« Guest Post From Fran Carpentier. | Main | It's Like Golf. »

A1C - Sigh.

I had my A1C drawn on Monday.  Late.  I haven't had one since like June and that's waaaaay too long between results.  The last one, taken a few weeks after we returned from our honeymoon, was extremely high (or at least extremely high for a woman who is trying to gain better control as she plans for pregnancy ... in third person) and I was very reluctant to have another one done.

I hate negative reinforcement.  I don't like that feeling of "Hey, you worked hard.  You really put a lot of effort into managing this disease.  Here's your shitty A1C."  And that feeling of "ARGHHHHH!" is what I'm vlogging about this week.   

(Also, guest appearances by Siah, the Dexcom, and some bed dinosaurs.)   

Comments

OMG Siah is soooo cute. Oh, and you too Kerri. You're cute too.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for your results. You sound like you have it under control. You know that whatever the number is it helps you to move forward with your diabetes care. You can't change something if you don't acknowledge it.

Siah is so awesome!

So....what was the result of the A1C test? Mine was 8.3 but I am still adjusting to Symlin. Waiting for results is awfully annoying.....

Oh, Siah, please be on the next vlog too!!!! You are so sweet!!

Yes, I get anxiety over my A1C results and over my meter readings. When this happens, I get very crabby and yell at Pete. :( Bad D-Girl.

Thinking low thoughts for you A1C.

I hope your A1c lands on a number you feel good about. It's frustrating that diabetes has so much grey area. If anything, it's always a pleasant surprise when the numbers fall into place.
Siah made my day!!

you said "balls"! and siah is wrong! you are not boring!

Great vlog ... hope you get the result you deserve after all the hard work :]

Just came to vote, Karen, Dear Karen, of Musings asked me over. :) GREAT BLOG you have.

Will watch the video during my lunch break so I reserve comment for the future on that. :)

I was going to vlog last night, but I wrote about it instead. Maybe I should vlog tonight. I am getting my haircut so it has the potential of looking cute!

Great Vlog - especially the end. I have my fingers crossed for your AIC

I too get anxious over results everytime I go to the doctors... last time, I think it was November, I feared getting my A1C back because I thought that I did absolutely horrible in controlling my diabetes... well, surprisingly, the results came back and the doc double checked to make sure they had the right patients chart because my A1C was the lowest it has been since... well dx 11 years ago! (thats still not saying too much though) And yes, I sat there and bawled my eyes out because I was so excited and the anxiety was leaving and I was a ball of mixed emotions.

so chin up! the results may be much better than you expect!

This is my 1st visit to your blog (I voted for you at the request of Diabetics Daily & TuDiabetes on http://medgadget.com/2008bestpatient.html) soooooo, I can't believe this, but my last A1C was in June (7.5) and I just went for mine on Monday too. Sometimes serendipity blows my mind. I'll keep tuned to see how it went. Good Luck to us all!

Great vlog, Kerri. Fingers crossed your A1C is where you want it.

Siah was hilarious.

I have no medical research to prove my theory...but i swear those A1C's are skewed. I'm not really sure how, but I really thought my last A1C would be way higher than the results came back. I was hoping to be under 7.0.
My Dexcom average said so...my meter even said higher. But i get it back and bam---6.1 -
I hit 400 several times over the last 3 months.
I ran 250-300 all night everynight for almost 2 weeks.
I have been spiking terribly after lunch.
I have hardly been low.
I do not deserve such a good A1C - my dr should be raising an eyebrow - but instead i am being praised.
I know i know...terrible problem right?

Over the years(34) i have noticed that if my BS is lower the week b4 the A1C - my results are better than i expect. Also, if my BS at the time of the A1C draw is 120 or less, my A1C is better than i expect. There is no scientific data to support this...but i advise you to give it a go...

I think you are similar to me in diabetes management...you know overall how you are doing and where you need to make improvements, but maybe get caught up in life and dont quite get to the improvements in a timely manner - the A1C numbers can boost your confidence or knock you in the face.

Mine at 6.1 is not really as great as it sounds - i know it...even if no one else does.

Siah killed it! LOL so funny.

My last A1C was 8.5 and I thought it was crap too.

Here's to a better A1C!!!

