Diabetes Self-Management Blog

Busy, busy, busy. What a week it has been — and is yet to be.

I’ll tell you about my endocrinologist visit later. First, the materials for my deck were delivered yesterday and the crew is supposed to start building it today. The person supervising it is a man who’s done work for us for several years. He says we’ll be able to use the deck this weekend.

A ramp! I’ll have a ramp! No more hobbling up and down steps the best I can, holding on to the railing with one hand and a cane with the other. I can already see me terrorizing the neighborhood and surrounds as I zip around on my scooter. We live pretty much in the middle of a self-contained residential neighborhood surrounded by city stuff. You know; grocery stores, places to eat, some shopping and other amenities. I can ride my scooter about four blocks, hang out in a coffee shop, get my hair cut, and stop by Baskin-Robbins for ice cream on the way back home.

And, gee. I’ll be able to buy groceries and actually bring them into the house again. The last time I did that was March 20, which is when I ruptured my Achilles tendon while taking the groceries up the steps and into the house.

As for my leg, it’s healing well and the graft is taking and I got the stitches out of my heel on Monday. It’s a bit tender now and I’m almost afraid to walk on it for fear that the incision will open up. But it will be fine.

Also today, the stove repairman is coming to get my favorite burner working again. It’s my favorite burner because it’s the most accessible when I sit on my stool between the stove and the sink, cooking.

Now for the endocrinologist. I can still see the look on his face when the nurse handed him a piece of paper and he said, “You’ve got to be kidding me!”

Turns out that, even with MRSA, C. diff., osteomyelitis, surgeries, inactivity, and all that stuff, I pulled an HbA1c of 6.4%.

“You’re within [American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists] guidelines!” he said. “I expected you to be in the eights or nines.”

That would have been a fair guess, seeing as how I can hang in the eights, nines — even 10s — without infections, surgeries, inactivity, and such. In fact, my last HbA1c before the Achilles ruptured was 8.2%.

I put it down to being able to use my insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to keep a close eye on where my numbers are going and giving me the ability to make corrections before things got out of hand. But that’s not true, either. I also had a pump and CGM when I had the 8.2% HbA1c.

So what made the difference? Maybe it’s because I knew I’d heal better if my HbA1c was as close to nondiabetic range as I could get it. (Although if you call this “healing better,” I’d hate to know what I would have gone through without tightening up!) Briefly, I suppose, it’s called “terror.” I like my foot. I’d like to keep my foot on the end of my leg. Statistically, keeping my blood glucose control as tight as I can should help keep that foot connected to the rest of my body. So far, so good.

The pump and the CGM do help. A lot. My CGM is set to alarm if I go outside of a range that I’ve determined. Even if I’m not paying attention, the alarm will alert me to make the appropriate correction to keep my glucose “between the lines,” so to speak. My pump’s basal rates are set to match my body’s rhythms.

Sounds simple, right? And, truthfully, it isn’t all that difficult if your basal rates are set right and you don’t pig out on too much food for your body to handle at any one time. So why don’t I maintain those wonderful HbA1cs? Must be because I’m human. Sometimes I just don’t want to deal with diabetes. I doubt that I’m alone in that.

The key for me when I get off-track is finding something to make me want to get back in control. Hopefully, it won’t take a major accident to do it the next time.

And oh, yes. My birthday is this week, too. Maybe I’ll get a cake this year (but I’m not holding my breath).

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