Friday, February 09, 2007 | 17 comment(s)

A few days ago we had a going-away party for a colleague. I'm not exactly sure how it happened, but it fell to me to set up the cookie tray during the party prep...
"Huh. What?"
"Watch this," they wispered.
"Watch what?"
"We'll make the diabetic put out the cookies."
"Hehehe... Cool. It's fun to watch him twitch in self-restraint."
"Yeah...Hehehe. I can see the veins start to buldge on his forehead already."

...Setting up the cookie tray entailed nothing more than opening the pack of cookies and arranging them on a tray.

Nothing to it, right?
Nothing fancy, either.
Just your standard-issue Chips-Ahoy!
Just spread them out around the perimeter.
And put some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the center.
To make it look nice.
That's all.

I haven't had a sweet since before thanksgiving.
Let me tell ya: I almost stuffed eight
Kinda Like This

of those little devils in my mouth while no one was looking.

But I didn't.

I went the very next day to have my blood drawn for my A1c.

I've made it.
No cookies, no cakes, no pies, no ice cream.
No candy, no doughnuts, no pop tarts, no brownies.
None through the holidays, none so far this year.

I'm pretty damn proud of myself.

Now, I sit and wait for the results to come back
(note to self: make an appointment with endo to get A1c result).

But I'm pretty impressed also with the remarkable effect this no-sweet diet has had on my blood sugars. See here!

Here is the table of averages from November:

November Stats
days mg/dl # tests tests/day S.D.
7 149 89 12.7 62
14 149 182 13.0 62
30 143 402 13.4 60
60 155 799 13.3 67
90 154 1,229 13.7 68

And now here is the data as of this week:

February Stats
days mg/dl # tests tests/day S.D.
7 136 88 12.6 57
14 132 202 14.4 56
30 130 436 14.5 51
60 139 859 14.3 61
90 137 1,335 14.8 60

Pretty cool, huh?

My average blood sugars have fallen about 15 mg/dl - pretty cool.
My standard deviation has also decreased by about 5 mg/dl - also pretty cool.
I'm testing slightly more frequently than usual.
I've been slipping upward the past couple weeks.
My 30 day average was the best in both periods.
My 60 day average was the worst in both periods, too (odd).
I know that the 60 day average this time included the holidays, but I have no idea what was going on back between September and October to make my averages drop like they did (all I know is that Halloween certainly was no help!).

Based on these averages, my A1c SHOULD come back in the sub-6.0 range. But if I've learned anything from my previous experiences, I know that I don't really lie on the regression line.

Perhaps I'm an outlier.
I originally wrote this post at 1am on Friday night. When I woke up on Saturday morning, the first thought in my head was: "Of course I don't lie on the regression line. In fact, it's completely possible that NO ONE lies on the regression line. We could ALL be outliers (though, technically, that couldn't be true)."

Somehow all my statistics training was already fast asleep at 1am.

The regression line is just an estimated linear relationship between average blood sugars and A1c results across many individuals. The relationship is unique for each individual. Like in the graph below, each dot represents the unique relationship between average blood sugars and A1c results.

There's clearly a pattern in the relationships: higher average blood sugars correlate with higher A1c readings and lower average blood sugars correlate with lower A1c readings. But the diagonal line is just a best linear estimate of that relationship. It's the simplest way to say "ON AVERAGE your A1c reading is equal to [{average blood sugar + 77} / 36]" (which is approximately what the regression results from the study I'm familiar with found).

Although, I could very well be the organge dot (in which case, perhaps I really am an outlier).


My money's on 6.6.
I can almost hear the clicking of a roulette wheel and a bouncing marble looking for its home.

17 Comment(s):

Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Kevin - way to go man. I'm really proud of you and the restraint you've been able to have for such a long time.

Have you found your cravings for the sweets has not been as strong as when you were in the grips of them?

Anxiously awaiting your results!

Blogger Kevin said...

Thanks, man.

