Ok. So been a big long busy week of activity on all fronts. As such, let's roll back to last Thursday and start there, shall we? Side note - did you know that last week was the 3rd Annual Diabetes Blog week!? Who knew? Guess I'll have to do some sort of fancy themed piece next year. One thing about finding this out after the fact is that I do have time to plan ahead.
So last Thursday was a big day on the medical front as I had appointments with both my endocrinologist as well as my first appointment with the diabetes counselor. We'll go chronologically for ease - so we start with the endo doc. I think it is important to give you a visual of how adorable my endocrinologist is. She is a teeny Iranian woman who is petite in both stature and size and compensates with impressive heals. I feel like a giant around her however and thus I'm certain that I have terrible posture during my visits.
We started with the what is now normal rigamarole of downloading my BG numbers from my meter. Luckily I do work for a research firm, so the data end of this disease I do find quite interesting. As did she in this case as she was quite impressed with what she saw and kept saying, "This is so great Michelle - these numbers are really good." For all you medical types out there, I have been averaging around 130 on the whole and only had maybe two readings over 200 in the last 10 days or so. Considering my last A1C showed my average glucose around 335, this is a HUGE improvement. So much so that my doctor wants to me to get my AC1 run again in 6 weeks rather than waiting another 12, which was the original plan. She was very excited and exclaimed how she thinks we'll see a big change and let's run it early as she doesn't want to wait.
So I took this to mean I must be doing something right. Right? I mean is it weird to feel some pride in getting a gold star on your diabetes care? I suppose it's a bit like: "Hey you are doing what you should so you don't die. Right on!"But I'll take what I can get I suppose. I have always been good at following instructions, so in a way, this whole management approach of TEST, COUNT CARBS, TAKE INSULIN, REPEAT, is really right up my alley.
Following the good news of my doctor's visit, I went on to have my initial appointment with my new counselor (at least for the time being, as I'm rather skeptical about the whole thing). So the counselor is a licensed clinical social worker in the process of also getting her certificate in diabetes education. For ease I shall refer to her by her title of LCSW.
So I think the problem (problem is the wrong word, let's say issue?) I find with counseling is that I'm not unawares of their methods. I've gone to more than a few 'feelings' exercises over the years (RA training, anyone?) that I know why they are asking the questions. What they are getting at and thus I start a bit stand-offish about the whole thing. But after all the stressors of the past 5 months, I did think it would be good to vent to someone other than family and the co-pay was reasonable.
Just as I thought - weird. Helpful I suppose. But so is my Xanax prescription and I don't have to spill my guts for it to help me out. She suggested that Nathan come with me to a visit as this whole mess is playing out with him too and it might be good to all hold hands and chant together or something of that nature. We'll see. She seemed like a nice enough lady so I figure I'll give it an honest effort and see how it helps. There is an obscene amount of items inscribed with the word 'Peace' in her office however.
Aside from the doctor's appointments, this past weekend we hosted a "Come Eat Our Carbs" party and had about 20/25 folks come over to the house and help in the consumption of carbohydrate packed items. I made an enormous bowl of pasta salad along with some chocolate cupcakes and gave out party favors of Annie's fruit snacks, Israeli cous cous, sugar and flour. A grand time was had by all. A big thanks to everyone that came out.
Monday saw another visit to Chandra, my dietitian, which also resulted in a lot of positive feedback about my numbers. Enough consistency and improvement to defer my next appointment by 6 weeks or so when initially I had been told I'd be seeing someone weekly until I got the swing of things.
As has been the case with Chandra, we had a nice time and a few laughs. She gave me some good recommendations on how to approach my insulin, particularly in reference to exercise. I'm currently having some low dips when I exercise. Which can happen, however since my pancreas is still doing a little something, I tend to dip a bit more significantly. As such, I either have to up my carbs prior to exercise or back off my insulin a bit. All good things to figure out as Nathan and I are starting to get back in our running routine and are in training for the Wharf to Wharf in Capitola in July.
We also talked more about pumps as this is definitely a concept I'm becoming more open to dicussing. In my last post I talked a bit about the Omnipod which is the patch pump, which I have now seen in person. I also saw the other two major insulin pumps on the market. All are about the size of a pager and aside from the Omnipod which sticks onto your skin, the other's are usually worn on a belt or in a pocket. Chandra was telling me that you can also get straps for when you wear dresses where they affix to your upper thigh, like you're a spy or something. A lot to think about but it was nice to get a better feel of what they are and how they function so I can be more educated if/when the time comes to use one.
It's pretty amazing on the whole when you start seeing all the technology that is out there for diabetes care and management. I was just reading today about the prospect of using nanotechnology among other things in new ways to track blood glucose levels. Cool stuff. Something to look forward to I guess.