Friday 8 August 2014

The Psychological Effect of Diabetes T1: Hospital Appointments & HBA1Cs

diabetes type 1


Today I'll be talking about the psychological effect diabetes type 1 has on a person and how much support you actually get from the medical team you're supervised under. I'll also be talking about hospital appointments and HBA1C results.

On Wednesday of this week, I had my annual review, where you may or may not know is when you have a thorough check up on your diabetes. You see a lot of medical practitioners from specialist nurses to doctors. It's a bit of an ordeal to go through as you're usually there for a good long while but you know you have to get it done as your health is obviously extremely important. I feel as though the past couple of years during my appointments, some of the medical staff lack the ability to really understand what it feels like to live with diabetes. I'm not asking for them to be overly sympathetic or feeling pity on you, that's no good to anyone but they don't seem to grasp the fact that having diabetes goes further than just analysing data and results.

Last year at my annual review, my HBA1C was exactly 7. I was so, so pleased with this as they say they'd like for you to be between 6.5 and 7.5. They praised me and said I was doing everything right and to keep doing what I was doing. So I went away feeling proud of myself for doing my best to take care of myself and my diabetes. This year's annual review came around and I was seen by multiple staff and found out by the nurses who take your blood pressure etc., that my HBA1C results from the blood test I had the week before, came back and I was 7.5 this time. This didn't shock me as the past couple of months has been extremely hectic and stressful what with deadlines for university, moving house and other things like that so I was extremely happy with 7.5...however some of the doctors didn't seem to be over the moon.

Don't get me wrong, they didn't give me a stern talking to or anything like that but they seem to just see it in black and white that it had gone up 0.5 and that I needed to get it back down to 7. The encouragement that is needed at a time like this just wasn't there and I think encouragement is crucial in order to give the patient hope that they can get their results back to a place that is healthy. I explained that I had a lot going on at the moment and have done for the past couple of months (not that I used that as an excuse) but they didn't seem to really care, all they cared about was the figures. I understand that they've probably just got my best interest at heart and they want to keep me as healthy as possible, but it got me thinking that sometimes the medical staff don't exactly put in the effort to understand how difficult living with and controlling diabetes can be on day-to-day basis.

Again, like I said before, I'm not asking for them to sing my praises or to have pity on me or anything like that at all but sometimes I feel as though they could be a little more understanding. Like I previously mentioned, 7.5 for me this time around was something I was incredibly happy about and yes, I will work towards getting it back down to 7 for next time but I walked out of the hospital feeling deflated and annoyed that I had tried my best and sometimes, it's just not good enough.

I guess the moral of this blog post is just to tell you that YOU know better than any medical staff how you're coping with your diabetes and how you're controlling it and if you're happy with your result then don't let anyone else get you down about it. I'm not saying that if your HBA1C result is higher than what is safe and healthy for you, that you can walk out of the hospital and think "oh well, I'm happy with it so it doesn't matter what they say", what I'm saying is that if your results are in a healthy place and are between what they want them to be but maybe you're like me and you've gone up a little bit since last time, don't get upset and down about it. You know what it's like on a daily basis so just keep on doing what you're doing and know you're doing the best you can.

My plan is to try and prove them wrong for next time! What is yours?

I hope you found this post helpful! If you'd like to be involved with my diabetes series on my blog, please do not hesitate to contact me!

If you'd like any advice or just want to talk about your experience, please use my link provided below and I'll get back to you!

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Twitter: @ChloesConcept


Thank you for reading!

Chloe x


  1. Fantastic post - agree with so much of what is written. I can often feel like a series of tick boxes as opposed to a person! :-/ wishing you all the best xxx

    1. Yes, I completely agree! Sometimes you just feel like a statistic on their files! It would be nice to have some understanding and compassion rather than discouragement at times! Wishing you all the best too. Thank you! xx