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[IP] Re: Is this normal (my lengthy reply)
You've gotten a lot of responses on your question but I had to write on
this one, it being a remarkable coincidence that I had an epiphany on this
very topic just a few days ago. I finally realize my expectations needed
some downward adjustment.
I'm 43, Type 1 for 26 years, on the pump only 6 months, but I think we
have some stuff in common. I, too, have felt frustrated that despite the
pump which HAS significantly improved my control overall, I still have these
blasted swings between highs and lows (Now not as high as in pre-pump days,
but a few that have been frighteningly lower than I ever had on shots) and
if I do a pie chart on percentages of highs, lows and in the target range,
I come up with 58, 22, and 20 respectively - too disappointing and
discouraging a pie to digest.
Nonetheless, my last A1C was 6.7. I'm pleased with that because it
represents an improvement. My pleasure turns to dissatisfaction when I
happily mention it to others, for example, to other diabetic women I share
lunch with once a month, including some who are on shots, one or another
will generally comment "Oh, my last A1C was 5.9" Why, oh why won't my BGs
march in line like they are supposed to?
I finally brought this up at this monthly lunch. I said I was frustrated
because my sugars jump around and rise and fall without paying any mind to
these wonderful theories we have about cause and effect.
What do you know? To a one, all agreed their BGs do the same. I learned
also that some of those wonderful A1Cs are attained at the cost of emergency
room visits and hypoglycemic seizures.
During this discussion, one of the women complained about having wild
swings even for the period when she limited herself to consuming the same
thing - not just the same number of carbs -- but the exact same food items
for her meals day in and day out for two weeks. "Ah," said my doctor, very
tongue in cheek. "But you weren't in a coma were you?"
And that's why Diabetes is a Bitch. There are so many pushes and pulls
on BGs, we can do our best to and respond to the known factors - but we are
still guessing at best. We may correctly calculate food, but are left to
guess about the level of hormones our bodies kick out, what infection may be
lurking somewhere, the day's weather and our stress levels. With so much
guesswork piled up on top of one or two quantifiables (food and maybe
exercise) it should surprise us more that we ever get it right than that we
are so often off the mark.
That was my "eureka." It won't stop me from wanting my BG graphs to
show a line gently undulating between my upper and lower target numbers, but
I hope to give up the angst I feel when it deviates. Looking at your
averaged event numbers, I felt envy, and yet your were writing a letter to
complain. Again, this underscores a point. A number by itself means little.
An A1C alone, event averages in isolation, a finger test alone, don't tell
the whole story and you can't really tell how another person is doing from a
number. I think it's better to look at one's own trends and to compare those
with one's own rends in the past to gauge improvement or slippage. I think
it's better to give up outright the notion that we will never have
excursions because when that happens it will be because there's a cure and
we've received it.
>>I've been on the pump for almost 3 years and I've always had quite a bit
of trouble keeping a normal level. I thought the pump would help me have
level bg values most of the time but it still seems like I bounce up and
down. Is this normal for a middle aged women who has been type 1 for the
last 25 years? ...<snip>>>>
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