Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The trip to get the dreaded diabetes report card!

Yesterday was our third visit to our new diabetes center.  Each time we go, I find myself watching comparing, and thinking way too much.  Each visit brings new faces--new team members and new faces that you know are also living with "the beast".

We went to the same small clinic for ten years.  We saw the same doctor for all of that time, the same nurse for most of that time and the same dietitian for half of that time. My son's doctor believed in pushing us.  He would delay returning my calls so that I was forced to make decisions on my own.  He guided me and then left me to fall on my own--being there to laugh and help me up when needed.  He forced me to make my son do more earlier so that he could handle being away from me.  During the time, I often grumbled and wished he didn't have so much faith in us.  Now I remain grateful.

My reputation preceded our arrival at our new clinic. Some of the team members I had known for years, sat on committees with or simply socialized with at conferences.  Yesterday I met the woman who liaisons with schools and deals with school issues.  She asked if I was a diabetes educator.  I said not formally but yes I educate people about diabetes.  I had never really thought of myself like that before but it was an interesting way to phrase some of what I do.

The downside to our new clinic is that we do not always see the same doctor.  I am not sure what I think of that yet.  Both doctors we have seen have been great so it may be okay.  Yesterday's doctor looked at what we were doing and seemed somewhat surprised by the fact that I make all of his changes on my own. My first thought was, after 11 years I would hope so, but then I thought back and was again grateful for a doctor that pushed me to learn this skill.

When we saw our nurse, my son sat far away from her hoping that she would forget that he was to get blood work done with this visit.  She didn't.  He was less than happy to be told that he could "hop on down to the blood collection unit today."  He moaned. He groaned.  She said that she was a stickler for blood work and that they do routine screening on his thyroid as well as checking for celiacs.  I was over the moon! I loved that they were proactive. I told her that this was great as far I was concerned.  My son was still moaning. He thought the idea of going to a place that referred to itself as a blood "collection" unit was ghoulish at best.  He had great visions of some sort of blood letting experience.  He could see saws chopping into his veins and the blood pooling in buckets placed all around him. Yes, he has developed a wonderful imagination!

I have no idea what his A1c was for this visit.  I am thinking that it should be back closer to the range that I like.  The nurse told my son how wonderful his A1c's of the past had been. I covered his ears.  She laughed at me and said puberty is tough. He is doing great.  I reminded her that the first A1c he had there was his worst EVER, as in--in 11 years of diabetes.  I also stated that I felt that way because it also reflected a time of missed boluses and failure to test.  The next A1c, which had dropped slightly, reflected hard work and taking care of himself.  Again, while I would love to see it lower, the second one was much more in line with the care that I would like to see him give himself and therefore I was much more accepting of it.  I would still be much happier to see him drop back below the infamous 7% line though.

All in all, I think we will do well at this clinic.  My son has still not recovered from the fact that the will have to go back to the blood collection unit to donate more of his precious blood. He still needs to have fasting blood work and a few other tests done.  I am still surprised that his nurse was somewhat amazed that he was doing all of his own site changes.  And of course, I will never live down the fact that the dietitian opened his log book to the page that had written--Lunch:  juice, cookie  Supper: Banana split and slushie.  Really he does eat healthy most of the time...honest! It was a one off kind of thing we noted as she ushered us out of her office with a pamphlet on how to eat when dining out. Oh well, you can't win them all!

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