I need to come clean about Caleb’s post. While his statements are accurate, I think they may be misleading regarding how much he is currently doing in his care.
From the beginning, he has enjoyed being involved in the Pod change process, but it’s always been my responsibility. Certain steps require a level of dexterity that a four year-old does not yet possess, so he hadn’t been able to do it entirely by himself. There was a point where he got close; he did a Pod change almost entirely on Rufus. I just needed to help him get the bubbles out of the fill-syringe.
In general, Caleb’s priorities have been elsewhere – like piano, baseball, reading, swimming, etc.
But then he expressed his worry about the future. For that reason alone, he has been changing his Pod, particularly on his back, by himself for the past couple of weeks. He’s improved each time and now he’s got it. Bubbles and all. He’s no longer worried about caring for himself when he grows up.
As he stated in his post, he’s taken the initiative to start a journal, but other than the Pod placement, this journal is mostly non-functioning. I’m still in charge of all the dosing decisions. He does count carbs, but not exclusively by himself. Since the day he started Podding, more than four years ago, he has checked his own sugar and input his carbs and bolused. But again, not exclusively.
Here’s the thing. Caleb has been living with diabetes at the ages of three through eight. He has a lifetime ahead of him of doing all these things and most of that time will be doing them by himself. I want him to be independent. I want him to be autonomous. I want him to be proud of his abilities. But I don’t want him to burnout from the monotony and burden of the “daily grind”. While he’s a child, it’s my responsibility to do what I can to avoid that.
So where is the balance?
I’m not sure.
So far my approach has been to let Caleb lead the way. Over these years I have introduced responsibilities to Caleb and he has either embraced them, or attempted them and lost interest. If he loses interest I don’t push it. I just try again another time.
It’s helpful to know what other kids his age are doing and perhaps more so, what kids a year or two older are doing. It helps me understand what is reasonable to expect. It’s an ever-evolving process. For the most part, it’s been easy to see what Caleb is ready for and each year he takes steps forward.
So back to this Pod changing thing.
Caleb being able to change his Pod 100% by himself is huge. I am elated that he is doing it. Not because it’s one less thing for me to do, but because it is important to him.
But each time he has done it, I have worried about the novelty wearing off. I don’t want this to become a burden. I don’t want him to get tired of the daily grind at the age of 8.
So we talked about it. It was a good conversation. Very light. Very matter of fact. We agreed that we can take turns. I’d like him to keep doing it so he remains comfortable with it, but maybe once a week or twice a month. I don’t want him to feel like it’s his job exclusively. When he ends up always doing it, it will be because he chooses to.
At least that’s the plan for now.