Posts Tagged ‘blood test’

As I came out of the new organic supermarket this morning, the dry heat hit me–transporting me directly to California.

That would be nice.

Enter the shop in France and exit six thousand miles away and close to the ocean–all stocked up!

Dream on–though they did put a robot on Mars this week–not in my lifetime.

Good weather for a stressful day–a double clinic visit and the results of a blood test.

On second thoughts, maybe California and the land of perpetual sun is not such a good idea….

My first clinic visit is to a skin surgeon for him to look at a small cancer on the left side of my nose.

Stop PressPoldark’s scar becomes a reality!

Pas de soucis–the dermatologist assured me, providing a referral to Docteur Mylonas, the plastic surgeon–nothing to worry about!

He confirmed what she’d told me–that the culprit was the sun.

I had spent all my sun capital!, she’d said, charmingly.

Docteur Mylonas picked a date at the end of August for the small operation.

Just after lunch on the 28th suit you?

It’s this easy? Seems so. 

That’ll be forty euros for today, says the receptionist, all reimbursable barring 2 euros.

Quel système!

The blood sample was taken–here in the kitchen–at 8 am Tuesday by our friend, Sylvie, one of the local team of nurses.

Just the quarterly A1C  (measuring the glucose levels in my blood).

Sometimes the result comes in the post from the lab the next day.

Nothing yesterday.

I listen anxiously for the postal van’s vibrations on my return from the clinique.

Just before 1pm–a tad early–I hear it and go out to the box.

The envelope is there and the moment of truth–eek!

Worryguts in my head, it’s bound to be bad…

I unfold the paper and…

6.4% is clearly written–0.1% less than 3 months ago. In the range of normal–just!

A silent whoopee is followed by a moment of self-satisfaction as the anxiety recedes.

But there is no room for complacency, Robin, I quickly remind myself.

The 6pm appointment with the cardiologist will round off the day!

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Testing times…

Our friend Simon–who also has Type 2– emailed:

Why do you not do the early morning thing? (to start with my doc had me finger-pricking morning and evening)… I jot down the count every day, so could easily work out an average. Is that what one should do?
It’s a good question.
I have the hemoglobin A1C test every three months and occasionally the fasting plasma glucose test (FPG). 
Different doctors have different approaches for different patients–makes sense.

Jottings on the test I take every three months:-
The Hemoglobin A1C test measures your average blood sugar in the previous three months to see if it has stayed within a target range.[5-7]

This is an explanation of how the test works and for me is helpful in understanding why it is effective:-

“Your red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which allows cells to transport oxygen to tissues. As a cell ages, the hemoglobin becomes increasingly “glycated”, meaning that more glucose molecules stick to it.

Higher glucose levels in the blood mean higher glycated hemoglobin, which translates into a greater HbA1c reading.”

The level of glycated hemoglobin provides information on the average level of glucose in the body over a 90 to 120 day period.

[You don’t need to fast or prepare for an HbA1c test.]

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, has cleared the first over-the-counter test that measures glycated hemoglobin in people with diabetes to help monitor how well they are managing their disease (glycemic control).

Whichever test you take, it’s clear that the most important thing is TO TEST.
Enrico Cagliero, MD, a diabetes researcher and assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, has recently noted that:
 “If you look at the nationwide data [in the US], it’s sobering–a lot of diabetic patients are missing essential checks.
People with diabetes should know that complications aren’t inevitable.
Unfortunately, we still see a lot of complications, and a lot of those could have been prevented. It’s absolutely essential to get into this preventive mode as soon as possible. It definitely pays down the road.”

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Testing time

Sophie arrived at 8.15 this morning to give me a blood test (prise de sang). She is one of the 5 nurses working from Lautrec. I’d rung yesterday afternoon to arrange the home visit–such is the convenience of living under the French system and in the countryside. I was the last stop on her morning round, which began in darkness at 6.45am.

She’ll return to the office in time to catch the 10am dispatch from the pharmarcie to the laboratory in Castres who analyse the sample later this morning. I will receive the result tomorrow by post–or at the latest on Friday.

Sophie didn’t charge for the visit this morning–usually about 9 euros. She said, with a smile, “Non, non, you gave me a bottle of olive oil last time–that’ll cover a second visit.”

It’s true that I’d given her a small bottle from our November trip to Tuscany to help harvest olives at a friend’s farm (more on that later).  It was only a quarter litre–pas grandes choses–but that’s Sophie!

Today it was the quarterly test for glycemie, which indicates the average level of sugar in the blood over a three month period–giving an overview of how successful I have been in controlling it.

When I was diagnosed 12 years ago, I went out and bought a testing unit–but never used it–nor the second one purchased a few years later!

Michel Woitiez, our doctor, who from the start impressed on me the importance of taking the condition seriously, has never asked me if I test daily. He never mentions it.

My book, Delicious Dishes for Diabetics, attempts to illustrate how a person with Type Two Diabetes, while changing some habits of a lifetime, can still cook and eat enjoyably, without feeling deprived.

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