Yesterday didn't go as well as I had hoped.
The nurse came in first and took my blood pressure (fine), weight (slightly higher than last time but I can deal), and my A1C.
(Yes - Joslin is finally giving their adult patients A1C results day-of! I was abnormally excited. "You mean I'll know in 15 minutes? Really?" The nurse looked at me like I was new to the planet. But for a minute, I was ecstatic. I hate waiting.)
While the results were being spun, my endocrinologist came into the office and she and I spent almost two hours together going over numbers, plans for improvement, and the specifics of pre-pregnancy appointments. While we were talking, the A1C result came through.
"Okay, so you're just where you were four months ago."
And I felt like crying. It's overly-dramatic and pretty sad to feel so affected by this number, but it has always been the standard I judged everything against. It was the number that defined my health. It was the only number in my diabetes world that mattered, and a result that was too high tarnished my spirit.
It spoke to my success, or failure, as a person.
Or at least that's how it's always felt to me.
So I felt very teary and felt totally deflated. And my endo kept talking, moving on past this number and instead trying to isolate patterns in my blood sugars that could be contributing to this result. We went over my January lab results, and she was very happy with my cholesterol and my heart health.
"You're exercising how often? Five days a week? That's great. I wish more of my patients were into their cardio that way. Your resting pulse is very low. That's good."
I couldn't stop thinking about the A1C. Even though we're not actively trying for a baby, I wanted to get the green light, at least diabetes-wise. I want to be a mom, and I don't want diabetes being anything that makes me decide to wait.
"Yeah, but the A1C. I mean, that's the same as last time. I felt so sure that I was doing better."
She looked at me. "7.5% is not where we want you. Under 7, if we can, and even closer to 6, if possible. But it's time, isn't it? You feel ready?"
I nodded. A little afraid to speak because this is something I've always wanted. To be a mom.
"Okay, so it's time to schedule the pregnancy clinic. Let's get this in motion and we can make everything fall into place. And I want you to meet with Doctor Boston because she's the leading high-risk maternal fetal medicine ob/gyn out there, and she'll be able to handle your type 1 diabetes, Factor V, and hypertension. You have more than two decades of diabetes under your belt, so I know you're feeling vulnerable. We'll schedule this for June? Does that sound okay to you? Between now and June, you and I will work together to make this A1C happen."
"So the three of us will be together on this appointment? And she'll see me through my pregnancy?"
"She'll actually be delivering your baby. She's the best. You'll be in very good hands, Kerri."
I had this moment where I clearly pictured this moment of delivery, when I will go from Kerri to "mom" and Chris becomes "dad" and in that instant, diabetes won't count. It will be about me, and my husband, and my baby. I felt hopeful that maybe, with enough help, I could really do this.
"June. And if I'm good in June, we can actually decide if Chris and I are ready to get pregnant?"
"Some mommies, I worry about. I worry that they won't be willing to give it the best try they have in them. But you, I don't worry about. We can get you there. You aren't going to do this alone."
"Okay. I can do better. I really need to do better. I'm ready."
She printed my prescriptions. They took photos of my retinas to send to the pregnancy clinic. I paid my co-pay. I asked Chris to wait for a minute while I ducked into the bathroom.
I closed the door behind me and cried. I'm so afraid that I can't do this. I'm so afraid to do this wrong. I'm almost afraid to try. I'm afraid to hope. But I'm so sure that I can overcome these obstacles, just like other women with diabetes have done before me, and become a mom.
Cried so hard I thought my heart would break because I think this can really happen.