Tag Archives: A1C

Burnout and Patient Shaming

I slacked off in 2016, canceling my doctors appointments and not rescheduling them. 

Yes, I’m aware that’s terrible. 

Yes, I’m aware that’s dangerous. 

I’m also aware that I was still adamantly monitoring my A1C through my Dexcom, had no instances of DKA, was never hospitalized, and never ran out of supplies because my doctor kept approving the prescriptions. 

It isn’t an excuse to those in the healthcare field, but to those of us with chronic illnesses, we get it. We understand that the appointments are overwhelming. The tests are frustrating and annoying. The battle with insurance is never-ending. 

And sometimes, you just need a damn break. So that’s what I did. 

Now I’m getting back on the wagon. I saw my endo a couple weeks ago, and saw my eye doctor yesterday for the yearly diabetic eye exam. 


I passed. I still have 20/20 vision, and I have no signs of diabetic retinopathy. 

But I didn’t miss the judgement in the doctors voice, that I hadn’t been there since April 2015. That I didn’t have an up-to-date A1C number and the estimate of 7.2 from Dexcom Clarity “really should be closer to 6.0.”

I hear you judging me, but I also hear that your perfectly functioning pancreas keeps you going every day. You don’t face the battles I do. You don’t have to hope to God you’re going to be able to pay for your deductible because you meet it in January every year. You don’t have to stab yourself over and over and over again.  You’ve never dealt with burnout from this horrible condition that you didn’t cause or ask for. 


Shaming me for my actions isn’t a solution. If anything, it only makes me hate you more and not want to do better. It makes me feel like the things I have accomplished – like the fact that I received a promotion to middle management last year, played a sport and still managed to keep myself alive – mean absolutely nothing to you. It makes me feel like the fact that I’m still out here kicking ass doesn’t matter because my A1C isn’t a 6.0 (which, by the way, A1C isn’t a good marker for diabetes care anyway!) 

A little compassion goes a long way. Rather than chastising me for not coming in for an appointment for the last year, maybe try asking me what I have been up to in that time? When I indulge that I played softball, ask how that affected my blood sugar – was it difficult to deal with, did I tend to run low or high during games? If you act like I’m more than just an A1C number, I’ll be a lot more receptive to your advice and suggestions. 


So please, keep your judgment to yourself, healthcare professionals. I already know that I didn’t and don’t do things to your standards, and ultimately I am accountable for my actions. 

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Sleeping Through Lows

I don’t get a full night’s sleep. Ever. 

  

It comes with the territory, really. Diabetes doesn’t play nice during the day, so why would it at night? Every time I wake up in the night, I immediately take stock of my body. Am I dizzy? Are my extremities numb? Those are a couple of my sleepy-brain low blood sugar symptoms. 

In all honesty, I should be waking up more in the middle of the night. Not because of a low blood sugar, but rather to check my blood sugar. 

Night checks are one of the best ways to lower your A1C. It doesn’t make sense to ignore your bg overnight. After all, you spend 16 hours awake, bending end over end to make sure you’re within range, and then just disregard it for 8 hours? Sounds like a recipe for disaster. 

Its easy to think “My blood sugar is fine through the night or else I’d wake up more often!” But that is simply not true. According to this article the average diabetic doesn’t wake up to 75% of their low blood sugars. That is scary! Yet I know it’s true, because even when I have the Dexcom screaming in my ear for 3 hours straight, I often times don’t wake up. 

I’m currently on a CGM break, which I usually do every couple of months, so I’m flying blind every day, unaware of highs and lows unless I’m frequently testing or manage to feel one when it gets really bad. Two nights in a row, I’ve woken up in the mid-50s. 

  
The CGM technology is so wonderful for helping keep track of yourself overnight, but I really need to put in more effort to make my overnight numbers better if I want to reach my A1C goals. 

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A New Adventure in Familiarity

I haven’t blogged in almost a month. Wow! I admit it has been difficult to find inspiration in the middle of the most insane photo editing spree of my career, on top of my day job becoming crazier every single day. And also a touch of burnout. Diabetes awareness month is exhausting.

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Accountability 9/19/14

It’s been a crazy month so far. Ever since we returned from California, everything has been GO GO GO! We’ve shot two weddings and a maternity session so far this month, with another wedding tomorrow and one more next week. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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A brief illness combined with the GO GO GO has meant for some crazy blood sugars. I haven’t been on the CGM since the 11th (well, midday on the 12th) until today because I just needed a break, both mentally and physically, which is why I don’t have a graph for that week.

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This report shows my sugar trends for the past eight weeks. Can I just say how happy I am to see that my average BG reading on my finger sticks and on my CGM are within 5 points of each other? And also that 140-145!!! If this is true, then my A1C is roughly 6.5 – 6.7 which is amazing because my target A1C is 7.0!

Be expecting more posts soon once things slow down a little bit. 😉 I have some exciting reviews coming up and lots more photos of my adventures!

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