For those of us who have been living with diabetes for a long time, we know how much things have changed in regard to its treatment. I was diagnosed in 1981 when things were quite, quite different. At the very beginning, I didn’t test my blood glucose. At all. And it wasn’t because I was being “non compliant”, it was because we didn’t have a glucose meter. The method of testing glucose levels at that time was with urine. I also didn’t take multiple daily injections throughout the day. It was probably one or two, split up between morning and evening. And as much as we know that things are not like that anymore, I came across something recently that reminded me of just that. My mother came across this book that they had gotten for me, pretty soon after diagnosis.
It’s a workbook explaining diabetes in terms that are understandable to a child. There were some fill in the blanks/Q & A’s that I had completed, God knows when, that was interesting to see. But what really blew me away was reading this:
“Most persons with diabetes should attempt to get values in the range of 10%“. WHAT??!? Did I read that correctly? The advice to people with diabetes was to aim for an average blood sugar of around 240?! So all those years when my a1c was exactly that, around 10%, I was considered doing good? I assume that the different guidelines for controlling diabetes today, came from research. And more of it. And the advanced technology introduced from said research. But to see this in writing, even so many years after my father’s generation of those living with diabetes, astounds me. No wonder diabetes was once seen as a death sentence. No wonder complications were inevitable. No wonder the quality of life for living with diabetes was left to be desired. I have to say that I am glad I am in the time now where the aim of a1c is 7% or lower. I am glad I am in the time where I have the ability to monitor my glucose levels continuously with the help of a monitor. I am glad I am in the time where I can control my insulin delivery more easily with an insulin pump. And the times of diabetes are going to contiunue to change. And for that, I’m very thankful.