Monday, July 20, 2009

The "D" Card

Do you ever play the "D" card? I do. I did this morning. Otherwise, I felt like diabetes was going to win this hand.

C's endo appointment is next week. Our doc wanted us to go in to get lab work done a week prior. The orders were to fast for bloodwork. This is tricky, as all you D folks know. Her number needs to be near perfect upon waking, or we miss the opportunity. So I started last week...each morning being prepared to go in with an "in-range" number...but not too low. I never know how long the wait will be.

Well, this morning she woke up at 85! Kind of miraculous in our book. So, we jumped on it. We dressed, put hats on and we were out the door. We walked into the lab. It wasn't just kind of crowded, it was packed. There weren't even 2 available chairs for us.

I started out very apologetic and kind. I told the young receptionist gal that we were there for C and that she's type 1 diabetic. I said I wasn't quite sure how long we would be able to wait without eating. And if it's too long and she goes low then we would have to come back. And we are running out of time because her endo appointment is next week, and... You get the picture.

Well, she told me she would do her best but that she has to take people in order. I bit my tongue and walked over to stand next to all the occupied chairs.

Now, I would have classified myself as a fairly patient person B.D. (before diabetes). However, diabetes is never patient with us and it has rubbed off on me. I also would have classified myself as a mild-mannered person B.D. and B. C. (before children). This disease has forced me to step far away from my comfort zone many times.

So, about 30 minutes later, not surprisingly, C told me she was feeling low. Okay, we dropped to the floor and very publicly displayed her meter kit. We checked. Hmmm?...71. Not super low, but not good if we need to continue to wait. My patience and mild manners were beginning to fray. I walked back up to the counter with C's meter showing the number 71.

"Just wanted to know where we are in the line-up..." I said with a semi-smile. "She's 71 and if she goes lower, the fasting thing is out the window."

"Well, we have to get this other girl in before you. Her mother has been asking the same thing." The gal said. "Then we'll get your daughter in."

"Thank you, thank you!" I said.

I went back to C. I told her we'd be up really soon and that I would have this juice box ready for her. It wasn't 1 minute later and we were called. Phew, I thought.

We got her blood drawn with relatively few tears. She took a some sips of juice. I thanked the phlebotmist. I wanted to skedaddle right out of there as I felt the angry stares from those who were still waiting. But, just as we were heading for the door, the receptionist handed me a speciman cup. C also had to leave a sample. Ug.

I failed to remember this part and of course she didn't "have to go." So, instead of slipping out we had to sit there, drink water, juice, more water. It took several tries. Finally she was finished. We left.

I am grateful that we actually were treated with exception after showing the 71 on her meter. But then, when we had to wait, drink water, and wait some more, it was a little embarassing. I just wished I could have said to everyone in that waiting room "I'm sorry...I can wait...but my daughter's diabetes won't....thank you for letting us go ahead."

The "D" card. Do you play it? Maybe we should have just gone back another time.


  1. And I always wonder why there are so many retirees lined up to get blood drawn at the crack of dawn when I think people-who-are-going-to-be-late-for-work should get the early appointment times.

    Honestly, eating a little bit of glucose to keep blood sugar above 70 mg/dl WILL NOT affect most kinds of blood work. Except the blood glucose reading. Which you already expect will be in the diabetic range.

    I used to worry about fasting. But timing the blood sugar and the blood draw doesn't always work, as you so eloguently described. So now I pop glucose tabs with abandon (OK, not abandon, but enough to stay out of hypoglycemia) and then when the nurse asks if I've fasted, I say "more or less." Works every time.

  2. That juice unfortunately probably messed up the urine results.

    Maybe next time, you can find a day and time when the lab is not so busy.

    Or find a lab that's less busy or more cooperative.

    Best wishes.


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