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From Abby: Lab Freak.

Diabetes and stress seem to go hand-in-hand (or white-knuckled fist in white-knuckled fist?).  Today, Abby is tackling the stress of dealing with labwork results that are - what? - normal? 

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It's just like Dr. Mario!I'm a nurse, right? So says my name tag at work. When other people call me with their questions and concerns, I'm quite level headed. I can think through things, and tell people what they need to hear. I can see a potassium of 6.4 and not freak out (well, I do freak out, but I keep my cool at the same time). I can talk to a patient who took 5 units of Humalog for "funsies" before bed and had to be glucagoned that night and calmly explain to them why that was a bad idea. I can also talk to patients who call freaking out because they are having "extreme highs" after seeing one number of 178 mg/dL. I keep my cool.

Until I'm the patient. And then I'm a freak just like everyone else does. I Google and click and over-think and call and tell everyone and FUHREAK out.

So today when I got my yearly routine labs back and they were all perfectly normal, I had to find something to stress about. I mean, I just had to. Except there was nothing. And that lack of something stressed me out.

The problem we have is that with diabetes, the numbers we see always cause stress. Even if we're always 100 mg/dL - that's stressful because what if my meter is broken? What if my blood is tainted? What if my strips are expired? Diabetes wires us for high levels of stress. Add a nursing degree (which may also known as "hypochondria") and I'm screwed.

I'm stressed because my thyroid labs are exactly the same as last time even though I increased my levothyroxine dose.  Except they're normal. And I feel fine. So there's no reason to stress about this.

I'm stressed that my triglycerides might be TOO low. Is that even possible? Why am I worried about this?

My BUN is one point below normal. HOLY CRAP MY KIDNEYS ARE IN TROUBLE. except that's not what that means. Also, I'M FINE.

By tomorrow, I'll have forgotten about this. I'll go on with my day knowing I'm doing a great job with my health with the tools and knowledge I have to work with. I'm healthy, and I feel good. I'm able to do the things I want to do. For that, I am thankful.

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Stressing about the absence of stress?  Have you been there?

Comments

I will have had T1 Diabetes for 1 Year on Sunday, and it has been a year full of anxiety and hypochondriac behavior. Now that I had one disease sneak up on me, I think that any and everything is out to get me. Although, like you, I do my best and I am fine.

Oh yes, I live there!!!! For years I stressed before endo appointments because I could never, ever hit my A1C goal. I longed for the day I could wrangle my A1C and not have to stress before appointments anymore.

Guess what. I finally wrangled my A1C and it has stayed at goal for years. I have an endo appointment tomorrow. So guess what I'm doing today? Stressing!! I'm stressed that this will be the appointment where my A1C skyrockets again.

Blargh.

Some of us just thrive on stress. We need to RELAX, but for some reason that doesn't ever happen, we have to find something to stress about!

Yep.. Been there. I'm not a nurse, rather a molecular biologist but I obsess over everything like that too. Like one time the sodium was a bit high and K was a bit low, so the GAP turned out larger than
"normal" (not large enough for my endo to care, but enough to send me running to the store for bananas and second-guessing salty foods). ;)

stress for diabeties is normal. any diabetic that havent stress is unnormal.

Abby, you are hilarious! And I feel the same way every 6 mos when I have my labs drawn, wondering--is this going to be when the kidneys start going downhill? Is this the beginning of the end?!!! All silly thoughts of course. We do the best we can every day and need to tell ourselves that, every day. We are CONSTANTLY on guard with this disease, myself for 26 years now, I just turned 40 and am thriving:) We need to bask in our good numbers!

I swear when I see a flatline of normal BG's on my CGM I start to wonder if it's accurate. Ha!

I get (and keep) copies of all my lab work and I google all the results... you know, just in case the doctor missed anything.

#medicalpeopleproblems

Abby, I'm in my 3rd year of medical school, and holy crap can I relate. I think it's worse because we know all of the awful things that can happen, and any slight deviation from normal or lack of change is terrifying, because even though we are FINE, we are thinking of all of the awful awful things that COULD be happening -- because that's what we have spent years stuffing our brains with and that's what we deal with everyday.

Cholesterol is there for a reason and can be too low, but it's only a health risk if there was a large and unintentional drop or it is extremely low (think total cholesterol below 75).

My total cholesterol is 93 at the moment.

May all your problems be so small.

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