C is an extensible language. That is to say you can write your own libraries of functions and include them into your projects. Many of the so called abstractions like getting the number of elements in an array, flipping the sign of a variable etc. are very easily written and can be built into a static library and called as needed. This may not be standard C, but so long as you are willing to share the library with anyone who has to compile your code it's no problem.
My previous programming experience is with Java and PHP, so it's taking a while to get used to not having all those abstract functions like count(array), string data type etc. etc. Thanks for the answers :-)