I wrote recently about having our school nurse follow Kaitlyn’s numbers from her CGM, which transmits data to our cell phones, and it has been really great so far. Not only can I see Kaitlyn’s numbers during the school day, I know that her nurse is following her numbers as well. It does wonders for my peace of mind!
Not too long ago, Kaitlyn’s school nurse also wanted to set up the app that goes along with the CGM. I’m super excited, because this app will let her see the extent of Kaitlyn’s numbers over a 24-hour period. Let me say that I totally admire this woman. She goes above and beyond all the time and deserves the “Best Nurse in the World” award.
I have to admit, though, that my stomach did a little lurch when I thought about how much access she would have to Kaitlyn’s numbers day and night. She won’t have the alarms set to go off before and after school hours, but the fact that she COULD see EVERYTHING if she wanted to made me feel very vulnerable. It was the same exposed feeling I get when I think about someone seeing what’s in the bottom of my messy purse or the splatters on the inside of my microwave or the balance of my checking account. I don’t know why we’re like this as humans, but we all have invisible boundaries that we don’t want others to cross and secret places that we don’t want others to invade.
As we set up the app on our nurse’s phone, we joked around about the alarms accidentally waking her at 3 in the morning, but inside my head, I was screaming, “Please don’t judge me!” I was envisioning a night where Kaitlyn goes super high for hours because we’ve slept through our alarms, or a Saturday where her graph looks like the Himalaya mountain range because we just weren’t paying close enough attention.
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not perfect, but it’s hard to have those imperfections on display for everyone to see. It’s like every high or low blood sugar reading is a scratch tarnishing my Super Mom badge. It’s kind of painful to admit this to myself. But because I am the one who primarily oversees Kaitlyn’s type 1 diabetes management, I tend to feel like everything is about me—including Kaitlyn’s numbers. I am slowly training myself out of this mentality, but I’ve got a long way to go.
Luckily, Kaitlyn hasn’t really developed a self-conscious side—at least when it comes to diabetes. It appears that she doesn’t get too embarrassed about having type 1, and she doesn’t get self-conscious about her blood sugar numbers. She pretty much has an easygoing attitude about everything diabetes related. This may not last forever, and I think if she sees me get embarrassed about it, it will only make it worse for her. There are too many things as it is that will attack her self-esteem on every side as she goes into her pre-teen and teenage years, so I’m going to do my best to try not to make diabetes one of them.
So if someday I get that text at 6 a.m. from the nurse saying, “I saw that Kaitlyn was high all night, is everything okay at home,” hopefully I will have the courage not to be defensive and to take it how it is meant—as genuine concern for Kaitlyn. It’s not all about me!
Disclaimer: The experiences and suggestions recounted in these articles are not intended as medical advice, and they are not necessarily the “typical” experiences of families with a child who has type 1 diabetes. These situations are unique to the families depicted. Families should check with their healthcare professionals regarding the treatment of type 1 diabetes and the frequency of blood glucose monitoring. Jen and Kim are real moms of kids with type 1 diabetes and have been compensated for their contributions to this site.