I realise as I start this that for some reason nearly everything about diabetes concerns what the body does — and what we don’t know, can’t know, consciously or scientifically, about it. Sigh.

But this is about something different. Sort of.

At the last consultant’s visit E was told to start moving the site of his pump infusion around a bit. (There are quite a variety of places available; check this out!) He exclusively uses his tummy however, as that is the area that is most comfortable, with the most fat on his skinny self. And putting it into muscle or plain tissue is more painful.

The irony though is that insulin loves fat. It justs throws a party for fat, and gathers around it celebrating. And therefore doesn’t disperse as well into the bloodstream…which means that it doesn’t work as efficiently…which means that blood sugars may be affected. Irregularly and intermittently, because absorption may be such.

Which is so much fun. Sky-high one minute, dragging the bottom the next. What else is new in the world of teenagers with diabetes, we ask… Anyway, in truth none of us have noticed any particularly irregular stuff with absorption, but we have taken the whole issue on board.

E is beginning to develop ‘fatty lumps’ in his tummy, from overuse of these particular sites. SO… we are strongly encouraging moving around.

So yesterday is a set change day and he dares to move the inserter another inch out over his waist. This doesn’t seem like much. But I have to stress: each change to routine threatens the sense of feeling confident and safe. It’s like suddenly deciding to leave your keys someplace else at night: will you remember where you put them? Will you be able to get where you’re going on time? Will this somehow mean that you are more likely to have an accident? Etc.

Now throw pain into the equation. E knows and we know that another irony of fat is that it has no nerve endings in it. Which means that it feels like it wants you to always put the cannula in there…yes please, it says, you know you don’t even feel it when you go here

Sigh. So on top of moving location, he has to make the deliberate choice to hurt himself more and go someplace where there isn’t as much fat.

And it does. Hurt. On and off for hours. In sharp waves. So much so that he blanches and has to squeeze a hand.

Don’t get me wrong and please don’t misunderstand. This kind of pain with a set change is very unusual. Even in non-fatty places. A bit of stinging, and then it’s done. E says it hurts much less than injections.

But last night was different. We knew it was in right because his blood sugars were good. He just had to last through.

And here’s the thing: the body learns. The body says gee that hurts, and in time, by this morning, the nerve endings have withdrawn. They have dulled. And it’s all better.

All better. What the body does. Like my emotions, which careen over and over away from hurt, from that point that says this is part of his life and I hate it.

Over time, something in me has learned not to go there.

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