Diabetes Dad: Our Child’s Scariest First Dive
This may not be big news to anyone, but my little guy gave himself his own shot today.
Point: This IS BIG NEWS to anyone who understands that our children, once diagnosed, not unlike us; face incredibly ‘firsts’. To me whether you are jumping off a cliff into water 80 feet below or taking an injection of insulin for the firs time——the unknown….is just that…..unknown.
Having the courage to say, “Mommy, I want to give myself my own shot today.” Well to me, that is a huge step in the life of a child living with diabetes. To begin to say, “This is my disease, I want to take control of it.” That’s huge and is a big step in any child’s life.
We, as parents, as much as we may try, have no idea what this might be like. Think about it. One is diagnosed. Months go by and hundreds of blood-checking and insulin shots have occurred in your little one’s body. They watch, but they really do not understand everything, they might nor even understand much at all. But something clicks in their little minds; Why is mommy doing this to/for me each and every time, numerous times a day?
They ask themselves that question. And each time, for days and weeks, they watch as insulin is given. And at some point it hits them; why does mommy have to do this, I can do this.
Then, for a number of times, they ask the question inside their own heads at first. Not sure what it means nor what you will say when they ask. Again, again, again, and again they watch and the words are on the tip of their tongue. Then, as if a voice from way down deep inside pushes their tiny thought our of their little mouth; Can I give myself my shot today?
The world stops dead-in-its-tracks as parent and child stare at each other. Almost as if the disbelief from the one hearing it, is matched by the disbelief of the little one saying it. They stare at each other.
Mom will speak first.
Ah……um…….sure honey. If you want to try it. Sure.
Mommy smiles as she hands the insulin to the waiting child.
The child has seen it hundreds of times, they know what to do.
Still, there is that moment. That moment of the unknown. The child does it, takes the injection, lifts the needle out and looks square into the eyes of mommy. The child smiles.
See mommy I knew I could do it.
Mommy smiles and hugs her child tightly.
Yes baby, I knew you could.
The child runs and goes to continue playing outside with the incredible feeling of accomplishment. The first step in taking on their diabetes.
Mommy smiles until her child leaves the room and is outside playing again.
She drops on the bed and cries her eyes out.
I am a diabetes dad.
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