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Taking the Plunge.

My old school insulin carrying case.  In true blue!I'm from a very big family - my mother is one of seven and my dad is one of five, for starters - so I had plenty of relatives who used to babysit for me when I was small.  Overnight visits at my aunts' houses were part of the fun, and I always looked forward to them.  (Because - let's be honest - I liked that they let me put makeup on them and do their hair.  My pretty aunts were like living Barbie Doll heads to me.)

Things changed a bit when diabetes came into the picture.  Sleepovers weren't as easy to manage, because now we had to juggle insulin injections, blood sugar tests, and being on the lookout for high and low blood sugars - especially back in that first year when everything diabetes-related was so new to all of us. I was still a little kid, and now all this medical stuff, too?

When I was first diagnosed, I didn't do my own insulin injections.  At the outset, my parents did my injections for me, but after a few months, my extended family started to learn.  I think about it now, having baby-sat for my nieces and nephews and little cousins, and I can't even picture that learning curve.  I'm so grateful that my family came together to learn to deal with diabetes, instead of leaving my mom and dad as the only ones who were "in the know." 

One of my earliest memories with diabetes is of me waiting on my aunt's couch while my mother tried to explain to my aunt how to administer my insulin injection.  And every time I recall it, it makes me laugh.

"You need to uncap the syringe, check for any air bubbles one last time, and then pinch up where you're going to stick the needle.  Once the needle is in, you press down the plunger and pull the needle out.  No problem!"

My aunt was nervous.  "I pinch the skin and then put the needle in?  How fast do I put the needle in?"

"Pretty quickly," my mom responded.  "Don't think about it.  Just jab it in there, as gently as you can."

"Okay, so pinch, jab, plunge, remove.  Got it."

"Great, so are you ready to give it a try?"

(Mind you, the entire time they're debating this, I'm face-down on the couch with my pants pulled down, waiting for the insulin injection to be given into my seven year old butt cheek.  Another truly classy moment for me.)

My aunt came towards me, brandishing the syringe like a hot poker.  She uncapped it nervously, pinched up the top of my hip, and said (and I remember this clearly), "Ready, Kerri?"

"Yessh I amph."  I said into the couch cushion.

"Okay, here we go!"

She expertly stuck the syringe needle into my skin, and I barely felt the pinch.  And then she pulled the needle quickly out, letting out an "Oooh!  I did it!"

My mother sighed.

"You didn't push the plunger down."


"The plunger.  To dispense the insulin?  You didn't push it down.  You just stuck her with a needle and then pulled it out again."  I could hear my mother trying not to laugh.

"Oh shit!" my aunt exclaimed.  

I laughed, despite the fact that they were about to advance on me again with that syringe.

"You shed de esh word."



You are so lucky to have such a supportive family. I remember watching my parents with nervous looks on their faces as they approached me to give me my first shot and the even more horrified faces when I screamed! Ever since then I was responsible for my own care- every shot, every carbohydrate, every low, and eventually every pump training and site change.


gave me a laugh out loud moment. Tx

This is great.

I was diagnosed at 12, and since the first day, when the grumpy nurse came at me with a syringe, I did them myself. I didn't trust anyone else.

The only exception was when I let the most popular girl in school give me my insulin once. She was so excited, and I wanted to impress her with my diabetes awesomeness.

I don't have any memories like that. It was pretty much just my parents and me. But I have to say, the mental picture I had in my head and the conversation made me laugh so loud my friend wanted to know what I was laughing about. :) Isn't family great?

That gave me a laugh :)

Addy has her first sleep over tonight...she's really excited.

The other mother has been so good about getting ready for both D and celiac...I feel very blessed...and hope I don't end up sleeping on their front porch because of my own anxiety. Just kidding -- sort of...

Anyway, we've been getting her stuff together:

Juice box (plus an extra)
Gluten free snacks
Gluten free breakfast (frozen waffle)
Gluten free toaster...what doesn't everyone bring their own toaster to a sleepover?????

Oh my gosh. I haven't laughed so hard in I don't know how long! My poor boys! They have been in this same situation many times before! Pants down and waiting...

Hahahahaha. Oh, I laughed. Thanks for sharing that memory!

Aaahaha! You are so lucky to have had such a supportive family :)

I am laughing with tears. Has your aunt read this blog? What a great share. thanks.

