High Five Friday: A happy reminder about why I do what I do

highfivefriday6 High Five Friday: A happy reminder about why I do what I do

I went to see my Primary Care Physician – as opposed to my Endocrinologist (diabetes doctor) – recently, because I am losing my hair. (Definitely NOT celebrating that development.) After congratulating me on my weight loss and explaining that it was probably the cause of my hair loss, the doctor ordered a comprehensive metabolic panel and lipid panel – blood and urine tests to look at how I’m doing with my diabetes and see if anything medical might be causing the hair loss.

We were both expecting to see good numbers for these tests, based on the healthy lifestyle changes I’m making, so I was anxiously awaiting the results letter. I received it on Wednesday and rushed to open the first envelope. Every number on the metabolic and lipid panels was much improved from this time last year, including my overall cholesterol, HDL (“good” cholesterol – it was way too low last year and is now safely above the “low” level), triglycerides (a whopping 93% reduction in 12 months!), and fasting blood glucose (I’m smack in the middle of the “normal” range, not even near the “impaired” much less “diabetic” ranges).

Then I opened the second letter which turned out to have the results of my Hemoglobin A1c test, measuring how well my blood sugar has been controlled for the last several months. This is significant for diabetics because fasting blood glucose only measures control for a brief moment in time but the A1c shows how you’re doing overall. The ranges for this test are:

  • Therapeutic goal of American Diabetes Association = <7.0%
  • Controlled diabetics = 6.0-8.0%
  • Non-diabetics = 4.0-6.0%

Let me interject here to say that at my last test, back in June, my result was 5.8% and my Endocrinologist and I were THRILLED with that result. So thrilled in fact that he took me off of my remaining oral diabetes medication, so this month’s test is completely without medication of any kind.

So, what was my number? My latest Hemoglobin A1c reading was 5.0%. I read it, then blinked a few times because I’m blind as a bat without my reading glasses and I thought perhaps I’d misread a 6 as a 5; I hadn’t. You guys, that means that, without chemical assistance of any kind, my body now functions like a non-diabetic person’s does. Yup, I cried. A lot. Then I sent a text message to my diabetic colleagues (also friends!) at work to tell them the wondrous news and this is the message I received in return:

“I’m so happy, Denise…this is why you do what you do.”

And then I cried even harder because yes, this is exactly why I do what I do. Why I wake up every single morning – not just the days when I’m feeling good and had enough sleep the night before, nor only on the days when I have nothing else competing for my time – and make the decision, again, to put myself and my health first. To go for a walk before work and, optimally, again in the afternoon with my team. To eat smaller amounts of low-glycemic foods and to stop before I feel full because my body can’t use the extra food properly. To make an appointment with my therapist when my depression and anxiety lead to binge eating. To faithfully keep my every three month dental cleaning appointments even though I am terrified to be there and still traumatized by having 15 teeth removed in one go last July. Complacency in any of these areas will hurt my body and I don’t intentionally do that any more. (Gosh it feels good to be able to write that last sentence.)

So that’s my “win” for this week – not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

Your turn: what have you done this week that deserves a high five?

Comments

  1. Congratulations! Well deserved great news!

    • Thank you, Bob, that means a lot coming from someone I admire so much. Your blog entries are always so informative and I’ve learned a lot about the disease we share.

      Denise

  2. Wauw, so good to read! Congratulations!

    • Hi Janneke,

      Thank you so much for your visit and the support! I love your adorable cat from your latest post – I don’t include nearly enough pictures of Harry & Sally, my cats, here, but they are a huge part of my life and I love them to bits.

      Thanks again for stopping by.

      Denise

  3. Hi Denise, my name is Valerie and I am so glad I found your blog! (Through Bob, actually!) First…congrats on your recent lab results! Way to go…I’m high-fiving you through the internet! :) I’ve peeked around your blog and can’t wait to read more and get to know you better.

    After months of feeling blah…angry/irritable (yelling constantly at my poor kiddos)…tired/lethargic…and like my heart was constantly racing, I made an appt. with my pcp and had some lab work done. My A1c came back flagged as “pre diabetic”…which we know really means Stage 1 of Type 2…right???!!!

    At 44, with only my kids only being 9, 7, and 3-years old, it’s time for me to get serious about my health! I look forward to sharing with you your successes as well as mine!

    Blessings from the Heartland!
    Valerie

    • Hi Valerie,

      Thanks for your visit and your kind wishes!

      My latest results come nearly 18 years after my initial diagnosis, during 15 of which I just decided to pretend I wasn’t diabetic. Finding and keeping your motivation for the hard work of managing the disease has been the key for me, and it certainly sounds like you have found yours, too, which is great. The “secret” is that there isn’t a secret, I just get up every morning and decide that my health will be more important than eating what I like in whatever quantity I like, or sleeping in every day instead of going for a walk, or not seeing the dentist even when my teeth were in dire shape, or ignoring the painful mole in the middle of my back because I didn’t want to know if it was cancerous. In short, I make that healthy decision over and over again, and will do until I die or decide I no longer care about developing complications and then dying. Managing diabetes is now my primary focus for my life, with every other thing coming afterwards because that’s the only way I can make sure I’ll be here to take care of everything else, too.

      I look forward to following along on your journey to better health.

      Best,
      Denise

  4. Melissa R. says:

    Keep up the most awesome work! You are doing GREAT!!!

  5. As a person at “low risk” for diabetes, I recently discovered through blood testing for an unrelated reason, that I have an elevated A1C. As I’m sure you and others have experienced, figuring out what that means is challenging and will likely be a long process, but your little blog entry is enough to inspire hope while challenging us to do more. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi George,

      I remember the day my doctor confirmed my fear that I’d developed diabetes – I was so frightened because I couldn’t imagine how my life would ever be normal again. In a lot of ways, nothing has been the same since then but a lot of things have been better, like my stubborn determination not to let the disease detract from living a happy, healthy life. It isn’t easy to figure out what works for you and your body in terms of eating and exercise, but it’s possible with patience and time.

      I wish you all the best and am so grateful for your visit and your lovely comment!

      Denise

Trackbacks

  1. […] A Happy Reminder About Why I Do What I Do…, Do You Have That In My Size?  Fellow type 2 diabetic and blogger Denise Elliott shares her amazing A1C success story.  The ability to get key health metrics into “normal” ranges entirely through diet and exercise takes tremendous discipline.  It can be done. […]

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