Last Monday, we had our regular visit to the endocrinologist. It was part of the busiest day of our chaotic week. My daughter began her standardized tests, left school early for the doctor’s appointment in the city, and changed her clothes there so we could go directly to a 5:30 softball game.
The idea of regular endocrinologist visits is to take one’s current state of diabetes affairs to the doctor’s office to receive professional suggestions for better control. We always gratefully come away with excellent suggestions and a new perspective on things.
However, it’s the looming appointment that usually begins the process of bringing us back into better control. I hate to show up at the diabetes center with a couple of weeks of truly crappy numbers for them to download. I feel like a loss of control reflects poorly on my concern for my child’s health and on my diabetes skills.
Therefore, a couple of weeks before each appointment, I invariably become more aggressive with diabetes management. I’ll scour the logbook, noticing that my daughter's blood sugar has been 200 at 10:00 every night that week. Maybe the 7:00 dinner insulin bolus isn’t quite enough. I become hyper vigilant about bolusing before the meal instead of during (or after). We'll do a basal test for the first time in recent memory. Things are placed in the food scale which haven’t made it there in months. It’s not that I never do these things, but some combination of diabetes monotony and the many distractions of real life make me inconsistent at times. An impending appointment is one of my primary motivations to re-group.
This pre-appointment focus also frees up time with the doctor for conversations about those things I haven’t been able to fix. A new set of eyes is best focused on things which I either didn’t see, or couldn’t figure out. Last week, my daughter's A1C was good. The downloaded numbers were decent too, despite a few outliers. Thanks to my obsessiveness in the preceding week, I was able to intelligently discuss the post-bagel 308, and the string of 200’s possibly caused by adrenalin from pitching in her first softball game. We received good advice, got to the game in time, and had ice cream for dessert to celebrate. Thankfully, nobody will ever download those post-ice cream numbers.