“Can I get my hba1c done?” I asked my diabetes educator, the minute I walked through the door.
“I’ll go get the kit.”
I waited for what felt like forever, my attention shifting from a wall clock identical to those in my high school, to a weary poster from the 90s shouting reduced risks of cardiovascular diseases for every 1% drop in my hba1c.
As I sat there, exhausted after a full on day and a week of rollercoaster blood sugar levels, I wondered what my hba1c might look like. I hadn’t set the bar very high for myself. I was convinced I wouldn’t be anywhere close to my personal goal. I’d be lucky just to clear the 7% mark, at best.
Even though we say all the time that we are more than just numbers, it’s so freaking hard not to feel defined by one. Every day, I wake up to numbers. I make decisions based on numbers. I over-analyse numbers. I feel frustration over numbers. My long term health is dependent on the numbers. Numbers are the very last thing I see, before I go to bed at night.
I’d be lying if I said that my last hba1c hadn’t been hanging over my head since August. I’ve poured my blood, sweat and tears into my numbers over the past few months. But as my diabetes educator made her return to the room, I was about to learn that all of that effort had paid off.
“You’re joking!” I exclaimed.
“I can’t believe it!” I said to myself, leaning back and shooting both my arms up into the air in victory.
The feeling was indescribable.
Not only had I bested my personal goal, but I had clocked in over a point lower than August, and had set a new personal best.
I felt a million miles lighter. I felt like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. I felt like I was sitting on top of the world. I felt free.
I couldn’t wipe the grin off my face as I stepped out into the mild, sunny November afternoon. As I made my way down Hospital Avenue and back to my car, I kept repeating my new a1c over and over in my head.
I made a pit stop at San Churros on the way home for a Spanish White Hot Chocolate. A big plate of Connoisseur Belgian Chocolate Ice Cream followed when I arrived home, as I eagerly told my family the news.
I felt proud. I had fought a gruelling battle to regain some form of control over my blood sugar levels in the past year, and I had come out on the other side stronger than ever.
In that moment, I had won.