I believe a common misconception about children living with Type 1 Diabetes is that they are 'use to' getting shots and therefore are not afraid of getting vaccinations. I saw this misconception play out at the pediatrician's office with Austin this afternoon. Austin was very anxious about his 11 year vaccination shots. He had been worrying about getting them for months leading up to today's appointment. Trying to relieve some of his stress and set his expectations, I told him he would only be getting three State required vaccines. When we got to his appointment the medical assistant explained there were five shots that his doctor recommended. This news was extremely upsetting to Austin and he cried upon hearing it. As much as he tried to hide his upset when the doctor entered the room there was no hiding his teary, red eyes and sniffles.
Instead of showing empathy, his doctor suggested that the shots would not be a big deal because Austin is use to getting shots. That message may have been intended to make Austin feel better but I don't think it did. In fact, it might have even made him feel worse. I think people, doctors especially, should recognize that just because a child lives with Type 1 Diabetes and has to endure multiple finger pricks, shots, and or site changes every day, it doesn't make vaccinations, blood draws or IVs any less scary or painful.
And now for the tie-in between this story and Bo...
This evening Austin was in bed and in pain from his tetanus shot. He called me into his room to talk with him. I sat on the edge of his bed and offered up some TLC. While we were talking, Bo came up to me and paw swiped my leg. I checked Austin and he was 100; it was 7:49 pm. (We reward Bo for lows that are 100 or lower.) We treated Bo and Austin ate some popcorn. Austin and I then started playing a game of Monopoly. Bo was on his mat at my side but shortly into the game he got up and went to Austin. He was sniffing around Austin. I didn't direct him back to his mat but instead just waited. He then came around the table to me and nose bumped my leg before paw swiping me. We checked and Austin was 89; it was 8:13 pm. Bo got another low party and Austin got another snack.