Afraid to find out my A1C

Just checking in for a little support here. My insurance is changing at the end of September so I’ve been catching up on all my checkups and tests (before I go from a $20 copay to a $2000 deductible). Everything is done now except a new A1C. I have the lab slip and I know I have to go in before the end of the month or pay for it myself. The trouble is I’m scared to find out what the new # is.

My last one was 5.7, in February. That was up from 5.0, last July. I know these numbers are nothing to whine about. My fear is that I will find out there’s nowhere to go from here but UP. I had some major life stresses during the spring and early summer, including a flare-up of an old anxiety disorder, and for awhile there my FBG and other numbers did seem to be rising. That scares me! I’m pretty good at managing my stress but nobody’s life is 100% stress-free.

All during the months after I got that 5.0 I felt so good and safe, like I had rescued myself from danger and everything was going to be fine. Then when it went up to 5.7 I badgered myself a little for slacking off, but was determined to get it back down. But I know all that anxiety was not good for me … and I keep thinking, what if it’s even higher now?!

Don’t get me wrong – I’ll definitely get the test, and if I need to make more changes, I will. I just want to find a way improve my perspective &/or attitude about this fear. Information is my friend, right? Not something to avoid or be afraid of. Or so I keep telling myself.

Anyone else have these fears? What did you tell yourself to get through it?

A1c’s in the 5’s are fantastic. Don’t know too many people that would not like that. Even 6’s aren’t bad. Don’t be scared to get the test done. You might be pleasantly surprised.

I really relate to your struggle. I always feel like a failure if its not where i want it to be. The one thing that keeps me going is that i realize that im human. That sometimes my best attempts dont always turn out the way i want but i can continue to try and improve.

Don’t sweat about a 5.7% I don’t think mine’s ever been that low!

But I know what you mean; I don’t like to get mine checked either. But I freak out if I don’t get it checked, too…

And even if the number is a little higher, at lease you know what’s going on, right?

Hi Sweetpotater,
You have done exactly the thing you should do, come here to your family and tell us what is bothering you. Each of us stresses about something and it can take just the last straw, like having your A1c drawn to tip the scales over to real worry. Some weeks and months ago I was having some big problems. I tried to put some of the things off that I needed to do and just became sicker. I was saddened too by the fact that I thought I should be able to handle the stress, but I couldn’t. I really wanted to be strong enough to just get through things. Right before surgery I talked to Manny and he brought things to the family for me. For some strange reason I had not thought to do it. But I am so glad that everyone knew because the family gave me such loving support and I wasn’t afraid anymore. So I want to give that support to you and tell you that even if your A1C is higher we will all be here to help out. Whatever you need we are here, together with you. Take a minute and think about it. 4000 people loving you and caring about you and telling you that no matter what comes up together we can get through it. When the anxiety comes up just lean back for a minute and remember that a hug is as close as your computer and we are all here. I am sending you a great big loving hug right now. Your numbers are excellent right now. If they come up they won’t stay there. You have already shown that you take really good care of you I know that you will again. Each of us slips now and then. It doesn’t mean we stay there. You are strong and with all of us there is nothng that can defeat you. We are together, all of us. We all fear something from time to time. You will be okay Go ahead and get the blood drawn It will work out. You will see.

I think it’s okay to not like where you are and to be concerned about what it could mean in the future, but I would argue that the “nowhere to go but up” argument you tell yourself is a fallacy. That’s not true - you can’t decide now that it can’t be improved upon. Different treatments, different dosages, different lifestyle changes… You just never know.

I have been bringing mine steadily down since diagnosis, 18 years ago. I just had my lowest one ever at 6.9 and I hope to keep bringing it down so I can be cleared for pregnancy soon. Chin up, sweetie. We’ll work on it together. Everyone here hopes their next A1c is lower. It’s something we all beat ourselves up over. Remember, it’s not a grade, a score, or a value judgment - just an indicator of where you’ve been for the last three months and you need that info so you can make your next three months more successful. When I get down about mine, my endo reminds me of little things I’ve done in the past to bring it down. This time, Weight Watchers. The time before, a regular workout schedule. She reminds me that I have the power to affect it even when it doesn’t want to cooperate.

Really hard not to think of it as a report card. Did we pass, did we fail? Who else but us diabetics put themselves through this constantly!

Definitely–knowledge is power. I’m trying to view it as a friendly guidepost, not a sum of my success or failure. Am trying to see the A1c as a helpful tool, just another in our arsenal that puts us in control.

5.7 is great! Ok, not as great as 5.0, but still awesome. Also, remember that the A1c test isn’t 100% accurate either.

WOW! Excellent numbers!!! Don’t be upset. You can get it back down 5’s are great:)

It’s just a number and the numbers change all the time.

I used to have these fears, especially before I went to the doctor. And about my blood pressure and weight, too, like I was back in college and these were tests I should have studied for and didn’t. But lately my attitude has changed, as I have begun making records of all these things in an Excel spreadsheet for myself, and now they are just numbers. It’s not a sign that I’m being “bad” or neglectful if things are not where they “should” be, it’s just a sign that I need to do something about it. Even the weight. I used to get on the scale, fret about 1/2 pound difference, get back on to give the scale “another chance,” then worry about it till the next time, until finally, for several years, I avoided scales. Now I just get on it, write down the results, “notice” it, but don’t judge myself. If somehow you can get to that “just notice it” place with your sugars, that will help. And by the way, congrats on being so low on the a1c…you’re doing great!

“It’s not a grade, a score, or a value judgment.” Yes, Melissa, that is a wonderful way to put it. And that is what I used to do to myself also. It’s just a number indicating what your body is doing now, and may be an indicator that we need to begin doing something else. I hope I remember your words.

Thanks so much for all the kind words, everyone. I spent some time going over my log books and maybe it hasn’t been as bad as I was thinking … I’ve reached a point where if my FBG isn’t under 100 every day, I start to fret and freak, but maybe I’m being too hard on myself there. Still, I do think for me at least it’s good to maintain a healthy fear of rising numbers – I don’t ever want to become complacent.

I’m going in for the A1C first thing Monday morning and will get the results at a doctor’s appointment on the 29th. I’ll update my profile when I have the new number.

Thanks again for the support!