At the beginning of this year I told myself that I would try to be better than I was last year, in everything that I do, in every part of my life. A better mother, wife, sister, friend, and also in concern with diabetes, a better diabetic. I’m always trying to improve on something. Learning and growing is apart of life, it doesn’t stop once you hit a certain age.
The last 7 or 8 years of my diabetic life have been a roller coaster. I went from not caring about my diabetes, to having to be on top of everything during my pregnancy, and then right back to only sort of taking my health seriously. I wouldn’t say I was always destructive but there was definitely a lot of room for improvement. My very first A1c was around a 9. which meant that my average glucose levels were around 212 constantly. This is for an 8-12 week period. I didn’t know what that really meant at the time. To me it was just another number set in place to make me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Which is how I saw the numbers on my meter.
When I became pregnant I was informed that my diabetes would not only be affecting me but also my unborn child, so I kicked myself into high gear and began testing/recording/injecting and doing everything I could to ensure that my daughter came out healthy. Thankfully there were no complications so I must have done something right. She showed no signs of diabetes at birth and is still just the healthiest little thing. Unfortunately I cannot recall what my A1c was around that time.
Within the next couple of years after that I started to feel the whole “diabetes burnout” thing. My daughter was fine, she was perfect, and healthy. So, my diabetes, in my head, wasn’t affecting her anymore. Anything that I did shouldn’t have mattered, right? I allowed myself to fall out of that good rhythm and again my A1c’s would be sitting around the 8’s-9’s at times even higher than that. Which meant my blood glucose levels were on average in the 200’s plus. Again, this meant nothing to me. Though the doctors showed concern and engaged in conversations with me on how to improve I stubbornly continued to do things my own way.
Since joining the DOC I have found diabetics who strive to be incredibly healthy individuals despite living with diabetes. This has been encouraging. They chat about their A1c’s and the importance of this and that which sparked me to begin my own research on the topic. I discovered more and more what this number meant and why it was such a huge deal. I found that the long term effects of high blood glucose could potentially end my life. Knowing and caring about my Hba1c gives me an idea of how my treatments/regimens are working or not working. A lot of diabetics strive to be at or below 7%. It means that you are doing everything right. That good, healthy number means that you can live longer. That you can look forward to another year with family and loved ones without complications.
I came to the conclusion that even though my poor diabetic habits weren’t affecting my daughter right now, in this moment, physically. They will affect her in the long run when I am no longer around. I heard a disturbing statistic about diabetics only living to be in their 60’s, that is with poor habits and constantly high blood glucose, I would like to live above and beyond that number.
Which is why a few months ago I told myself that now was as good a time as any to get this thing going. I started exercising more and really making my diabetes a priority. (Keep in mind that I am on MDI-Manual daily injections) This has been tedious, time consuming, frustrating, but overall very empowering. I have taken my life back into my own hands and decided that if I was going to be the best diabetic I could be I was going to have to get serious. The hard work has paid off because I just received my A1c results back and I am at a perfect 7%. I am amazed. It is the lowest I have ever been since diagnosis and so on.
I am very proud of myself.
This isn’t the stopping point. I would like to make my goal for my next A1c even lower than this number.
Own it or be owned. :)