I was sitting on the bed in my underwear, a towel wrapped around my wet hair, doing a full set change on my pump.

Mornings are a little hectic around our place. I am a pretty organised person but despite best laid plans, mornings still have the potential to head into a disordered mess. I blame the dogs – especially the puppy – who in their cute four-legged way have the potential to derail the morning routine.

But today, everyone was calm and just getting on with the job of getting themselves sorted and out of the house at the right time. Even Sooty was minding her own business, quietly chewing on a pair of Aaron’s socks in a corner.

The kidlet climbed onto the bed next to me to speak about something that was happening at school that day, talking a million miles an hour and brushing her hair at the same time. Excellent multi-skilling!

Without missing a beat in her commentary (or grooming), she watched me draw insulin into a new cartridge, flick the outside of the syringe with my finger and push a few tiny air bubbles out, a little spray of insulin heading into the air. I inhaled, thinking what I always do when I smell insulin, ‘The smell that keeps you alive’.

I connected a new line, loaded the cartridge into my pump, tightened the cap and primed. A couple of drops of insulin fell onto my bare legs.

And then, I peeled away the tape, pulled off the blue cap and pushed the cannula into my skin, quickly pulling out the introducer needle.

At that point the kidlet stopped speaking to me about school, her hairbrush poised mid-air.

Ouch,’ she said. ‘How can you do that and say it doesn’t hurt?’

‘It doesn’t,’ I said simply. ‘At least, not much. And that one really didn’t hurt.’

I feel that diabetes has desensitised me to so much. I have become more accepting of my own mortality and, even though I don’t like to think about it, I am resigned to a shortened life span. As I age, I expect limiting complications. I accept pain more readily. I know that my health cannot be taken for granted and that my immune system has the potential, at any given moment, to do something stupid. There are days that I feel an exhaustion that I am sure is connected to diabetes, but deal with it by simply getting on with things. I wear robot parts on my body and no longer even bat an eyelid when I catch a glimpse of them taped to my skin.

And I don’t feel the pain of needles anymore.

I looked at our beautiful daughter. ‘You would be surprised at what your body and mind are capable of, darling,’ I told her. ‘These things keep me healthy. I’ll do pretty much anything for that.’

She hopped off the bed and headed into the kitchen for her breakfast. I threw on my clothes for the day, gathered up the rubbish – the used pump line and cartridge, and packaging from the new ones – and followed her into the kitchen.

The smell of insulin lingered in the room.

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