Candy Hearts Blog

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Candy Hearts Blog - It's a sweet adventure full of gluten free goodies!

Her First Shot

I’m not sure if the sun was shining or not.  We were ending our second day in PICU, and preparing to move to the general pediatrics floor.  Part of that transition meant that it was time to stop the IV insulin infusion…and begin administering insulin via injection

All eyes were on me.

I mean…I AM the mom, after all.

And the nurse.

But, as I sat in the rocking chair, holding my baby girl, knowing that insulin shots would become her reality…well…the idea of sticking her with a needle made me flat out sick to my stomach.

Don’t get me wrong.  At this point, I had poked lots of different types of needles in different types of people for different types of reasons.  I knew how to mix the insulin (we started on NPH/Regular), and understood how to read a syringe.

I just couldn’t fathom the idea that **I’d** actually need to be the one to poke her little body.  Or that she’d need these shots in order to survive.

The nurse stood there with his arm stretched out, trying to hand me a syringe full of insulin.

And I just stared at him.  The room felt cloudy, and my mind felt distant.  I wanted to pretend that we were somewhere — ANYWHERE — else.  That this was all just a bad dream, and all I had to do was wake up.

“Here Mrs. Rose.  Show your husband how to do it.  You know what to do.”

I didn’t move.

Two nurses, a social worker, my husband, and my mother.

All staring at me.


Meanwhile, I was praying for a superpower that would make me invisible.

Uncomfortable silence.

And then I heard his voice.

“I’ll do it.  Show me what to do. If I can fix broken helicopters, I can do this.”

Mr. Rose.

It was as if he could read my mind.

So the nurse handed him the insulin syringe…and he walked over to the chair we were sitting in…

Then stopped.

His eyes met mine…and I could see his tears.  I could tell he was as nervous as I was.

I was holding her, and pinched up her thigh.

“Just do it like a dart, honey.  Push it in with one straight movement, and then push the plunger.”

His hand was shaking.

And I was crying.

And she started crying when she felt the poke.

But he did it.

Once we got to the general floor, he continued to do it.

While I continued to hide behind my shock, he did all the finger pokes too.  At one point, we had 8 or 9 different types of clickers, and were trying to decide which one we’d use.  He poked each of his fingers with them, until he decided on one that drew a drop from his calloused hands using the smallest possible setting.

It went on that way for the first week.

He did it all.

Eventually I got my act together, but I will never forget that moment.

Category: Uncategorized
  • Joanne says:

    Man this story resonated with me… I did the same thing. I froze and never was able to give her a shot while we were in the hospital. Of course I had to step up the day we were released because Fred was on a plane for New York and I was alone, but I’ll never forget it either.

    December 28, 2011 at 8:36 pm
  • Tracy1918 says:

    This brought tears to my eyes. Too many similar memories….

    December 28, 2011 at 8:37 pm
  • NikDuck says:

    This made me cry too. Very much the same for us…..I could do nothing while in the hospital. I didn’t even spend the first night in the hospital with her, Eddie did. I was helpless. Eddie did it all while in the hospital. I’ll never forget seeing her get her first shot of insulin. I had the same feeling of just wanting to disappear or run away with her.

    December 28, 2011 at 9:17 pm
  • Catherine says:

    You made me cry as well. It’s only been 7 months. I remember the day as if it was yesterday. I remember the nurse, his name was Chris coming into the room and telling me her Sugar was @ 287 and we needed to “correct” her. I still hate that’s like there’s something wrong with my daughter. I was holding my daughter in my arms while I slept. Her tiny body hooked up to an IV and the nurse walked me through figuring out the right dose. He handed me the insulin syringe and told me that I need to just pinch up her skin on her leg and push it in like a dart. I started crying. Chris sat down next to me, my husband was asleep in the couch/bed next to us not knowing the pain I was going through. As Chris guided me through giving my daughter the first shot of hundreds I have had to give her I cried. I am crying now thinking of it. How her body tensed up even in her sleep, not knowing what her mommy was doing. Hours later as she went low at 4am. I tried to rouse her to drink the 15carbs worth of juice and I cried again as she asked me to let her please sleep. Luckily she was able to drink in her sleep. And as I held her that night and the 2 nights after that we stayed in the hospital. All I could do is pray. Pray that my baby would one day see a cure. Now 9 months later. I’m praying for a pump, knowing that a cure may possibly …maybe come in her lifetime…

    December 29, 2011 at 1:16 am
  • Denise aka 'Mom of Bean' says:

    Love it when our other halves can step up like that when we can’t seem to be able to put one foot in front of the other!
    Chills remembering Bean’s first shots…including one the ANP gave her in her butt that left a bruise. SO wanted to practice on HER for that!!!

