Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Plush Pumpers and Other Assorted Type 1 Critters

We have made some exciting progress with regards to site changes; Jenna has been agreeable to sites on her upper arms!

We were able to persuade her by explaining that to keep using her pump we need to use other sites. Her bottom is getting tired. If we can't switch sites we'll have to go back to MDI's. That did it. Jenna wants no part of the whole three-needles-a-day club anymore. I told her that she would likely be surprised at how easy she would find insertions on her arm. When it was done Jenna said, "You were right Mommy! It wasn't bad!" She still has no intention of allowing us to do an infusion site on her abdomen. But after today's little art therapy session I have better insight as to why she is so opposed to this. Let me explain...

Earlier this week I was forwarded a link to a site called Haiti Houses. I love this idea of creating little houses out of paper and selling them to raise money for the people of Haiti and thought it would be a good craft project that would also teach my girls a sense of global community, good will and the spirit of giving. Since the devastating earthquake in Haiti I have had numerous conversations with my girls about what happened there. They are aware that people are suffering and they have voiced a desire to help. So I gathered the necessary materials last night after my girls went to bed and began prepping for a crafting session later this week. As I created a little house to serve as an example and inspire my girls, my mind began to ponder other paper crafting possibilities.

And then it came to me.

Jenna has several dolls and stuffed animals that have type 1 diabetes, so she has told me. I thought, why not make these little critters some insulin pumps out of paper! And Jenna can perform site changes on them using an old insertion device from one of her own site changes (sans the needle, of course).

So this morning my girls and I got busy with some colourful card stock, glue, googly eyes (they make the best pump buttons), and some butcher's cord for tubing. It was great fun! We made paper pumps in an array of stunning colours and then matched each pump with the perfect doll or stuffy. Each toy got an infusion site on a different body part:

Lumpy opted for a thigh placement,

Cookie-Pookie got one on her upper arm,

Boo went for the bottom,

And one brave but nameless lion attempted the very first site ever performed on a tail!

And as Jenna was deciding on a site placement for Elmo, I asked her if Elmo was willing to try a tummy site. Jenna told me of course he was.

"Elmo is very brave," she explained. "But I won't be having a tummy site." I asked her why. She told me that the last time she had a site in her tummy she accidentally scraped it against a bar stool in our kitchen as she was trying to get down. It hurt a lot.

So at least now I know why she is so disagreeable to this. I don't know if I would have found this out had it not been for the little art therapy session we were immersed in prompting the dialogue about site changes under non-threatening circumstances.

By the end of our crafting session we had a small army of plush pumpers with pretty paper pumps stuck to them! It was an impressive site, to say the least.

Most days I feel like I'm clumsily fumbling through this whole parenthood thing with the best of intentions but with all too human an approach. But today, I felt rather accomplished.

It felt pretty darn good.


Crystal said...

That is So awesome! Love the pictures. I want one, btw. ;-)

Kerri. said...

I love this post. I love the pictures, and the army of supportive stuffed animals.

You are an excellent mom!!

Stacy said...

Those pumps are so cute! My mom made Sparkle some pump pouches for her dolls so that they can match. When they are little, it's the little things that can help so much. For mine, just having them for dolls helps make it more normal.

I'll have to show her your paper pumps - I think I'll be making those soon :)


Stacy said...

By the way, I have an award for you over at my blog -