I remember the very first shot I had to give.
I hated it. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. My husband was so cool about it all. If he was scared, he didn’t show it. He grabbed that needle and bam, done. I on the other hand, had to give my first shot into an orange, then a couple more practice ones into my husband’s arms. The emotions ran through me like a wild fire. I couldn’t douse the fear. I couldn’t stop the anger, the sadness, the confusion…I was sure I would poke him too hard. I was sure I would do it wrong. I dreaded that bubble of insulin that would sometimes rise out of the needle hole in J's flesh. He got such a small amount of insulin…who knows how much of his dose that bubble held?
How could I do this? How could I hurt my baby multiple times a day? At the time it seemed impossible. I was sure he would grow up hating me. It all seemed so surreal.
Ten thousand shots later…we got the pump. By then I was desensitized. Shots were nothing to me. It helped that my baby was a veritable Mighty Mouse. He was stronger than me. He accepted his lot before I did. It was his acceptance and his strength that helped me succumb to the numbness. If he could live without complaining…so could I.
I don’t think I’ve ever thanked J for that.
So here we are 12 years later and tonight I had to insert a new pump site into L. His came off after his bath and my husband was out of town.
My husband is the go to site changer. I’m only the back-up these days.
And thank goodness for that…
Because tonight, after I shot my son with that ridiculously long needle…every one of those emotions I had 12 years ago came flooding back. L’s face spoke novels of pain. He twisted his mouth to hide as much as he could. He didn’t want me to feel bad, but I knew what I had done.
“I really hurt you, didn’t I?”
“Pretty much yes,” said L. “But I still love you Mom.”
How do I do it? How do I get through?
It’s all them. If they can go to bed at night NOT cursing this disease, so can I.
If they can go through the day with no bitterness of the fate life has thrown at them, so can I.
Diabetes is their disease. They refuse to give it more power than it deserves.
I have to let them live without the hate. I can’t foster it in them. I can’t light fires of discontent.
I will continue to let them lead me, because somehow my children teach me more than I could ever teach them. The brightness of their examples will always be the light barreling through my dark days and my sleepless nights.
They are wiser than me.
They are stronger than me.
They are stronger than diabetes.
Which made me realize, as I looked into the resolute, teary blue eyes of my 6 year old tonight…I want to be like my boys when I grow up.
If they can do it...so can I.