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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Diabetes Sucks

Scott Benner

Diabetes-sucks_ArdensDay.jpg

We swapped Arden's OmniPod last night after basketball practice, it was a little later in the evening then I would have liked as being tired combined with jabbing a hole into yourself, seldom goes well - but then, what does go well with piercing your skin with a needle?

After we finished, Arden asked me if I would "cuddle" with her for "ten minutes" when she went to bed, great offer, I of course said, "Yes!". 

As we climbed into bed Arden had to reposition herself a few times, she told me that it takes a little while to become accustomed to having a pod in a new site and that she was going to sleep on her side because of the placement of this pod. Even though I am aware that she uses different sleep positions based on pod placement, the look on her face as she tried to get comfortable, mixed with the mature way that she explained the annoyance, brought me a moment of melancholy. 

When we finally got comfy Arden kept talking, and she told me that she wished we didn't have to change her infusion site so often. My mind immediatly raced back to before we began using an insulin pump and those long sad days of giving my baby ten needles.

"I know it hurts", I began. Arden stopped me and made it clear that I didn't know what it felt like to have type I diabetes and then she added this exclamation to her sentence saying, "Diabetes sucks!". "You're right", I replied, "I don't know what it's like". I rephrased, "I imagine that it hurts to get stuck with a needle and I know that having it happen every three days must suck.

Do you remember when you received insulin with needles?". She did not.

I told Arden how I would give her two needles every morning when she woke up. I explained how we'd test and shoot insulin later in the morning for breakfast, how sometimes a couple of hours after a meal she would need more. Breakfast, lunch dinner and "You would eat a snack everyday around three in the afternoon and one before bed". "Did I get a needle at snack time too?", she asked. By the time I finished explaining how we managed her BGs with needles, we counted ten injection. Two in the morning (BG maintenance and slow acting), at times two for meals (Carbs and BG maintenance), an afternoon snack, evening snack and two before bed (BG maintenance and slow acting). We decided that most days she experienced about ten shots and then we did some math. When Arden realized that with injections she would get stuck about a hundred and forty times in two weeks, she looked relived. More math told us that two weeks of needle sticks was the equivalent to one year of site changes. With that news, she proclaimed that changing her pods wasn't "too bad" but, "it still sucks".

A car accident that results in a broken arm is certainly not a cancer diagnosis, but it may well be the worst thing happening in your life. Perspective is certainly very important to have, but not at the expense of your own feelings. I am elated that Arden knows that her insulin pump has made her life better without forgetting that needing to wear it, to stay alive, sucks.

I left her room feeling proud, the melancholy had left me. Diabetes may suck, but she owns it.