    December 29, 2011 at 1:30 am
  • Kelly says:

    That first shot will forever be etched in my memory and on my heart too. What a true partnership you have when one can read the others mind and steps in without a word spoken when needed.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:00 am
  • Colleen says:

    Hugs… for your strength and your love.

    December 29, 2011 at 3:13 am
  • Jess says:

    and i’m all teary now!

    beautiful post, wendy. so happy that you and your family have him. 🙂

    December 29, 2011 at 5:22 am
  • Cindy says:

    Aw, Wendy, you have me crying! I totally get this post. You’re there, in that moment, and you should be able to do what they’re expecting you to do. But all you can manage is to sit there, shattered into a million pieces. I totally understand! And thank God for our other halves and how they somehow manage to pull it together and do what needs to be done when we can’t! I love you, Wendy!

    December 29, 2011 at 6:09 am
  • Sarah says:

    Ah, Wendy this made me cry. In our case it was the opposite, TJ was beating the tar out of himself figuratively and literally…he felt like he was 100% to blame, I didn’t even give him a chance to do this part in the hospital. I tried so hard to remove as much of the guilt and burden as I could.
    Way to go Rose family for working together even in this tough moment when nobody wanted to be the one to do it. You guys are a great pair.

    December 29, 2011 at 8:53 am
  • Anonymous says:

    What a wonderful father and husband. Same experience here, the hesitation…… When I finally gave the shot, she sensed the hesitation and jerked thigh away, causing needle to fly across room…. we did not know for sure how much she had gotten. Nurse had me draw up another one and told me I had to inject again. Could not believe nurse was insisting I inject again, but the nurse was correct. You have to somehow force yourself. I have forgotten most of the first week in the hospital but have never forgotten that moment.

    December 29, 2011 at 6:19 pm
  • bleedingfinger says:

    Wow, that was the very open and transparent post on being a new d-parent. I can relate. Thanks for sharing.

    December 30, 2011 at 4:09 pm
  • Holly says:

    Oh, Wendy. Do I ever remember those days. And we are seven years in. Gosh, we never forget do we? Bless your husband-I bet that WAS a lot of pressure on you. : (

    December 31, 2011 at 5:18 am
  • Amanda says:

    This made me cry and remember…I made my husband do the first one too. Somehow daddy’s make it better and husbands can sometimes find more strength. I have always been afraid of shots and woozy at the site of blood, when I finnally did my first shot I cried and cried. Somehow I finnally got over it and could do it, but then we got on the pump and that was hard all over again, doing the site changes.

    January 1, 2012 at 1:13 am
  • Misty says:

    Such a beautiful story. Not beautiful because of the circumstance, but beautiful because you can celebrate the wonderful man that you married 🙂

    I still hide behind Keith sometimes. Whenever he is home, I make him insert the CGM sensor…that needle makes me queesy!

    January 4, 2012 at 6:35 pm
  • lukesdday says:

    Brought tears to my eyes, too. I always assumed parents who are also medical professionals would find that a bit easier. Same division of labor in our house for the first year – Erik did all the set changes on our screaming baby, b/c I just couldn’t.

    January 4, 2012 at 9:40 pm
  • Jamie Naessens says:

    Wendy, you touched my heart too, and thank you so much for sharing. I guess I’m “lucky” as I have never had to do that – I’ve only known the shock as a young adult being diagnosed, thinking, “you mean I have to do *this*(?!!) for the rest of my life?”, and having stared at the syringe not being able to move. You helped me understand it, even if a small glimpse of the emotional impact of this diagnosis on parents.

    January 6, 2012 at 6:24 pm

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