A Bad Diabetes Day: Dealing with the Lows of a High A1C

Amylia Grace Yeaman Health Guide
  • Today is one of those days. You know the ones. Sorta down. Kinda mopey. A little too high in the glucose department to be chipper. A rogue drawer handle ripped my infusion site out first thing this morning. I then realized I had only one infusion set to my name. And then the insurance frustrations.


    New year? A new, even higher deductible to be met for "durable medical equipment" and supplies. The new year, new thousands-of-dollars-deductible has kept me from being able to afford a new batch of supplies, or a new insulin pump, which I will soon need.


    No emergencies here. Just tired.


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    I'll be alright. In a pinch such as this one, my sister (who uses the same infusion sets as I do) can mail me a few supplies until I can order my own. Overall, I am lucky. I have support. I am blessed to be on a pump. I have doctors and loved ones who want what is best for me. But still, the tears come.


    Today I don't feel like an expert on much of anything, except perhaps what *not* to do. But I am here. I show up. I check my glucose levels, bolus, eat accordingly. I work. I walk. I write. And yes, I make mistakes. I miscalculate. But I do my best. Today my best is not that great.


    Today, I have no sage words of wisdom to share, no captivating research discoveries to report on that may appeal to those of you who read my posts. Today is one of those tough days with diabetes that just makes me tired and  sad. You know the kind. I'm sure of it.


    Today, I learned my most recent A1C came back at 7.9, which is quite a jump upward from where it was at last review. I remember the good feeling I had the last time my A1C was taken. I know it's just a number and that some of that number was due to scary lows, but on that day, I felt happy.


    Today is not a happy diabetes day. I know this 7.9 A1C doesn't reflect the hard work and changes I've been doing to keep my numbers down and my carb intake in check. But there it is. I can't deny it.


    I remind myself I am more than the results doctors see. That an A1C is just one tool in my arsenal that helps keep me informed and in check. I know fifteen minutes isn't enough for a new endocrinologist to size me up and truly see me for who I am:  more than this. More than a patient. More than a number. More than anything they can scribble on their chart.  


    But darn it! I thought I was actually going to please this new endo for a change. How strange that THAT would be my focus--pleasing a doctor with a number--instead of focusing on myself--my own health and wellness instead of a number in a chart. I know better.


    But still. Everything else feels secondary in those intense moments in that little room with the doctor. I brace for the results. I don't like feeling embarassed or ashamed. I know I needn't feel that way, but tell that to the little girl version of me that tends to show up at the doctor's office. I want to hide. I don't like being scolded. I don't like disappointing people. Or myself.


  • The truth? I thought I'd see a 7.

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    I didn't.


    It's not the end of the world, I know. But these things matter. And yes, I know who's behind this number--and I can't blame the unwanted score on the Russian judge from Kamchatka. I know what I need to do to "fix" things-- and I will. Right now though, this number is far from motivating. Right now, it feels like defeat.


    I know this feeling will pass, but for now this is where I'm at. I can't deny the number any more than I can deny my feelings around that number.


    Feelings can be tricky. Especially diabetes-related ones. I don't want to be run by my emotions, but I also don't want to deny them. So today I let them pass through me, without judgment. Without resistance. It helps. Doing so actually helps the feelings pass quicker than stuffing them down or denying their presence throughout my day(s). So does writing. Sharing. Saying these things out loud.


    I want to be beyond all this. I want my hard work to show in the numbers the medical community judges us all by (like it or not). It's been a long time. And diabetes is a tough disease with no days off for good behavior.


    Today is no exception. I will keep on keepin' on, doing my best to take care of myself in all the ways I can. That includes acknowledging the results, changing course where needed, and honoring my feelings. Even the crummy ones.


    What helps you on a "bad diabetes day?"

Published On: February 24, 2012