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.