Who’s tricking who?

The lab technician was so bad that I actually had to tell her to take the needle out and try again.  She was after “old faithful”, a reliable vein that no other lab tech has ever missed.   I have a pretty high tolerance for the lab draws, but even I couldn’t watch this.  It felt like she had the needle buried all the way in, and was twisting it around like a cooking spoon in some mashed potatoes.  She hit the mark on her second attempt, and a couple tubes of red gold later I was out of there.  That was Friday, April 25th.

My endo appointment was one week away, and I couldn’t wait.  I was excited to hear what kind of result using symlin would have on my A1C.  I have never expected a lower A1C as much as I did for this appointment.

I was so excited that I tried calling in on Monday and Tuesday to get the results over the phone.  Monday they hadn’t arrived yet, Tuesday they were there but the nurse would not give me the result over the phone.  I resigned myself to patiently wait until my Friday appointment.

Friday morning rolled around and I could not WAIT!!!  Is that crazy or what?!  I was excited for my quarterly endo appointment!

Headshot of Bernard HopkinsIt was almost like watching a rigged boxing match.  I watched every punch, every blow, every miss.  I watched an early round knockdown.  I watched a masterful boxer steadily and methodically pick apart his opponent.  I watched the momentum ever so slowly drain out of one fighter, and as if it were some sort of siphon, it filled the other with confidence and energy.  For twelve rounds it was very clear who was winning the fight.  And the judges gave it to the other guy.

My A1C has gone up a bit, and I am shocked, stunned, saddened, and crushed.  Unsure of what to think, unsure of what to say.  Unsure of which way is up or down, right or wrong.

I felt that my blood sugars had been better than ever for the past three months.  Better than ever, other than the five years of my life pre-diagnosis.  Do you understand what I’m saying?

So what’s next?  I need to let my emotions draw down a little bit, then sit back and analyze the tape.

I’ve not been logging much, so maybe my “good” blood sugars have not been all that good at all.  I test with about five different meters, which creates a boatload of confusion and chaos trying to download into a single program or logbook.  I don’t have any records to point back to and say “Look!  I really DID do so much better than my crappy A1C indicates”.

Maybe I’m not catching my highs.  Even with doing upwards of 8-10 tests per day, there are many spots where I could simply be missing trouble.  I’ve tried some of the CGM devices out there, and may move towards one solution soon.  They are very expensive though, which is unfortunately a show stopper for me currently.

So for the time being, I will be diligent about entering all my tests into my pump, so I have a single data source.  This will give me a little better picture of what is going on.


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16 thoughts on “Who’s tricking who?

  1. i knoe what you mean about lab techs. there is only one i have that i will allow to stick me. the others think my arms are router rooters. my a1c runs on a good quarter at 8 , it has gone to 11. they have tried all the meds along with different insulins, and now with 300 mg insulin and 1000 glucophage, i can keep it about 200. no, i hardly eat. and when i do, it is 1/2 cup portions. milk is my worst enemy. it will raise the scale very high. if i eat like i should, my blood sugars are 750. i cant have that.

  2. Dude.
    I hear you LOUD AND CLEAR here, buddy.
    It’s one seriously frustrating mystery.
    Pick yourself up, brush off your shoulders, walk it off (with an air-cast if necessary!), let it go.
    And most importantly: keep punchin’.

  3. Thanks everyone, your support is priceless.
    Yes, I do plan to continue with the symlin. There was something not quite right with that last A1C. I have seen a major difference in my BG’s, and have lost a little weight too. Maybe I just need a little more time.

  4. Go Jillian
    Go Lyrehca
    Go Donna
    Go Bernard
    Go Molly
    Go Amy
    Go Scott
    Go Brett and oooo
    Go Ice 🙂
    Keep on fighting!! Don’t let one number get you down!!

