Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Compassion for the Non-Diabetic Family Members

I have to admit that when Andrew was diagnosed with diabetes and celiac disease, the whole entire household was turned upside down.  Cupboards were filled with syringe containers, alcohol wipes, blood glucose meters and syringes.  The kitchen was restocked with gluten free foods according to Andrew's palette.  In my mind, everyone just had to go with the flow and adjust.

Overall, everyone has done a fantastic job!  I've been able to schedule fun dates with the non-diabetics/celiac siblings to go and feast on gluten containing foods.  I feel that I've been able to accomplish some balance so that the siblings wouldn't resent Andrew's situation.  It's not his fault and I never want him to feel that way.

One thing that I've noticed over the months is that I've become somewhat "hardened" to Andrew's multiple insulin injections and finger pricks.  We've taken the approach that it's just something he has to do.

I learned a great lesson this week that our daughter definitely does not share in the same approach that works for Andrew.  She had a doctors appointment the other day for her vaccinations.  A couple of days prior to her appointment, we made the mistake of mentioning, "Andrew gets shots everyday."  She then was sure to make it clear that her shot would hurt more than the shots that he receives.  At this point, I just fluffed it off and told her that everything would be ok.

As we walked into the examination room at the pediatrician's office, the floodgates were opened and tears were flying - everywhere!  I felt so bad for her.  Thankfully, the nurse had great aim and the shots didn't hurt her that bad.  The days following the injections welcomed intensive 1-on-1 care including ice packs, a day off of school and hand picked movies.

I learned a great lesson that just because Andrew puts on the brave face, doesn't mean that the rest of us in the family are capable of that.  That's what makes us all unique and special.  Andrew's strength and bravery still amazes me as he tackles the diabetes and celiac monster day in and day out.

I'll definitely be sure to have more compassion next time when the floodgates open.


  1. Wonderful perspective, my friend. My 2 non-D kids are already working themselves up over getting flu shots and Ellie just giggles at their fear of being poked! This cracks me up be because SHE was the one who cried the most and worked herself up into a tizzy when vaccination time would near (obviously before her T1D). Now she gets a sly grin and evil little laugh when her brother mentions he doesn't want to go to the Dr. I case he gets a shot. Yeah, T1D has toughened her up and I need to remember not to casually brush her wincing off when the pod inserts and she jumps. Tough kiddos we have now.

    Oh, and the adorable photo of you is AWSCHUM!,! I don't know why, but in my mind I pictured you as a blonde! (and, no reference to any blonde type jokes . . . Just how I 'saw' you when I read a post). You are a true beauty - inside and out!

  2. I think I would have done the same thing!!

  3. First off....nice to see you!! I am so happy to put a face to your name. You are gorgeous. :)

    We have similar issues with our daughter...she has never even let me PRICK her finger and shots? She flips out. So hard to not want to get "mad" at her for feeling that way...when in reality, I was terrified of shots until I was an adult!

  4. Thank you for all the wonderful compliments girls! I'm starting to blush over here.LOL

  5. I understand-I took Clay to the dentist alone, then we stopped for some Hot Now's afterwards-not something I'd take Mary Claire along for! It's sad, but they all want alone time with mom or dad. : ) and we owe them special time too.
    (Oh, Krispy Kreme I mean!) ; ) Love those babies!
    And you do have compassion for all of them, and it shows. ; )

  6. Our D kids face no choice in the matter and so we take for granted their fortitude. They truly are lovely and brave kiddies.