I wish you luck and minimal anxiety about your results. I totally understand. I had my first A1c done yesterday after starting on the pump, and waiting 2 whole weeks feels like torture (especially since my meter ave is 209!)

The anticipation seems to be the worst part. At least once you know, you can try and adjust. Although, it usually feels like trying to throw a dart a moving target while being blindfolded. I also hate that I see my doc before they run the test. It seems like if I had the number at the time of the visit, it would be more helpful.

BTW, I curious, what were you waving in front of cute little Siah?

Got my A1c results yesterday. Surprisingly, I wasn't shocked. It was higher than last time, but I expected it.
But I have had times where I was so stressed out. It would make me crazy to wait.
Siah is adorable. :)

I watch my teenager cringe while waiting for his A1C to come back, I too feel anxiety waiting for the results...it is the mommy report card ya know;)....Until one day the endo reminded us not to get crazy about the numbers, that they are just that ...numbers, to do what we do well everyday, have fun and eat (reasonably healthy) and it will all work out....I hope for you that all your hard work pays off... Good Luck & I can't wait to hear the results!

my endo has an a1c machine in his lab .. so i only have to wait ~10 mins to get my results. i dont think i could stand waiting for several days ... would definitly kill me :((

good luck kerri!

ps: argh...now im anxious over your results -.-" ;)

Great vlog, Kerri! Nice to encounter you here is cyberworld.

After 35+ years with diabetes (I'm 37), I guess A1c results don't really get to me too much. I actually call the lab the next day and kind of push 'em to get the result to my doctor as efficiently as possible, and then my doctor knows she has permission to leave it on my voicemail if I'm not around when she calls. I look forward to finding out whatever it is, since to me it sort of wraps up the previous months' work and I can let it go, and plan how I approach the next months if I need to strive for a different number.

Honestly, for the better part of a decade (except recently) I've kept my A1c right under 5.5. I've spent years in the high numbers and have learned I like to feel like a mullion bucks way more than feeling like I've been swallowing Kleenex all day (how high blood sugars feel to me).

Good luck with your new result whever it arrives! The great thing with A1c's is it's always changeable.

I have tried to take a new stand on the waiting game. In my case, these last few years, KNOWING it's not going to be good... i TRY and focus on the things i have been doing to improve. Even if it goes down .5 percent... i've improved.

sounds like it will be interesting for sure . god bless you and thanks for an interesting blog as usual.

OMG what you do to that poor cat lol

The waiting game sux especially when you think its gonna be good and then bam you get hit in the face with a higher number.. that is what happened to me and now I find myself in a rut that I cant get out of..

Love the cat - that was so funny!

I always, always get very nervous on A1C day for my 8 year old son...feels like a report card on parenting...today was actually that day for us and the A1C of 7.8 sorta feels like a C- -- we have seen as low as 6.8 and would love it closer to 7. We just keep working and playing with the basals and doing our best.

Thanks for blogging and vlogging.

Oh yeah, I've definitely been there. My last A1c was up almost a full point, and I am counting down the days til my next one with growing dread.

fwiw, my endo told me that A1c ranges naturally vary between different people based on genetic factors. As they say, YDMV - so take those results with a grain of salt. Hope you're pleasantly surprised though!

Hi Kerri,

I was so glad to find your blog over the holidays. I'd just gone on the MiniMed 2 DAYS before leaving to visit my family, and I was seriously freaked out about how hard the pump was being for me. I had been a diabetic for nearly 20 years and the change was radical, from needles to pump.

I, too, am trying to get pregnant, and am going in to get my a1c done this next week; I had it done just before my wedding in August (!) too long ago I know, and it was 6.9, which amazed me because I was working full time, bartending 2x a week, and planning my g-damn wedding like a crazy person. I guess the stress didn't kill my control, as it sometimes did.

I am starting to really love my pump; it's so much easier for me to maintain steady control. However, i did have a totally shitty incident last week where, after I took a jog, I reconnected my pump and it didn't actually reconnect all the way. I only realized this in the middle of the night, and my bloodsugars was up to 581!! It hasn't been that high since I was diagnosed. So, I went from pump love to pump hate. It is amazing how much emotion this little machine can provoke.

