When we walk through the building doors, Piet leads the way. He knows exactly where to go. Since diagnosis 10 months ago, we’ve been to the endocrinologist office 20 times, meeting with the doctor, nutritionist, and diabetes educator.
Today is his quarterly visit. We will only see the doctor, but as we walk through the halls, Piet will wave “hi” to all the familiar faces.
First, we sit in the waiting room, and read the same book about animals. Then we name all the fruits and vegetables in a sign that hangs on the waiting room wall. “What’s that?” he’ll say, pointing to the acorn squash.
When we’re called back, the nurse will gently ask him to stand on the scale. He will fight it. He always does. This kid has no problem taking several shots per day, but is terrified of his weight. I mean, I guess I can understand that.
Once we’re in the examining room, the nurse takes a finger prick sized drop of blood to measure his Hemoglobin A1C, or just A1C. It measures the hemoglobin in the red blood cells. The hemoglobin dies off approximately every three months, giving a great blood sugar average. It’s almost like a report card, and this is the reason we have quarterly appointments.
(Piet with his diabetes bag, getting ready to visit the doctor!)
Our A1C goal is 7.5. Lower than that would be great, but it is so hard with a type 1 toddler. They can’t tell you how they are feeling. Little amounts of insulin plummet blood sugar, and tiny amounts of carbs make them skyrocket. Also, he is CONSTANTLY growing, which makes blood sugars go very high, especially overnight. Our last two A1Cs were both 8.2. We will see what number today’s appointment brings!
After the A1C testing, we will pull up all our graphs from Dexcom and Omnipod. Just a quick recap, they are both devices Piet wears on his body, usually on the top of his butt or backs of his arms. Dexcom gives a great estimation of his blood sugar, every five minutes. Omnipod is his insulin pump, and it distributes insulin throughout the day. At mealtime, we input his blood sugar and the number of carbs he’s eating, and it releases the exact amount of insulin he needs, according to his preset ratios.
We will sit down with the doctor and notice trends in low and high blood sugars, adjust timing of insulin, insulin ratios, and ultimately celebrate our wins over the last three months.
(Daddy and Piet at the Endo!)
We are very fortunate to have an amazing pediatric endocrinologist. She is amazingly intelligent, and understands what a life managing type 1 diabetes is really like. She knows we fight so hard against this disease, every second of every day, and for that, she is constantly able to be reached. We love her!
Well, off to the endo! Stay tuned for an updated A1C! Keep your fingers crossed for us!