Every 6 months or so I head back to the hospital for a check-up, a bit like a diabetes MOT. When I was first diagnosed they were a bit daunting. I didn’t know what to expect, where to go, what to do and what was in it for me. It used to feel like I was heading in to an exam that I hadn’t studied for, and I dreaded them.
4 years on I have gotten to grips with the process. I know my team well, and I make sure I go to the appointment with an idea in my head of anything I wanted to ask or question. I now control the appointment, and I know there is nothing to be fearful of!
On Friday I had my latest check up. It was pouring with rain so actually I was quite glad of something to do that morning. Piglet was staying with my mum so I was child free. Not my favourite way to spend my child free hours but I’ll take it!
I popped in to have my bloods taken first. They take them from your ear in my clinic which I find so bizarre, but it is completely painless and gives my fingers a break. The nurse that’s often in there is the same one I saw every 4 weeks at the antenatal clinic when I was pregnant so we always have a chat – or in this case a moan about the cold and wet weather.
Urine sample (there’s nothing that says “classy bird” quite like carrying a little pot of wee around in your handbag), blood pressure and weight checked then sent back off to the waiting room. The clinic process is always done in dribs and drabs, so there is a lot of waiting around to be done usually.
Next up I’m in to see the administrator. She joined about 2 years ago I think, so we first met when I was pregnant with Piglet. She always asks after him and even remembers his name. We go through some paperwork and my pump is downloaded so the specialist nurses and the doctor can see what has been going on.
My final stop for the day is in with my specialist nurse. I have been seeing her since I got my insulin pump 3 years ago. She commented on how well I was doing, and that my hbA1c had remained steady at 6.6% (49 mmol/mol).
I don’t share that figure to be boastful or to brag. I work hard to control my diabetes, and I know that there are many others who work just as hard and don’t see the same results that I do. It is such a personal condition, and we are not defined purely by that number. That said, I always aim to hit around 6.5% so I can breath easy knowing I’ve minimised my risk of complications over the last 3 months.
The consultant popped his head in to say hello too. He remarked at how good my carbohydrate counting must be, and quizzed me on how I do it. I was honest – I have literally no idea when I have such success with it. It comes naturally to me, and I’m very thankful for that! They are thinking of taking me in to help in carb counting sessions and pass on my experience to other patients. I am a bit fan of helping others and of course I said yes I’m happy to lend a hand.
As usual my consultant is twitching for me to get pregnant. He has been asking when I planned to start a family since I met him in 2013, and asks me every time I go about growing it. I don’t think that having my implant removed has helped my case when I try and explain that now is still not the right time for us. Maybe one day he’ll listen!
Overall it was a really good check up. We discussed a few tweaks to make going forward. Nothing major and certainly nothing life altering, but enough to perhaps bring my control in even tighter. Here’s to another healthy 6 months!
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