misreading a1c results.


I dreaded my last endo appointment just a little bit. My A1C had been consistently decreasing over the past year, and I’ve been very happy with that (however not at my ultimate goal). The past six months have been really trying, though.. and I felt as though I hadn’t really been giving diabetes my best shot (so, so sorry for the awful pun). I hated to think about hearing my doctor tell me that my A1C was higher than it was the last time I had it checked. That always feels like such a huge step backward. I was expecting a 7.5.

When she finally came into the room, my doctor asked me how things had been going. “Not bad, but not great,” I replied. I told her that I thought my A1C would be up a bit, what with  OmniPod experimentation and and a dose of plain ol’ exhaustion.  She smirked at me and showed me the paper where the nurse had written my new A1C. “Does that look like a 6.9 to you?” she asked. “Yes! It does! Oh my god!” I said.

I couldn’t help but to shed a few tears of happiness. She gave me a tissue and explained to Husband that sometimes we, as diabetics, put a lot of emphasis on our A1C results. She told me to not be so hard on myself, and that I should keep up the good work. It was quite encouraging to have gone down, even if it were the slightest bit (7.1 to 6.9).

Today, I was going through my online lab results to try to find my medical record number (it’s five freakin’ characters, so I don’t know why I don’t just memorize it). I clicked on the A1C result and scrolled down. Are my eyes crapping out on me? Is that a 6.4 I see?

We had both misread the number the nurse had scribbled on my file. Or maybe the nurse needs her eyes checked and she read 6.9. Or maybe the nurse also has diabetes and she was low while she was writing my result down, and that’s why it was all shaky. Or maybe she actually just has bad handwriting. No matter what had occurred, I had actually come down further than I thought. I feel like a kid on Christmas. I have never had an A1C as low as 6.9.. and now I’m at 6.4?! I can’t stop smiling. What an awesome mistake to make! I feel like Husband and I should go out and celebrate all over again. Any excuse for celebration, right?

In all reality though, I do agree with my endo. We put too much emphasis on our A1C’s. It’s an average of the PAST, not a forecast of what we are capable of in the future. Hopefully my future will consist of good health and happiness. Surprises like this never hurt in helping to keep my chin up and focused on my diabetes, though.


About Carlyn

I am a friend, wife, daughter, sister, dog-mother and self-proclaimed 'blogger' who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1997 at the age of 10. I live in Durham, North Carolina with my husband and two (wild) hound dogs. We make the best of life by trying our hardest to take one day at a time, one unit at a time. You can contact me via e-mail at oneunitatatime@gmail.com!

2 responses »

  1. I am so happy for you and sooooo proud, Carlyn. I can remember the days when you were diagnosed. You are doing such a good service with this blog letting others know about how you have “dealt” with this disease since being diagnosed at such a young age. When I retired from Bessemer, we had 2 children with Type 1 diabetes. They both dealt with it differently, one positive and one negative.

  2. Thank you so much! I remember always coming up to the front office at Bessemer, and the sugar free candy! I think we all deal with it differently depending on stages of life. I feel very lucky to be in the place I am right now! I appreciate you checking out my blog, and certainly appreciate the encouragement as well. 🙂

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