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“Instead of making insulin …”

“What’s insulin?” my daughter asked me as I was buckling her into the car seat.

She knows the word because vials of insulin sit where the butter usually resides in other people’s refrigerators.

“Insulin is a hormone that people’s pancreases make.  It helps make the foods we eat into something our bodies can use for energy.  My pancreas doesn’t make any insulin, so I put it into my body using my pump or the needles,” is my explanation.

“Right.  And that’s why you have diabetes and my dad and I don’t,” she replies.

“Exactly.  My pancreas is lazy sometimes.  Instead of making insulin, maybe my pancreas goes to the beach?”

She latched onto this idea immediately.  “Yeah!  Instead of making insulin, your pancreas goes in a ferris wheel!”

“Instead of making insulin, my pancreas has an ice cream party!”

“Oooh, oooh!  Instead of making insulin, your pancreas goes to the library and listens to story time and then takes out three books!”

“Very specific!”

The game went on for the entire car ride home.  “Instead of making insulin, your pancreas writes a letter to Santa!”  “Instead of making insulin, my pancreas takes a trip around the moon!”  “Instead of making insulin, your pancreas jumps on a trampoline!”  “Instead of making insulin, my pancreas grows peanuts on a peanut farm!”  “Instead of making insulin, your pancreas hangs out on Sundays with Batman!”  (On Sundays only.)

As the car pulled into the driveway, we were giggling madly about the adventures of my under-employed pancreas, outlined in great detail.

“Mom, your pancreas is extremely silly.”

“It totally is.”

“I wish it made insulin, though,” she said, snapping reality back into place in that plain, matter-of-fact way only she can.  She gave me a grin that made my heart swell and my pancreas shift uncomfortably in its seat.

“Yep.  Me too, love.”

11 Comments Post a comment
  1. When our then 4-year old daughter was diagnosed, it was difficult to explain exactly what insulin is and why she needed it. To help, we explained that it was her new medicine. A couple of days after she was diagnosed, she asked me if we could, next time, get the medicine that went in her mouth instead. Out of the mouths of babes, right?

    12/15/14; 12:31 pm
  2. Jochen #

    I really love your daughter’s ideas.

    12/15/14; 12:38 pm
  3. This made me laugh… and cry.

    12/15/14; 5:00 pm
  4. Kim Portelli #

    What’s that expression…out of the mouths of babes. It truly fits!

    12/15/14; 8:33 pm
  5. Linda #

    Out of the mouths of babes… ❤️.

    12/16/14; 10:38 pm
  6. “very specific”! lol

    sounds like an excellent concept for a kid’s book if you ask me. art by the bird?

    01/8/15; 4:23 pm
  7. Love this Kerrie. When diabetes gets me down, I’ll remember these pancreactivities and laugh it away!

    05/13/15; 11:55 am
  8. Susan K #

    Only on Sundays…. Of course!!!!! Thanks for the much needed laughter this evening!
    This conversation is priceless!

    11/12/15; 10:11 pm

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  1. Like these December Links. | Diabetes Blog - Happy-Medium.net
  2. “How do you explain diabetes to her?” | Six Until Me - diabetes blog

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