Giving myself credit for that one great thing

It can be so easy to let a few bad days undermine my confidence in how I handle diabetes. These past few weeks have been a series of bad days, and it makes it tough to remember that most of the time, I’m actually pretty good at living this life with diabetes. So in honor of today’s D-Blog Week topic, I am going to spend the day focusing on the high points in my battle with diabetes. One that stands out the most is my last A1c report.

My last A1c test

I will never forget that day. I was sitting on the squeaky vinyl chair in the doctor’s office, waiting after the blood pressure check (just fine) and requisite finger stick (118), flipping through a magazine but not comprehending a word of it – I was too nervous. My last A1c had been a miserable 8.9, brought about by a combination of too much stress and not enough care. It was a serious case of diabetes burnout, and there was the result, a number that kept me up at night. It made me more determined than ever to get myself back under control.

There was a quick knock, the door burst open, and the doctor gave me a smile so wide that she looked like a totally different person. She practically danced across the room and whipped open the file with a flourish. She shook a piece of paper right under my nose.

“Look what you did!” she exclaimed, and stood there waiting impatiently for my response, like a kid waiting to see what someone thinks about their birthday gift.

I stared down at the number. It was circled over and over in red ink.


I thought about all those finger sticks, the countless test strips, the insulin adjustments of a few units at a time, the careful timing of my meds, the exercise that I sometimes had to drag myself to, the carbs I counted so often that I no longer had to use cheat sheets – and it all hit me like a ton of bricks.

I burst into tears.

The doctor sat down next to me. “You did it,” she said. “You brought it down. And you can do it again.”

She was right. I can do it again. In fact, I am doing it again. So today, I’m going to give myself credit for enduring all those finger sticks, passing up on that second helping of pasta and dialing up the right amounts of insulin. I’m going to take a long walk and remember to test my blood sugar before I go to bed. I’m going to pat myself on the back for battling my way through the rough days.

And I’m going to make a promise to myself that in ten, twenty, thirty years – and beyond – I’m going to work very hard to be healthy and happy, even with diabetes as my constant companion.

About Shannon Lee

Shannon Dauphin has lived with diabetes for more than a dozen years. When she's not playing ninja with lancets or counting carbs, she can be found traveling across the country with laptop in hand, writing about anything that strikes her fancy.


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