fine!”
…we, the Hemoglobin Jury…
“Hop up on the exam table, let me check your feet. Can you feel this? Good.”
…find the diabetic…
“Well, the average of your meter readings and your CGM readings is …blah blah blah… but your A1C is…”
“…consistent with last time.” Then he gave me the number.
The number was just a tenth or two-tenths of a percent higher than last time. Sure, that’s pretty close to last time. But last time was also just one or two tenths of a percent higher than the previous one. And the same with the one before that. In fact, this trend is ongoing for a long time, and I think this is my highest A1C in over five years. See the consistency?
* * *
As I write this, it’s shortly after 1 p.m. Looking out the window, the storm clouds (and obnoxiously loud thunder) that greeted me when I woke up have disappeared, and a bright yellow sun is shining in a clear blue sky. Despite the disheartening news in this morning’s drama, I’m a free man, and I can run outside and do cartwheels on the front lawn if I choose. (And if I knew how).
But right now, it still feels dark and cloudy inside of me. If this morning had been a real courtroom trial, I’d probably be confined to a dingy old cell somewhere, sitting on a bench next to another PWD who can’t seem to pull things together. We’d share stories of D-thuggery, see whose lancets are more blünt, create beautiful music using our CGM alert tones, and have a grand old time. It would be fun, and we’d be friends – partners in crime, so to speak. I kinda wish it went that way.
Instead, it’s just me, sitting alone at my PC, with complex thoughts in my head and a somber expression on my face. It’s not all about my results today. My control with diabetes has been slipping away in the past month while my frustration has been steadily increasing. Why? How? Why not? These questions go unanswered both in the decisions I make and in my body’s response to those decisions. I find myself blaming my supplies and myself. Peer pressure and persistent pains.
The Online Community is great, but right now I could sure use an Offline PWD-Friend. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve never been through bouts of diabetes-related depression, and a part of me is scared that this could be the start of one. Hopefully, it’s just a streak of bad luck, bad blood sugars, and bad responses to food and insulin that will soon pass. I’m generally pretty easy-going and don’t keep negative thoughts bottled inside. Only this time I have them. It would be nice to share them with someone who also understands.
I think I’m going to try to find a diabetes support group in my area. I’m starting to see the value in these things. I doubt I’ll find one, but at least I’ll try. Where do I go for that… JDRF? Google?
* * *
Well, look at that. This post started as thought-out, scripted prose, and then took a turn and went to shit. But at least I got to use the word hemoglobin a few times. That silly-sounding word always puts a bit of a smile on my face and a fun, cartoonish mental image in my head.