How to Check Your A1C At Home

How to Check Your A1C At Home

How to check your A1C at home. Who would have thought?


*Obligatory Disclaimer: This is a personal process I developed under the supervision of my medical team. Always ask your physician for guidance.*

The above picture is my current A1C, taken at home. I take my A1C at home approximately 1 month before my scheduled A1C with my endocrinologist. Why? To see where I am, so I can make adjustments where I have control, such as my carbohydrate intake and activity level (ie. insulin sensitivity).   I have a very tight control goal of 5.5 – 6.0. It is approved by my doctor and closely monitored. Your goal may and probably is different. Do *not* use my goal as yours. I am prepared to adjust my goal as my honeymoon period (another blog post?) ends.

The first question you may ask is, how do I get to take my A1C? The most accurate home testing kit (within .2 – .4) I have found is this one:

Picture used from

A1C Self-Check Now  (This will take you to the Amazon page for the test kit.)

Each kit contains at least 2 tests. This is NOT like a glucometer where you can purchase extra strips to test your A1C. Once you test the number of times your kit contains (some contain 6 or 8 cartridges), you have to purchase another kit, because each test cartridge is coded to the device it comes with. This is VERY important. Do not use a cartridge that does not match the test machine.

This specific test kit contains:

  1. 1 Quick Reference Guide
  2. 1 Overview and Helpful Hints
  3. 1 A1CNow Self Check Monitor
  4. 2 Single-Use Cartridges
  5. 2 Shaker Pouches
  6. 2 Lancets

I have purchased several of these kits, each kit has a variation of directions.Follow the directions as needed! You don’t want to waste your precious test because you missed a step.

The directions generally go like this:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. (Very important!)
  2. Use the lancet to draw blood on one of your fingers.
  3. Using one of the sample collectors draw in sufficient amount of blood. (See the pictures.)
  4. Place the collector into the shaker and shake for the set amount of time (5-30 secs) and then set aside.
  5. Match the cartridge to your monitor lot numbers. They must match!
  6. Insert the cartridge into the monitor.
  7. When alerted, take the top off the shaker and place the sample head into the cartridge until the monitor shows “Testing” or “Run” or the variation word. Do not over expose the sample.
  8. Wait 5 minutes to get your results.

Now you have your A1C! Be empowered, know your numbers.

Stay tuned on WHAT to do with your information in the next blog post!

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB



Doing Dreams….

Doing Dreams….


Everyone has strengths and weaknesses. I have many strengths and weaknesses. One of my strengths is that I am a natural planner. Once I know where I want to go, I can reverse-engineer a plan rather effectively. My weakness? Believing my plan is effective and putting it into action. I have a major weakness in putting my plan into action.

Here is a perfect example, this blog. I have a vision for this community I want to create. I envision certain components and want to work them hard. In fact, I’ve shared my vision to multiple people, and every single person got excited and said that it was a fantastic idea and that I needed to make it happen. This kind of affirmation doesn’t usually come with all my ideas, but when it does, I need to do this. My vision includes uniting diabetics together, equipping them with the education to be able to advocate for their own care. I also want people to realize that there is normal in the day to day life of a diabetic. There is no shame, no hiding, no stigma. I want to start that here. Here is the question, why am I stalling?

I am second-guessing my actions. One of the major ones are the topics of my blog posts. When I get an idea, I think ,”Oh this is great!”, then I go to write it and then when I finish, I don’t publish it. Why? Because I think its not good enough or important enough. Well guess what? If I want to create that normalcy and show and educate people, I need to write. I need to write on any topic, and every topic.

I am writing this for my own accountability. If you’ve read it this far, you’re awesome. I am facing my demons to put action towards big dreams of mine. What are you doing to put into action, towards your dreams? Your goals? Do you even know what you want to do? It doesn’t have to be diabetes related, but do you have direction in your life? Find it, it is very rewarding.

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB

Striving to Thrive

Striving to Thrive


(Image by:

Everyone with diabetes don’t always remember the day they were diagnosed. Some were diagnosed when they were very young and some just have had the day become a blur in their mind. I think the reason my Diagnosis Day is so vivid is that its been less than a year!

I woke up one Monday with one of the worst migraines I have experienced. I administered my first dose of migraine medication and went to bed. (I worked Tuesday-Saturday.) Come Tuesday, the headache did not relent, but I had to go to work. I pushed through the day, hoping for relief on Wednesday.

Wednesday, a few compassionate coworkers sat me down and took my blood pressure. The readings were outrageous: 190/115, 175/100, 205/105. As dangerous as those numbers are, we all attributed it to the pain level I was experiencing.

The pain continued until finally Friday, I called my doctor. I have experienced unrelenting migraines, called cluster migraines before and believed this is what it was.  Once they heard what my blood pressure numbers were, they sent me to the ER. My boss found coverage for Saturday and I left work early that Friday.

Once in the ER, I was quickly seen due to my blood pressure. The bloodwork came back. Surprisingly, for once in a long time, I was not anemic, kidneys looked good, EKG looked good, but my blood sugar was through the roof. The doctor came in and forever changed my life. I was a diabetic, and my sugar was so high, my blood pressure was high.

The next few months were so difficult. Coping, bargaining, dealing and just finding balance. Once I was put on the proper insulin regimen and the insulin pump, I was able to achieve that balance I needed to gain perspective. As tragic as the diagnosis was, I was determined to not allow it to consume me. I was determined to thrive.

I am lucky. I have the education and resources to equip myself immediately to prevent long term complications and even achieve a non-diabetic A1C with the supervision of my endocrinologist. 8 months after diagnosis, my A1C was 5.5. I was thriving. What I did realize was that thousands and millions of people do not have access to the same information as I do.

My daily goal is to strive to thrive. Thriving is living a fullfilled, happy and contentful life. Daily choices, daily actions and daily thoughts are a part of this road of diabetes. I certainly struggle on some days, lows, highs, crazy numbers, but in the end I strive to thrive. I want to share this message of thriving, and therefore this blog Thrive with Diabetes was born. I want to be an avenue for education for my fellow diabetics.

I hope your Dia-Journey is filled with thriving, if it isn’t, do something to start striving for thriving. I appreciate you joining me on this adventure. I hope I can serve as support, advocacy or a resource.

My Sweet Regards,

❤ SB