Not Trying to Get my A1c Down

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My HbA1c has been around 7% (6.8%-7.2%) for the last few years. Last year I tried terribly hard to get it down. I cut out almost all carbs, checked my blood sugar obsessively, and did everything I could think of to get tighter control of my blood sugars. I succeeded in getting my A1c as low as 6% but I couldn’t keep it up, not only because running meant eating more carbs (I was running much less during that period) but also because I just couldn’t do it.  It was too hard.

I was very frustrated with myself when I got the results of the blood test that followed the 6%.  My A1c was up to 6.8%. The follwoing results were even worse. I had bounced right back to where I had been before – 7%.

It seemed like I couldn’t live my normal, healthy, lifestyle and maintain an HbA1c below 7%.

That was one of the reasons I decided to get an insulin pump. I wanted better control of my blood sugar. Fewer lows fewer highs and ultimately a lower A1c.

After two months of pumping I can say that although I haven’t figured it all out yet, especially when it comes to my running, it feels like it was the right decision. I enjoy not injecting myself many times a day and I feel like I have better control. My blood sugar seems to be in the 100’s most of the time (no CGM) and I’ve had few hypoglycemia incidents.  Now, while my sense of how things are going is important, the truth lies in the blood test, or more specifically my HbA1c.

I should have gotten my first pumping blood work done a few weeks ago but put it off until Thursday morning. It wasn’t a conscious decision but more a “can’t find the time” thing. I also think I was a little nervous about getting my first pumping A1c results.  If things weren’t good, it would mean I was really stuck.  All the hope I’d placed in the pump would be gone.

Finally, I realized that I had my two-month follow up at the diabetes clinic scheduled for yesterday and that I would be wasting everyone’s time if I showed up without getting my blood work done.  So I woke up early Thursday morning and went to the lab. I was very happy and surprised to see that there was no line at all.  And unlike my wife, who made a monkey of herself on her last trip to the lab, I walked in and walked out in 10 minutes, easy as can be.

Most of my results were in by the end of the day but the HbA1c only came in Monday morning a short time before my appointment at the clinic. I didn’t know what to expect. I was hoping for a good result, feeling like I was in better control. But knowing that I hadn’t actually done anything to change my diet except for eating a little more carbohydrate for the extra miles I’ve been running, made me think I might be in trouble.  In the past, extra carb usually meant higher blood sugar, frequent lows and higher A1c’s. So I didn’t know which way it would go.

When I saw the results on my computer screen I shouted out, “Jess, you won’t believe it, 6.4%. My A1c is 6.4!”

I couldn’t believe it.  Last year I worked so hard to get my HbA1c to this level and this time I reduced my HbA1c without even trying. All I did was get an insulin pump.

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Comments (1)

  1. Amy at

    Congrats! I’m considering the pump myself and this is a motivating reminder of why my doctors are pushing for it so strongly.  Keep it up! (or down, I suppose, if we’re talking about HbA1c..)

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