I wish you luck in all of your endeavors. I, too, feel like I'm taking a test 5-8 times a day when I test my bloodsugars, and as an overachiever, I really hate when I fail it. It makes me feel worthless, sigh.

On the pregnancy news front, if it makes you feel better, my medical team is really pushing me to get my a1c under 6, but at one point my educator winked at me and said, "I've had plenty of girls with a1cs of 10 who had healthy babies." Not that I want to EVER risk that type of thing, but when she told me that news, it really made me relax; I am going to be the best damn diabetic mommy I can be, but I'm not going to become a psychotic stressball to get there.

Good luck, sister girl!

Very cute! Here's to a nice low A1c and hoping your doc gets one of those A1c machines in office so you don't have to agonize for days wondering and waiting. That's brutal. Who the hell needs that?!

I am so with you. My next A1c (in Feb) will be a finger stick in my endo's office. No waiting, but all the anxiety. It's not where I want it; I know I can do better; but at the same time I am not willing to give up living for a better A1c. Now, I'm gearing up to fight for CGM.
(fwiw, my endo tells me I'm too hard on myself. I just can't believe him on this one thing.)

Ok, now I watched the vlog... that poor cat!

I hate A1cs. We need a different measure.

There were more cuts than I am used to in your vlog... does that mean we are building for the next blooper reel?! I hope so!! :)

My last a1c was 8.2 and it felt like the biggest kick in the guts ever. My a1c was better at diagnosis! I felt like such a failure that I cried in the waiting room (we get our results within 10 mins). The worst part was that I hadnt been doing anything differently to normal (and my results are usually around 7), my average daily test results had been around normal for me, I hadn't been eating any differently to how I usually do... but all the docs could say was, "everyone goes off the wagon sometimes"... I didn't feel like I was off the wagon at all! I still don't understand why it was so bad... and you're right, it makes me SOOO nervous to go back in February and do it all again, especially now that I have been unwell and that is going to affect my results as well... aargh!!

Here's something I've wondered about before... My 5-year-old sees her endo every three months, and every time they do a finger-stick and wander off and then the doctor comes in and tells us what her A1C is...

So if they can get an A1C out of a finger-stick amount of blood, why are you having to do the real vein blood draws? Are the finger-stick variety not as accurate? Does it have to do with having an analysis machine in the office rather than sending it off to a lab?

Just curious...

Kerri,
Your blog/vlog is always a breath of fresh air! My daughter's last A1c was horrible...8.1...I felt sick to my stomach. She's 6 and has been on a pump for over 3 years. Although our doc is sweet, I could tell she wasn't pleased. I'm the parent, right? At least, for now, it's up to me. I, too, felt thankful for January to make its appearance. A time to resolve to make it better. Here's hoping for all our A1cs to stay low this new year!!

Loved the vlog as always. I think you should do a Siah Sausage like ending to all of them now, maybe like the Looney Tunes Porky Pig ending of, "th-th-th-that's all folks!". LOL.

As for a1c's I think I'm like Suze and Shane, I've been doing this so long (38yrs) that I understand it's just an indicator (average) of the last 2 to 3 months and that without it in conjunction with your blood sugars it's not as telling. Diabetes is 50% science and 50% or more art. My docs still use the lab way too so I get a letter in the mail usually a week or two later. By that time I've completely forgotten I've even had the test done. I don't stress about it at all. I stress when I get the number back, not while waiting for it. I did one day take all my a1c's and put them in a chart. It was nice to see that once I went on the pump (only about 2.5 years ago) that the numbers started dropping nicely.

Hope your number is good, but don't worry about it too much. I think, the stress itself can have a worse effect than the number whatever it may be.

I hear you on the A1c anxiety front, I think we all are familiar with that and a lot of people have commented on it above me.

The part that really resontated w.me was referring to wanting diabetes to step aside to let us decided when we want to get pregnant (ahemn, like normal people!). It's infuriating and not fair and stinks, especially when we're working hard and it's what's stopping us.

Last time I was pregnant I was in shape to 3months prior and got a bad case of poison ivy that wouldn't leave w/out steroids. Well, you can imagine what sort of numbers that left me with, even w.daily talks to my endo. I was so mad when it was the sole reason for postponing us for 3 more months. I hear you, it's not fair. You know all the words of encouragement, so for now, I'll just leave it at that. Keep working hard, you seem to have good motivation right now, go with it!

