Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tug at the Heart Strings

Today I had an incident that tugged at my heart strings and once again made diabetes ever so present.

I was substitute teaching today and during one part of my day, I monitor the kids that do something called "Walk & Talk". After lunch, the kids go outside and walk around the parking lot in a designated area and talk with their friends. During Walk & Talk today, a little girl in 2nd grade that knows Kacey came up to me and this is how the conversation went:

Little Girl: "Hi Mrs. West! How is Kacey feeling today?"
Me: "Kacey is having a good day and she's feeling good, thanks for asking!"
Little Girl: "So that means she doesn't have to wear her box anymore?"
***pause*** (Jill, don't cry...don't get choked up either) ***breathe***
Me: "No, (**smile**) That means she is having a good day and she isn't sick.
Little Girl: "But doesn't she wear the box because she is sick?"
(crap! how do you explain to a 2nd grader without going into detail)
Me: "No she wears her insulin pump to keep her from getting so sick"
Little Girl: (with a shocked face) "So she can never take it off?"
Me: "Yes she can take it off for a little while but then she connects it back on so she doesn't get sick. It helps her feel good."
Little Girl: "I'm glad she has a box to make her feel good. I don't have a box when I feel bad....my Mommy just tells me to lay down."
Me: "Well, you don't have diabetes and thats why Kacey wears the box."
Little Girl: "I don't want to wear a box."
Me: "I don't want you to have to wear a box either!"
****teacher calls***** LINE UP!

Whew! Saved by the teacher :) (instead of the bell)

It really made me think though and it tugged at my heart strings. Kids are so curious and when you answer in terms they can understand then it takes all of the curiosity out of it. The little girl now knows that Kacey wears her "box" so she can feel good....she doesn't wear it because she is "sick".


Cara said...

How sweet. I have children that I work with ask me on a regular basis what my "box" is. It's hard to explain. But you can only do your best. My standard reply is that it gives me medicine to keep me from getting sick.
Such a complicated thing. Diabetes sucks.

Shannon said...

Oh my word that tugged at my heart strings too! How sweet of that little girl to care!

Joanne said...

What a sweet story, and what a great job of explaining it.

Hannah said...

Great explanation! I've learned to try to explain things in those terms to kids, too. I don't want them to think Logan's always sick. It's not true and it won't help them understand.

Shamae said...

I think you handled that situation well. A little boy at church asked Syd if he could have turn playing her game--he thought her pump was a game--she said (and this is brilliant for a 5 year old) only if you want to get poked first. He just looked at her funny and she walked away.

Kids are so great though to really care about someone else. Kids that age don't have false pretenses...they say what they feel and it sounds like Kacey really has a great support group of kids who care about her.