  5. Awe man I hate it for you Scott. Damn it all to hell.
    We have been fortunate that Caroline’s A1Cs have always been pretty decent, but even that is bizarre. We’ve had periods where the 2 week average on her meter is 200 and we know the A1C is gonna suck, yet it comes out at 7.2 just like when we have 3 month periods where the meter sits around 150 most of the time. It makes no sense.
    We even had 1 random time it was 6.5. But we’ve never had another number between that and 7. I am all but convinced even though it is an average, there is something going on with how the numbers are weighted…like is there a bell curve where its a 3 month average, but technically most of that number comes from 2-3 months ago? I don’t know.
    F I hate this disease, because it wreaks havoc on the best people for nothing they did to deserve it. F.
    The only thing I can think to tell you is think about where the large blocks of time are – nighttime mainly. Are you confident your numbers throughout the night are okay?
    Next might be the time from breakfast to your next check – because the body slurps that stuff up so fast. I don’t know, you know more about this than I do.
    Can you borrow a CMGS or trial one? If you can just get one for one week you might be able to see something. When we did that with Caroline before we bought it, we were shocked. She had numbers like 150 all day, but it was a mountain and valley between each check.
    I read somewhere else recently that insurance companies are now paying for those sensors with a doctor’s order. It might be worth a try again, especially if your health is truly dependent on improvement there.
    I can’t tell you how frustrated and sorry I am for you Scott. But keep fighting the good fight and redouble your efforts. Don’t let this POS disease get you.

  6. Oh for pity damn sake!!!!
    I agree with Bernard that the A1C is imprecise.
    Freakin’ numbers can make one insane and I hate it.
    What did the doc say?
    I would try to really heed your perceptions that you are doing so much better. I mean, you didn’t pull that conclusion out of thin air, now, did you? Something with the symlin is working for you, and don’t let the AlC tell you different.
    I’m sorry, Scott. If there’s anything that really riles me up, it’s an honest effort not being rewarded.

  7. Scott,
    Dam diabetes!!
    I HATE when that happens. You bust your hump and feel like you’ll be “rewarded” for your efforts, and then …. WHAM! You get knocked over.
    Be patient with yourself. You are taking positive steps in your diabetes care. The benefits will come.
    Remember: You’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you!

  8. Hi Scott,
    I soooo understand how you feel and once again you posted at the right time as I am seeing endo next Tuesday, but I am expecting a bad result, because like you I have started using a new tool since my last endo appt., that being the CGM.
    I have mixed feelings about the CGM, it causes me to stress more, which I think for me prolongs my highs. I tend to correct too soon then causing the lovely lows. It just is overwhelming at times to have your bgs staring at you 24/7, unless you are the perfect flat liner, diabetic, CGM user.
    Like you I never log and when I do, things never work out, so then I stop.
    I truly feel the harder I try the worse off I am, but next week will tell. Ooooo and another factor I threw into the mix is going off my Effexor, for various reasons, which caused my bgs to go zonkers, like I was starting brand new with my pump. 🙁
    I guess bottom line is I feel your pain, but have no answers for you. Ooooo I even started the Zone diet via a delivery service, but it did not come with carb count, very healthy food does not lead to healthy numbers. Bolusing to the unknown leads to worse than ever bgs.
    On top of all that I tried on bathing suits tonight, diabetes just sucks, and makes it so hard to lose weight especially with a pump hanging on a suit.

  9. Scott
    What a royal pain. That number is so important is some ways. It’s kind of a judgement on how we’re doing, how good we’re being.
    Look it’s a lousy disease, made worse by expectations that appear to be set by folks who haven’t lived with this disease.
    And bear in mind that the A1C is an imprecise test. With the same blood draw on the same day I’m guessing there’s at least 10% variability in results.
    Sorry Scott. You’re doing the best and then the A1C value hits you with a 2 by 4. I hope tomorrow it doesn’t seem as important as it does right now.

  10. Sorry your A1C wasn’t what you expected. Mine was up a bit this time, too. I was disappointed. Maybe it’s something in the air…. Hope you’re feeling better about things soon.

  11. Scott, I’m so sorry. It’s annoying when you think you are working hard and it seems to be for naught. When I tried Symlin last summer the same thing happened to me. I think the first few months are just so trial and error. I realized that I focused on the good numbers so much that I was convinced my A1c would be lower. It was a shock when it went up. Here’s to your continuing dedication and your next A1c which I’m sure will be closer to what you expected!