06.21.2002 (Friday), 11:24 PM

It's Never Enough

Silicon gel in a blood collection tube

When dentists (actually dental hygienists) nag you to floss daily, you may eventually end up doing just that. However, the very next time you go to the dentist and tell them that you have been very religious about jamming that waxy string in between your teeth, they will, without fail, say that "it's not enough...you need to do more".

Not that this has anything to do with anything but I received a very confusing call from the doctor yesterday. I suppose I should be happy at this news but it makes me think that there's a certain psychology of diagnosis inherent in anyone who is helping you manage your health. Sometimes, it takes the form of a threat and sometimes that's what is called for--a shock, a direct message, a wall so insurmountable that acquiescence is all that is left.

Yesterday afternoon, the good doctor calls me and says that he's got the results of my blood test from earlier in the morning. It was one of those fasting-type tests so a better indicator of one's health. "Well, everything looks pretty good," says the doc, "your blood sugar is 146." Huh? It was just 234 last week and 266 on the day of the ER adventure so how could it zoom down so fast?

He went on for a few minutes telling me that everything else about the two tests (blood and urine) were perfectly normal. I agreed to see him in about two weeks to review one last test that is supposed to be a three-month history of my blood sugar levels. Then, I sat. I couldn't laugh or cry. I just sat. I think I was supposed to do a little happy-dance or something daft like that...

In a way, it all started to make sense. Of course the reading would be lower--I didn't really fast last week when the blood was drawn. In fact, I think I took a healthy slug of orange juice before I headed out the door...

A few hours later, I discovered that the one question I didn't ask was "did I have diabetes or not?" 146 is 20 points above normal on a fast and unless each point is worth 100,000 points of badness, it doesn't seem too out of whack. If it was, I must have been really fucked at 234 and couldn't even imagine what readings in the 400's must make you--a walking, talking sugar-lick?

Posted by wjc