Okay....for those of you who might not know what I'm talking about, my daughter, "The Sugar Princess", has Type 1 Diabetes (diagnosed on 6/12/2007). Ever since she has been diagnosed, the doctors, nurses, and diabetic educators have informed us how important it is to rotate insulin sites. The Sugar Princess gets up to six insulin shots every single day. The best places to give insulin are the abdomen, arms, thighs, and buttocks. Injections should be moved around within the sites that are used (example: six to nine areas in each thigh site). If there are swollen areas, injections should not be given into these sites, as the insulin may be absorbed at a different rate. The problem was that The Sugar Princess would only allow us to give insulin injections in her arms and buttocks. At her last endocrinologist appointment, her doctor told us that her arms were looking pretty puffy. We tried to give injections in her thigh and abdomen, but The Sugar Princess was so scared and then she would cry. She would wiggle so much that half the time we were unable to give the shot or we were unable to inject all the insulin (some would leak out of the skin). We gave her arms a rest for a little bit and mainly used the buttocks.
FLASHBACK: I remember right after she was diagnosed, we went to a cross-country meet (I used to be the coach so I still wanted to show my support) and it was the first time that I had to give an insulin shot in front of a large amount of people. The Sugar Princess of course was not in the mood for a shot and started to run away from me. Picture this...a mother holding a syringe running down her two year old daughter...finally catching her....tackling her down to the ground...she is kicking and screaming...I put both my legs across her to keep her from fighting me....and then I gave her the injection!...everyone was staring at me wondering what the heck was going on!! A fellow teacher responded...."MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"!! That is exactly what it felt like....A mission! Every shot, every day...we went through the same routine and then finally she stopped fighting us!
FAST FORWARD: We soon will be transitioning to an insulin pump. Hoping to start in June because I do not work during the summer months. We are very excited about this next step forward, but also very scared. It will feel as if we are starting all over, but it's for the best for The Sugar Princess. We want to avoid alot of the highs and lows that we are getting....and want to manage this disease a little better with more flexibility. My husband and I went to our first "pre-pumping" class last week. The diabetic educators again stressed how important it is to rotate insulin sites. We want to give these sites ample time to heal so we want to be able to use all four areas (buttocks, arms, thighs, and abdomen). As soon as we would say "Sugar Princess, we need to try a belly shot".....instant hysteria!! I didn't know what else to do. I then thought if she could see other kids getting shots in the belly area or seeing other kids with their insulin pumps located in the belly area, maybe it would build up her courage enough to try it.
CALLING ALL D-MOMS: I sent out an email to 40 of the greatest women (dads too) who also have a daughter(s) or son(s) with type 1 diabetes and asked for their help! My husband and I are truely thankful for all the support we received from all of them....it was amazing. It still is amazing. All the pictures we got were amazing (and the kids in these pictures are truely amazing too...and also are little cuties) and if we didn't get a picture, we got words of encouragement. The Sugar Princess even got letters from her online friends "who are just like her" (her words)...
Kacey wrote: Hi~ I wanted to let you know that it's ok to be scared of doing shots in your tummy. I was scared too. Once you try it then you will find that it's much easier than you think. I put my pump sites in my tummy and in my hip and sometimes I still get scared and cry. I hold my favorite bear and close my eyes then my Mommy does my shot. I like getting shots in my tummy better than I did getting them in my arm or leg. You are a brave girl and if you ever want to talk to me then you can call me on my Mommy's cell phone.
Ben wrote: (with a little help from Meri): I know it is scary to use a new place...but maybe it will be better than the others. Give it a chance just once. :)
Jada wrote: Hi! My name is Jada. I am six years old and I have diabetes too. I used to be scared to take shots in my tummy too but once I gave it a try, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Now, that is the only place I like.
These little notes to The Sugar Princess just brought tears to my eyes. Thank you so much for helping! The Sugar Princess looks at all of these pictures daily!!! She was still afraid to do a belly shot so instead she allowed us to use her thigh! It wasn't the belly, but a new site just the same. We are making progress! Then the next day, my husband gave The Sugar Princess her first belly shot while I was at work (Go figure...I can't believe that I missed it)...it wasn't the most willing shot on The Sugar Princess's part. I wouldn't have pushed it, but my husband got help from his mother and gave The Sugar Princess her first belly shot. She cried alot before he gave it to her, but then afterwards she said "It didn't hurt!" When I got home from work, she was so excited to tell me! I, of course, made a big deal about it and told her how proud I was of her and how brave she is. At dinner time, I asked her if she would let me give her a shot in the belly. She said yes and then I asked her if Queen Alopecia (her big sister) could take a picture of me doing the shot. She was instantly excited and wanted me to share her picture with all of you! I'm hoping that our picture of The Sugar Princess "being brave" will help somone else get over their fear!