The body's report card validated our work: Theo's A1c level was 6.9 today, down from 8.3 three months ago.
Good control of diabetes prevents future complications, and this number proves we have good control. We were patted on the back for our work. I felt really proud sitting there with my healthy son, a big binder spilling intensive insulin therapy worksheets onto my lap.
Good control prevents future complications. Control + genes = risk for complications. Genes are unchageable, which is why our endocrinologist focuses his efforts on control. He's a brilliant man. He talks more about the books my kids are reading than diabetes, and I really like him for that.
At an appointment the day after our diagnosis, the nurse had to step out of the room for a moment. I picked up a brochure from the handful of materials we were to take home that day, and just as she reentered the room, I casually flipped it over to read the back. "Uh uh," she said, gently taking it from me. "You don't need to be thinking about all that right now."
It was a list of all the health problems that could happen to my son. She was right; day two was not the time.
I took her cue, though, and avoided this talk for a long while. I held firm to the good control rule. I'd will the complications away with my math and diligence.
Until last week, when Theo had his diabetic retinopathy exam. He looked good, which the doc said he would use as a baseline before seeing us back in a year. We'll be like this next year, I knew, because we have good control.
"We'll avoid eye problems because we have good control," I said to him with confidence, not even bothering to phrase this as a question.
"Uh, no, unfortunately," he said. He kindly explained that the exams are held to catch and treat problems early. He looked me in the eyes and pretended they weren't filling with tears.
Today, at the endocrinologist, after a discussion of the children's book series The Time Warp Trio, I asked Dr. P about diabetic retinopathy. He gave me a thorough view of all sides, reassuring me that our good control would indeed make a difference.
And then he reminded me that none of life is completely in our hands.
When you spend every day counting every carb in everything your kid eats, it's hard to believe you're not God. And yet there are days when we do everything right, and his blood sugar runs high or low with no explanation.
Keeping all these charts are life's games that we must continue to play, but might not win. And yet today, we'll celebrate our small victory.
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