About three weeks after Riley was diagnosed, he checked his own sugar for the first time. But, then, we started checking it for him. It was just easier (and quicker) that way.
Michael and I have been talking lately about how we need to start getting him back in the habit of checking his sugar himself since he will be checking it once he starts school. But, I’ve been putting it off. I didn’t really know why. I thought maybe it was because it’s just easier to do it myself.
Michael called me yesterday morning. He said he was in the kitchen fixing Riley’s breakfast and he told Riley to go get his machine and put it on the couch and he would come in and check his sugar. A few minutes later Riley walked in holding his machine in his hand. He had not only gotten his machine, he had checked his sugar all by himself without being prompted.
When Michael told me this story my eyes immediately filled with tears. I had to take a few breaths before I said anything. All I could say is, “That’s good and sad all at the same time.”
Then, before snack last night I told Riley to check his sugar. He went and got his machine. He removed a strip and placed it in the machine. He readied the lancet. He stuck his finger, but didn’t get any blood on the first try. Again, he readied the lancet and stuck his finger. This time he must have gotten it right because I saw him squeeze a small drop of blood out of his little pinkie finger. He put the blood on the strip and waited for the beep.
“What number is it?”, I asked.
“One, five, five”, he said.
“OK, run and get you a snack.” He put his machine and lancet back into his case and zipped it. Then, he went into the kitchen in search of a snack.
I turned and looked at Michael. I was barely able to hold back the tears as I choked out, “Why is that so painful for me to watch? I check his sugar all the time and don’t think about it. But, it kills me to watch him do it.”
I guess it's just a harsh reminder to me that it's his disease. It's his burden to bear. I don't want it to be that way. I want to take that burden from him. But, I can't. All I can do is teach him to manage it as best he can.
And, sit and choke back tears as I watch him try.