I've written blog posts for years about how we've reduced Arden's A1c. I've told you about the OmniPod insulin pump, DexCom continuous glucose monitor, modifying diet, being bold with insulin and more. The process has existed on many paths. We had to conquer school days, overnights, carb rich foods, sports and my fear of insulin. If you search the phrase "A1c" on this site a bevy of blog posts will return and they all highlight a moment of the journey. You'll see us get out of the 9's, the 8's the 7's and finally claw our way to sub 6.
Almost each time that we got the number to decrease I would spend the ride to Arden's endo appointment telling her not to be disappointed if her A1c goes up because I was always trying things and never really sure if they would work. Diabetes is the ultimate on the job training
Last weeks Endo visit was different...
When we got into my car I told Arden, "Your A1c is going to be 5.7, watch and see". I was confident, almost brash when I told her this. Sure I was cheating a little - truth be told - because I have the Dexcom Clarity app on my phone and can see Arden's A1c. But still my confidence was rooted more than just being able to see reports from her glucose monitor ahead of her quarterly blood test. This confidence was bigger than data because I finally know what I'm doing. No more guessing, no more wondering. Today I trust my gut and we attack Arden's blood sugars with a steely resolve. All of our experiences have finally added up and the seemingly senseless actions of diabetes are finally making sense.
The way I arrived at this resolve is why I'm writing today...
In the Spring of 2015 I launched a type 1 diabetes podcast called the Juicebox Podcast. My intention was to share my experiences being the parent of a child living with diabetes in a new medium and hopefully to a wider audience. That was it, no larger or grander plan. I was just starting a podcast. Since then the podcast has reached more people than I could have ever imagined and the response from listeners is largely very positive. Better still, I receive emails, FB messages and tags on Instagram nearly daily from people who want to tell me how the podcast has helped them - those notes are unimaginably wonderful to read. The idea that a persons A1c is lower and more stable, that their life feels calmer and easier to enjoy... that feeling is well beyond any initial hope that I had for this blog or the podcast. I can't lie and tell you that I didn't think the podcast would be helpful but I wasn't able to imagine to what extent or that it would actually also help me.
So how did we get to 5.7? The simple answer is by doing the podcast. It turns out that by taking the time to record the show, by having conversations with other people living with diabetes... I was allowing myself time to consider aspects of my management theories as well. Pausing life for a moment to think about type 1 and how to best approach it. I'm not a pre-planner at heart, I go and work things out as I'm moving. So some of the tactics that you have adopted through the Juicebox Podcast are things that occurred to me while recording the podcast. I took my experiences and spoke about them, during those conversations things came to me that previously had not. My ideas were growing and taking shape as I was sharing them with you. I learned from diabetes, you learned from me and I learned from you. A circle, a wonderful blue circle.
When I decided to stop being afraid of insulin, others followed. You had great success with that idea, I was enthused by your stories. That enthusiasm helped me to chase more fancy, find success and report it back to you. In return you contacted me and some of you come on the podcast to talk about your experiences - another blue circle. When I hear from you that the podcast is helping in your life, that knowledge supports me and we move forward together.
That is what community is...
I cried when one of you told me that your daughter has been playing for hours with a stable blood sugar. Your words, "she seems like herself again" striking me at my core. This exchange is one of the great moments of my life. All I want is for my daughter to have a chance to be herself and live her life. That a podcast was able to bring that dream to another person has made my heart soar.
There are many other stories and when each of them reaches me my desire to continue doubles. You all are the reason that Arden's A1c is 5.7, I have no doubt of that fact. I need to thank each of you and I want to invite you to come with me as I try to keep Arden's BGs stable, her A1c constant and try to make all of our lives better.
The Juicebox Podcast is one of the true surprises of my life. I just never imagined...
I understand that not everyone knows about podcasts or how to find them but it couldn't be simpler. iOS users on iPhone and iPad only need to click this link, you already have a podcast app. Android and Google Play folks can click here. You can also listen online at JuiceboxPodcast.com, on Stitcher, iHeart Radio or in your favorite podcast app. Start at the beginning and take the journey with me, you'll catch up to subscribers in no time. The podcast is 100% free, I offset my costs by accepting ads on the show. It will never cost you anything to listen to the JBP.
If the podcast has helped you please consider leaving a comment below so that others may find the support they need to try an episode. #A1cYaLater #BoldwithInsulin #DiabetesandFear #TellAFriend