She was singing about a pen which my mother had just given her as a present. It is a souvenir pen that looks like a syringe filled with blue liquid. We fund it during a recent trip to Banting House in London, Ontario. It probably sounded like a strange song to anyone listening. Most people, children especially, do not love needles. But in our home this is a common refrain.
I love my needles. Truly. More precisely, I love my insulin. I am so grateful to Dr. Banting and all the others who worked so hard to make insulin available to us diabetics. I am very intentional to speak positively about my insulin pump and insulin pen injections. They keep me healthy, they help me, I am grateful and happy to have them. This is the language you will hear in my home. So it’s not surprising that this is the language I hear coming out of my daughter’s mouth as she offers to inject anyone sitting still long enough for her to poke.
The 100 year anniversary of the discovery of insulin is 5 years away and I’m debating getting a tattoo to celebrate. I just don’t knew what exactly it should be. Maybe an old school vial of insulin? (Like the one from the museum pictured above – complete with animal fat settled at the bottom. Ew.) Or a syringe? As much as I love my pump and the technological advantages it gives me to control my glucose levels, I do really like the feeling of manually injecting insulin. It feels like I’m winning. Like I am taking some control over my body and gaining some mastery of the fuckery it throws at me every day.
I have time to think about it. In the meantime we will have to see how my daughter feels about needles after she gets her scheduled immunization shot this coming Monday. I doubt she’ll be singing her invented tune, but I hope she can see it for the benefit it gives rather than just the inconvenience it presents as.