Chatting About Everything, Diabetes Included
Instilling valuable traits.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
October 2012 — As parents, we tend to reminisce about our kids' younger days as they reach each inevitable milestone. We long for those cuddly times with a chubby baby in our arms after they become a crazy toddler running amok. We recall fondly when feedings consisted of bottles or breast milk rather than food decorating dining room walls. And we might even miss when our kids only knew how to cry to communicate, rather than babbling nonstop about nothing in particular.
Most of the time, I love chatting with my girl. We discuss what's growing in the garden and the birds flying in formation overhead. She asks me about my makeup and jewelry as we get ready in the mornings. Or, lately, we talk about how many days of school are left and how much she's looking forward to first grade.
Sometimes, diabetes comes up in conversation. She reminds me to put my pump back on after my shower, handing it to me in the bathroom: "Here you go, Mommy. Don't forget your pump." She helps me find good spots to hide my pump: "You can wear it inside your shirt so it doesn't stick out!" She talks about her friend Sarah's mom having diabetes, "just like you, Mommy."
As much as these comments melt my heart, they sometimes lead me to reminisce about the days when my daughter was oblivious to her mommy's diabetes. After all, it's a mostly invisible illness, save for the barely-there pump site scars on my belly and the various paraphernalia in my purse.
Now she's aware of everything. And now just about everything diabetes. She's become a little diabetes policewoman, pointing out that I should have less chips and queso or fewer marshmallows in my hot chocolate "because of your diabetes."
She chats me up about needles.
"Do your needles hurt, Mommy?"
"No, sweetie. Not really."
"Yeah, mine don't either. The shots at the doctor are just like ‘poke,'" she says, motioning with her finger toward her arm.
And so I realize, that in demonstrating my own necessary toughness toward my disease, I'm instilling that same valuable trait in her. My daughter doesn't sweat the small stuff. She doesn't cry at the doctor. In fact, she once said to me, at age three, "I'm the toughest girl in the whole wide world."
There are much bigger and better things for her to think about besides needles and everything diabetes. Like what's growing in the garden or how much she's looking forward to first grade.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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