What the data “says”…

Picture This:  My husband and I are sitting in a room at Brenner’s Hospital on the 7th floor, just a month or so after Maddie going on the pump.  Our wonderful diabetes doctor, Bobbi Hackman, asks us how it’s going with the pump.

My answer:  “I’m drowning in diabetes.  I’m frustrated with her blood sugar numbers, they don’t seem to stay in a good place for very long, and I can’t seem to wrap my head around how to do it better.”

My husband’s answer: “It hasn’t been easy, but I think Jennifer and I look at the numbers differently.  She looks at what Maddie’s blood sugar is to tell her whether she judged correctly or not, whether she has done everything right.  I, on the other hand, just look at the blood sugar number to tell me how we need to proceed from here.”

A light goes off in my head.  And our diabetes doctor says, “You do realize you have a Mars and Venus thing going on there.  That’s probably why the two of you were put together.”  Amen to that!

This was a wonderful revelation for me.  As I said in an earlier post, my need to calibrate my own mind as to how the pump works was just this!  Maddie’s blood sugar numbers are not judging me as to whether I’ve cared for Maddie in the way I should’ve.  Those numbers are just numbers that say where she is at any given moment in the day.  And they are data that helps me know what we can do next, NOT whether I’m being a good mom or a bad mom, NOT whether I’m totally stupid at calculating what is needed to manage her diabetes, NOT whether I should just throw in the towel (or throw out the pump!).

In some ways, I needed to realize that I MUST GET OFF THE ROLLER COASTER!  I need to see myself as OBSERVING the roller coaster of blood sugar levels, and having an active part in managing those levels.  The more I can observe and learn, the better care-giver I’ll be.  But if I allow the numbers to determine WHO I AM, I’ll sink.  This is Maddie’s body after all!  Not mine.  It is her little body that endures the effects of the roller coaster and some of it, even SHE cannot manage.  We’ll do the best we can, together, with the information we’re given.

To our Diabetes Doctor, the data says this:  “It’s the nature of the beast.  This is fixable, we can do something about it.”  Ahhhh………

0 thoughts on “What the data “says”…

  1. Alex Tan says:

    I totally agree with the doctor Jennifer. Get off the roller coaster, and no more blaming from now onwards. Just use the information to predict your next action and how to stay away from the worst that could happen.
    It’s a beautiful perspective, but I see the post more of the worries of a mother. My mom and I have birthdays in the same month. While I am 10,000 miles away from home, she was telling my nephew about me, perhaps my birthday and tears were rolling. I know that no matter how old I get, I am always a baby in her eyes, and no matter how successful I am she’ll always be worried about me falling and wanting to pick me up. I know she needs to get off the roller coaster too, but a mom will always be a mom, she can’t help that, but I can. By showing her that I can take care of myself, and help her to worry less. Mothers have hearts of Gold.

  2. Laura G. says:

    As a mom, the hardest thing for us to do is to watch our child be hurt or deal with a medical issue. We are fixers! We want to make everything “ok”. If you could take the bumps and turns out of that roller coaster I know you would, you want Maddie to have a smooth ride. That above all makes you the best mom Maddie could ever ask for. And your husband, he’s the best thing you could ask for. God bless all of you as you struggle thru this. You have our prayers and our ears to bend when needed.

  3. Revelle Taillon says:

    My niece just happens to be going through the same thing and her name is Maddie! Strange, small world. I’m sure it’s tough for any mom to get through this, but you have to learn it’s Maddie’s disease and she is the best one to manage it. At least that’s what the doctor’s told her Mom, and her mom is a nurse! So help when you can and let her handle it the best way she can. I don’t know how old your Maddie is, but my niece is 12 and after this first hard year, she doing great and can count crabs and do the math like a whiz! Sure, it’s forced her to grow up faster than her friends, but she is more mature, and self assured than ever. Best of luck. And I love the painting! It can talk to lots of daily habits we find ourselves stuck in.

  4. Sandra says:

    Perspective! You certainly seem to have gained the right outlook. How observant of your husband and doctor to be able to clearly explain their view of the situation. I can tell that you are calmer.

  5. Timaree (freebird) says:

    It’s good to gain the insight you did so you can relax a tiny bit. I think though, that your feelings may be the same as some of your daughters so you’ll understand her when she gets frustrated which the Mars guys won’t. We need both kinds of thoughts especially when they are balanced by a partner.

    Your roller coasters are fantastic. We just took our grandkids on the wooden one in San Diego’s Belmont Park. The kids had fun and I had memories of my dad saying they built it when he was a young child. I don’t ride them myself; I get sick even on a swing but it’s nice to have had the day with the kids and then to come see your paintings.

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