One bit of wisdom shared often by both professionals and veterans of the diabetes community is about how we react to blood sugar numbers. The numbers are, the wise people tell us, neither good or bad. They are simply information.
A blood sugar check should be a 'no judgement zone,' the theory goes. The sole purpose of the number is to tell us what needs to happen next: a juice box, a correction bolus, a regular meal bolus, and nothing at all are all possibilities.
It's pointless, we're told, either to express elation at a perfect 100 or to throw the meter across the room over a 357. Tying feelings to the numbers has the potential to lead to unnecessary frustration. It can lead to checking less often for fear of getting a "bad" result. It can lead to spiraling emotions when things inevitably derail; emotions which could get in the way of being clear headed enough to make necessary adjustments.
So it is with this philosophy in mind that I look at the now-constant stream of blood sugar numbers available on my phone thanks to our new 'share' technology. Take this day for example:
The information tells me that my daughter's blood sugar was more often higher than her target number and lower than her target number than it was anywhere near her target number. I'm informed that if we averaged all of the numbers together, we would come up with a number close to the target number. The graph informs me that steps were taken throughout the 24 hour period to return blood sugar levels closer to the median but that those attempts had more than the desired effect almost every time.
But it's incredibly difficult not to look at this graph and utter a few choice words, non-informational in nature. It's hard not to see how crappy a day this was, and to wonder what we're doing wrong to make this happen; how things have spiraled out of control like this.
While I don't discount the wise people's theory, I think there's a balance. I do not want to get so frustrated that I stop looking at the numbers. I do not want to say things about the numbers which imply a sense of guilt. But sometimes, at least for me, it takes a little anger and frustration to get me moving or, in the case of this fall, keep me working until we figure this whole high school schedule out. Because, really, I'd prefer the information steaming onto my phone screen always looked a little more like this: