Thursday, January 17, 2013

I feel like a number

Way back in 1978, Bob Seger released his album "Stranger in Town".  One of my favourite songs from that album was called "Feel like a number".  

Back then, having only had diabetes for 4 years, I didn't really understand how those words would affect me years later.  Those were the early years for me.  I was 16.  I didn't really care too much about complications that "may happen" someday down the road.  The glucose meters that we have today obviously weren't available.  In fact I didn't even have a meter back then!  It wasn't until 1983 that I bought my first meter and it was over $300.00.  But I digress.

The lyrics, really have nothing to do with diabetes, but the title of the song can sum up how a person with diabetes sometimes feels.

Numbers are a big part of a diabetics daily life.  Waking up and hoping for a good fasting number, trying to figure out the number of carbs in that toasted Everything bagel with herb and garlic cream cheese and bacon from Tim Hortons,  the number of units of insulin you are going to take to cover that delicious bagel.  The number of tests per day to keep a close eye on your numbers.  Trying to catch those low numbers and high numbersDoing everything we can to achieve that perfect A1c number.  Even things like blood pressure, cholesterol, tryglicerides, iron, protein, all have a number that we are striving to control, without perhaps even realizing it,  while we chase all those other numbers every day.

For too many years, I didn't give a crap about those numbers.  I think I've written about this before.  The years where I didn't test, I didn't think (or count) before I put something in my mouth.  The years I didn't care because I didn't think I would live long enough for those numbers to matter.

Thank goodness I finally realized I had far outlived what the first Doctor told my parents, and took a good look at the road ahead.   

When I first thought about getting an Insulin pump, my A1c had been somewhere around 11.  It had probably been there for quite some time.  That was just over 2 years ago. I started working hard at getting myself on track.  I began testing obsessively, eating better and taking the recommended medications in an effort to get approval for my pump. 

The 10th of January was the 2yr anniversary of my triple bypass surgery (more numbers!).  I went for some bloodwork for my upcoming appointment with my Nephrologist.

Today was my appointment.  I really like Dr. H.  He is a nice man, and he doesn't make you feel like he is "above" you.  He started the visit by asking how my Christmas was, and how I'd been feeling.  He wondered if I had had the nasty flu that is going around.  

We got around to the results of the bloodwork.  "Everything looks good" he tells me. 

"A1c 6.9, cholesterol good, protein levels good, iron levels good...."


A1c 6.9???  Did I just hear that??  OMG!!  That's the lowest it's ever been!!
That's the number I've been working so hard to get to!!!  I feel like I just won an Olympic Gold Medal!!


Today I feel like a number and it's 6.9!!
And I guess what makes it even better is that Dr. H looked at me, with my big stupid grin on my face and says,

"you can't ask for better than that!"  and his smile was as big as mine!!

It may have taken a really long time, and it may have been a big scary road filled with some pretty steep curves and rocky, jagged cliffs, but I have achieved a number I set my mind to reach over two and a half years ago.

And if I can do it, anyone can! 


  1. Applause! Applause!
    And now I'm sitting here grinning with you.
    Wowee Zowee!
    Your hard work is rewarded!

  2. That's a great number!! It took some time to get there..but that makes it sweeter!!

  3. I'm so happy for you! It's great to see not only the number improve, but your overall outlook on life and level of happiness as well. Congratulations!