Last night was much like many recent nights around here. I thought I was finishing up dinner prep and that I had about 20 minutes to relax before I had to be back in the kitchen cooking. And then:
"Mom, it's site change night."
And simultaneously I realized that one element of dinner remained unpeeled, despite that step being necessary for edibility.
So a game plan was concocted on the fly.
"Why don't you bring the insulin and the cartridge out here and fill it. I know you know how but you rarely do it- it'll be good practice. And I'll talk you through it while I peel these."
So she did it. I've been filling the cartridges for so long that watching her struggle with this task which seemingly requires 3 hands was eye opening. But she figured it out.
|I wonder if this is how someone taught me to do this or if I made it up?|
Then, we retreated to her room to do the other half of the job. I am still the primary site putter-inner. But then:
"Should I try to do it? In my hip I mean?"
Her voice was filled with cautious excitement laced with apprehension. I heard self-confidence and self-doubt all at once.
"Of course you should."
Then came the string of questions and worries. "What if I mess up?" "What if the tape gets all folded up and I can't get it to lay down right?" "What if I can't see well enough what I'm doing?" And on and on.
"I think you can do it," I said more times than I can count.
"Get Ruby. I need her here," requested the 14 year old. So the bear with diabetes was fetched from the basket of dolls, webkinz and teddy bears in the corner of her room.
With the inserter in one hand, her torso and head twisted at an extremely awkward angle, and the ear of her Ruby squeezed in the other hand she eventually squeezed the device and inserted the site.
Insert two smiles of pride here.
I know some kids are regularly inserting their own sites at 8. I know that some parents push the issue long before 14.
Neither of these were true for us. And I was okay with that.
She'd put in a handful of sites in her leg, out of wanting to prove she could do it, and once out of necessity. But the leg turned out not to be a preferred site spot, and her 'rear hip,' shall we say, did. It was awkward to try to do by herself and so I let it go.
Our endocrinologist was beginning to ask when she was going to take over the job. I was a little embarrassed to share with other d-people we know that this step hadn't been taken. But I knew the day would come. And I knew my kid. And I knew that I couldn't make that day come no matter what I said or did or suggested or threatened or bribed.
But then it did.