Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I remember the Diabetes nurse telling us to not get too caught up in the numbers during our pump start session back in 2004. I'm still not exactly sure how to do this? It's impossible to play the Type 1 game without the numbers. Where a non-gamer may see a delicious (gluten-free) kids meal, we estimate a number of carbs (and hope we're right). Up to 15+ finger pokes each and every day in order to give us another number - Adele's blood glucose at that very moment. The Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) displays a number every 3 minutes - Adele's blood glucose mesured using interstitial fluid. Then there's the Hemoglobin A1C test that we do every 3 months which gives us another number - it translates to the "average" blood glucose for the last 3 months. How can I not get caught up in these numbers since they are such an integral part of the whole game?

Maybe the Diabetes nurse recognized my perfectionism and simply wanted to help me overcome my obsessiveness with trying to achieve tight control all of the time? Maybe she was trying to encourage us for when we go through the next inevitable losing streak? Maybe she didn't want us to compare our "numbers" with other Type 1 players? I don't know and maybe I should have asked, but didn't for some reason. I was likely way too caught up in all of these numbers !!!

We're in the last month of 3 before our next A1C. I'm not sure what to expect. I think we'll improve from the last one of 8.0. I'm really not even sure why we bother getting this test done 4 times per year. Like my wife told me, no matter what the result is, we can't really try harder. We're already doing the best that we can while still managing to maintain a certain level of sanity. I also hate reading about other Type 1 players results because, well... I can't help but comparing with ours. I know that I shouldn't but I still do. It's like comparing report cards at school. We often tend to take these results as a personal defeat (or victory)... The major fault with the A1C is that it does not reflect blood glucose variations. Highs are cancelled by lows, so a good A1C may not necessarily be the result of good control but rather many, many low lows between highs. So, what does it give us really? I remember reading about a young diabetic asking his doctor if his A1C was good enough to avoid blindness and the doctor simply said that he didn't know. There is no "magic number" that guarantees complication-free living. Why bother? It may just be something that motivates players to try to continuously improve? Or it may just be something for the docs to write in your file for the lecture the next time your A1C isn't where it's supposed to be?

Here are the game highlights of the past few days...

Thursday, January 7th
After a day of fairly good numbers - between 3.6 (65) and 11.4 (205), Adele's sugar started to creep up and just would not come down. A very high blood sugar of 25 (450) was explained once we realized that Adele's infusion set had popped out. She was no longer receiving any insulin at all. These things only happen in the middle of the night and are fixed with an insulin injection via syringe followed by a new infusion site insertion. A few more blood glucose checks to make sure the sugar is coming down and Adele woke up at 7.3 (131). She went to school and we went to work. I had about 3 hours sleep (in short intervals), so Friday was a very, very productive day:-)

Friday, January 8th
Adele's sugars were between 2.8 (50) and 13.6 (245). The 5 day old CGM sensor was not reading properly (it didn't catch the 2.8 low) so we took it out.

Saturday, January 9th
Adele's sugars were between 3.6 (65) and 11.0 (198).

Sunday, January 10th
Adele's sugars were between 3.1 (56) and 10.5 (189).

Monday, January 11th
Adele's sugars were between 4.0 (72) and 8.5 (153).

I really, really hate to say it because the Type 1 gods are surely listening, but we're on a winning streak. We're gonna sit down and enjoy the ride for now, cause you know that it's all gonna come crashing down eventually. It always, always does... Will we be ready for impact?


Meri said...

It's always a balancing act. Caring enough to take good care of our little ones, and making sure not to let it take over our lives completely. Not easy.

It's hard not to get obsessed with the numbers, I think the key is to be able to let it go. We can't take the numbers personally, that is where they will eat us alive.

Joanne said...

oh oh... you just went and jinxed yourself! I should know, I just did it the other day.

Just kidding. Sort of.

Mike LeBlanc said...

I like that Meri... "Don't take the numbers personally". It's much better than feelings of personal defeat following a bad A1C.

And Joanne yep I probably did... Today's number are already not as good as yesterday.

Wendy said...

I can so relate to this post! Oh those stinkin' numbers!! Sounds like you guys are doing a fantastic job :). Keep up the great work...A1c doesn't measure Adele's perfect smile.

On a side note, this is the first comment I've ever left using my blackberry. Hope it works!

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