Waiting for diabetes test results: the moment of truth

It happens every six months or so. I go to the hospital lab early in the morning, my stomach grumbling in protest because I didn't have breakfast, and I sit down in a chair while a kind and talkative nurse draws a vial or two of blood. A few days later, I walk into my doctor's office, but this time I don't have a grumbling tummy. Instead, I have sweaty palms and a fast heart rate and enough nervousness to make me feel a little queasy.

It's time to get my diabetes test results.

How good has my control been? I think it's been okay, but there was that time when I forgot my insulin. There was that day I ate too much. There was that week of serious stress that sent my blood sugar numbers careening up and down like a wild amusement park ride.

The ironic thing about stressing over the test results is that stress sends my blood sugars up -- so when I worry about high blood sugars, I get high blood sugars. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Handling the stress of diabetes test results

As I get older, I am learning to view diabetes test results not as a judgment on my blood sugar control, but as a guideline on how to improve. This is easier said than done. Glucose readings matter so much in our day-to-day lives that it is easy to feel like a failure when confronted with a series of numbers that are higher than they should be.

But seeing those test results as a way to improve can do wonders for your emotional outlook. It can also do wonders for your physical body, as "bad" numbers can make you more determined to do the right things. It becomes a personal challenge -- can I drop that A1C by a point? Can I keep my blood sugars within range for a solid week?

What can I do to be proud of myself?

In a few weeks I will have another round of diabetes tests. I'm determined to see the results as a guideline, not as a verdict -- and simply changing my way of thinking makes me feel more in control of my diabetes.

About Shannon Lee

Shannon Lee has lived with diabetes for seventeen 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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