By: Meagan Esler
Some people are perfectly happy divulging their three-month blood sugar average, known as an A1C, but I’d rather walk barefoot across hot coals than share my A1C number. It’s funny, because I’m actually kind of proud of it these days. It’s by no means perfect and could definitely stand to be lower, but I’ve come a long way. There was a time in my life when my diabetes was out of control and my A1C results were shameful. I felt so embarrassed and disappointed in myself, and the worst part was, I felt hopeless. Thankfully, I have maintained a substantial A1C drop for years now.
A few of my friends freely share all their A1Cs, the good, the bad, and the ugly. They let us cheer them on or offer support. They aren’t afraid to show their struggles with diabetes. One man I know even posts his daily blood sugar readings on Facebook, which seems incredibly brave to me. Diabetes is a wild rollercoaster ride, and putting it all out there for the world to see kind of scares me. When my friend gets an unpleasant number, he simply posts a little mantra beside it to himself to keep going.
When people post their near normal A1Cs, I appreciate how wonderful it feels to have that gorgeous, yet hard to reach, number. They inspire me, and I appreciate that they share. When people post less than stellar A1Cs, I can feel the desperation and disappointment that accompanies such a number. I understand them because I’ve been there.
There have been times when my lab report arrived in the mail and I was tempted to give it to my dogs, who love to shred paper, just so I didn’t have to look at it and could pretend that it didn’t happen. When I was newly diagnosed, seeing a ridiculously high A1C number staring back at me in black and white made me wonder what was wrong with me. It also made me hate my diabetes more than ever.
Even now, nearly eighteen years since my diagnosis, diabetes is unpredictable and requires a great deal of stamina. Some days are great, some days I know I can do better, and some days I just don’t feel that I have the strength.
It’s difficult to feel that you are successfully living with diabetes if your blood sugars and A1C results aren’t perfect. I hope one day to get to a point where I don’t mind sharing my A1C, regardless of the number. I think it’s healthy to share with others, and I look forward to sharing my A1C struggles and victories one of these days, when I am good and ready. My A1C may not always be perfect, but all any of us in the diabetes community can do is try. If there is one thing for sure, it’s that I will never give up trying.