“These numbers might not be good enough for surgery …”

I had expected this gall for days.  Prior to my foot surgery next week, I was to receive a call from an intake nurse who would ask me several questions about my medical history (past and current), to make sure I was healthy enough for surgery (ha ha, healthy enough for surgery – if I was healthy then I wouldn’t need the surgery, amirite?), and proper directions to the surgical center.

The call came at about 7:00 a.m. yesterday.  Rise and grind, Miller…

I spoke with then nurse for about 30 minutes.  Everything seemed to be fine.

“Now, Mr. Miller, the last time you had an A1C blood test, your numbers were 8.7, is that correct?”

“Yeah,” I replied.  “I knocked it down from 12.1 at the start.”

“Oh,” the nurse said.

“What’s wrong?”

“Well, the doctor usually doesn’t do surgery unless your A1C is in the 7’s.  So I wonder if someone else signed off on the surgery.”

“My endocrinologist said she had sent a note to the surgeon saying I was okay.”

The nurse continued with the questionnaire.  But in the tone of her voice, I could tell something was amiss.

The last time I underwent bloodwork was a few weeks ago, and yes my A1C had fallen to 8.7. But still…

I could have argued that my blood levels were just good enough.

Just good enough.

And you know as well as I do that “just good enough” is never a goal.

And after my conversation with the intake nurse, I had this nagging, pestering feeling.

What if the doctor changed his mind?  What if I actually needed more than where I was at?

Only one way to find out.  Even though it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, I made a phone call to my endocrinologist.  Maybe she’s in.

I reached her office.

“Can I come in and get an A1C test done?”

The receptionist set up an appointment that morning.

That number … 8.7 … kept bothering me.  I have to take my mind off it.

Maybe a shortcut to my endocrinologist’s office… I drove up Alternate Route 7, and took the exit to the Northway.

Oh crap.  What’s the Northway?

Interstate 87.

Dang it.

Turn on the radio.  Maybe I’ll hear something on ESPN that will take my mind off my troubles.  Oh great.  Another commercial break.

“Did  you know that 87% of all people who use a CPAP machine don’t clean it properly?  With our new product, you can have your CPAP machine cleaned …”

Aw nertz.  Turn the radio off…

I arrived at the endocrinologist’s and was told to go directly to the lab.  A young lady took a few drops of blood from me.  The drops were transferred to an electronic reader.

“Your A1C results will be up in a few minutes, Mr. Miller,” she said.

Dang.  This is still bugging me.  It’s like waiting for a TV dinner to heat up in the microwave.

A few moments later…

“So how do you think your numbers are, Mr. Miller?  I have the results.”

Am I still at 8.7?

“No, they’ve gone lower.”

Okay… 8.3?

“They’ve gone lower than that.”

I feel like I’m playing the Clock Game on The Price is Right.  Okay, Drew Carey, how about 8.1?

“You’re not in the eights.  You’ve gone lower.”

How much lower?

She showed me the printed results ticket.

Seven point five.

Seven point freakin’ five!

In two months’ time, I dropped my A1C five full points!!

I need to celebrate this!  Break out a 35-year-old music video from my college days, and hit it loud!!

Just good enough, my bunions!  I’m freakin’ ready now!  Bring on the scalpels and the hemostats and the rib spreaders …

And let’s get this foot fixed right now!!!

Okay, let’s get this foot fixed next Monday.

That’ll be more prudent.

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