HbA1c - we need to change the narrative

I finally dragged myself to get a blood test to check my HbA1c, unsure why I had been putting it off for so long. What was I afraid of? It’s just a number, right?

The HbA1c test measures your average blood glucose over 2-3 months and gives an indication of your longer-term blood glucose control.

I knew I’d been riding the blood sugar roller-coaster lately and my diabetes management had definitely slipped down the priority list. I felt as though my HbA1c results would confirm things had deteriorated since my lowest Hba1c ever just over a year ago. Despite living with diabetes for so long and convincing myself I knew better, I still felt like a diabetes rock star when I saw that number. We must change the narrative!

A HbA1c provides a snap shot of what’s been going on to help us decide what action (if any) to take. But I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again a little louder for those in the back.

Your HbA1c never, ever confirms your worth or proves whether you are a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ diabetic.

It seems I needed a little reminder. And just for the record, there is no such thing as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ diabetic. We’re all simply living with diabetes and doing the best we can with the cards we’ve been dealt.

Avoiding my blood test and therefore my HbA1c results felt like I was missing an opportunity to take stock, check in and refocus. It’s easy and totally acceptable for diabetes management to take a back seat with everything that’s happening around the world, but this thinking needs to change. We can’t change the past, in this case our blood sugar results over the last three months, but we can learn from them, grow and move forward. In fact we must.

The longer our blood sugars are in range (4-8mmol/L – 72-144 mg/dL) the less time we’re having to deal with the symptoms of highs and lows, which ultimately affect our ability to be our best selves, enjoy each moment and live a long, full and healthy life.

It can be hard to admit that your Type 1 diabetes has to take priority when you’re trying so hard to not let it define you. But the two go hand-in-hand and taking care of your diabetes gives you your power back!

With that in mind, I walked confidently into the lab to have a blood test. I realised it wasn’t actually about the results, it was about gaining some control back, tweaking my diabetes management if needed and ultimately working towards more in time in range and more energy. This will ensure I can turn up each and every day for my whānau and my community, able to put my best foot forward to help change the world. #nopressure

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