I loved that video Kerri.

Interesting on my last endo visit he stated that research is now saying that a low HbA1C for T1 may not be good i.e. in the 5's, there is a link to other problems, so he preferred a higher HbA1C level around 7. I havn't followed this up though and not sure if I was in the 5's I would want to give that up.

Also it appears from some research published that the variation in BG may be more important than the absolute level.

If I get my A1C done at the endo it is from a finger stick drop and as others have said the results are back in a few mins. At my GP it is by drawn blood, there is a difference in measurements but I don't know the delta presently.

Yes I am nervous going to the endo and would rather not, I've put if off several times because I've stressed about the outcome, and I do worry if the A1C is high. I know the A1C should be gnerally low, but may be the actual A1C level is over emphasized, there are several mechanisms involved in production of HbA1C, a 'normal' person's level can vary too.

Fingers crossed that your A1C will be heading lower for you.

You know I wondered about what Liz mentioned also. My son is a patient at Childrens' Hospital in SEA (has been for four years) and he does a finger poke and we have the A1C within 15 minutes. I realize that is at a hospital so more efficient than a doctor's office but why in the world would you have to do a blood draw for an A1C? That seems so unfair!

Oh gosh - I can't believe your doctor doesn't have instant a1c readings! At least for us it only requires a finger poke (and they allow Ian to use his own poker) and we wait 10 minutes and have the result available for our visit with the endo. During that time Ian makes me take bets on where his a1c is going to be. I'm not sure this is good, but whatever, its him and he usually wins a quarter for being closer than I. Last week - 7.7 up from 6.9 in october. The winter, the holidays, the growth hormones all do a number, and it's hard not to feel that the a1c is some sort of diabetes report card. But it's not a report card. It's simply one more tool to use to get this beast where you want it.

Hoping you get good results!

Kerri,

I'm right there with ya! I hate the 3 days between the draw and the results.

Here's hoping for the good results you deserve.

Kerri! You are so freaking awesome. I got a kick out of this for a couple of reasons.

1) You make me laugh - thank you!
2) You make me laugh while talking about something that causes so many of us so much anxiety and worry.

I can totally relate to you on this. Well, all except the pregnancy stuff I suppose... :-)

Thanks Kerri!

An A1c of 7% corresponds to an average BG
of 180 mg/dl.Not a wise target for someone who wants to become pregnant.A normal A1c is 4.2-4.6 %--not what the ADA promotes.Pregnant non-obese non-
diabetics usually have blood sugars below 70mg/dl.

Don't stress! Think positive and keep working toward your goal! In 1971 I got pregnant while using a Dalkon Shield intrauterine device. It wasn't planned, but I had a normal and healthy boy by Caesarian delivery. (Back then we were still using urine testing to 'GUESS' how our control was! Also, the HgbA1C was still just a theory...)

After 55 years on insulin injections, I'm still hanging in there 'though with frequent hypos of which I'm unaware. The hypo unawareness is why I have never started on a pump. Our son is now 35 with a daughter who just had her 6th birthday.

I have Dr. Bernstein's book. I can't use his diet. Can't make it to my next meal/feeding or snack eating only veggies! Also, he doesn't share personal experience in the female hormones department. Hormones can play absolute havoc with blood sugars!

All of us diabetics have to carry and endure extra stresses, just to survive. Many of our physicians don't have first hand experience with our disease. That's why your blog is helpful to many. First hand experience and sharing is irreplaceable. Again, hang in there and roll with the punches while working toward your goals. You CAN DO it!

I think I am going to write a book......I am 62 rs and hve had Type 1 for over 22 years. The best A1C I have ever had is around 8. When I have strived for lower, I have many hypos and the Dr removes my drivers license. Last year I was in acute care for 10 days with a bowel infection that became ketoasidosis and then I got blot clots and was on "rat poison". I used a pump for 18 months once and that was even worse than multiple injections. I am overwhelmed, frustrated, sad and very scared as I can't get it under control. I feel like a failure all the time. How about you out there? Can anyone relate? Annie

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)