October 30, 2006

Not as bad...

This weekend, while checking my students' journals, I came across this note from a student:

"My mom has sugar too, but not as bad; I'll probably have it one day too. I pray for a cure for you both and wish you all the best with your sugar."

I felt so torn after reading this note. On one hand, I was touched by the student's thoughtfulness and compassion for me, her teacher. On the other hand, the phrase "not as bad" is echoing in my head. I've repeatedly analyzed anything I might have shared with the students that may have led her to think that my condition was "bad." I considered that her mom may have Type 2, so she may think taking insulin = bad. Or, her mom may have Type 1, but may control her blood sugar with shots, so she may think that an insulin pump (which is noticeable on me most days) denotes a worse condition.

I don't know. I'm definitely torn.

I don't feel I have bad control, but my endo might think otherwise. My A1C's have been sticking in the low 7's, which I know is not great, but right now, it seems to be the best I can do. I'm hoping my new endo will help me to get my A1C down to the mid 5's so that I'm in better shape when the man and I want to have kids. I'm trying to be more proactive and vigilant about my blood sugar control, but I don't think I'm going to see much improvement until I get some constructive feedback from a good endo.

The phrase "not as bad" is still echoing in my head. I've tried to drown it out with rebuttals, but the cold, hard truth (that my control COULD be better) won't be silenced.


Blogger MileMasterSarah said...

Oftentimes, the fact that my diabetes control is at the forefront in my life leads people to believe that my diabetes is "worse" than someone whose care isn't as visible. I've had this said to me countless times, and here I stand with no diabetes complications (yet) and I am left scratching my head wondering where they get the idea that my diabetes is somehow "worse" than someone else's. I just chalk it up to ignorance and move on!

11:57 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Hey Lala,

I know it's all relative, but I would love an A1C in the 7's (anywhere in the 7's).

The whole "not as bad" thing is one of those concepts that rubs me the wrong way. Like you say, does the fact that you have a pump seem to make some people think you have it "real bad"?

We both know there is no such thing. Either you have it or you don't - there's no degree of severity.

I really think her comment was based on her misconceptions rather than any perceived lack of control on your part. Again, it's all relative.

12:09 PM  
Blogger LaLa said...

Thank you for your comments - they make me feel a little better about what she said.

I think I'm starting to feel more paranoid about my control because of my upcoming wedding. I know as soon as the wedding is over, people will be asking "when are you having kids?" The man and I have discussed waiting a little while so that we can *attempt* to save some money, but I honestly want to have my blood sugar in the best control I can possibly have it in before we even start trying. I feel such a huge responsibility as a possible future mom, attempting to maintain a healthy growing environment for my babies. Okay, I probably just wandered in the realm of TMI.... sorry about that ... haha... Just trying to put my paranoia over my A1c in context...

Thank you for your support, though. I agree - her comments probably stemmed more from misconceptions than anything.

Is it just me, or does it feel so 1980's to "you have sugar" instead of "you have diabetes"?? Okay - I won't tack on anymore rants for now... :)

Thanks Scott :)

1:55 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I would guess because the kid thinks it's called "sugar" that she's a type 2. I would hope Type 1s have had the term diabetes drilled into their heads enough, but who knows.

I have heard people talk about having students who have diabetes real bad. This student was on a pump and my guess is real bad means that she has to leave my class to go to the nurse sometimes and eat snacks (oh no!)
My guess, from experience, would be that your student sees that his/her parent does not need to monitor 24/7 and does not do this with their disease, but that you are closely monitoring yours (wearing a pump 24/7). So the misperception by the child is that because you pay attention to your disease, it's worse, when in fact some one who is negligent is much worse off.

That would be my assumption!

1:59 PM  
Blogger George said...

I think that the pump may be what made your student say that. Over the weekend my pump started beeping at a family event and my cousin said, (louder then I would have liked) "You're on an Insulin Pump now? IS your Diabetes THAT BAD??"

Don't worry I schooled her but it made me mad. People think it is like an oxygen tank or something.

2:20 PM  
Blogger Lyrehca said...

I totally hear what you're saying about being fully responsible for a growing being if you're a pregnant type 1. It took me awhile to become comfortable even trying to get pregnant because of it. However, with the pump and carb counting and the motivation to have a healthy child, it is definitely possible to get your A1cs tight and to get a go-ahead from an endo on trying to conceive. Good luck!

5:48 PM  
Blogger LaLa said...

Mel - I think your assumptions are pretty close to the truth of the matter! She may not see/hear her mom dealing with diabetes, so she doesn't really understand what all it involves. If I were a parent, I'm not sure I'd want my child to know everything I went through, but I'd want them to know something! Oh well..

George - you're so right - the pump is this tiny little machine, but people act like you're on your last leg (probably a poor choice of words, but I was searching for a good cliche) when they see a pump. I guess it's because it's a relatively new treatment?? I don't know... People amaze me.

Lyrehca - thank you so much for the words of encouragement. That means so much to me :) I hope in the future I'll be picking your brain for info when my future hubby and I start trying to get pregnant.

7:55 PM  

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