Are You Comfortable Sharing Your A1C?

Meagan Esler

| Apr 14, 2012

Some people are perfectly happy divulging their three-month blood sugar average, known as an A1C, but I'd rather walk barefoot across hot coals than share my A1C number.  It's funny, because I'm actually kind of proud of it these days.  It's by no means perfect and could definitely stand to be lower, but I've come a long way.  There was a time in my life when my diabetes was out of control and my A1C results were shameful.  I felt so embarrassed and disappointed in myself, and the worst part was, I felt hopeless.  Thankfully, I have maintained a substantial A1C drop for years now.

A few of my friends freely share all their A1Cs, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  They let us cheer them on or offer support.  They aren't afraid to show their struggles with diabetes.  One man I know even posts his daily blood sugar readings on Facebook, which seems incredibly brave to me.  Diabetes is a wild rollercoaster ride, and putting it all out there for the world to see kind of scares me.  When my friend gets an unpleasant number, he simply posts a little mantra beside it to himself to keep going.

When people post their near normal A1Cs, I appreciate how wonderful it feels to have that gorgeous, yet hard to reach, number.  They inspire me, and I appreciate that they share.  When people post less than stellar A1Cs, I can feel the desperation and disappointment that accompanies such a number.  I understand them because I've been there.

There have been times when my lab report arrived in the mail and I was tempted to give it to my dogs, who love to shred paper, just so I didn't have to look at it and could pretend that it didn't happen.  When I was newly diagnosed, seeing a ridiculously high A1C number staring back at me in black and white made me wonder what was wrong with me.  It also made me hate my diabetes more than ever.  

Even now, nearly eighteen years since my diagnosis, diabetes is unpredictable and requires a great deal of stamina.  Some days are great, some days I know I can do better, and some days I just don't feel that I have the strength.

It's difficult to feel that you are successfully living with diabetes if your blood sugars and A1C results aren't perfect.  I hope one day to get to a point where I don't mind sharing my A1C, regardless of the number.  I think it's healthy to share with others, and I look forward to sharing my A1C struggles and victories one of these days, when I am good and ready.  My A1C may not always be perfect, but all any of us in the diabetes community can do is try. If there is one thing for sure, it's that I will never give up trying.     

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Categories: A1C, A1C Levels, A1Cs, Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Diabetes

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Posted by Anonymous on 14 April 2012

I always love reading your articles. You articulate so well what so many other people with diabetes feel. Thank you! Brad Meter Boy

Posted by smikette on 15 April 2012

my A1c results are usually pretty good. it's my day to day numbers i'm embarrassed to share, but i do share them. i know all the right things to do, i just haven't figured out how to them consistently.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 April 2012

my son A1c 9.5 :(

Posted by Jerry Smith on 19 April 2012

A1C is just a number! Numbers in and of themselves are not good or bad. A normal HbA1c per cent for a Type I might result from a rollercoaster of highs and lows. For those subject to hypoglycemic unawareness, a good number is one that maximizes safety and avoids severe hypoglycemia. A low A1C is only good if you avoid extremes.

Posted by blossom on 19 April 2012

Your article is a good one. I don't know why some people don't like to share their A1c unless they have been reckless and are embarrassed at the results. I think if you are trying, then you have done the best you can. My A1c is 6.2 and has been for the past year and a half. I would love it to be lower but it isn't bad as is.

Posted by Anonymous on 19 April 2012

I reduced my aic from 7.2 to 6.9 in a one month period and I am almost 60

Posted by Florian on 19 April 2012

Jerry Smith is right on target. Sure its nice to see a number in the 5.5 to 6.5 range but why is it there and how did it get there is really what matters. To quote Jerry "a good number is one that maximizes safety and avoids severe hypoglycemia."

Posted by morbus on 20 April 2012

Bravo for sharing your feelings about divulging your A1C. That is perfectly fine that you want to be private about it. Clearly you care a great deal about your A1C and work very hard to keep it within normal limits. You are an inspiration. God bless! mary

Posted by Anonymous on 23 April 2012

Mine is an 8. Dr. has no patience with me and I have an eating disorder. Can't believe the medical community is so ignorant and unwilling to help anyone with emotional problems. Have been T1D for 25 years.

Posted by Anonymous on 23 April 2012

I am a 61 y.o. Type I female, and am always surprised at how little most health care professionals know about this disease. Recently, I had a wonderful A1c, (and was highly praised by my endo), and I told one of my other doctors. She promptly said, "Ooo, that's a little too high..." Sure, it wasn't normal - I'm a Type I, but I found her comment so discouraging that I am now heading toward the "don't tell" camp. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by iluvapples61 on 21 June 2012

my a1c was 6.4 i drink to many soda that when cause my a1c 6.4 to be it is today

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