Starting Point…

1346874_96916526My little butterfly was standing on a chair, asking to jump high. I was watching the machine out of the corner of my eye, trying to focus on both it and her.

I gave up.

“Jump high,” I smiled, holding onto her chubby arms and watching the curls bounce as she descended to the floor. The Kid stopped and cocked her head towards the machine. “What’s that?”

“It’s going to tell me what my A1C is. Mommy thinks it’s going to be higher than last time.” She’s already off, trying to open the cabinets underneath the sink.


And like I said, it was higher.


I texted John. “7.0% - Boo”, I type. And then Mr. Wisdom texts me back and with one sentence, puts it all in perspective.

“You used to be happy to see that number.”

He’s right. When the pendulum swung and I started to care about my diabetes and my body and my future, I had a long way to go before I saw 7.0% - and when I did, I was on cloud 9 (or cloud 7.0%).

You see, there were years that I would have been happy to just have a single digit A1C lab result. Truth be told? I think I hit above 14.0% in my teens. Yes. I know how high my blood sugars must have been. It was an overwhelmingly dark time in my life. I shudder even now, but have learned to accept the damage that I may have caused my body. It’s tough to swallow.

Nowadays, I shake my head at the old me, but I should also be shaking a finger at the current me. When I sat down with my CDE and talked about my cortisone injection and the crappy blood sugars that went on for weeks, she told me to stop berating myself for the A1C result. And I had been beating myself up in the exam room while attempting to prevent The Kid from stealing a box of alcohol swabs, thinking I should have been trying harder and doing more.

So, I am going to try harder and do more.

Try harder to not be so hard on myself.

Do more celebrating of the A1C I have.

Try harder to remember that I’m doing more now that I did in past years.

Like I said, it was higher.

It’s a good starting point.

A little reminder to all - I’m not comparing myself to anyone else when it comes to A1Cs.

Everyone has a different A1C and if it’s 14.0% or 10.4% (Another quite popular A1C for me…) or 8.0% or 5.5%, it’s O.K. - it’s one point in our life, but it’s not the end. It’s a point and it’s always a starting point.  You can choose to share it out loud like me or keep it to yourself, like my esteemed colleague, Scott of Rolling In The D, who gives his own great reason. I choose to share because somewhere out there is someone who thinks that they’ll never go from 14.0% to a “normal” A1C… and I want that person to know that it is possible.

And I’m rooting for you. And me. And all of us.  





  1. fifteenwaitfifteen

    So true. We are NOT wholly defined by the numbers that come out of us, even though we eat, drink, sleep, and breathe numbers every-single-minute as diabetics. Some numbers we “like,” and some we do not, and those likes and dislikes vary by person. To me, it’s all about the “trying.” I’m sure Yoda wouldn’t agree, but really, we know there are so many things about our diabetes management that are outside of our control, and some days it’s just a freaking “do your best.”

  2. Katie

    Yes to all of this. Prior to the DOC I would have been happy for anything below 7.5%. Now I’m upset if it’s above 7% (still haven’t gotten it below…yet). Funny how perspective changes so quickly. We are our own worst enemy.

  3. xxlovelylizxx

    Well this post hit home for me. I remember the days where all my A1c’s were in the teens. Once I got a 9.05 and thought, not bad, right? Haha. Recently I received a 7.0% and I jumped for joy. Because I remember those terribly high numbers. But like you said, it’s a point, a starting point each time. I could get a 6.6% and then back up to a 10.0% it’s up to me and how hard I want to work. I say celebrate it though. I’m rooting for you too. :)

  4. Scott E

    Wow, I’ve never been called an “esteemed colleague” before! (Would I still be esteemed if I told you I was also part of the mid-teens club once?).

    But I do know the “curse” of a good A1c. With every A1c that’s lower than the previous one, comes an increased likelihood that the next will be higher.

  5. richard157

    My A1c’s were 10-13 starting in 1980 and for several years thereafter. i eventually had A1c’s below 6.0 for almost 10 years, but I had way too many lows. Not good! I kept that up too long, and my new endo insisted that I keep it at 6.0-6.5. I have done that for about a year, but I still have just as many lows. I have not needed assistance with a low since July, 2007, but lows in the 45-60 range are happening too often. Christel, if you are not having bad lows, I think a 7.0 is better. Maybe I should aim for 6.5-7.0 ans see if I can eliminate my lows.

  6. Kelley

    I know the feeling! I found out last week my A1C was 7.0 as well and I was upset because I was expecting better, but 7.0 is my best A1C ever so instead of being down, I should have been celebrating.

    You will get back down to where you want to be no problem, as Stephen said-keep calm and bolus on!

  7. Pingback: Daily Diabetes Mantra | theperfectd™

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