Yeah, I think the cravings have diminished a bit with time away from the junk. Although I know it's still there, especially when I'm actually handling the food!

I literally have conversations in my head: "Nope. I don't eat those things."

It's amazing how powerful that little voice inside your head can be. If only you can trick it into saying the right things. I wish I knew how I got my voice to say the right things, 'cause there's so much more I'd like to say to myself.

Blogger Chrissie in Belgium said...

Wow Kevin boy are you a wiz with the statistics! And a hero in the will-power category! VERY HAPPY for you. The better control you have, the less interested you get in food and the easier it is to remember what you are winning the battle!

Blogger If not a mother... said...

WOW. I need that kind of restraint...

Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Kev, what a significant improvement. I love it when effort gets appropriate results!
I test 7 times a day, and when that average is lower than 150, I'm usually below 7.
Just remember, that even if the ALC is not as low as you'd expected, you still are doing a great job! Stay the course.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

6.6 sounds like a reasonable estimate. I don't know if you've dropped by my place, but I got my HbA1c from Monday and it was a 5.8. My meter averages over the 90 day period around then was 122 mg/dl and an HbA1c of 5.8 is approximately an average of 128 mg/dl. So if we add about 5 to 6 points on your HbA1c as indicated by the difference in your average compared to mine, that's about 6.3 to 6.4.

But then that's dependent still on assumptions that your testing patterns are similar to mine, and also you might get closer overnight control being on a pump and if your overnight basals are correctly titrated.

--guy in a state of flux

Blogger Sasha said...

You should be proud of yourself! Great job! Congratulations! I wouldn't be able to do it, no way. No sweets at all? NO ICE CREAM???? I have the deepest respect for you :)

Blogger Kerri. said...

I am in awe of you, Kevin. My restraint went the way of my pancreas after the New Year. But I haven't slacked off in the exercise department, so I'm secretly hoping that I get some kind of free pass for being diligent in that way.

Instead, I'll most like enjoy an A1c over 7.5%. Blast my lack of restraint.

I'm hoping for you. :)

Blogger Bernard said...

Kevin - you rock.

I can't imagine having your perseverance. Good for you. I hope the A1C is a pleasant surprise.

Blogger Nic said...

Good Job, Kevin! 8 sounded reasonable to me, but 0 is far better!

I am anxious to learning your AiC. Go 6.6!

Blogger cc said...

awesome results. love the stats. refraining from downing 10 cupcakes when they are egging you on is an accomplishment in itself.

way to go! ^o^

Blogger Shannon said...

Wow, you certainly have had iron clad restraint!! Good job!!

I would've at least had one of something and justified it by saying "In the scheme of things...what's one cookie going to do?" And then the Angel sitting on my other shoulder would say "It's going to make you eat the whole damned platter!"

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are the results in yet?

Blogger Sarah said...

Holey smokes man. There is no WAY I could go months upon months without a sweet treat. That just wouldn’t happen in Sarah-land. The word awesome will soon be replaced by Kevin. How Kevin is that? Post your a1c results soon!

Blogger Sarah said...

Holey smokes man. There is no WAY I could go months upon months without a sweet treat. That just wouldn’t happen in Sarah-land. The word awesome will soon be replaced by Kevin. How Kevin is that? Post your a1c results soon!

Blogger Sarah said...

Holey smokes man. There is no WAY I could go months upon months without a sweet treat. That just wouldn’t happen in Sarah-land. The word awesome will soon be replaced by Kevin. How Kevin is that? Post your a1c results soon!

Blogger Kendra said...

Wow...I don't think I could ever do that. But I'll try and make up a good excuse: Often my bad blood sugars are the result of something like a hamburger, pasta, or pizza (not traditionally "sweet"). Cookies, candy, ice cream, and cakes don't phase me. I tend to avoid the foods that I know wreck me, not just ban a food cos it's sweet.

Bottom line though? Congratulations on your success!! I bet your A1C will put a smile on your face!

Post a Comment || Go Home