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Diabetes Burnout: Age 5

Monday, March 28, 2011

Diabetes Burnout.

It's one if those things you don't expect to happen to YOU - or HER. At least not YET...

But just like diabetes doesn't discriminate in age or gender or race... Neither does diabetes burnout.

When we went to DC, we moved Sweetpea's site from her arm to her tush. We thought it would be easier for swimming. No problem there...

When we got home, we needed to change the site. I wanted to go back to her arm. She wanted to stay on her tush. Fine. I totally get that wearing the pump in a tank on your back might be uncomfortable at times and taking a break is ok.

My only issue is that arm numbers are way better than tush numbers. Better absorption in the arms, I think. And with Dex on her tush already (She thinks Dex is too big for her arm and I agree!), that leaves very little room to move the pump sites around. (ok... that was 2 things!)

At the next site change, I asked again if she wanted to go back to her arm.

"NO!" she yelled.

I was a bit taken aback at this strong reaction.

"Why not?" I asked. "Why don't you want to go back to your arm?"

"I just don't."

And my inner dialogue begins.... "I don't want to make her do a site somewhere she is not comfortable with. I want her to feel like she has some control over this and it's not something that we are just doing to her all the time. However, we are OUT of real estate back there. I don't even know if I can FIND another place for the site on that cheek (the other cheek is totally taken up by Dex). And she was FINE with the arm last week. What is going on?!?"

So I try to explain...

"Sweets, I'm just worried that I can't find a place for the new site back there. It's good to rotate the sites around because that helps you get more numbers in range and that helps you feel really good."

"I don't like the arm. I don't like it there."

"Why not? You've been wearing it there for months. What's bothering you?"

I don't like it. I don't want to do a site change. It itches."

Okaaaaay.... She has NEVER complained about it itching.

"Oh. I didn't know that it itches. We can put some cream on it to help...."

"I just don't like it. I don't want to do it."

And she threw herself face down on her pillow and started to cry.


I know how she feels. I feel the same way. It's too much. Too much diabetes. With no time off for good behavior.

To be fair, J thinks that it was less about diabetes and burnout and more about being a difficult 5 year old. He thinks that if I had said "Let's out your site on your tush!" she would have had a fit about that, too, because often she wants the opposite of what I want - just for kicks.

I know it's hard to believe looking at that sweet little face but she can be very stubborn and difficult! I, of course, have no idea where she gets this from!

He might be right. She was tired....

But all I could think of was the day the previous week when we had done a site change at school and she had cried and yelled, "I hate diabetes!" down the hall. She tells her teachers that she hates diabetes. Why isn't she telling me?

It broke my heart. Again.

It's one thing for ME to feel this way.  But I'm trying to keep HER from feeling this way as long as possible.  Like forever.

It's HARD to do the job of a body part that went into retirement at an early age.  Especially when it's not eve one of YOUR body parts (although since she's my child and came from my body, I kind of feel like it IS - at least partially - my body part, too!)  It's hard not to feel resentment that said body part if off living it up - probably in Florida - enjoying early bird specials and frequent trips to the beach.  I picture her pancreas on a chaise lounge by the ocean, sipping a pina colada while wearing shades... Sighing and saying, "Ahhh... this is the LIFE!". 

We went ahead and did the site on her tush. I moved it out a bit further - where there was still tissue but it wasnt totally on her side... She was happy. I figured we'd deal with it later!

Some of my wonderful D Mama friends (Tracy, Heidi, Lora to name a few) suggested that I try a reward for doing an arm site. So last night I was prepared. A box of goodies to choose from if she chose an arm site. But I would not be upset if she chose the tush. It's her body and her decision!

But I didn't need it.

Last night was site change night. I suggested an arm site.

"But I'll get cold!"


"I get cold. With just my tank on."

Ohhhhh..... She wears her tank when she goes to bed. After we have done her change, we put her Jammie shirt on. So she didn't want to do a site change on her arm because she got cold. That was it.

