Monday, October 4, 2010

Drama for the Mama?

It is a pattern with me. You would think I would catch on.

I begin the school year in defensive mode.

Teachers don’t get it.

I get offended.

And the conversations we have only end in me wanting to fall into a fetal position and cry.

Last week when I was picking up the boys from school early for their endo appointment, I got a call from L’s teacher telling me he was low. I was in the office and told her I would be right there.

When I got to the class the kids were running off to lunch and she began what I perceived to be a big tirade about the big swing in blood sugar he had that day.

At snack he was 329. VERY unusual. He had the same breakfast he has EVERY Wednesday. My sister in law picks the boys up at 7:00 on Wednesdays and my mother in law makes them the same scrambled eggs, with the same toast and the same jam. She gives him pretty much the same bolus every Wednesday and as a result his number is usually pretty spot on. But that day, there is a freakin 329. What ev’. It was a fluke. Well after snack recess he was 225. He went down a hundred points in 20 minutes? Then one and a half hours later he was 64. Well she went on and on about how that big swing affected him that day. “He can’t focus well with such big swings!” she says.

All I could say was he got his insulin just as usual. What do you want me to do? I don’t know why he had this swing! It is the nature of the beast! (GO GO GADGET CLAWS!)

I was so upset.

“Do not judge me!” I thought. “You have no idea how much thought went into those numbers…and how much I obsess over his care. You HAVE NO IDEA!!”

That night I came home and had a few minutes to mentally recap the day.

I realized that I was being very defensive. I might have even cut her off while she was trying to tell me her thoughts. Maybe she wasn’t being as awful as I thought. All three of my other boys had had her in the past. I know she isn’t an awful person. I know she wants the best for the kids. Maybe…maybe, I was taking it all too personally.

So the next day I marched up to her and said, “I’m sorry, you were trying to tell me something yesterday and I didn’t give you a chance to finish.”

I then listened. Purposely letting her tell me everything on her mind. And you know what? She was able to tell me that she felt like she understood a bit of what he goes through. That when she was a girl she was sensitive to her blood sugar and would even pass out sometimes. She said his little body had a lot to deal with during that blood sugar swing, and she was glad she was getting a handle on how it all affects him.

Umm, yeah. She wasn’t yelling at me for not keeping his blood sugars perfect. She was just telling me she is getting a grip on this better…that his swings affect him differently than my other boys. (Which is true…)

So this set the stage for an amazing 504 meeting two days later. It could have been awful, but I let them know right off how much I appreciate them trying to get a handle on my boys needs. I tried to be complimentary and kind. I swore to myself that if I did get offended…I would tell them matter of factly that they had it wrong, and explain to them why. The 504 person went through a couple things she didn’t think belonged, and after I calmly told her why they did…she understood and kept them on.

It is a hard lesson for me to learn. I wrote once that showing other people my boys’ blood sugar numbers is akin to flashing a picture of me naked. What we do is SO personal. I take it to heart when I feel like someone is judging me.

But sometimes…SOMETIMES, I make it worse than it is. I’m raising my hand…I am guilty...SOMETIMES. Sure, some people go too far…some people THINK and say the wrong thing. And to them? God speed, because you will hear this D mom roar!!

I roll that way.

But I have to remember to keep my claws in until I know there is good cause.

Drama for the mama? You betcha!

Peace for the mama? Bring it.


  1. Good for you Meri and thanks for sharing a lesson that I need to learn (and then re-learn) every day.

    I blame it on having red hair...

  2. As usual you are spot on, Meri. We judge others so easily and thuerefore know that they might well be doing the same to us. But sometimes they just want to be heard too. Kudos to you for how you handled this.

  3. I think it is perfectly natural to have your claws out and be ready for a war being a Mom, and secondly, being a D Mom. We are even more protective of our D babes and like you, I tend to get defensive very quickly. At least you were able to calm down and reason with the situation, and it turned out to be positive. No drama, just a very loving and protective Mommy!!

  4. OK...claws in until we need to protrude them - got it! Just think, we can then use the claws to check a freakin' blood sugar. BIG SMILES.

    Meri you are the best and thanks for sharing this valuable lesson. I think you are right...for the most part people are trying to understand and help us. I am so glad that L's teacher is trying to "get him". I'll let Joe know...Joe seriously wants to visit "L" - too cute. My kids are fascinated by your family.

    Love you.

  5. Wonderful thing for us all to remember, Meri! It's so easy to get defensive when it comes to protecting our babies and when we think we're being criticized, all the while giving every last drop of blood, sweat, and tears to keep them happy and healthy!

    Honestly...sometimes, I think I'd rather flash people a nude photo of me than Lily's blood sugar log!

  6. Such a good lesson for us all. While my problem is the opposite (too many who don't give a shite), I remember feeling the same as you doing the 504's. Mostly because the assumption is that every diabetic should have the same plan. So glad your school gets it. And it takes a very strong person to go back in and say you were sorry. Kudos to you!

  7. Words from the wise Meri!!! I think you've given us all a good reminder. Thanks for sharing the story.

    GO GO GADGET CLAWS! - That made me laugh.

    I love your analogy about numbers and nakedness. I feel the same.

  8. Spot on Miss Fabulous Meri! We are soooo very hard on ourselves, when each of us in D-land is doing the very best we can. I am so proud of you for walking back to her and listening. There is growth in that, for everyone. Bravo my friend, bravo!

  9. I LOVE Joannes excuse!!! I have to admit that I go in "prepared". It often saves me from loosing it(as much). Unfortunately, I think life experience has made us that way :(

  10. I was on the edge of my seat cursing this teacher out in my mind. Guilty of being defensive as well. Glad she's so involved and really cares!

  11. Congrats on making that 504 such a success. It's a tribute to you and the way you roll - class all the way.

  12. Loved this and so true...I always try to remind myself that most people have good intentions, if I do that I can usually contain the fury that comes after an insensitive comment or "suggestion".

    Wonderful words of wisdom, every encounter can be turned into a moment for growth and for learning. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I had to learn this lesson as was a tough time, but I'm so happy I did :)

    Congrats on a superb 504 and hooray for communication!

  14. As a "retired" teacher I love this post...I think a lot of d parents need to remember that most teachers want what is best for each child and they will do what they can to help them, that is why they became teachers. Sadly through tough administration and fear of lawsuits a great deal of poorly placed concern has occurred leaving the focus not where it should be...
    I am glad you have such a great school and teacher taking care of your little one. Who is quite adorable, by the way!

  15. Computer! Yay! Hi friend, I miss you. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the lesson, the go-go Gadget reference, and for giving me a mental picture of handing Liam's endocrinologist a naked picture of myself instead of his logs tomorrow. D is acting up big time just in time for the appointment, and I have to say- I'd almost rather. :)
    Thanks for the much needed laugh.

  16. I love that you can look at yourself and separate your "stuff" from the situation. That you can acknowledge it, learn from it and then share it. Thank you Meri.


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