Outstanding! Love it!

I can just imagine this happenin (think it actually did with one of my grandparents).

This is my new goal: To find a young child to inject with insulin, and creep up on them with a needle being brandished like a hot poker.

Ahhh.. memories. Glad you remember stuff like this Kerri, you have a long diabetic-memory (that is good!).

Thanks also for the sweet thank you card. Means a lot.

Knowing your mouth, I don't believe you said "de esh word". ;)

OK, I can't stop giggling!!!:D

This made me laugh so hard I had tears in my eyes. My son is spending the night tonight with his grandma and aunt and I can see them doing the same thing! When I'm up worring all night about him I will think of this and hopefully get some sleep.Thank You!

People are looking at me at work because I'm laughing out loud!

Having trained my own (extremely nervous) parents to do injections on me, I can relate. I made them practice on each other first though.

That's so great!!! That's fabulous that your extended family stepped up to the plate for you. I wonder what sort of memories my son will have; memories with my family who have stepped up, and of the fun he's had with his grandparents and aunts and uncles; and memories, or lack thereof, of his paternal grandmother and paternal aunts, who used to take him on fabulous trips and vacations but hasn't taken him once in the past 4 1/2 years. What sort of memories do those leave a little boy. :(

HILARIOUS! I mean, I'm sorry you had to get jabbed twice. . but, very funny.
I just started insulin this week. Hubby wants to try giving me a shot. Can't wait. .I'll have to have him read this first!

oh my gosh! that totally made my day! i knew once you started to recall the situation that your aunt was going to do a great job sticking you with a needle but was totally going to forget to plunge! gggaaarrreeaaattt story!!! :))

Thanks for the laugh!

I remember that day clear as a bell. My sister, Kerri's Aunt Denise, is just the sweetest person you would ever want to meet and the fact that she had to "stick" Kerri twice was just too much. she couldn't stand to hurt a fly. Therefore, it was ok that she said "oh shit" in front of Kerri. Poor Aunt Denise was traumatized. They were all "troopers" for taking the time to learn to take care of their "colorful, precious niece". It was rather comical!

LOL. I just had flashbacks to my childhood. My dad was always scared of hurting me when he gave me shots (mom usually did it). He would hold and jab the needle in like he was throwing a dart. A couple of times I am pretty sure he pulled it back out too before injecting.

Love this post! I remember sleepovers at my grandma's and telling her she was the best shot-giver. I think I also gave the same title to my dad!

At least you got a couch! my husband is always complaining about the cold countertop to this day.

I just laughed til I cried!!! Thank you!!

Wow did I need a laugh!!! I was too stubborn to let anyone give me a shot. I was diagnosed at 8, got my first shot by a doctor at a clinic and then gave myself my next shot (and a millions following) in the hospital. My mom would get mad and tell me that she needed to give me my insulin every once in a while... in case I got sick and couldn't do it. I finally game in ONCE, pulled my pants down, and bent over, telling her to give me my shot! Good memories!!!

Now we know where you get it! haha. very funny.

It's really crazy being on the other side of the plpunger. I've been a diabetic for 22 years, and a year ago we started giving my youngest son growth hormone injections. Same deal, but WOW different perspective!!!

First of all: I totally remember something similar happening to me when I had a sleepover at my aunt's house when I was about eight.

Second: How classic that you found a pic of an old ice-pack/insulin carrying pack! I think I used that exact pack until about five years ago. It traveled across the pond to England with me a few times-- a gem!

Thank you Kerri for sharing that memory. You so cheered me up tonight. I am just feeling discouraged and your blogs brighten my day.
Thanks. Chris

Hahaha!!! You also gave me a "Laugh out Loud" moment. I wish my family had come together like that. I'm from a huge family as well, but everyone got scared away, like I was infectious or something. Oh well, I still turned out just fine! Your Aunts sound awesome!!

