On Friday, in the car, the Bear said “don’t look at what I’m doing” (usually cause for great alarm) and then, “guess what I’m doing.” I guessed “singing” and “laughing” (both wrong) and she said, “I did my test,” and told me the number. That was the first time she initiated a bg test herself. Later that night, she asked if she could enter the carbs into her pump and cover herself for a snack.
This is exciting, scary, and sad.
Exciting because it is so important for her to feel confident in her self-care. I’ve worried about recognizing when she is ready for more independence in diabetes tasks – and here she is figuring it out. I hope that she is able to want to try some of this because she feels secure in us being here to take care of her. She is very excited to show “Nurse Lisa” tomorrow at Kindergarten and I love seeing her pride in learning new things about taking care of herself.
Scary because she still knows so little about how to really take care of herself. She knows she has to have us tell her the number of carbohydrates to put into the pump, and she knows she has to show us that the number was entered correctly before completing the bolus — but does she understand the potential consequences of entering too many carbs? Of course not. She can’t understand that yet. And, since she still shows no signs of recognizing or being able to articulate her own low or high symptoms, if something goes wrong, we might not recognize it quickly.
Sad because I don’t want my 5 3/4 year old daughter to have to learn how to count carbohydrates and enter that into an insulin pump in order to keep herself healthy and alive. It should be enough for her to be proud of learning a new song in music and getting a “great job” sticker on a worksheet. No 5 year old should know how to prick their own finger and read off what their current blood sugar is. That part just sucks.
Most of the time she is absolutely a kid first, diabetic second (thanks Leighann Calentine!) and we try to make sure that she is free to let us deal with the diabetes stuff… I always read that T1 kids are mature, responsible, grow up courageous, independent, self-confident — all that is awesome. But, why do they have to deal with diabetes? The bear could definitely grow up more slowly, and be less independent if it meant she didn’t have to test her blood sugar and dose insulin. I would be OK with that.