Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Taking His Lead

Being open about having diabetes is something I find to be important. As long as Brendon is comfortable, I don't encourage him to be discreet. It's all out in the great, wide open.

To that end, when several of his baseball team mates circled around him in the dugout as he assembled his meter, craning his neck to watch the plays being made in the field, I thought, maybe I should get the boys to back off. But, Brendon seemed oblivious to the attention. He seemed oblivious to even performing the glucose test as he's done it hundreds of times already and sometimes he doesn't realize he's done one. At times he says, "Oh shoot! I forgot to test myself", with me reminding him that he tested himself seconds ago.

The boys look on as he squeezes blood from his finger.

"Ew! Lookit, blood! Does that hurt?"

"No", says Brendon distractedly because he's too busy watching the game and performing the test at the same time.

"BOYS! GIVE HIM SOME BREATHING SPACE! LEAVE HIM ALONE!", Brendon's coach bellows to the boys from the field.

A mother I was talking to catches what's going on and says, "Do you think they should give him some privacy?"

And then I begin to wonder if I should get them to back off so that Brendon doesn't have an audience.

From then on and long after the game, it nags at me that I probably should've protected Brendon from the onslaught of rubberneckers.

I asked him later that night if he was bothered by the boys watching him do the test.

He says he wasn't.

I ask if I should've gotten them to back off.

He says I don't have to. It's fine.

And so I let him take the lead in all of this. He's eight years old, but he has a right to conduct himself the way he wants when it comes to how he handles his diabetes management.

If he isn't bothered, then I will stand back. If I see him struggling, I'll lend a hand.


  • The only thing I don't like is when someone stands RIGHT NEXT to me when I'm testing, as they try to get a better look. It has nothing to do with privacy, I just don't like people standing on top of me. I need a little bubble room.

    But I don't care if people watch me. If they think it's cool, I think they're a little weird but more power to 'em...

    By Blogger Allison, at 5/31/2008 2:16 PM  

  • Shannon - You are such a great mom for letting him decide. You understand how important it is for him to be comfortable - whatever his decision. That will help him so much as he gets older & he will appreciate all you've done for him. You guys make a great team!

    By Blogger Donna, at 5/31/2008 3:17 PM  

  • Letting Brendon decide what he does or does not want to share is just the right decision. I think Brendon shows great maturity. He's cool.

    By Blogger Colleen, at 5/31/2008 7:17 PM  

  • Sounds like a great plan, Shannon. And I think the kids are probably just curious and look at Brendan with awe that he can do such a task. After all, squeezing out blood from your finger is sort of gross, but also way cool.
    It's hard to be completely open about db, but I think it's the healthiest.

    By Blogger Minnesota Nice, at 5/31/2008 7:17 PM  

  • Spot on. As we all know it's his disease so they have to be his choices. You are a wonderful mom. You've obviously done something right if he is this confident and comfortable with his management in public.

    By Blogger Jillian, at 5/31/2008 7:35 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Shannon, at 6/01/2008 6:07 AM  

  • It means a lot to see these comments especially coming from you all who have been there as a kid.

    Thanks :D

    By Blogger Shannon, at 6/01/2008 6:11 AM  

  • I can obviously relate to this post. I think Charlie takes a little pride in how brave he is, so he welcomes the stares.

    By Blogger Carey, at 6/02/2008 10:27 AM  

  • From the other children's perspective, this is something so different that their curiosity outweighs their sense of social behavior.

    I think if Brendon is fine letting them watch, they will eventually be more comfortable around it. paying off in the long run. It's like how siblings of children with diabetes are much better around other children with diabetes.

    It raises awareness among the young ones as well as parents. If anyone ever has to deal with diabetes, they at least would know who to turn to for help/support, you and Brendon.

    anyways, just some thoughts!

    By Blogger Albert, at 6/02/2008 2:52 PM  

  • Shannon -
    B-Man is owning his diabetes and teaching his friends in the process. His friends on the field will become extra sets of eyes in ears for you regarding Brendon's diabetes. His confidence is a lesson they will never forget.
    The fact that he is so open (and quite multi-tasker) regarding his care at the age of 8, is amazing and wonderful.
    And t he fact that you standing back until he needs you to step in is, brave & wonderful.
    You both ROCK!

    By Blogger k2, at 6/02/2008 4:23 PM  

  • I know kids watched me test in school, but I became pretty good at whipping the meter out, testing, and zipping it back up in a matter of a few minutes. (Because back then, glucose checks took 120 seconds.)

    People stare. They stare when you're dressed differently, or if you're loud, or if you're testing your glucose, or if you stumble while walking. But then they look away. The staring is fine by me, so long as they aren't rude.

    I like the idea of letting Brendon lead. That sounds like the best way of letting him set his own standards of comfort.

    By Blogger Kerri., at 6/03/2008 3:44 PM  

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