Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Second Infusion Set Insertion - Kids Can But May Not Want To

After our very exciting first "kid" infusion set insertion, there was a lot of talk around the Naturally Sweet Sisters household of how the second insertion would go.  Mostly to summarize, it was a whole lot of bravado from the kids and a whole lot of 'can-do' cheer leading from the parents.

I thought for certain the second insertion would be no big deal for the kids. 

And boy, was I wrong.

The second insertion was anything but easy.  Youngest daughter decided to go first and she laid out her supplies, filled the cannula and was rewinding/loading/priming her pump, I noticed that her bravado was faltering.  "I CAN" slowly became "I don't want to". 

A few minutes more and my nine-year dissolved into a puddle of tears and said, "Mama, I don't want to do this.  Can't you just do it?  I am too scared."


Now, I am not the kind of mom to force my kids to stab themselves with a sharp spring loaded needle.  So I did what any other parent, that feels the same way, would do.

"Oh Bunny.  I understand.  We'll try again next time."  And then, with a little extra whimpering from youngest daughter, I made the "CLICK", finished priming her cannula, gave her a big squeeze and sent her happily (and certainly relieved that mom did it for her) on her way.

Now, this is where things are not so great with having two daughters that are both diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  When there is a little competition between the two and it results into both reaching towards positive goals, things go wonderfully.  However, when one is the witness to another one's absolute freaking-outisms (I am making that a new word today), then things tend to go south rather quickly.

I understand that line of thinking.  I always equate it to watching someone who is terrified walk out of the roller coaster line.  Um, yeah, that would ME!  And then watching 10 more people decide not to go because obviously that first person knew that it was terrible!  Sorry, roller coaster people, I just get scared and can't help myself. 

But oldest daughter is two years older.  And when I think about that all by itself, I realize that if I am overly gentle, she may decide that it is too scary to perform another site change.  So I tell her this.  And then, I make up a lame story about riding a horse, falling off and having to get back on. 

She listens and as she is a good kid, she smiles a little and nods her head in understanding a few times.  Somehow, as I tell her the story, the rider has type 1 diabetes and has to give himself a shot before he can get back on.   Brothers Grimm having nothing on my story tales.

Then, I hand her an IVPrep Wipe and a loaded Inset 30 and tell her where I think is a good location - the opposite side of her belly.

At first, I think the story worked its magic and she is ready to do the insertion but I realize that she is just holding the site there for too long a time.  Just as I am noticing that she has moved her fingers, she screams to release her fear and pushes "CLICK"... except the site does not go where it is supposed to, instead it skims her stomach and stabs her index finger.

Yes, her index finger.

She quickly removes the needle and I grab a tissue to stop the blood flow.  Oldest daughter is sobbing at this point and I think I have completely lost her.  Really, what child is going to EVER want to try another infusion set insertion????? 

After a few more minutes, she has calmed and even manages a little giggle about poking her finger.  I seize the moment and slowly start to unwrap another Inset 30.  She is watching me and the debate is clearly written on her face:  try one more time or give up?

Without saying anything, I hand her the loaded the Inset 30 and I gently swab her belly again.  Quietly, she holds the feet to her belly and then, "CLICK" and it is in.

Her tears start flowing at this point and I am instantly worried over wondering if the site went in correctly.  Is she in pain?  Did the needle nick a nerve?  I start asking her a barrage of questions but as I am, I can see that she is smiling and laughing through the tears.

She hugs me hard and tells me that she is so relieved that she did it.  "Two times in a row, Mom.  Actually, three time!s," she says laughing and pointing to her finger. 

A few more hugs and then she runs to find her sister to share the victory of inserting a second infusion set. 

And I sit there, surrounded by hard plastic containers, needles, wrappers and bloody tissues.  I am shell-shocked.  Sad.  Happy.  Amazed.  Horrified.  Relieved.   All of these emotions cause a few hot tears of my own. 

Most of all, I can't decide if this was a victory against the Diabetes Monster or a win for the terrible nature of all our kids go through while living with type 1 diabetes.

With one last sigh, I think about having to do this all over again in 2 more days.


Marjorie said...

I huge high Five to oldest daughter, I could feel myself urging her on while I was reading!

Took a lot of courage for her to try again after stabbing her finger! Way to go :)

Scott K. Johnson said...

What a great story! Your girls (both of them) are so brave! And what an "ouch" to that poor finger! :-)

Reminds me of when I accidentally gave my hand a shot...

Naturally Sweet Sisters said...

Thank you for your kindness. Just wrote about #3 and #4 today and it seemed so much easier.... still, it is a lot of emotional madness simmering. I am going to make sure she reads both of these kind messages. She needs a little bit of cheerleading:)