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Whack a Nurse

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

Whack a Nurse

Scott Benner

It happens every time that we change Arden's CGM. Not some of the time or once in a while, not now and again - EVERY fu*$ing time.

"Arden we need to swap your Dexcom sensor"

A moment later Arden and I meet up, usually at the kitchen island, she hops up to bring her hip to my eye level, all is well – until I reach out to remove the sensor.

Arden instantly tenses up, becomes frightened and speaks the following words - EVERY time.

She always begins with an apology for being anxious, "I'm sorry - I'm just afraid that the wire will come out".

That's it, she worries that the wire will break free of the sensor and stay embedded in her skin, she further believes with all of her heart that this will lead her to a hospital visit where the wire will be surgically removed.

Do you know why she thinks this... let me tell you.

Because of one poorly thought out moment that happened in 2010 when a nurse told Arden this could perhaps happen and that she should be very careful. "I've heard that the wire can break off and you'll have to come to the hospital to have it removed" - The person who said that was an idiot, not for saying it, but for saying it in front of Arden.

By the way, the wire has never broken off. I actually believe that Arden has as much chance of seeing the Loch Ness Monster as she does of needing surgery to remove a CGM wire, but thanks to dopey the nurse... she just can't shake those five year old words. It's now fIve years and probably hundreds of CGM swaps later and Arden still has this reaction EVERY time. One poorly considered utterance to a six year old and nothing I have yet to say has helped Arden to relax enough to forget those words.

I've tried to reason with her - "Arden we do this all of the time, has the wire ever come out?"

I've tried joking, reassuring, hugging. I've tried everything that a reasonable parent could think of and nothing ever works. By the way, Arden doesn't think the CGM hurts, she loves wearing it and receiving the data. Never-the-less she experiences a moment of real terror each time that we swap her site. Breaks my heart, frustrates my mind and dings my soul... 

Last night I tried something different in the hopes of alleviating her needless anguish. I cursed.

"I'm sorry - I'm just afraid that the wire will come out..."

"Arden, I wish the god damn nurse who told you that the wire could break was here right now. I would smack her in the head!", I began. Then I continued telling Arden how angry I was at the nurse for saying something like that in front of her when she was too young to understand the intricacy of her words. 

Here's to hoping that the next swap is different and that some well-meaning, yet ultimately mis-guided person won't say something else that terrifies my kid.

I think that I really would whack her in the head if she was here.