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It's NOT "Just a Number"
Three topics that come up on any diabetes blog or forum, as certain as death and taxes, are blood glucose levels, hemoglobin A1c levels, and guilt. The usual dialog goes like this:
"No matter what I do, I can't get my blood glucose levels to stay within 'normal' non-diabetic levels. This is going to really screw up my A1c, which means more medications, getting yelled at by my doctor and my spouse and my family, not being safe to get pregnant, and all the 'Diabetes Police' coming down on me. If only I had avoided that one jelly donut three weeks ago...!"
Most of us who regularly read, or write, on sites such as dLife understand that the issues are a bit more complex than that oversimplified rant. It's not the one jelly donut three weeks ago -- but it could be the weekly jelly donut that hikes you up every Thursday morning and keeps you high through the end of the work day. It could be Friday after-work "Happy Hour" with your crew. It could be that you don't keep a meter at work, so you have no idea that your lunch is spiking you and keeping you higher-than-is-healthy until dinner time.
While our site tries to tell us "it's ok, Diabetes sometimes causes things to go awry despite our best plans", the truth is that in Type 2 diabetes, a lot of our numbers are our fault.We have the ability to say "yes" or "no" to that jelly donut. We control the amount of calories that enter our mouths at any given time, affecting our weight and our control. If our tests show our numbers going off, we need to adjust our diets -- or if adjusting our diet does not work, contacting our doctors and CDEs for advice, advanced diagnostics, or changes in our medication schedules.
More to the point: not only are our numbers an indication of the effectiveness of our self-care and the progression of our condition, they are also an indication of our projected quality of life. Anything we can do to keep those numbers in the "healthy" range, we need to do, to avoid the potential of complications later on in life.
For what it's worth, I am on tilt over my latest -- 6.3. My goal is under 6.0; anything higher is Unacceptable. It is most definitely is my fault, and I must get my diet, exercise, et cetera under control.
It's not just a number -- it's my life. And I am worth it.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)