Thursday, September 9, 2010

Higher isn’t always bad . . .

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been working and working (and working) to get my A1C lower.  Lower has always been the goal.  Higher was always bad.

Until this week.  On Tuesday I had my endo appointment.

The waiting room at my endo's office - as part of the Waiting with Diabetes project.

I always hold my breath as we go over my lab results.  I’m worried for my liver and kidneys.  But most of all, I’m worried about what that A1C number will be.  Of course, the A1C is always at the end of the report - thanks a lot, lab-report-guys.

So, we went though each and every item on the lab report.  What the recommended range for each item is and where my numbers fall.  (Yes, my endo take the time to explain each item.  Love him!!)  Everything was in the AWESOME range (my words, not my endo’s, but whatever).  Then we got to the A1C.  And it has gone up . . . . just by .3 . . . but still up.  And higher is always bad, right?

Well, not always.  This time both my endo and I were actually happy to see a rise in my A1C.  For the past six months, my A1C has been 5.9.  A great number, yes, but a number that was the result of way too many scary-lows.  With my new Revel pump and the predictive alerts for the CGM, I’m catching more lows before they hit the scary-low range.  (No, not all, but more . . . )  So we were both thrilled that my A1C has risen to 6.2.

I've spent so many years, decades even, struggling for a lower A1C.  Celebrating a higher one feels crazy.  But then again, I never said I wasn’t crazy!!


  1. It must be so weird to reverse your thinking when it comes to these things. But it sounds like it's definitely for the best!

    Congratulations on another happy Endo appointment. I have one on Monday, and can't wait to take pictures in the waiting room!

  2. That's exactly what my endo said when I hit a 6.5 last month after over a decade in 5's. It's too hard to get that low without experiencing a number of hypos, and health-wise there's really no benefit.

    It's unnerving, hard not to feel like you're getting "worse," but since the 6.2 isn't a result of more highs it's actually a great reminder that those under 6 A1Cs were actually a sign of worse control than you have now. So congrats!

  3. Congrats on taking such good care of yourself!

  4. That makes sense. Too many lows come with their own risks. I know how awesome it feels to have a great A1C and knowing it was from steady blood sugars and not ups and downs. Good job!

  5. Honestly, except for the fact that it sounds like the increase was desired and intentional (way to go - you rock!) I don't see the change as material. Had you not been trying to minimize lows and received the same result, I would still say - holy crap that's an awesome A1C!

    I hope this is coming across right - I am not at all minimizing your success in raising it - you did what you wanted to - hooha!!. If there's any iota of, dang it's higher, in your mind, make it vanish because that A1C is phenomenal.

    And just so you know I'm not blowing smoke, Caleb's last A1C went up .4 this last time. His A1C is still great, but even when your A1C is great, the "up" part seems like a no no. So there was this flash of, "uh oh" in my mind, but it was only a flash and we skipped out of the office (figuratively, not literally). :)

    Rock on Karen and Revel!

  6. Safe is always better. I'm glad you met your goal and above all, I'm glad you are staying away as much as you can from the scary lows!

  7. Actually, I have been in this boat a few times with Joe. His A1C has been in the 6's for years (he is only 7 years old) you can imagine how tight of a rope we are walking on with A1Cs that low for his age. He is soooo active and that is why I thing his A1Cs are low...but we have had periods in his life where lows were a daily part of our lives.

    I have celebrated many an A1c of 6.7 or 6.9...SO YOU ROCK THAT 6.2 girlfriend - you deserve it!!!

  8. Hard work and a wonderful result. You're just a cool lady!
    My appt. is Tuesday...

  9. I've been there ... celebrating a higher HbA1c; many PWD's find the notion inconceivable, but the reality is that it IS possible to be too low!

  10. Every time I take Sugar Boy to see the endo I stress about that number. And I always wish it were lower than what it is (8.6 currently - which is considered good since Sugar Boy is only 4). But I want one in the 7's!!
    Thats when my endo reminds me that he would rather see Sugar Boys A1C in the 8's with very few lows than he would see it in the 7's with lots of lows. It always makes me feel better to hear him explain it like that. =)

  11. I'm right with ya, it must be so strange to get a hive-five for a higher A1C, but it must also feel good to not have as many lows. I also like that the cgms catches lows before they are too bad.

    Nice work. I

  12. my endo told me my number one time and said "that is not really where we want to see it" - I remarked, yes, but it is .6 lower than it was LAST time, can you please give me some damn credit?" Sigh...we just CAN"T win, can we?

  13. Great news! Glad it went in the "right direction", even thought it wasn't the direction we're all used to! :)

  14. It's just another example of how limited averages are in painting a useful picture (especially 2-3 month averages of something that is changing every friggin' second!). A straight line across 120 would be way better than a see-saw between 40 and 200, even though the latter could conceivably result in a lower A1c. The important thing is that you're measuring your actual health and what's best for you, not just a number. Definitely worth celebrating.

  15. Totally agree with you! I had a 6.0 a few months ago and my endo was like, "I KNOW this is because of all these lows I'm seeing in your logbook." She was much happier when I had a 6.2 a few months later, and she even said "I'd rather have you at a steady 7 than a crazy 6.5 any day." So yes, lower is not always better. Congrats on the awesome A1C!

  16. I think most people are way to hung up on the a1c. To some degree it's useful - like clearly I wasn't doing something right with my D management back when my a1c was regularly 10+, but too often, I feel like people get down on themselves, or if it's a diabetic child, a negative reaction from the parent, even masked to hide it from the child is going to register on the child's radar, who will internalize that.

    The whole thing really bothers me because from my perspective, too many diabetics attach their self-worth to that number, just like too many people attach their self-worth to the number on the scale. No one should use either as a measuring stick for who they are or their value as a person.


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