It Hurts

My oldest daughter (a.k.a. “The Kid”) is three.  She’s at the age where likes to ask questions, watch, help, and do by herself.  My diabetes is no exception.  She likes to help me change the reservoir in my pump – pressing the buttons for me when I tell her to.  She likes to get things for me when I need them.  She wants to know about my infusion sets.  She even wants to watch me insert those awful CGM sensors.

Sometimes when I do the sensors she asks me if it hurts.  I try to be honest with her, but not make a big deal out of it either.  So I usually tell her that sometimes it does hurt, and sometimes I don’t like it, but that if I close my eyes when press the button (on my Serter, that is), it makes me a little less scared.  She seems to accept that and usually watches without much comment.

Yesterday I was changing my infusion set.  I use the Sure-Ts with a needle much tinier than the sensors, and I don’t use a Serter for them, but she still made the connection.  She watched intently while I pulled the new one out of its protective packaging.  I prepped the site and held it in my hand ready to insert.

Suddenly The Kid’s hands fluttered up to her face and she held them in front of her pinched-shut eyes, but only briefly.  Then, seeming to change her mind, she opened her eyes and covered her ears instead.

“Honey?”  I said.  “What are you doing?”

She pulled her hands away to answer me.

“I don’t want to hear you say ‘Ow’.”

And with that, I think my heart cracked.

I was so proud of her empathetic little soul, but at the same time sad that my diabetes would cause her any sort of discomfort.

After assuring her that this needle didn’t hurt at all, she seemed much more content and quickly moved on to other more interesting things, but it left me questioning how much of this disease, and the hurt and frustration surrounding it, I really want to share with my girls.  Maybe in this case being honest with them isn’t in their best interests after all.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Wow. I’ve shared some of my diabetes “experiences” with my older son (age 5 1/2), but never actually had him witness a device insertion (I use the same infusion sets and sensors as you). If I ever thought of doing it in front of him, you’ve made me give it a second thought. I wonder just what was going through The Kid’s mind, whether it was simply empathy or if it was fear.

    Reply

    • She never seemed bothered before – only curious. This is the first time it seemed to bother her. Now I’m not sure if I should still let her watch or not….

      Reply

  2. Oh wow, heartbreaking indeed. Something about our kids thinking we are invincible…

    Reply

  3. Posted by Sylvie on October 17, 2012 at 9:35 am

    Thanks for this blog. I think when you are a parent with diabetes there are many little and big decisions like that. I have simply, without hiding or drawing attention to it, continued my diabetes routine after my babe was born. My now 14 year old daughter never really has seemed to pay much attention. The only thing I wonder about is whether the exposure to all these “pokes” has contributed to her GREAT fear of needles!
    I am more conscious about the impact I have on her in terms of potential eating disorders because of all that attention that is payed to what, how much and when I eat (the counting, the measuring, the tracking, etc ). I also am conscious of what I say about diabetes in front of her, thinking of the impact that could have on her if she ever did (although I know she most probably won’t) develop type 1 diabetes. Regardless, as PWD, we don’t have a lot of choice in what we do in terms if we want to take care of ourselves. I think our kids have a wonderful model of how to face a challenging situation and still be able to enjoy life!

    Reply

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