A Strong “C”

Frank. 60%. C.

Miss, what do I need to do to get a B?

You need to work harder.

English wasn’t exactly my strong suit in high school.

I mean, I always studied English at the highest level. I always passed. My Year 12 English teacher praised my strong “C” at almost every opportunity she had.

Yet at the same time, this always irritated me. It felt like she was placing me in a box. Pigeonholing me. Telling me what I was, and what I always would be.

English is one of those subjects that is so tricky to master. You’re either really good at it, or you’re not. It wasn’t like a maths equation, where your answer is either right or wrong. It came down to my ability to analyse texts, and grasp the hidden symbols and messages. Sometimes it seemed to be more about writing what my teacher wanted to read, instead of what I thought.

I wanted to do better at English. I needed to do better. I worked so hard at it. I used to get so frustrated seeing my friend achieve scores higher than mine, without even studying for his exams. I had to move away from those 50s and into the more safer 60s, because graduating year 12 was dependent on passing English. 

English is the most important subject. My teacher’s words still ring clear in my head today. The pressure was on.

Managing my diabetes today actually feels a lot like Year 12 English. It’s about making sense of things like numbers, food, exercise and any day to day activity that I undertake. I’m constantly analysing, trying to figure out the best response to each of these variables. A pre bolus? A temporary basal rate? A carbohydrate nudge? A delayed bolus? Some time out? A good night’s sleep? It takes a great deal of hard work to figure out what the best response will be for every situation. There’s a lot of frustration, because I don’t always achieve the results I want.

It’s taken me six years to get to what I would consider a strong “C” in managing my diabetes. I walked away from my endo appointment on Wednesday afternoon with a hba1c result that I have pretty much maintained since November. I confidently talked about everything that was going on with my diabetes. I checked off all of the issues I had on my list. We had a few good laughs about not over bolusing for my meals, which is where most of my hypos are coming from.

I’ve worked so damn hard for that strong C, and I certainly don’t overlook it. That strong C isn’t just an achievement of numbers, either. It’s things like remembering to travel prepared. Making observations in my diary. Learning from my mistakes. Not hiding from my diabetes in real life. Sharing my story. Connecting with others. And, being a human being outside of the diabetes! 

I’m damn proud of that strong C. 

I hope that this strong C can be a foundation for getting my diabetes management into the Bs.

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