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October 28, 2016
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The A1C Result Makes Me Feel...

discouraged. No, that's not the right word. Or maybe it's that it's not the only word. Cocky is one, disappointed another. Defeated is too strong, but more internalized than disappointed. Judged for sure, as it really does feel like my "grade".


Following gestational diabetes, I was "diagnosed" with type 2 by an A1C result of 6.0 by an endocrinologist who shall remain nameless to protect the incompetent. It was later that I discovered that the A1C is NOT a diagnostic tool and you shouldn't be diagnosed by it.


There was some debate once I changed endos as to whether I was "pre-diabetic" or actually had diabetes. After several years on metformin, and another round of insulin-dependent gestational diabetes, with only a 0.2 improvement in my A1C, I think the debate is over.


In March I had an A1C drawn for the first time in 6 months. I'd lost 30 pounds and started seriously exercising 4 times a week in those 6 months. I was SURE I would post a 5.3 or lower and the brand new doctor would fawn over me - "are you sure they said you had diabetes?"


Didn't happen. New Doc just said, "It seems the metformin is still working for you." It wasn't until this week, when this post topic was suggested that I realized what the result could mean. Losing nearly 15% of my body weight had resulted in NO CHANGE in my A1C. Perhaps my disease was progressing (worsening, developing, deteriorating, pick your verb) while I was fantasizing that I was soundly throttling it with the elliptical and my super-buff trainer.


I've been so sure for 5 years that weight loss or diet and exercise would "cure" me, or take me off the metformin at least. But a result going from 5.7 to 5.8 is really no change at all. There's another variable - going from a "real" lab test to an in-office device, but I doubt that makes a substantial difference.


Before I realized that this "no change" was really a move in the wrong direction, I was pretty cocky about my A1C. In my former life, I had several co-workers with type 2, and I always felt a little smug reporting my results that ranged from 5.3 to 5.8. Today... I just feel a little frightened.


P.S. Did you see The Biggest Loser last night? The doctor reminded one contestant (who has lost 130 pounds) that he's been taken off "four diabetic medications". My first thought was "No, that should be 'four medicines with diabetes'!" I had to laugh and share with you my knee-jerk reaction to THAT WORD "diabetic".

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