We recently had our quarterly endocrinology appointment. I wanted to share with you what I wrote in my book Kids First, Diabetes Second about the A1c and why you shouldn’t feel judged by it.
(By the way, growth hormones are going to be the death of me. I fear what puberty will bring!)
Please enjoy this excerpt from the book…
CHAPTER 11: Your Support System
The Dreaded A1c (a.k.a. the Report Card)
I have probably said a dozen times in this book that you need to do the best you can, given the knowledge you have at the time. I have also said that sometimes you need to take diabetes one blood sugar at a time. There is a tremendous amount of guilt that comes along with caring for a child with diabetes, and you find yourself questioning whether you are really doing the best you can for your child.
The fact remains: we are not pancreases. Even with education, training, and fancy charts to dictate every action and reaction when it comes to diabetes care, we just can’t do the job of a perfectly functioning pancreas. When a number pops up on a glucose meter or your endocrinologist tells you what your child’s A1c is, you cannot take that as an assessment of your parenting skills. They are just numbers. These numbers are tools that we should use to make decisions. You take that number and react appropriately. But don’t take it personally, no matter how difficult it is.
So that guess you made as to the number of carbs you gave your child was way off, and now she’s in the 300s. Bolus and move on. You did the best you could at the time. Make a mental note, or leave an actual note on your bulletin board or log book, for the next time she eats that same meal that you need to count it as more carbs.
So that A1c was a full point higher than you thought. Talk with your endocrinologist and develop a game plan. Review your logbook with him or her to identify trends. Maybe you need to adjust basal rates or long-acting insulin dosages, maybe mealtime ratios need changing. But sometimes that A1c is completely out of your control because of growth spurts, or illness, or who the heck knows what! I know you want to cry all the way home because you think you have failed your child, but really, you haven’t. Don’t judge your parenting skills by the A1c. It’s not a grade.
If you’d like to learn more about the book, you can read more on the Kids First, Diabetes Second book page. It’s available widely in print and as an eBook from book sellers such as Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and IndieBound. And if you do read it and find it to be a valuable resource, I would greatly appreciate if you could write a review on any of the online retail sites. Thanks!
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to booksellers.