It’s a measure not a grade
It’s probably not a good thing when the only medical practitioners who congratulate you on a stellar a1c are a podiatrist, an oral surgeon and a gynecologist. Over the past several months I’ve seen several doctors and they all are interested in the magic a1c number, but only those three acknowledged that I actually did something to get a good number. They’re also not involved in my primary care on a regular basis.
I got a phone call from the nurse and my primary care physician’s office letting me know that I had access to test results online (which thanks to an email notification, I’d already perused and interpreted) and letting me know that my vitamin D was too low and I needed to take a supplement. I thanked her, asked about another test result and then said, “Can you tell Dr. N that I’m proud of my a1c?” Seeing as how Dr. N was very curious about my a1c since starting on a pump, I figured she should know that I know how good it is. The nurse seemed confused that I would even say that. It’s been about three months and nothing new has been said by either my PCP or my endo. *sigh* I’m not exactly sure what I want from them, I’m not looking for a gold star or anything, but I suppose that I want assurance that I’m doing things right.
This month I had an appointment with my podiatrist, I confessed to him that I was kicking myself for not dealing with my feet earlier and explained about being diagnosed with diabetes and getting my health under control again took over for awhile. His response was, “I think you had your priorities in the right order.” (My feet are fine by the way and my issues were in no way related to diabetes.)
Tomorrow my wisdom teeth are coming out. I haven’t had surgery since I was 14 and my pancreas worked then, so there weren’t any major concerns. Now diabetes plays a leading role in the extraction of these stupidly painful teeth. My fairly recent diagnosis (although it sometimes feels like a lifetime) was a shock to the oral surgeon and she asked if I was still trying to get my diabetes management under control. Nope, not really. I gave her my general ranges and my a1c and she was appropriately impressed.
As a patient dealing with a chronic medical condition, I live the “manage your diabetes” life every day. I live by carb counting, insulin dosing, exercising and testing. I devote my blood, sweat, tears and time to this condition. Do I want recognition for having diabetes? No. Do I want acknowledgement that I work hard every day to beat down the d-monster and live as normally as possible? Yes. Yes I do. I want the health care professionals that are telling me what I should be doing to actually see and know that I’m doing it. I don’t want a plaque, award or banquet, I want a simple, “Good work” or “Your a1c is great!”
Don’t overlook the good test results as just something that you don’t have to worry about right now, the good test results are important to us.