Didn't Get Anywhere Near the 6...

If any of you read my blog "hoping for a 6" you were well aware that my goal for this HBA1C was to finally be in the 6 range. Well..the 7.9 was far from a 6; in fact, I'm embarrassed to say it went up by almost half a percentage point from last time. I had a feeling it wouldn't be better. I had a feeling it would be another confession session. This is usually how it goes. I get a bad reading, and I tell myself I'll do better. I work hard for a while, but then slip again.

My doctor told me that each percentage point above 6.0 on the HBA1C correlates with 30% increase in likelihood to experience complications from Diabetes.

How do you all manage your diabetes long term? - the monotonous detailed day to day ins and outs sort of management... That's the REAL challenge for me; that's the REAL challenge of this disease.

Some ideas I've had:
1. Include more family members and friends in on my high bg challenges (I need to bolus more for meals). I have found that I really need accountability.
2. Put my bg log on the frigde door. This way anyone can read it, and I'm more apt to keep it up to date. Also I'm likely to test more often.
etc.

How do you all stay proactive and accountable?

Views: 22

Comment by Michael Hoskins on March 10, 2011 at 8:04pm
Hi Devon. First, I'm sorry you weren't able to achieve the goal you'd been going after. I know from experience how frustrating that can be, and even how disappointing it seems when we DON'T set a goal but go up... Not easy, at all. But I try to look at it as this is all a work in progress, even after my own 27 years. I'm always doing cartwheels and struggling and doing my best to manage and LIVE my life, with diabetes along for the ride. That's what Endos often don't see - that this is OUR life, and we aren't just numbers on a chart. I haven't heard that 30% increase above 6.0, but to me it seems like more of a scare tactic than something I'd really want to personally fret over. To me, it's about achieving an acceptable A1c SAFETLY. We gotta do it our way, as we live our lives. It helps me to talk about my diabetetes, write and blog and Tweet about it, just interact. On the mind more and focuses me. Same goes with writing down every result and having that log with me, so I can see it and feel accountable. Anyhow, good luck on your end and look forward to seeing you drop it down!
Comment by acidrock23 on March 10, 2011 at 8:40pm
I look at every test as an opportunity to win by succeeding or to win by fixing what isn't correct correctly.
Comment by Kat D on March 10, 2011 at 8:42pm
When i was diagnosed in Feb 2010, my A1C was 15... today it is 5.9. You just have to be diligent and be anal about each and every meal. I am on carb counting method... so - i look at the plate, count the carbs, divide by 8 and shoot that number. (It's usually 5 units of insulin)

Yes..it's like having another job - a lot of work. But i want to live! I want to live without complications!

I bought an iphone and found an ap for tracking my levels --it's called LEAPFROG. It makes the documentation fun, and gives me a daily average. Before going to bed at night, I look at the average and like to feel good about the results.

Also - if you exercise every day it will keep your numbers with greater consistency. I find that when i fall off from the gym, my numbers get crazier---
Hang in there --- just do what it takes --- we're all counting on you!
Comment by Hismouse on March 10, 2011 at 8:51pm
Keep your head up and just keep on trying:)

I need to argue with your doctor, I have never had a 6 A1C, and that began 39 yrs ago. My eyes show no damage, and my kidneys are happy.
So don't let him scare you to perfect.

