Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On By the Numbers and YDMV

Last week, I started what I hope will be a lengthy series of posts, tagged By the Numbers. And on that first post, I got a comment from Rachel that's kind of stuck in my head:

She was referring to my confession that I hadn't had an A1c drawn since July 2011

I keep thinking about it because I plan to keep posting my numbers as I prepare for my May 23rd endo appointment...BUT I'm a little worried about reactions to these posts. Because Your Diabetes May Vary (YDMV), absofreakinglutely, and Your Diabetes Management May Vary (YDMMV) too - yet we all feel judged. Judged by our numbers, judged by how we handle those numbers, judged by the food we eat, the amount of insulin we use, the exercise we get, our weight, the number of BGs we do in a day, the the THE! We feel judged by everything, don't we? And that sucks because, like Jacquie said, "diabetes is fucking hard, yo."

It was astonishing how much my management changed as I planned to get pregnant, and then as I carried little L. I went from MDI (and we're talking "Me? Pump? The horror!" level of MDI dedication) to pump and CGM, having A1c tests whenever I got around to going to the doctor and having no clue what ballpark the number was in to tests every 4 weeks like clockwork, testing before meals or bed and whenever I felt wonky to 12 times a day. Everything I'd been doing was completely altered. So I'm at this bizarre place now where I totally think A) No, it's not horrible to think July isn't that bad - this is certainly not the longest I've gone without that blood draw! but also B), GOD, it's such a long time for me! Because it is the longest I've gone in more than two and a half years.

I started the By the Number posts because I like the feeling of tossing it out there. I have a long, colorful history with eating disorders and ignoring my disease. But after a year of sending food and BG logs to my CDE, I realized sharing my numbers makes them feel less horrible somehow. Having a log day where you have popcorn for dinner, spike overnight, and then go low after overcorrecting - and yet  managing to put all that information on the log honestly, albeit while cringing with shame and self-loathing - and getting nary a raised eyebrow from your CDE? This is priceless. I truly believe that did more for helping me short-circuit some negative self-talk than all the other cheerleading "You can do it!" support I get. I learned that I can do something I truly believe should be judged, and I wasn't. That the voice in my head telling me how awful I am is actually just a voice in my head. And one that should shut the fuck up.

So I'm putting it out there.

Because I find other people and the way they live their life to be fascinating. (Truth: I have a little voyeur in me.)

Because I like when other people cop to where they are, and when they do so unblinkingly. (I'm working on the not-blinking. Usually I squinch my eyes before I click "publish.")

Because the best way to prove to everyone the reality of YDMV is to show that variety. I might have a lower A1c than some, but I'm damn-tooting that there are plenty more below me. And I don't give a crap what your number is - the only A1c that I'm actually judging is my own.

Because I find it reassuring to know that other people are out there with diabetes. Imperfect works in progress, with good days and bad, just like me.


  1. Hear hear!

    I recognize that feeling of "Holy shit -- my CDE isn't mad at me?" It's a great one, indeed.

  2. I hear ya. I always have a feeling of dread going to my Endo, feeling like a failure when I get my A1C results. Even though it's not always that bad ... I'm very hard on myself and hate feeling judged. :/