Be Proactive!

(This post was orignally intended for my blog, but I thought I'd share it here as well.)

I got the call from my endo’s office about my lab work. My A1c result was…

I mean, WOW! I I have NEVER had an A1c in the 5’s! I reached my goal! I am super-duper excited!!! Kidney function is still good, the only problem is my TSH was now on the other side and too low, so they are backing down on my thyroid medication a little bit, and all will be re-checked at my next appointment.

After getting the news, I text’d, called, facebooked and tweeted about it. I honestly thought I could never get an A1c under 6. I remember sitting in my prior endo’s office and thinking, “She’s off her rocker! I’ll never be able to do that! It’s just not possible for me!” But I did it! This is a major accomplishment for me in my book, though not one that came because it was easy, I’ll tell ya. It’s hard work walking the bg tight-rope! This is not something that has happened in three months either. I have been working on this for over a year and a half now, down from a 8.4. (and a 9.6 and 10.2 before that)

Am I happy about the 5.8? Sure! But remember this: You absolutely cannot rely on that one number to define your overall control. I could have had excellent control with few variances in numbers or wild, whacky lows and rollercoaster highs that attributed to that number. Granted, I had some of both, so I can’t say that it was terrible control, but it absolutely wasn’t perfect.

The key, in my opinion, is this. You can’t look at the number in a bad way. Lord knows I have enough A1c’s above 9 that any endo should cringe. But it wasn’t until I started using it as an evaluation point and restart tool... a puzzle piece… in diabetes management that I started to get lower numbers. After all, it’s showing you something in the past in a nutshell, not the future. In order to get a better A1c, you have to start now to change that number three months down the road. Work with your endo team. Fax bgs every week or every two weeks until you get a basal rate/IC ratio/Correction factor that works. Most importantly, don’t get upset if your A1c goes up, rather look at it and say “does something need to be changed/worked on/re-evaluated?” and determine your control based on your trends. If your pump and/or CGM came with software, use it!! That has been my most valuable tool!!! Trust me, there have been plenty of times where I thought one thing was happening, only to view the reports and be wrong, but end up spotting another propblem.

So for all of you out there fighting to get lower A1cs (and this includes my friend, Chris), remember that your A1c is an important number, but its just a small piece of the big picture. Don’t fear it, embrace it. Be proactive.

Congrats on that A1C!!!