I need to get mine down more, and I do work hard on it, and I know you do to. So be strong and keep going forward:) Debbie
Comment by Natalie ._c- on March 10, 2011 at 10:43pm
The best success I have ever had is by going low-carb. I don't mean to be telling you what to do, but only what has worked for me. My A1c isn't all that different (it's ALWAYS been in the 6's except when I had my coma, when it was in the 10's) but I'm not having the high peaks and low valleys that I had when I was eating more carbs. I read somewhere that scientists are now suspecting that fluctuations may play a larger role in complications than was previously thought. I don't know whether that's true or not, but I do know that I feel better when my BGs are more level.
I also find the pump and CGM extremely helpful -- the pump keeps track of how many and how much insulin I'm taking for basals and boluses, and the CGM lets me know when I need to check and correct. These are my accountability -- I can see what I've done, and can set goals for myself. I don't have anyone else to enforce accountability -- the responsibility is mine alone.
I'm on the Flatliners group, and the people there are very motivating when you see what they've achieved!
And my last thought is that every day is a new day, and you can start over. It doesn't matter any more about yesterday -- it's done, but you can always do better today!
Good luck!
Comment by Brian (bsc) on March 11, 2011 at 5:30am
Ah, the dreaded A1c. It is just a number, and we place such great faith in it as a measure of our success. But it is a cr*ppy measure, only accurate to 10%. And the worst thing, it stands out there some three months in the future, a future goal out sometime in the future, never giving us clear daily measures that help us with the dozens of individual decisions we make everyday. It is so much effective to develop short term measurable goals. Those help you make changes. Choose a goal of logging and improving your carb counting and bolus regime to always get your blood sugar under 200 mg/dl 2 hrs after a meal. Then, when you are successful, recognize your achievement and "move the bar." Then try for under 180 mg/dl.

Over time I've decided that all my tests, my A1c, all my meter readings. They are just "data." I almost don't even consider them valid measures of my control. What really matters is how well I take care of myself. Did I follow my diet, count my carbs, take my insulin properly? If I do all those personally, then the result is "just the result." If the number is bad, the number is bad. I can't beat myself up for doing the best job possible. Stuff just happens and I need to recognize and congratulate myself for doing the best I can even if my body does not behave. Because in the end, that is what really matters.

Leave the A1c to "please" your doctor. It should confirm what you know about your control. Turn to other sources of information to improve your control. And please remember, the A1c and meter readings are just a number, it is not a valid measure of how good you are doing on your control efforts and it certainly is not a measure of how good a person you are.
Comment by Kelly WPA on March 11, 2011 at 10:23am
I agree with what the others said – it is just a number. Just take one test at a time and don’t worry about what the previous one was or what the next one might be.

I think it is good to set goals, but it is not good if you beat yourself up if you don’t meet your goal. The important thing is not whether or not you made it, but the fact that you tried to do it. There are so many things besides food and insulin that affect our blood sugar and you can’t control everything. Just do the best you can.

As some of the others said, low carb really does help with BS. One thing that I have done over the years is make the day that I go to the doctors or for blood work every three months treat day. It isn’t that I stop testing or skip insulin, but if I am hungry to pizza or ice cream, I will have it and not worry about it. Because I live alone, I don’t get more than what I can eat in that one day and if I have leftovers, it gets tossed.
Comment by Devon on March 13, 2011 at 12:16pm
Thanks everyone for your input and encouragement. You all have some great and helpful ideas. I'd like to work on the low carb diet, even if it's just with snacking, I believe that would help. Also, it was a helpful reminder to think of good control of my Diabetes as a day to day goal. I have to take it one test at a time. I'll keep you all updated on how things go. Thanks everyone!
Comment by RogerMumbai on March 16, 2011 at 11:43am
Hi Devon, you’ve got company. I also registered 7.9 A1c (i.e. eAG = 180) last week. I, too, was hassled with the result. But not my endo. Said, I was doing “reasonably well”. Repeated what @ Natalie says: High peaks and valleys are worse than a higher than “normal” eAG (160-180) but I a tight band…
He agrees fluctuations indeed play a larger role in complications…I’ve got a lot of flack for saying this earlier, but I agree with @ bsc that all test results are just “data”.
Remember, at the end of the day, the A1c is only the average of your BS levels…So if you aggressively pursue an under 7 A1c goal but experience frequent lows and big spikes, you can still get a “good” average that’ll please your doctor but screw up your innards in the bargain.
I’ll go with bsc’s view: What really matters is how well you take care of yourself...
I’ve posted a lot of stuff about this on my blog if you care to look…Take care mate….

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