Friday, January 4, 2013

What's that?

I worked in a daycare for three summers, so explaining diabetes comes natural.  I realized that explaining diabetes to children isn't as scary as it sounds - it's actually much nicer to explain diabetes to children than it is to adults.  Mainly because adults will say something like, "My Uncle had diabetes and lost his legs" whereas a child often says, "Can I see your belly where the medicine goes in!" 

I often wear dresses so people don't often see my insulin pump.  I never really thought about it, but the other day I was wearing pants and had my pump tucked in my back pocket when Vince's daughter (4) came up behind me slowly pulling out my pump asking, "What's that!" I realized that despite seeing her multiple times she really had no idea that I had diabetes!  "It's my pump it gives me medicine..." I replied to her.   She looked at me and then back down and followed the tubing to my belly where the site was.  "And what's that?"  she said again.    "That's where the medicine goes in..."   she seemed very fascinated so I asked her if she had more questions...and of course she did.

"What is the medicine for?"
"What is diabetes?"
"So if you had a chocolate, you would take lots of medicine?"
"I don't have diabetes (lifts up shirt) because I don't have one of those..."

But then the conversation changed a little bit...

"A girl in my class has one..."
"They check her blood to see if it is thick or thin...and if it is thick then she takes medicine.. "

I was instantly excited to tell Vince about not only our great conversation about diabetes, but also the fact that she possibly did have a friend in her class with type 1 diabetes.  It was amazing how much she wanted to know and how much she applied it.  When she asked me "Why I got diabetes?"  I wasn't sure how to answer it considering I was explaining to not only just a four year old, but I smart four year old.  I decided I'd go with my positive outlook on why.

"Just like you have a peanut allergy - we all have something that makes us special!" 

and she responded with:

"Yup! I have a peanut allergy and you've got diabetes!" 



  1. I think you should make sure Vince's daughter knows that not all diabetics use a pump. Some, like you used to, use a pen. And there are those like me who prefer the syringe and pen. That all juvenile onset (type 1's) need to be given insulin. There are the type 2's who can control it by diet or a pill. And 4 is not too young to be told this.

  2. I agree.. explaining it to children is so much easier, and sometimes they say something that helps explain it to me too.

    Thanks for sharing this great story.