A1C You Soon.
The paperwork has been on my desk, but I kept staring at it for a long time. And by "long time," I mean three full months. I kept finding reasons to put it off - my wedding was coming, I was busy at work, my shirt sleeves were too long - but the real reason was because I knew the number would be kind of crap. A1Cs are never fun, and they serve as a sort of diabetes report card. With my stress levels being a little out of control during the wedding ramp-up, my numbers followed suit. And I didn't want to know what my A1C was, out of fear and stubbornness.
But on Tuesday, I turned my brain off for a bit. I grabbed the paperwork, left my office, and drove directly to the blood work lab. I refused to psyche myself out (and I tried really hard not to think about the pinchy needle easing into that tender part of my arm ... not a fan).
"Hi, I'm Kerri. I need to have an A1C drawn."
"Okay, write your name on the sheet here and have a seat."
I wrote my name, thus making it official. I was there, for my A1C, and there was no turning back.
I'm not sure why I shy away from this test so much. I think it's because I have spent over twenty years putting so much of my self-worth into this percentage. When it comes back under 7%, I feel like these moments of diabetes difficulty are worth the effort. I feel strong and confident, like I'm really making strides in achieving good health.
But the bummer numbers. The ones that are over 7% and cause the endocrinologist to check the "uncontrolled type 1 diabetes" box. My Internal Motivational Speaker screams in protest at this box checking. "Hey! Uncontrolled? Dude, she's paying attention and really putting forth a huge effort to manage this disease!" I get overwhelmed by the possibility of complications and maybe not having a healthy pregnancy. The parts of this disease that I try not to think about, try not to focus on, creep into my thoughts and whisper in my ear.
The phlebotomist put the rubber thing around my bicep, asking me to make a fist. "To bring out your vein," she said, preparing the needle.
"Oooh, I'm not a fan of needles," I admitted.
"But you take needles all the time, right? With the diabetes?" She tapped my arm a few times with her finger.
"Sort of. I have a pump. And a CGM," I gestured to the Dexcom sensor on the back of my arm. "This takes blood sugar results for me so I don't have to prick my finger so much."
"Aye! The finger prick! I do not like that so much at all. I am a diabetic type 2. The finger pricking makes me all ... " she made a face to let me know how much the finger pricks stung. "I do not enjoy it."
"Well I don't enjoy having blood taken. That's why I am nervous."
She laughed at me softly. "And that's why you are staring at the wall instead of looking at your arm, right?"
Now I wait. I should have my results in a few days, and I'm really hoping that this A1C result doesn't reflect the weeks of stress and honeymoon and worky bits. I hope it shows the hours at the gym, the healthy eating, and the constant monitoring. Either way, knowing this number is important. Some would say it's half the battle. But I wouldn't end this post with a silly reference to GI Joe ... would I?