Blessing or a curse…..? HbA1c results

Pumplette has just had her 10th annual review at the tender age of 11. She was thrilled with the news she wouldn’t have to pee in a pot this time as the clinic are now only screening kidneys from the age of 12, so she has but a year’s reprieve! Blood pressure check was a pain as it required stillness for all of a minute & consequently it was 4th time lucky when we finally got a plausible result from the machine!! Phlebotomists were greeted like old friends & she contentedly chatted away whilst the blood ninja drained an armful!!

Then came the chat with her consultant. Pumplette filled her in on all her news & there may even have been talk of T1 too, but that was fleeting & quickly dismissed by the 11yr old who had her own ideas about exactly which direction this discussion should take.

We left the clinic with Pumplette in good spirits & returned home to get on with the end of the school year, barely registering that we’d need to contact clinic a week later to collect the HbA1c result.

Fast forward two weeks & I realised we hadn’t contacted the clinic to get the results. Her consultant had made a big deal out of the fact that her last HbA1c had been in the “non-diabetic” range – showing Pumplette the nice black number on a computer chart after a decade of red recordings. In our clinic, non diabetic range is class as below 6.0 in old money & her last result had been 5.9 or 41 for the bilingual amongst you! I felt rather uneasy about the fuss being made – had she worked hard to achieve these results? Yes. Had it been easier than the previous decade to obtain these results? No! And the decade of data in red was hardly shabby………

Results of a tiny, pumping toddler

20140729-123106-45066581.jpg

theunderstudypancreas.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/20140729-123106-45066407.jpg”>20140729-123106-45066407.jpgResults of a small, speechless baby

So it was with mixed emotions I waited for the DSN to access the relevant records & report back that, last quarter was once again, 5.9 or 41.

Now this is a fabulous thing, right? No debilitating hypos, no massive fluctuations in bg levels, and above all a child who is clearly showing a great ability to handle pressures of being 11 & managing T1 using the additional kit we fund to help her. Namely her skilful interpretation of her cgm & it’s data. I know of T1s & parents of CWDs who’d crawl over broken glass for results like this. And I’m unbelievably happy & proud of the lass. But my fear is the extra pressure this may now impose upon her from the subliminal messages she receives from the black vs red numbers at clinic, to the jubilant dancing & congratulations that occur when she reports her result to family & friends.

Am I being a party pooper? Probably. Should I let her enjoy her triumphant moments? Definitely. But when telling her how amazing she is & how well she has done, I was also at pains to point out how tricky this all is. That it won’t be realistic to believe she can always hold steady or reduce her results. Because just as we do our upmost to avoid crashing hypos, I’d like to think I can help support & shape a child who’s savvy enough to understand what a fickle mistress T1 can be & that the triumphs are spectacular but the disappointments needn’t derail her gig or send her into cataclysms of despair! They’ll be treated with the contempt they deserve & the ability to see the bigger picture for what it is – a full, happy life being lived whilst placating the uninvited guest at all times.

And so whatever the result, red or black, we will celebrate the fact that she doesn’t allow anything to hold her back. For that is her greatest achievement of all!!!

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