What exactly is an A1C you might ask? Definitely not a term I was familiar with prior to Bekah's diagnosis. I knew it was a blood test and they had done one in the hospital but I had never gotten the results from it. As I began meeting other parents of T1Ds and researching information on T1D it seemed to be a buzz word or term. A vocabulary word that would quickly become a part of our new normal. Here is what I found on the Mayo Clinic Web site:
" The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose type 1 and type 2 diabetes and to later gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test also goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c.
Unlike finger sticks you can do at home, which measure your blood sugar level at a given time, the A1C test reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months.
Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control. And if you have previously diagnosed diabetes, the higher the A1C level, the higher your risk of diabetes complications."
Today was the day for Bekah's first A1C after the hospital. We didn't expect that it would be done today. We had an education meeting so we figured we would just be meeting with the educators. The nurse came to the waiting room to get Bekah and I and she said, "I just need to get a quick A1C" I was excited because it would tell me really how well we were managing Bekah's diabetes. Bekah was not at all excited. Her whole body tensed up as tears welled up in her eyes. She remembered hearing the term in the hospital and I'm sure it brought back scary memories. After some coaxing I got her to wash her hands and the nurse showed us that it was really no different than the finger pricks we do at home. I think Bekah was relieved. I'm pretty sure she thought it was going to be a regular blood draw (a piece of cake when you have to have 4 shots a day but Bekah doesn't like new experiences and the IV at the hospital hurt bad when they placed it and that was the closes thing she had known to regular blood draw). Bekah even pricked her finger with "Hokey Pokey" all by her self and squeezed out just enough blood for the special test strip. The nurse placed it in the machine and 6 minutes later we had the results. 8.1! Wow! I was excited. It's not perfect and for Bekah we are hoping for closer to 6 but for just being diagnosed 7 weeks ago, I'll take it. When the educator gave us the number, I asked about the number when Bekah was diagnosed. She looked in her chart and said "wow 15.3". 15.3 was one sick little girl. I am so thankful for God's grace to help us mange T1D. Medical technology has come so far,it helps tremendously to have all of the tools that we do. I won't stop praying for a cure but until then we'll work the D as best we can and hope for more great A1C numbers.