Thursday, April 14, 2011

What Doesn't Totally Wear You Out, Will Make You Stronger.... I Hope

Today is "site change day". As much as we try to keep our Bug's life 'normal', the site change days are a mean reminder that she has to act a little bit "bigger" than the average two year old. I won't go into the entire process, except to tell you that there are a lot of supplies, a lot of organization (another un-budgeted trip to The Container Store), needles, a sharps container, and it happens every 3 days.

I remember when we were still in the hospital and we didn't have the pump yet. We were having to give her shots and I was mostly leaving it up to the nurses and my husband (who is a physician). Facing reality, I decided to give a shot. It was terrible. Being forced to inflict pain on my little girl, so she will feel better...? I cried, of course, and then it was over. I moved on... I was handling it. Until, a couple of days later, we realized that we needed to put her on a pump. Still in the hospital, my husband and I sat with our parents and our baby in a tiny meeting room on our floor. We met with our favorite diabetes educator/nurse/nutritionist/parent and the representative from the company that makes our pump. We were there to learn how to manipulate, work, and load the pump. We were also there to learn how to change her site. I decided to stick her first since I was not as comfortable with needles meeting skin, etc, as my husband. I took a deep breath and stuck her. She screamed. I cried. The representative from the pump company cried. And we became familiar with another part of our new normal.

That was the only time I cried during a site change, but Bug still cries every now and then. She is so brave and mature, but she is also still a two year old. She cries mostly in anticipation. The second the needle hits her skin, she says "all done, mommy and daddy." and the tears are over. She usually gets to have 1 M&M and a big hug when it's over, and she goes right back to being 2. She is growing up quicker than most kids her age because she is dealing with such a "big" lifestyle.

We will continue to take the good with the bad as everything comes our way. We love the pump she wears and the technology and knowledge it provides us. Another area where research and science have made my daily life not only livable but also enjoyable.

For parents dealing with site changes; a few tips when dealing with this mess:

-we put a site on her Elmo doll, and she helped (she was about 20 months at the time)
-we hold her like we are hugging her while she is getting stuck with the needle
-get a routine. ours is: after bath, before bed, then a snack after. she knows what to expect
-big hug and subject change after, so she doesn't feel she did something wrong and is being punished
-we don't use it, but there IS a numbing cream you can ask you Dr about. people say it really helps, but i think it has to be put on an hour before.
-reward after with something small but fun
-have both parents take turns, don't have one person be the bad guy
-if anyone else offers to learn how to do it, let them! Teach someone else to do it so you can have a break!
-take deep breaths and don't be upset when you stick...not good for a scared kid to see a scared parent
-allow yourself to have a pity party for about ten minutes, and VERY rarely. cry, complain, be mad, and then move on. you will not be effective as a parent or caregiver if you are constantly thinking how rough you have it.
-remember that it is only 10 minutes out of your day, twice a week. your child will be living with this until a cure is found.... so it will help all parties involved if you accept it as life as quickly as possible.
-and finally, hang in there. you are not the only one going through this craziness.

These verses kept popping up when I was pregnant with my Bug. Now I know why.

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."..... "For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God."
Romans 8:18 & 20

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