Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The time my a1c wasn't 11.

As PWDs, we often chant "it's not a grade, it's not a grade" when referring to a1cs. But it’s not the fact that it’s a grade, it’s a number that we would like to fall in a certain range. When we see it, it has some sort of effect on us.

 “Oh, I thought it would be higher/lower!”

 “That’s right about where I thought it would be.”

 “Ooookay, then. That’s too high.”

 “Yay! It’s finally below ##!”

It elicits some form of reaction.

Yesterday, I had an endo appointment. And I was nervous. I even warned my mother the night before to expect a higher a1c than normal. I’ve been having a lot of highs lately. It’s not that I’m not trying, though. I’m correcting, I’m counting my carbs, and I’ve been making some dosing adjustments. I was doing okay, and then May came and everything went out the window. After I made several changes, and things hadn’t improved at all, I was getting rather frustrated. And, surprise, surprise, with the looming endo visit, I began to dwell on my a1c. And somehow came to the assumption that it would be 11. My a1c has never been 11. It was 18.0 when I was diagnosed. It’s been 8, 9 before. It’s been 6, 7. It was 13.6 not long after dx. The point is, I don’t know where 11 came from. But it stuck. I walked in the office yesterday assuming that it would two stark, black ones staring at me on the printout.

Turns out, maybe I haven’t been doing as poorly as I thought. It just seemed that way since I had had more highs than usual. No, my a1c wasn’t perfect, but I could’ve done cartwheels (or not, I would’ve hurt something. Like, ME, for instance) when I saw that it was only .1% higher than last time.

When I went to see my CDE, I told her about being worried about it. She helpfully reminded me that blood sugars that cause an 11 a1c would’ve caused me to be symptomatic (drinking all the time, weight loss, etc…), which I wasn’t. I also felt better when she downloaded my Dexcom graphs, because, yes, there are definite patterns.
“Oh, nice, I can tell you’re bolusing and correcting, which means I don’t have to harp at you or anything. Let’s just make some changes.”
And we did.

And that was the time my a1c wasn’t 11.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

That Dip Stuff.

Although I like to think I have a relatively large vocabulary, words often fail me when I have to think of the name of something. Or, worse, for something. Hence, "that dip stuff". 

For years, my grandmother has made a Mandarin Orange Cake. The frosting is simple: 1 container Cool Whip, 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding mix, 1 can crushed pineapple. About 3 years ago, my mother and I, who don't like it, came up with the genius idea (this is before we learned about Pinterest, so everything was, therefore, genius) to omit the pineapple, and use it as a dip instead of a frosting, and also make it lite. So we:

Mixed 1 small container lite Cool Whip with 1 small box (or you can do large and large) sugar-free-fat-free instant vanilla pudding MIX, and let it chill for about 1-2 hours so the Cool Whip would absorb the pudding better.

It was fabulous. 

Put it on just about anything and it becomes delicious: fruit, graham crackers, muffins, pumpkin bread, pretzels. My sister-in-law and I like to just eat it straight.

However, we have never come up with a name for it. We don't use it as frosting. We could call it something mundane like "Vanilla Dip", but it just doesn't fit it for some reason. Too plain for something oh-so-heavenly. "Stuff" always gets added to the end of whatever we try to call it.

 SO, it's just, "that dip stuff", and probably always will be.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Impact in the...Cafeteria? Part Deux

Yes, I am writing about the cafeteria again. But not about her.

This year I had cafeteria duty. I had the opportunity to be like her, or to not be like her (that IS the question!). I had to hand out spoons, straws, napkins, advice, my own brand of motherly care and consoling, and I also received.
I received thank yous, little hugs, big hugs, bear hugs, and also...words. Both beautiful and heart-wrenching words came from their mouths.

"I love you, it's like you're my aunt, and my favorite."

to another student "Ms. Emily always takes care of us, don't worry."

whilst hugging me "I don't want to let go, I want you to stay here!"

"Can come home with you? I don't want to go home." (this not only in the cafeteria, but also the bus line, from more than one kid, had me nearly crying. Some were just being facetious, but a couple of them were serious. That's the heartbreaking part.)

And on autograph day,

"Of course I had to come get yours, Ms. Emily!"

Y'all can't see the looks on their faces, but I could. And I'm going to miss my kiddos so, so much next year, since they'll be big 3rd graders, off to the next campus. I can only hope that I made the impact on them, that they made on me, one for the better.

Because of things they've said, trusted me with, hugs they've given, I've grown, and become more than what I used to be. They may not realize it, but I do. "Even a child should lead them." And they have.