New Year, New Blood Levels: A1C Resolutions

Kerri Sparling Health Guide
  • New Year's Resolutions are crap, because every time I go and set one, I end up getting distracted by February and completely bunking the intended resolve.  It's pathetic.  Part of the problem, for a distractible mind like mine, is that I have a hard time seeing more than 30 days out, nevermind a full 365.  How am I supposed to set a goal to reach by December when it's barely the first week of January?

    My resolutions this year aren't yearly, but monthly.  And this is, in part, due to my diabetic pregnancy and the fact that my baby is due at the very beginning of May.  Four short months from now, I'll be a mommy for the first time. 

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    I'm having some trouble lately with blood sugars, though, which brings me to my January resolution:  Maintain my excellent A1C.  Since becoming pregnant, I had the good fortune of very stable numbers for the first five months, earning me the lowest A1C I've had since my diagnosis twenty three years ago:  6.1%.  But in the last two weeks, all hell has broken loose, and I'm seeing numbers in the 150's, 180's, and (gulp) a few 220's.  I'm not happy, and the panic when I see those higher numbers has me freaking out.  What happens to my baby when my blood sugars go too high?  (That's a rhetorical message - please don't actually tell me what happens.  I'm working hard to bring my numbers back down, and I don't need the added pressure.)

    My January goal is to chase those highs and adjust my basals and insulin-to-carb ratios as often as needed - every few days, if necessary.  I know that the second trimester of a type 1 diabetes pregnancy brings about insulin resistance and overall blood sugar chaos, so I need to stay on top of these numbers, correct when I have to, and adjust everything as soon as I see a two day pattern.  At this point, I'm better off running a little on the lower side instead of hosting all these highs.

    So how do I achieve this goal?  I stalk blood sugars.  Armed with my One Touch meter and my Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system, I have enough data to make some very educated decisions, and what I need to do now is take advantage of this technology.  Testing 14 - 20 times a day gives me a lot of data points, and what I need to focus on now is responding to the data.  The pregnancy honeymoon is over - I need to plot these numbers, isolate pesky patterns, and beat them senseless so that I can keep my 6.1% A1C and have the healthiest environment possible for my baby girl. 

    Come February, I can't imagine what the challenges might be then.  Will my seventh month of pregnancy have a whole new set of hurdles?  Either way, I'm just planning to get to January 31st intact and in good control, and then I'll shift my sights to the next round.  Baby steps, right?  (Literally!)

Published On: January 04, 2010