I told her we would put the Jammie shirt on and I'd work around it. And she was fine with that. Problem solved!

So her site is on her arm....

And all is well!

(Yeah, she's rockin' the shades in doors... and it's like 30 degrees out... I don't know...)

I wish ALL of our D issues are this easy to fix!

** WARNING!  Kinda gross pic below...**

THIS is what the tush site looked like when I took it off...

Ouch!! She said it doesn't hurt. But I'm glad she is back the the arm (quietly, of course)! The numbers with that site were as ugly as it looks.



  1. OMG we went through this with Lily and are still in the throws of it. It started with Dex and hating that...then we moved on to the pump...needless to say, she is now back on MDI using the NovoJr. pen, her A1C is down a full point (she had major lypodystrophy) and she is one happy camper getting a break from all of the tech-tachments. Hang in there.

  2. *Big Sigh*

    And...a HIGH FIVE to Sweets...she rocked it big time. Joe has had some site issues and his 5's and 6's. When he was younger (3 and 4) and now....7, almost 8...things have gone much smoother.

    It is so hard dealing with "D" amongst normal growth and development. You are doing fantabulous. Keep it up D Sistah!

  3. That's one rockin' arm site there :)

    Keep up the great work and I hope that tummy site is healing!

  4. Oh, her pancreas is in Florida all right, hanging out with mine. Of course I threw them both in the ocean to be eaten by sharks, since they're both bloody useless...};-D

  5. Oh, I really feel for you. Just over the weekend, Natalie had a fit about getting an extra shot at bedtime because she was high. We don't do correction shots too much outside of meal times, but usually she is okay with it if we need to. Not that night! Her attitude was like she was over this D stuff too and burnt out....and we haven't been at this a year yet. That was hard for me to see her feel that way. It just makes me so sad that so many kids have to deal with this. Ugghh. So glad Sweets better the next time...they bounce back quickly thankfully. You're doing great!

  6. Balancing it all -- knowing what's best for our kids, doing what's best for our kids, giving them some degree of control, meeting their emotional needs, dealing with typical age behaviors, dealing with individual quirks, etc. -- it's SO hard! But Sweet is SO lucky, because you are one amazing mama! You've doing a great balancing act!!!

    I'm happy to know that last night's change went without complaints!

    Thanks for the mention too! Rewards work wonders with my kids! The key is determining their individual "currency" and finding what will actually incentivize them.


  7. We still have never tried an arm site for the pump (used to use MM sensor in the arm). Now that Sweetpea is in school, maybe the other kids ask and/or tease her regarding the site? We always made sure sensor was covered by long Tshirt. That is another thing to consider; the resistance to the arm site may be caused by an outside source, i.e., even casual comments or questions by other children. We are now trying thigh sites and they are working very well, the upper side of the thigh.

  8. What a rockin site on her arm! You know, every one of our kids will go through this and we all have our way of handling it. I think you are a great Mama to SweetPea and you are thinking about marvelous issues - body control, confidence, ability to make decisions about her care on her own - and there is nothing but GOOD that can come of that. Way to go!

  9. Well... if you tell me what beach the pancreas' are living it up at, I will round them all up and ship them home. Its about time they all got back to work!!

    I am glad she is back to the arm :)

  10. *Don't tell her this/give her ideas* But when I would get burnout as a kid (and I wouldn't call it burnout because it wouldn't last long), but I would throw my meter across the room.

  11. Yay, she did it! : ) It was just a bad time. We used to do rewards too-we'd let her pick stuff from the One Spot ($1) at Target or order books and stuff from the book orders, then we'd deal them out slowly for each site. It really added lots of junk to her room, so we don't do it anymore, but on burnout days, I have to bribe too. So's still a long road ahead. : (

  12. Aw, I broke down crying in front of my mom today and I think I wailed, "I just don't want diabetes anymore! I don't want to deal with it!" Sometimes all we need is a good cry, I think.


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