Monday, September 27, 2010

Two topics: My newest story – a 6.4 A1C and Step out to stop diabetes!

Step Out to Stop Diabetes!

Hello everyone! As written in last week’s blog, I am participating in the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out to Stop Diabetes walk-a-thon on October 24 in Princeton, New Jersey.

Thank you so much for all of the donations that we have already received! Only a week into fundraising, and I am thrilled to report that I am 32% of the way toward reaching my goal of raising $500 for the education, research, and advocacy programs that the ADA provides to help fight diabetes.

There is still time to help me reach my goal! Please click here to visit my personal step-out page, read all about why I’m participating, and become a sponsor.

Topic #2: My newest story – a 6.4 A1C

I was convinced that I had a 6.7 A1C, which in Type 1 diabetes world is pretty darn good. But I wanted the 6.5 that I had achieved back in April.

All diabetics get A1C tests, as well as oodles of other blood work, to see how well we are managing our diabetes. I get mine done once every three months.

I have not been the perfect diabetic lately. I’ve been so busy! So stressed! Running from appointment to appointment. I had minor surgery on two of my fingers almost eight weeks ago. I haven’t been exercising as I normally do. Okay, I admit it. I’ve gained a few pounds over the last two months. And yes, I’ve been sneaking snacks of low-fat ice cream and full-fat potato chips loaded with yummy salt and oozing comfort. I was thinking about those 200 BG’s I’d corrected for, and those morning highs. Most of all, I was dreading the strict lecture I convinced myself I would receive from Dr. W about tighter control over my blood sugars.

I would be lucky if it was a 6.7. And I was beating myself up for it. I had achieved so much by reaching that 6.5. And I let it slip away.

I went to Dr. W this morning for my quarterly appointment. I asked the receptionist for copies of the lab results as soon as I stepped through the door. I thought about the records I had compiled of my eating, exercising, and bolusing for the appointment. And I regretted doing it already. They would show Dr. W. exactly what a bad girl I’ve been. He’d have the proof right in front of him.

Judge and jury pronounce me as guilty. Lock me up and throw away the key.

The receptionist handed me the white pages filled with courier style blank ink. I’ve skimmed these a million times. In range. Out of range. Kidney function and cholesterol – which are all perfectly fantastic by the way. Something to still be proud of – since they weren't always that way. A bit anemic. Yes, I knew that.

And there it was, what I least expected. A1C – 6.4!

I was so surprised! How did that happen? And then I had a BIG realization sitting there in the waiting room smiling from ear to ear.

I realized that I had created a story, a very self-damaging one actually. Leading up to today, I was beating myself up for being the “worst” diabetic ever. I thought I hadn’t been managing my diabetes as I know I can or should. In my mind, I wasn’t living up to some pretty high expectations I have of myself. I had been telling myself that I let my health go.

And I really hadn’t. It was all in my head. The proof was right in front of me. Facts don’t lie.

And so I realized that I had to change my story. We all create the stories of our lives. Our realities. And I had the opportunity – right now, in this instant – to change one that wasn’t serving me.

I re-assessed. I do check my blood sugars regularly and adjust my insulin accordingly. I keep track of my eating, exercise, and sugars as much as possible. I exercise most of the time, eat healthy more often than not, and still meditate and journal to keep my stress levels as low as possible. Okay, so fine, I cheated here and there, but clearly, that’s okay if it’s within reason. All of the things I mentioned in April’s blog about reaching a 6.5 A1C. None of that had changed. Just the story I had created in my head.

And then I started thinking about all of the other stories I’ve created. The stories with the same moral: “Whatever I’m doing isn’t good enough.” You know the ones. Whether related to weight, hair, skin, or other non-body topics like stuff to do around the house, finances, and so on. There are lots of self-damaging stories that people create, like, “If I had more, then I will finally feel accepted.” “Would people accept me if I had less?”

I do love a good story. I suppose that’s what keeps me blogging. But some stories are just downright awful. And it’s up to me – up to us – to gauge when a story is true – and when it’s just a piece of fiction that’s better off in the trash.

I chose today to throw my tragic-fiction away. And I’ve created a new story for myself. I call it the “I take great care of my health” epic novel. Because with this positive attitude toward health, I expect it to last a while!

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