Ear piercing, Type 1 diabetes & Pumplette. 

In our cave, turning 13 is a BIG deal. Not only do the inmates labour under the false assumption that door slamming, being surly and communicating only to request Nutella become acceptable pastimes, but the long, desperate wait (for what my father would call self mutilation), ends and they are allowed to have their ears pierced.

This is one of those rights of passage where no amount of lobbying from the daughter before the age of 13 will be brooked. This is a teenage thang. And you have to be a teenager to achieve that privilege. 


As Pumplette recently turned the magic 13, a neatly timed teacher training day (day off school for the pupils) was duly set aside for a trip to get her ears pierced. From time to time, I’ve read of others sometimes having a little trouble with the piercing studio when they reveal either themselves or their child has T1D. I toyed with the notion of not revealing her T1 to the staff at Blue Banana, but on reflection felt it would be very unfair to all involved.  

So it was with a small amount of trepidation that I ticked the electronic box in store that confirmed my daughter had diabetes. The lady serving us looked through the questionnaire and spoke to Pumplette directly. “Do you manage your diabetes with medication?” “Yes.” nodded Pumplette. “Ok. Just so that you’re aware, you may take a little extra time to heal and it is even more important that you make sure you clean them properly morning & night. Because getting an infected site sucks and you don’t need that.”

And that was it. No hesitation about whether or not she could have her ears pierced. No lecture on a subject that the orator didn’t understand. Just a very reassuring, and sensible, couple of sentences.

Then Pumplette was whisked into the studio (no Mamas allowed) and the technician talked her through the cleaning regime and about the process. Ten minutes later, Pumplette emerged, all smiles, and with two gleaming earrings.  The whole process was far more straightforward than it had been with her elder, non T1D sister!! 

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