The Christmas Gift
One weekend my mother, my daughter, and I headed to Chicago to spend the day. Her grandmother had wanted to buy her an American Girl doll for her Christmas present.
When Q came to the case of 20 or so Just Like Me dolls, she quickly picked out the one that she thought looked, well, just like her.
That night as she and the doll sat on the couch in their matching pajamas, ready for bed, Q said about her new doll she named Sophia:
She looks just like me.
She’s a super hero just like me.
She’s fast and strong just like me.
She has diabetes just like me.
Since then, Sophia, along with Rufus and her super hero bear, have been subjected to countless blood sugar checks, injections, and check ups at home.
The Doctor Visit
As we packed for our most recent trip to the endocrinologist (remember it’s 200 miles each way!), she said it was important for Sophia to come along. After all, she has diabetes and needs to see the doctor, too.
After the nurse took a big drop of blood for the A1c test and measured Q’s height and weight, she did the same for Sophia.
After the nurse took Q’s blood pressure and listened to her heartbeat, she did the same for Sophia.
When the doctor came in she asked if her doll was here for an appointment too. Q responded by saying that Sophia has diabetes this week. Sometimes she has diabetes, but sometimes she doesn’t.
After the doctor gave Q the once-over, Sophia got a once-over, too.
I think it’s important for younger children to role play and have dolls or stuffed animals that have diabetes too. It’s true that children need someone to identify with since the majority of their friends do not have diabetes (thankfully).
When we upgrade meters, I give her the old one. I give her empty test strip vials and the old insulin pens. Her diabetes supply bag for her dolls includes logbooks. The animals get once overs with the real stethoscope that the nurses kindly gave her in the hospital at diagnosis.
She helps manage their diabetes.
If your newly diagnosed child has not received the Bag of Hope which includes Rufus, request one right away. You only have three months.
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