So, the past week has been “exciting,” with two interesting, life-altering events occurring. I’ll tell you about the first one now, and the other a bit later.
First, I hit the half century mark on March 7th. We celebrated with a weekend trip to Atimpoku, which was very nice as it always is. The kids swam, we ate great food at Aylos Bay. We saw the twinkling lights over the Akosombo Dam at dusk. Alex caught a fairly large tilapia that got away when the line snapped as we were ready to take it off the hook. All in all, it was a perfect celebration. The only thing not nice was my allergies which were amazingly uncooperative – I was sucking Zyrtec down every 12 hours for 2 days to no avail. But that’s past and (today, at least) I feel great.
I am looking forward to the second half of my life. And yes, I do believe I will live to at least 100!
The other event? Well, nothing quite as monumental as a 50th birthday, but let’s just say I have the same degree of determination for the future and a great outcome. Now let me get you up to speed so you’ll know what I’m talking about.
Alex got her A1C results back the other day. (FYI, the A1C is the lab test that tells you the average glucose which “clings” to a person’s blood over the previous 2-3 month period, the lower the A1C, the better). Anyway, her A1C was worse (by far) than I expected.
I know. I know. It’s not supposed to be looked at like a report card. But, really, isn’t that something you say when your own child’s A1C is good and you’re trying to make another parent of a CWD feel better? It is a report card. I flunked Pancreatic Lab. Oh, I do great in Pancreatic Theory – A+ all the way. But the lab work is 99.9% of the grade, and there’s no A for effort.
So, yeah, the “life-altering event.” Alex’s latest A1C sucked at 8.5%. Far worse than the 7.5% we got in October. Granted, I think she’s had a growth spurt, and the hormones released during growth spurts generally result in higher blood glucose. She certainly looks taller and she’s gained 5 lbs (finally, she’s only been stuck at 60 lbs. for the past 2 years!).
But growth spurt or not, her numbers have been horrible. At school she doesn’t bolus enough so she’s invariably high between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. We play catch-up boluses because she eats something and forgets to tell me she ate something. Or she refuses to eat the food we just bolused her for, usually resulting in a low followed by a high for overcompensating. As I said, her numbers have been horrible.
Oh, you noticed that there seems to be quite a few months between our A1C tests, huh? Yeah, you would. That’s ‘cause I’m avoiding Alex’s doctor. I kept hoping that I’d get her numbers more in line and that the A1C wouldn’t be this bad. Didn’t work.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve said it before; Dr. Renner is a lovely woman. She won’t rant and rave or chastise me or make me feel worse than I already do. She’ll likely ask Alex is there’s anything she’s done (or didn’t do) that could have given this result. Alex will smile sweetly and then lie in her face and tell her no. To be honest, Alex could be a lot less difficult and a lot less demanding.
And I guess I could do a lot more demanding and be a lot less accommodating. And there it is. I’ve said it. The problem. I’m the problem. I do not crack down on Alex. I took for face value the words “she can eat anything she wants, as long as she has insulin to cover it.”
The problem is Alex does eat whatever she wants. She also drinks whatever she wants, which on too many days is a beverage called “malt,” a non-alcoholic drink that has 45 carbs in a single 12 oz bottle. If I send her to the store, she invariably comes back with sweets – “Oh, I’ll just take 1 unit (or 2 or 3 or whatever) for these,” and then she practically inhales them. A fight or a tantrum or some horrible scene ensues if I take them away. By the time that occurs, I’m too exhausted and stressed out to fight back and I give in. Bad mommy, I know.
You have to understand something, with Alex, there’s no such thing as moderation. But that’s all about to change, and Alex knows it. We had a little discussion, she and I and her dad, and this is what we’ve all decided.
- Alex will be limited to one malt or soft drink over the weekend only.
- Sweets will be considered a “treat” and I will dole them out as I see fit (and if she brings one back from the store, it will become my possession. Note to God, please Lord, let it be chocolate!).
- Alex will bolus when I say so (and not when she’s good and ready), and she will tell me when or if she has gone back for seconds.
- Alex will also always weigh her food out (even for seconds) and let me know carbs so I can figure the right amount of insulin.
- Alex will make an effort to check her sugar at least 3 times a day while at school (I actually bribed her to check 3 times a day – she gets paid only if she does), and take the right amount of insulin for what she’s consumed.
And yes, I know it’s a tall order for a 10 year old, but what else can we do?
I am disappointed and angry (mostly at myself) for the crappy A1C, but I am resolved that, in spite of that crappy report card, we will look forward.