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.
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.”
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…
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.