Talk Story Tuesday — Boston and Information

I wrote this post yesterday morning before hearing about the insanity in Boston.  Looking at it now, it feels trivial, as do most things in the wake of a terrorist attack on home soil.  As an EMT whose dream is to one day work in the Emergency Management field, days like yesterday hit close to home.  They stir my heart and I long to be there.  They also make me proud, proud of my fellow healthcare workers who were doing their jobs not moments after the first blast.  Many lives were saved that day through a combination of favorable situation and incredibly capable personnel.  I posted this on Facebook yesterday night after watching the video of the blast and seeing the reactions of people.

For all the people who ran toward the smoke and debris
Toward the chaos and blood
Who held hands and plugged holes
Gave up belts and yanked tourniquets
Who dragged bleeding spectators to that white tent
Who found veins and monitored pressures
For those who ran from the panic
Toward loved ones and safety
Who guided themselves and others from the horrific sight
Whose shoulders were cried upon and whose necks were hugged in relief
Who prayed every step they took
For the people back there

For all those there, we offer a prayer.

I want to recognize not just the people who run toward the scene, but also those who run away.  It’s not cowardice or lack of concern, it’s human.  And, from a responder’s point of view, I don’t necessarily want everybody being a hero — more than likely you’ll end up with more patients.


So this post is a lot more talk-ish than story-ish(?)

Anyway, my first endocrinologist, Dr. Fenton, was a wonderful doctor and like I said before most of her information I still use today…except for one thing.

Now this statement I feel is a hallmark of endocrinologists, d-parents, and other helpful diabetic counselors everywhere.  Only it is not helpful.  Not one bit.  If anything, it’s dishonest and confusing.  Those wonderful people are not willfully deceiving people, they are just so used to saying repeating this mantra they can no longer hear what they are actually saying.  Of course this is my opinion (if anyone out there is confused about that) stemming from my experience and what I found helped me more than the following statement.

There’s no such thing as a BAD blood sugar number.

Ah!  There it is!  All the diabetics out there are nodding their heads, because they have all heard it.  It was used almost nine years ago when I was diagnosed and I know it’s still being used today.  And it annoys me, for a couple of reasons…okay scratch that, one BIG reason:

It’s wrong. There is such a thing as a BAD number.  Of course there is.  If those aren’t BAD numbers why do we correct?

230 = semi-bad

350 = bad

HIGH = screwed bad

60 = getting there bad

45 = pretty much there bad

LOW = also really screwed bad

Those are bad numbers.  And that’s okay.  We need bad numbers and good numbers.  It’s sort of a yin-yang thing.  Without the bad, you can’t have the good.

Now, I know this is getting pretty philosophical and I am very practical, so, moving on.

We’ve established bad numbers…independent of the people experiencing them.  Just because your number is bad, it does not mean you are (it wants me to change that to “is” really?  I hadn’t realized The Help had such a big influence…) a horrible person who should be forced to eat glucose tabs like the cinnamon challenge.  Okay, got it?  What we should be saying instead is:

There is no bad INFORMATION.

Now doesn’t that make so much more sense?  The number might be bad, but knowing you have that crappy number is NEVER a bad thing.  Then you can fix it.  And make it a good number.

I really don’t know where that idea came from.  I’ve been using it for almost as long as I’ve been a diabetic.  It helped me reconcile my obviously BAD numbers with the fact that checking more (i.e. more information) was always good.  I think this statement is more honest, helpful, and much more practical for diabetics.  The perspective allows that emotional distance of, ‘That is a bad number, but I am not a bad person, and I’m really glad I know that number so I can fix it.’  I always felt like the statement, ‘There are no bad numbers,’ wasn’t completely based in reality and therefore, was very confusing and guilt-ridden.  A completely opposite effect from the one the creators were going for.

And parent’s this works.  It really does.  Kids understand it, they also understand the weirdness of the earlier statement…at least I did.


One response to “Talk Story Tuesday — Boston and Information

  1. Pingback: #DBlog Week Day 4 — Mantras and More | The Pump and the Second Hand·

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