To me at 5 years old, “diabetes” really only meant I had to have regular, painful injections and absolutely, never, ever have candy …(with thanks to pumps and updated nutrition is a bygone of the past). Any time I eyed candy I still remember dad saying to me, “remember that girl in the hospital bed next to you that ate a Kit-Kat bar and wound up in the hospital?” Yeah…thank you, girl who ate a kit kat and wound up in the hospital…I thought I would never hear the end of that example.
Back to dad. I relied on my parents completely, and looking back, I don’t know how they did it. My mom went back to school to be a nurse so she could learn how to better help me (trying to avoid grabbing a tissue here, that will be for a later post) and my dad used humor, thoughtfulness and tested EVERYTHING before I did. And I mean everything. Pricking his finger, getting a shot, tasting my drink to make sure it wasn’t a regular Coke…you name it.
Me and Dad at Niagara Falls. You can’t see it here, but on my little finger was a bright blue band-aid from testing my blood sugar just before we went across this bridge. He kept all my diabetic supplies in that little bag on his back.
I remember being in that sterile hospital room and having the nurse prick my finger to check my blood sugar. With the large blood sample that was required, and obvious pain, I hated it! My dad, being the warm, caring dad he is, with a silly side he shares with few, let the nurse prick him before I was pricked. I still remember it like it was yesterday! He yelled out a whopping OUUUUCH!! And shook out his hand, which made me bust into endless giggles.
He also came up with a special song to sing to me before he would give me injections, “a frog went a courtin’ and he did ride…” Now, I realize it may have been to comfort himself just as much as it was meant to comfort me! You would think the hearing that song would bring back memories of painful anticipation before feeling the sting of a shot, but it was such a comfort at the time that it only makes me smile. It was consistent and sweet.
Me and Dad in Dallas when he came to visit a few years ago. We always make the most of our time together!
So, in the wake of dear old Dad’s Day on Sunday, thank you Dad. Thank you for the way you cared for me when I needed you most, and the way you continue to care for me. Thank you for all of the special times not related to diabetes at all. Thank you for being there in all aspects of my life to listen, impart wisdom be quick to love.