This has never happened before. It seriously pulled the rug right out from underneath my feet...and it hurt (we have tile floors.)
C does not remember life before diabetes. She was still a baby when the diagnosis was given. Finger pokes, injections, site changes, 3 a. m. gulps of juice? They're just a part of her life. She's never known differently. In fact, I honestly marvel at how she handles it all...most of the time. She is a strong girl. So her reaction the other day really took me by surprise.
For us, I would estimate that 80 % of site changes are relatively painless and go off without a hitch. But then there is the other 20 %. For sometimes unknown reasons, the infusion set just doesn't cooperate. It may hit scar tissue or a nerve and it can send C an excrutiating *zing* of pain...I hate when that happens. When this is the situation, I usually ask her, "Does it hurt enough for me to pull it out and try again?" There has only been one time when she said, "yes."
So, the other day when we were changing the site, it happened to be a bad one...you know, one of the 20%. But, we got past it with just a few tears and I continued cleaning up the pump site aftermath. I was just about finished when I heard quiet sobbing from the family room.
I walked in and found C quietly crying into a pillow on the couch. I asked her if she was alright, did her site still hurt? Through her choppy, tearful breathing, she told me her site was fine. She brought her head up from the pillow, looked me in the eyes and said, "When I grow up, I don't want to have diabetes!"
Well, it didn't take long until we were both sobbing and hugging each other. Could this have been the moment when her reality hit her square in the heart? I want to cry right now just thinking about it. At 8 years old, she was formulating the intelligence to know that diabetes is a life-long disease. Just like that. I was at a total loss for words.
We sat. Hugging. Crying.
I have tried with all my might to not let on how scared I really am regarding this disease, at least to her. I've tried to stay strong, to find the positives in all of it. We do the 3 month endo visits, the JDRF walks, the fundraisers. However difficult it is, I reach out to people and share about her diabetes management to those around us. And, yes, I do cry...but not in front of her. Never in front of her. This day was different. I could not hold it back.
Through leaky eyeballs, I told her how I wish I could take this from her. If, somehow, God could miraculously remove diabetes from her little body and put it in me...I would gladly accept it. I told her how sad I was when she was diagnosed. And how much it hurt my heart to poke and prod her. She was my baby.
We did more hugging. Middle C walked in the room whistling a tune. He took one look at us, raised his eyebrows, made a 180 degree turn and walked right back out. Thank God for that. C and I looked at each other and she gave a little chuckle.
"We must look like a mess!" I said.
Never fear, we ended our sob fest on an upnote. We both breathed deeply. I told her what a brave and strong little girl I have. She, of course, corrected me. "You know, I am 8 now Mom!"
"Yes, honey, you're a wonderful 8 year old girl." I said. And, I let her know that I would always be there to help her with diabetes. And that we would continue hoping for a cure and doing the best we can.
"I truly believe God has big plans for you, Sweet-pea. You're gonna do great things in your life...maybe even because of diabetes."