Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Little Whispers

I am not a jealous person, or even an envious one.

Ok, maybe I'm lying a little bit.

I admit I feel a twinge of envy as my friends dig right into the lukewarm leftover pizza after a meeting, without a care in the world. They don't wonder how many carbs is in a Meat Lover's slice from Pizza Heaven, or how much insulin will cover that for the time being, or how much to extend a bolus over the course of several hours when the Post Pizza High comes back to haunt them.

I know it's childish of me, but I'm envious, just a little.

I wish I could sketch too//envy alert//: Source Unknown

On reflection of my "career" with diabetes, I can't remember ever having a good an in-range HbA1c. Ever. That's almost 25 years of numbers over 8% and sometimes much higher, representing blood sugars 10.2+ mmol (183+ mg). Ideally, we are told, someone with diabetes should an A1c of 7%*, representing blood sugars in range of 8.6 mmol (154 mg).

*Sidenote: This recommended amount is general, and varies depending on your physical condition, age, and a host of other factors. 

I am well versed in the concept that I should have a lower A1c. Really I am. Now it certainly is my endo's job to remind me of this, (although senility has not yet set in - I do recall this fact all by myself). But for some reason, just about every other medical professional seems to have a vested interest in what My Number is, often adding their respective specialty's list of what could go wrong if I don't get That Number down.

Life should be so easy, eh?

Just another side note for anyone about to jump on the lower-number-is-better bandwagon: Just because I have a higher A1c than "recommended", it does NOT mean I haven't been trying. The value of how much I try does not correlate to my A1c level.

So, when I see my fellow diabetes friends share Their Number achievements, I am truly happy, even excited for them. I know how much work goes into even lowering it by just a little.

One could actually argue that I don't know, because I've never got there myself, but I will leave that discussion for those eager to make that point.

But, as I celebrate those successes with my friends, there's a little devil, sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, "Don't you wish that was you?"

However, I am a lucky person. I also have an angel sitting on my other shoulder, reminding me that I can do this, and perhaps one day I will be able count myself among those who celebrate our successes.

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings instead of your own.
 ~Harold Coffin*~

*See what I did there? Seriously, the author's name is really Coffin!


  1. I posted a comment last night but isn't showing :(

    Anyway, it's only a number. Withe the issues you have had with lows it's only fair to expect a higher A1C. It's more important that you are happy and doing what you can. We shouldn't let ourselves feel so defeated over a number, but we do. It's something I am working on too.

    You're doing just fine :)

  2. That's the reason I don't share my A1c (unless someone explicitly asks). Some poeple say it should be in the 7s, some say below 7, some say below 6.5 or even 6!

    I find it unavoidable to compare myself to someone else when they share there's, and it makes me feel bad. Either bad about the number (or numbers), bad about the restrictive lifestyle (or not having a happy & free lifestyle), bad for the person who's trying (or jealous of the person who doesn't try), or just bad for even making the comparison in the first place.

    Some people may find others' A1Cs as motivational. I like to think that my A1C is mine and mine alone, and the only one I should be comparing them with is myself.

  3. My rational mind knows it's only numbers, and numbers are not to be a measure of our worthiness. I do fear that by celebrating the numbers that we feel good about, that later, when things aren't going so well, we could be setting ourselves up to feel defeated. Or worse, we could feel like a failure.

  4. It's bothersome that we need to worry about being judged within the community. Who should BETTER know that effort does not always produce success and that success is individual?