I feel like a failure.
I got my latest blood test results yesterday and I was so disappointed with my hemoglobin A1C that I just can’t get over it.
After holding steady at 6.4% for the two previous blood tests, my latest result is up to 7%.
I know this is not a horrible result, and that many doctors consider a hemoglobin A1C of 7% to be in the norm for people with type 1 diabetes, but to me this feels like a huge personal failure. And it wasn’t the only disappointing result I got. Against my doctor’s advice, I stopped taking my statin. The result was not what I had hoped for. Without a statin my LDL cholesterol is up to 150 – fine if you don’t have diabetes, but far from the 100 result people with diabetes should have.
Had it only been my cholesterol that was high, I could have dealt with it. It was my decision not to take the statins. But I feel like when it comes to the A1c, I do everything I’m supposed to do. I work ALL the time. I’m totally responsible. So seeing a significant jump in A1c put me in a bad mood, so bad I only started to get over it after a good run this morning.
I’ve been told many times and have told myself (and others) that I should not judge myself according to my blood test results. During my morning run I tried to convince myself of this repeating it in my head over and over again – you are not your A1c. It didn’t convince me of anything but the heat and hills did the job and at a certain point I just forgot all about my A1c and was left with my run.
I have to be honest and say that this result – despite my efforts – didn’t come as a total surprise. I had blood sugar control issues after my last marathon. Some had to do with not running and some with problems I had with my insulin pump and infusion sets, which resulted in days of high blood sugars. I also gave myself a bit of a break during the holiday, enjoying a matzo ball or two (what can I say I’m only human), but I checked my blood sugar. I covered for the matzo balls. I didn’t expect my A1c to be great or better than my last but I wasn’t expecting a 7%.
I take my A1c results seriously because although it doesn’t tell the whole story the hemoglobin A1C doesn’t lie. If I have an A1c of 6.4% it means my average glucose level for the last 2-3 months was 136 and if on the other hand my A1c was 7% it means my average glucose level for the last 2-3 months was 156. That is a huge difference.
But the truth is that my feelings of failure have much more to do with not achieving what I set out to do. It’s kind of like running a bad marathon after training for it for three months.
I wish I could say that the only reason I feel so bad about my result is because I’m scared of complications, scared of heart disease, blindness and all the other things. But that isn’t so.
Tomorrow I have an appointment at the diabetes clinic. I know I’ll get shit from the doctor. I can already see her looking at her computer screen and telling me “this is not good”. No, I don’t care what she thinks but it will force me to think about my mistakes again – and feel worse about “failing”. Like having my nose rubbed in it.
But diabetes is a long ride, an endurance sport, and one bad result doesn’t mean much in the long run. So, here’s to a better result next time.