Yesterday we had our 3 month check-up with the pediatric endocrinologist (which ended up being more like 4 months). We felt pretty good going in to this appointment. The numbers have been agreeing with us - for the most part - thanks mostly to our trusty Continuous Blood Glucose Monitor (CGM). Have I mentioned lately how much we could NOT live without this technology?!
So, we go in for the appointment and my little diabetic gets her height and weight taken (all great) and THEN...the dreaded finger stick for the A1C test!
For those of you who may not be familiar with this test, CLICK HERE for a great explanation by the American Diabetes Association. To swipe a passage from that page (just in case you don't click over to read about it):
A1C: How Does it Work?
Hemoglobin, a protein that links up with sugars such as glucose, is found inside red blood cells. Its job is to carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells of the body.
When diabetes is uncontrolled, you end up with too much glucose in the bloodstream. This extra glucose enters your red blood cells and links up (or glycates) with molecules of hemoglobin. The more excess glucose in your blood, the more hemoglobin gets glycated. By measuring the percentage of A1C in the blood, you get an overview of your average blood glucose control for the past few months.
Pretty cool, huh?
So, this is every T1D's big stressful moment to tell us how we have been doing for the past 3 months.
Our last A1C was a 7.4 which for a 7-year-old was considered "good" but I want GREAT! And BAM - we got it yesterday! 6.8! Which tells us her average blood glucose levels were ranging 140-150 which is OUTSTANDING for her age.
I asked our CRNP for a copy of our A1C record sheet and to look at that sheet really tells a story.
(at diagnosis she was 10.7 in case you were curious- that was February 2009)
June 2009 - 8.7 (was on MDI "multiple daily injections")
December 2009 - 7.8 yeah - getting our feet wet on the injections! And we were still in the "honeymoon" so there was still some insulin running around in there helping us out!
Then in February 2011- 8.6 and one month later she gets the insulin pump!
And in May of 2011 her A1C comes down to 7.5!
And for the next year we hovered in the 7s and 8s because while the pump can do great things, IN MY OPINION, it is only HALF of the best possible and necessary equipment to treat my daughter's T1D. Even on the pump, you are only testing blood glucose levels only at meal times or when you suspect a problem. Not enough data!
NOW - take a look at what happens in spring of 2012!
We go from mid-7s and 8s down to 6.5 in April 2012
And August 2012 7.1 and January 2013 7.4 (don't ask - we were struggling with some overnight basal rates we just could not get straightened out! LOL!)
And now a stellar 6.8 :-) We will gladly celebrate our victory (even if it only lasts 3 months until the next visit)!
All of that being said, I don't think we could manage without our insulin pump or our CGM. The insulin pump gives us freedom to have our lifestyle back and lead as "normal" a life as possible. The CGM allows us to catch those highs and lows FASTER and treat appropriately. Because the cool thing about that 6.8? We achieved it with using LESS insulin! How fantastic is that!!
So, now that I am done tooting our horns... I can admit that after that fantastic day we all went to bed and her site went bad and she saw a 480 at 2am :-(
Gotta love Type 1 Diabetes... NOT!
But I am hanging onto that victory!!! One bad site can't get me down :-)