Turn Your A1C Tests into 4 Weekend Vacations Every Year!
Diabetics need every incentive we can get. The more difficult or prolonged a particular goal may be, the more effective a reward system will be. For example, the common a1c test for diabetics can and should be used to improve and reward blood sugar control.
Most doctors recommend a1c tests for their diabetic patients every three months or so. This test represents the average blood glucose levels over the past two to three month period. It does so by measuring the amount of glycated hemoglobin, or glucose attached to cells in the blood. Higher amounts of glycated hemoglobin indicate higher blood sugar levels, while lesser amounts indicate lower blood sugar levels on average.
The test is not foolproof nor necessarily accurate. If there have been elevated highs and low drops in blood sugar levels that we would call uncontrolled, it could possibly give the same a1c result as good controlled levels. Nevertheless the a1c is a reliable test. After all, you are the patient. You should know whether you have been controlling your blood sugars or not.
All things being equal, if the test results are higher than they should be, the doctor will likely urge you to lower your blood glucose levels. If the test results are good, the doctor will congratulate you and urge you to keep up the good work.
In either case, good or poor, the test results should be used to improve and/or reward blood sugar control.
Let’s start with the good results and the rewards. I am a firm believer in the reward system for good diabetes control. In the realm of weight control, for example, if a person needs to lose fifty pounds, they could establish a reward for every ten pounds they lose on the way there. A night at the movies might be a suitable reward. Then a larger reward when they reach the fifty pound target, maybe a weekend at the beach.
That’s the idea with rewarding a good a1c test result. Since a good result requires three months of diligent blood sugar control, the reward should be suited to the effort. It should be more than a night out at the movies, but a weekend vacation might well fit the bill. If you have kept your blood sugars controlled and your a1c is, say, below 6%, that is terrific.
You should be rewarded. Not only is the weekend vacation a reward for what you have done over the past months, but it spurs you to do well over the following months as well. So it serves not only as a reward but as a motivation for future performance.
Now let’s apply the system to a poor or unsatisfactory a1c result. First, if the latest reading is better than the previous result, there should still be some reward for improvement, though not a vacation. You don’t want to award the full Monty for a lower level of achievement. Maybe a steak dinner at a nice restaurant would do. In any case, the weekend vacation reward for a good result should serve as a motivation to improve when the test result is poor.
One last thing: where does one get the money four times a year to take a weekend vacation? Why, save it up over the three months. Putting a little money in the bank each month for a good a1c reward can only serve as a further motivation to achieve it!
Source by Jaye Marno