Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Heart of the Matter

Today I was thinking about how much time is spent just thinking about diabetes. There is a lot of calculating that must be done. If Riley wants to eat snack I must first find out what his sugar is. Then, I need to decide if it’s an OK sugar depending on what time of day it is and how long it’s been since he last ate. Then, I need to take into account how much insulin, if any, he has floating around from his last bolus. Then, before I bolus I must consider how active he’s been or how active he is about to be (almost impossible with a 5 year old.)

All of this has to be done just for Riley to eat a simple snack. But, that is the easy part.

The brain was made to solve problems. It was made to look at situations and decide the best action to take. The brain is usually very matter of fact about things. Hot is hot and cold is cold.

Even in my sleep-deprived state, my brain normally functions pretty well. My synapses may be a little slow some times, but most of the time they are firing on all cylinders. The brain was made to reason.

The problem is, when you are dealing with your child your heart comes into play too. The heart was not made to reason.

My brain knows that when Riley is having a severe low and he is begging for more juice that what he’s had will be sufficient to bring up his sugar. My heart does not understand why I let him beg.

My brain understands why it is necessary to prick Riley’s finger with a needle 10-12 times a day. My heart doesn’t understand why I prey on his delicate flesh.

My brain reasons that it is OK that Riley is crying when I change his set. It knows that by hurting him I am also saving his life. My heart thinks it’s cruel to make him cry.

There is a constant battle going on between my brain and my heart.

And, today, my heart wins.


Jillian said...

Oh Penny, I don't even know what to say. I'm so sorry you and Riley have to go through this. I know it is so hard. You are an amazing mom!

Bernard said...


You captured this struggle so well. It's one thing for an old guy like me to have diabetes, but it's not fair on kids.

You're doing a great job, I hope the heart-brain struggles don't overwhelm you.

Donna said...

Penny, Don't let the battle get you down. You're doing a great job! Riley will appreciate all you've done for him. He'll look back on his childhood & understand that you did all this for his benefit & he will always love you for it.

Chris said...

That was such an awesome post. Did you feel compelled to make me cry since i made you cry the other day..;)
It is just a constant struggle, not only from one dimension but from many.
Keep up the awesome work ... you inspire me.
Thank you

Amylia said...

Thank you for your honest post. I love the candor with which you write about Riley and your life with diabetes. It gets easier and on some days it just is hard. I hope you know we're all thinking of you and Riley and sending our love.

Paige said...

so true, penny.