A.K.A. Why did we bribe our T1D child?
Our older daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes just after her fourth birthday. We had no history of diabetes in our our families and were blindsided by the diagnosis. From finger sticks to insulin injections to pump changes to continuous glucose monitor replacements, our daughter and other kids with Type 1 Diabetes have to put up with a lot of jabs. Early on in our T1D journey, these frequent pokes caused a lot of tantrums, tears, and stress. A nurse in the pediatric intensive care unit suggested we offer a small prize to reward our daughter for being so brave as all of us got used to the routine of daily diabetes care. We started calling these rewards poke prizes.
Were they bribes?
Did they help?
The idea of enduring a finger stick or a shot to stay healthy is a pretty abstract concept for a young child to grasp, but she can certainly wrap her brain and her sore, tiny fingers around a sticker, a cool SpongeBob Band-Aid, or a squishy cat figurine.
We’ve been living with Type 1 Diabetes since 2016, so we have A LOT of poke prizes around our house. Bouncy balls? Check. Kazoos? You know it. Gravity Falls stickers? We find Dipper and Mabel everywhere.
Poke prizes don’t have to be elaborate gifts. Sometimes, they’d be a free pen we got from a bank, a keychain I’d kept in a cardboard box since my freshman year of college, a weird plastic clown that I won at a fun fair in the 90s, or a squishy plastic fly I found on super-duper clearance after Halloween. But whatever it was, it helped all of us focus on something other than the anxiety surrounding another shot or stick or CGM change. Poke prizes helped take the sting out of diabetes care.
That’s what we want to do with our books: make diabetes care a little easier. We strive to tell fun, silly, positive stories that entertain kids while helping them learn about diabetes.
Our focus is never on being sick. We focus on living well.
Our books are much quieter than buzzing kazoos and they won’t rip paint off your walls like a wayward sticker. Hopefully, they’ll provide some insights, some smiles, and take some of the sting out of your diabetes care routine.