Rocky Mountains

At my last appointment with my Endocrinologist (Endo, for short) on 12/27/11 my A1C was 7.9.   That’s not a “bad” number.  But it had jumped from 7.1 in September.  That’s a pretty big jump. *sigh*  I went to my car after the appointment, fighting back tears. I felt so defeated. Like such a failure.  And completely irresponsible.  I was mad.  I was scared. Scared that I’d let myself “go” and that I won’t be here to watch our kids grow up. Scared that this disease that has lived inside me for almost 20 years now is finally going to start taking over, even though I’ve tricked myself into believing I’ve been the one in control of it all these years.

So I decided to make some changes.  I started that Chris Powell diet.  I started watching my portions and carb intake.  I lost 10 lbs (still have lots more to go, but it’s a start.) 

My BG (blood glucose) readings were lower. I was able to decrease my basal rates a tad (every little bit helps.) In fact I did that, because I was starting to go too low, too often. And they would hit fast.

So overall I have felt really good about where I’ve been the last couple of weeks/month.

Until I printed out my CGM results this week.  It’s one thing to look at the graph on my pump every day and think “That’s a pretty straight line. Good job, Shannon!” but that only tells me a 3, or a 6, or a 12 hour graph (depending on which setting I’m looking at.) 

But when you look at over a week’s worth of data … it paints a much different picture.  Now don’t judge (*ducking behind my chair*)…. but here’s what I saw this week when I uploaded my data.

This is evidence of a lazy, non-working pancreas

An explanation for the non-D’s, each colored line represents a different day.  The intent of wearing the CGM is to not only help me predict high’s/low’s and cut ’em off at the pass, but also to look at charts such as the one above and find any trends – am I always running high overnight?  Do I shoot up after lunch every day?  Am I waking up low every day?  Once such trends are established, then it’s as easy as pushing a few buttons to make necessary adjustments to my basal rates, and hopefully get straighter lines. Now, also in a non-D, you would typically stay within that green range. Which is considered “perfectly normal” (I just made that up, btw.)    A diabetic will have peaks and valleys, inevitably, based on what day of the week it is or what we’ve eaten, how often we’ve stood up in our chair, etc. (Yes, I’m being a tad overdramatic, but you get my point.)   The hope is to stay within that green area as much as possible, though, and have more of a hilly plateau vs the Rocky Mountains. When you look at this chart, you may think it’s not that bad – you can definitely see some trends, and that’s a “good” thing (fixable).  What I saw when I saw this chart was “Holy crap.”  I hit over 200 every.single.day.  I also had a low almost every day, with the lowest in this particular sample being a 43. Ugh.  So here this whole time I’ve been thinking “Great job!” when actually I’ve been in the Rockies and didn’t even realize it. 😦 I go back to my Endo next week on the 28th for my next 3 month checkup.  He will do another A1C and I am hopoing/praying for a decrease from that 7.9.  To show off all my hard work. It’s like a score card.  Even though it’s probably not healthy to think of it that way. But in reality it is. It’s the proof that I’ve either succeeded in my diabetes management for the prior 3 months, or if I haven’t. Bottom line.   The number will be what it will be.  And all I can do from there is try my best to make it an evenbetter number the next time. 🙂

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About Shannon

I am a wife, a mommy, and a Type 1 diabetic (since '92.) I have had two successful pregnancies - one of which was with twins. I wear an insulin pump- - off and on for 17 years; currently on the Medtronic pump and CGM. I am not a medical professional, nor am I giving medical advice. I am just sharing my day to day stories of someone who lives with this disease every day. My ultimate goal is to raise awareness.
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3 Responses to Rocky Mountains

  1. Gina Stoltz says:

    I dont like those visit! I seem to stretch mine out as long as I can. If they refill my meds… thats another month I dont have to go! I have an apt. on Monday, when I should have gone back in December! Yikes. Fortunately my dr. is on maternity leave so I GET to see someone else, so I dont have to hear.. “Where have you been over the last few months”! I know you know the question, “So, how have your numbers been since I saw you last?” I dont have to show a chart so until she reads my A1C so doenst have a clue what has been happening.. so I usually just say, “Oh its been pretty good” knowing she will know one way or another in the next few minutes! They use to have to send off for my A1C, and now they have those darn test they can do right there in the office, so I actually have to face her if its not good! I know what you mean about feeling defeated or failing, I feel like I am being sent to the principals office everytime I go for a visit! Like you said, you can only continue doing what you know to do to keep the number stable..and if its off a little , you adjust and stay positive!! Just keep walking for the cure, and it will be here!! 🙂

    • Shannon says:

      Yep, I’m right there with ya, Gina. I get my results in a few minutes in the office, too. And you’re right -it does feel like going to the principal’s office. The nurse will come in and take it, and then she usually leaves. I then walk over and watch the results until I see the “QkCk Ok” come up. Whew. But then the number comes up and it always feel a balloon deflating because I’m usually disapointed in myself.

  2. Scott E says:

    Those graphs with multiple days on top of each other are so valuable. When my endo downloads data from my pump, he plots one of those for the last two weeks, then plots each day individually (with markers for actual BG readings, boluses, and other stuff). It really helps you spot the trends rather than the anomalies.

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