Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A few words about numbers.

Disclaimer: This post may ramble a bit because I don't have fully coherent thoughts on the topic. I know what I'm thinking but don't necessarily have the complete sentences to express it.

I've been thinking a lot since I left CWD FFL. I know: Danger, Will Robinson, Danger! Sometimes I do things...

In particular, I've been thinking about the "let it all out" session I mentioned last time. A lot of diabetics (and understandably so) become upset at being judged by their A1C value. The most common argument is "I am not a number," which I am not. There's a lot more that goes in to that A1C than just finger sticks. A lot more.

Here's where my dilemma comes in - now bear with me because this is where I start to become unintelligible in my thoughts. I very much feel like my "number" defines part of me as a diabetic. Not just my A1C number but also my individual blood sugars too. Now let me attempt to explain why I feel this way.

I've always been told to celebrate the good numbers. And I do. I'm pretty damn spectacular every time I see a number within range. I give myself a high five, tell myself how wonderful I am, and then convince myself everyone other person out there is jealous of my superb blood sugar. Every time my A1C comes down a bit, even if it's just 0.1%, I feel giddy about it. I did a good job! My overall average is lower! I'm doing good things for my body! I should get an Academy Award for my excellent impersonation of a working beta cell.

But if I'm supposed to congratulate myself on the good numbers, how do I not feel guilty for the out of range numbers? I am not a number... or is it just "I am not a number if I don't like what I see"? I find it completely impossible to separate myself from the "in range" and "out of range."

I am the effort I put in to my diabetes. Sometimes, I'm the SuperWoman of diabetes care. Other times, I'm the hardcore slacker in danger of failing P.E. because I never change my clothes. I am what I make of it, so I feel my d-related successes and failures are determined by my effort or lack there of. The only common factor is "me."

I've never quite figured out how to pat myself on the back for the good and ignore the bad. I am the good and the bad. I'm not one or the other - I am both.

"Good and bad - this is the story of my life." ~Martha Reeves


  1. One of my favorite quotes is "when you have a good day take the credit. when you have a bad day, blame the disease and vow to do better tomorrow."

    the vow to do better tomorrow part i could do without (I'm in some pretty serious burn out right now, and there is no vowing about anything), but i think the good=my fault and bad=diabetes's fault is worth remembering. If it weren't for diabetes, all my BG #s would be in range. Because of diabetes, they baseline are not, which makes it diabetes's fault, and not my fault, when numbers are out of range. Likewise, when a number is in range (except for those bizarre days when my pancreas seems to get a hold of itself), it IS my fault, because I took some actions on purpose that made it that way.

  2. You take the good, you take the bad, and there you have... the facts of life.