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Play it Out

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thank you so much for all the sweet comments and prayers sent our way during the last few days (weeks).  It means so much to us to have people who care, people who "get it" in our corner and supporting us!

Having this support is a great source of strength for J and I.  I, especially, really rely on my friends in the DOC!  The love I get from fellow D Mamas and Papas is tremendous!  Knowing that someone out there knows what we're going through, has been through it before, can offer advice and can lend a sympathetic ear is truly what keeps me sane.  

Sweetpea, however, does not have this.  She has no community of people to tell her they understand.  To tell her they've been there, too.  

I wonder how alone and isolated she feels?  If at all?

What Sweetpea DOES have to help her through these difficult times is PLAY.

One of the absolute BEST things that happened when we were in-patient during dx was the play room.  It was filled with many things - but what Sweetpea liked best was the doll area and doctor kit.  

Day 2 or 3, she was already acting out shots and what was happening to her using the dolls.

That has continued.  

Sweetpea loves her doctor kit.  She plays with it all the time.  ESPECIALLY when things are not going so well on the D front.

I had to go back to work today so Mimi and Gaga had Sweetpea for the day.  

They reported that during the day...
* Her babies threw up many times.
* Her babies needed IV's put in their arms and they had to hold very still and breathe.
*  Her babies had to go to the hospital and see the doctor.
*  Her babies needed shots and bandaids.
*  Her babies needed site changes because their sites were not working very well.

From what I hear, this went on ALL. DAY. LONG.

 This picture was taken shortly after dx... notice the paci in her mouth!  She has on her "Doctor in Training Scrubs".

This picture was taken at dx in the hospital.  We brought a stroller from home and she swiped a stethoscope to keep in our room!

I think this good.  This is how she's working through a difficult, traumatic experience.  I talk about.  I blog about it.  She plays.  Same thing.

I'm glad she has this outlet... this way to work through her day.  

I read this on the Family Enhancement and Play Therapy's website:

Play therapy creates a safe atmosphere where children can express themselves, try new things, learn more about how the world works, learn about social rules and restrictions, and work through their problems.  Play therapy gives children an opportunity to explore and open up more than usual.

And you never know...

Maybe she's not only playing.... Maybe she's practicing for her future! 


  1. I've never thought about "play" that way. Thank you for sharing. Any time Charlotte has "played" diabetes it just breaks my heart because I think no normal kid should know about those kinds of things... but knowing it's therapuetic for her will make it easier on me when she does it!

  2. GREAT POST! I really appreciate the professional insight :)

    Interestingly, I find that my 2 non-d kiddos seem to "play D" more frequently than Sugar did.

  3. My kids 'play' D too - interestingly, like Wendy's kids, it is Joshua (non-D) who seems to do it more than Isabel, though. Isabel tends to treat her toy animals for colds and coughs - the toy pumps come out sometimes, but not always, for her. She does play it at school with her friends though and I think this is great - it's raising awareness amongst her little friends, and their families, and teaching them to be aware of differences and to be tolerant of kids who aren't quite the same as they are.

    Joshua does a lot of BG tests on his animals and usually announces that they don't have D but that he's going to keep testing them! I think this is his way of dealing with the threat that is hanging over him - every time he is sick, or seems overtired, or generally out of sorts for more than a couple of days, I test his BG.

    I've always believed that play is how kids work through things. It's their therapy, their outlet. We vent, we talk to our friends and families, we blog.....They play! I like to see it - it's a positive thing. I would rather they have an outlet and learn to communicate about their feelings - not only about D, but everything. I also find that it gives me a good view on how they are thinking. When there is a lot of play about a particular subject, I know it's on their minds, so I can help them work through a problem if tney need to (or it might simply be something they are excited about). When the diabetes play is happening less, I know we are being successful in not letting D take over - when it comes to the fore a bit more, it's usually when we are struggling with it, a bit. So we can step back and make changes.

    And, like I said, when they play D with their friends, it's a powerful way of raising awareness and teaching them tolerance. This is particularly great, in my view!

    I hope Sweetpea is working through her experience in a positive way and coming out the other side a braver, stronger little girl. It sounds like that's the case! Well done Sweetpea! (((HUGS)))

  4. My boys have played diabetes since Jack's diagnosis. It's been interesting, however, to watch how their play has evolved, as they've grown over the past three years.

  5. Adam plays diabetes all the time...and my daughter gets in on the act too! I'm glad they are open about it while playing - if they didn't, I think I'd be worried. Great post!

  6. Bridget and Joe too...they used to play "d" a ton...when Joe was like 3 or 4...and Bridge was like 5 or 6. Our Webkin Polar Bear (LuLu) had a set...with a laminated animas pump with tubing and all. Logs were kept. Blood sugars taken. Woodchuck even got in on the "action."

  7. Elise plays D all the time, telling me that she's a doctor and she needs to "take care of her babies because they have diabetes and need juice because they're low". Interestingly enough, they never have high BGs! It's cute and heartbreaking at the same time.

  8. With our endo group at dx they have the kids make a doll and then give them a kit that includes all the supplies for d (without dangerous sharps). It helped our older child more than Isaac as he was so young, but now Isaac gives his doll shots.
    I'm thankful to hear that you have family right there to help with everything. Take care.

  9. Such a sweet Sweetpea! I wish we loved closer so she could play D with Nate. haha - almost said play doctor with Nate. Ahahahaha!

    BTW - Jim is totally jamming to GNR while I am commenting on your posts!!

    Rock it girl!

  10. My girls play D too. They like to give each other shots and check blood sugars. Even my babysitting kids give shots now.

    It would be so cool if she grew up to be a doctor! :)


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