I am so lucky and never realized it till now but looking back it helped. my Dad is an ER doc and has been my whole life and he caught the signs way ahead of the curb ran me to the docs office (mind you without an appt or call) and said take her glucose it was 798. then off to the ER we went. everyone was so nice. My dad had no problems doing the shots or treatments but my mom flipped!! she was so scared for me and how she might hurt me my dad told her the worst you can do is not treat her.That will kill her. But my mom is the one who was with us all the time since dad had to work. and my mom at her best tried to figured how to explain to a 12 yr old that shots everyday was going to keep her alive but mom didn't know dad told me and it was fine I would do it. then I have a twin sister and she was dx'ed at 14 and good lord you would think my mom had a mental breakdown not that she didn't know how to deal with it but because it was on a X's 2 treatment. she did better with sherry them my dx but okay! she was so careful is this okay? are you okay? no candy at all for like the first 2 yrs of dx but after that she caved in with fun size editions of candy. funny is after she deprived us of candy we would sneak it then she found out that was worse. then every meal we got our bg tested and shots given and food mesured out and everything and we didn't mind it we wanted to live to become great things and this was at the time a small price to pay. then the faithful day came and we got our pumps We were so excited mom decorated them for us and made cute packs for them so we were fasionable and as we aged and wanted them to hide them she put pump pockets in the inside of our clothes and yes prom did come and mom have a pocket put into the dress for easy access to our pumps and no one even knew it they thought we went without our pumps and were mad but we showed them and they were so happy and in the end we are both happy and healthy women and still have great A!C's between 5.8 and 6.2. like you we are blessed to have such a great family support system and the funniest thing I can laugh at this but to this day is explaining to docs and friens type 1 diabetes and the rare form I have you mentioned a Roddy Pippin on your post who has the same one as I do and it is hard but with proper care can be taken care of. It breaks my heart to see him like this. no one deserves a death sentece over this. Also for any diabetics out there remember their is nothing in the world you can not do or accomplish I personally am a paramedic and firefighter and still have safe health anywho this has to be the longest reply to a story ever but just wanted to share mine.

Hi, I just found your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I tried to click on the "email me" link to send you a personal email, but I wasn't able to. So I thought I would try to contact you this way. I am a 34 year old Type-I diabetic Mom of 3 (wow, that was mouthful)! I was diagnosed Jan. 28, 1994 (at the age of 18). I got married in 2001 (2 months after my father, who was also a diabetic, suddenly passed away). I never thought I would be able to have children either, until we surprising became pregnant in 2003. I had my first child, a son, via an emergency c-section on Nov. 20, 2003. I had some complications after the surgery, but was "back to normal" within a few weeks. My son is now 6 and just started kindergarten. He's healthy, beautiful, and "all boy!" We thought we were done with kids until God blessed us again on July 7, 2006. ANother baby boy! He was born healthy, strong, and "my hero" - as he had become today. Last January (2009) at the age of 2 1/2 he was diagnosed with diabetes. Can you imagine the heartbreak? Anyway, one year later, 4-6 shots/day later, blood sugar monitoring 8-10 times/day later....he is STRONG, HAPPY, and "my hero". He never cries, never misses a step, and never frets about taking shots or checking his blood suagr. He even brings me his "b"lucometer when he says he doesn't feel well. (oh, by the way, I am a Pediatric Nurse, although I haven't worked full-time since becoming pregnant the first time in 2003). So this leads me to my last and final blessing, my baby girl who was born healthy on Sept. 30, 2008. After her unexpected creation and arrival, I was all but forced by my doctors to end my risky fertile days and had my tubes tied. This was something I should have done after my first child was born, but just didn't. All of my pregnancies were challenging and a lot of hard-work, but WELL WORTH it. As of today, after enduring 16 years of diabetes, 3 difficult pregnancies via c-sections with delayed recoveries, and just the daily stress our bodies go through, I am HEALTHY...no neuropathy, no retinopathy, no kidney damage, no heart damage, just a "useless" pancreas. I just wanted to send you a message and let you know that it is possible to have a healthy baby and to remain healthy yourself despite the diabetes. I am living proof. Your blog is inspirational, and I have enjoyed reading it. I would love to "chat" with you via email if you have a chance just to share stories or thoughts about diabetes, being a child with diabetes (mainly for my now-3-year-old), and being a diabetic mom.

Laughing and Crying.
My daughter was diagnosed 2 years ago..she is now 7. There have been many times she stands waiting for us in the kitchen, (with her little hiney cheeks showing)to get all the steps down for inserting her pump site...she doesn't complain only grimaces from time to time

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