I had an appointment at Mayo Clinic with my CDE yesterday, and I found out that my A1c is up three-tenths of a percent from a few months ago.
The official explanation/excuse I gave was a twinge of diabetes burnout, but I’m wondering if that’s really the reason. I think it might have been bad karma. Lab karma.
See, I had a big fat meeting yesterday morning, and somehow, I went weeks without connecting the fact that this presentation was on the same day as my CDE appointment. When I finally figured it out, it was too late. But the meeting was at 10:30, so — hopefully — it would fall right between my 9:40 lab appointment and 1:45 CDE meet-up time.
“Okay,” I told myself. “I can do this.” Mayo Clinic is about 30 minutes away from my office, so I hoped I could be out of the lab by 9:55 and back at work just before our 10:30 start time. I’ve been a patient at Mayo for the last 4 years, and I’ve never waited more than 10 minutes to get my blood drawn there.
But of course, yesterday was Monday morning, and Monday morning is always when the sugar hits the fan.
I was in line at the lab by 9:33 at the latest. But as I peeked over the desk, I noticed there were tons of people sitting in the lab waiting area. Tons. And none of them were going anywhere. Then I heard the receptionist’s conversation with a patient in front of me: “The wait right now is about an hour. If you want, you can go get something to eat, and we’ll check you in at 10:15.”
“Shit,” I thought. “Wonderful. I’m going to miss this meeting, I’ll get fired, I’ll lose my health insurance, and then I’ll never be able to come back here. At least then I’ll have a bunch of tragic stuff to write blog posts about.”
I was next in line. I approached the desk, and handed over my appointment paperwork. “How long is the wait?”
“It’ll be quite a while,” the woman said. “I see that you’re diabetic and you’ve been fasting, but there are several diabetic patients in front of you.”
Something clicked in my head. I can’t say if it was survival instinct, or pure evil selfishness, or a desire — for once in my life — to use my diabetes to my advantage.
I placed my hand on my chest like I had an awful case of the vapors. “I hope it’s not long. I’m starting to feel a little weird. I have Type 1 diabetes, and I haven’t eaten since last night. I think I’m going to need to have something soon.” (Later, the lab test would show that my blood sugar was 138.)
I smiled wanly, and took a seat, and played through some worst case scenarios in my head. I pictured our conference room with an empty seat, the client cracking jokes about my absence. And then, not 3 minutes after I’d checked in, a lab technician emerged and called my name.
So, yes. I did it. I used my diabetes as an excuse to skip ahead in line. And I swear, I have not pulled such a stunt since 1993, when my best friend and I were stuck at the end of an absurdly long snack bar line during a 7th grade trip to Sea World. Even then, it wasn’t my idea — it was my friend who dragged me by the arm past all the other hungry tourists: “My friend’s diabetic! We need two hot dogs!”
I know I probably should have felt guilty, but instead, I was overcome with a sense of victory. That is, until I made the trip back to Mayo to get my results, and found that I’d lost some traction in my diabetes control.
My next appointment is right before Christmas. I’ll dig my heels in a little deeper, pay more attention, and — for God’s sake — schedule a few hours off on the day of my appointment. Hopefully, my numbers will be back down where they belong.
Diabetes may be a bitch, but karma can usually be a bigger one.