In 2012, I received an unexpected phone call from my mom, pictured below. Her A1c had gone from 6.4% six months ago to 13.6%. Her doctor had called her into the office and sent her home with a bag full of supplies, including a new meter and instructions to start taking insulin 4 shots a day based on a sliding scale. My mom reassured me she was fine. Luckily, she lives close by and as soon as we hung up, I drove over. Diabetes runs in our family, but given my mom’s weight and level of activity, her risk for diabetes was pretty low. Then it dawned on me, she didn’t have type 2 diabetes. And further testing confirmed, she had Diabetes 1.5, otherwise known as Latent Autoimmunity in adults (see our 2012 newsletter for more info).
We have had a few years of trial and error to figure out how to minimize hyperglycemia while avoiding hypoglycemia. My mom now only takes basal insulin once daily and metformin XR twice a day. She has been a real trooper and doesn’t complain at all about this uninvited assault of her pancreas. We joke that it is a good thing she got a disease that her daughter knows a lot about. But even with all the support and insider knowledge, my mom still gets discouraged about her blood sugars readings. Some days, in spite of her best efforts, the numbers are above her target range. This article is dedicated to my mom and everyone else struggling to get their blood sugars on target. It is a gentle and loving reminder that perfect is not required.
This article appeared on page 21 of Health Monitor – Diabetes Guide. Click here to view the magazine and article.