Q was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was three, just a few months shy of turning four.
It wasn’t long before she could talk caregivers through checking her blood sugar if they needed to.
In kindergarten she began checking her own blood sugar. I hadn’t pushed for her to take on the duty, but one day when I asked her to wash her hands for dinner, I heard the tell-tale beep of her meter.
From then on, she had primary responsibility for checking her own blood sugar.
I’m a firm believe that I should give her some age-appropriate responsibility, but that I need to listen to her and back off if she’s beginning to feel burned out.
I was reading the post “Life of a D-Sib” written by Put Your Oxygen Mask on 1st as I was making my morning coffee. The d-mom described that the older sibling knew how to do some of his little sister’s care.
I looked over at my just-turned-five-year-old and asked, “Would you like to check Q’s blood sugar for her? I’ll talk you through the steps.”
He has already begun voicing concern for her as he hears the CGM alarm. I leave the two of them alone to play sometimes in the backyard while I’m busy inside or in the living room while I’m upstairs. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing for him to know what to do.
He kind of gave me a glance and I made sure he knew that we weren’t checking his blood sugar. Q gave me a questioning look. But the two of them sat down at the table and I talked him through it. She cautioned that she did not want him to use her pinky. He nervously said that he didn’t want to get any blood on him.
But the two of them did it.
I’m not saying he needs to be completely proficient at checking her blood sugar, and he certainly doesn’t need to be able to make decisions for her care. But you never know when there will be a circumstance where she needs a little help checking her blood sugar or maybe he can talk a caregiver through the process if need be.
I also think it’s important to include him in some aspects of her care since it does take quite a bit of our attention and time.
More D-Mom Blog Posts About Siblings
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