Diabetes is a hard disease for anyone to cope with, but it’s made doubly difficult for 73-year-old Lou Behringer, who must give herself insulin injections four times a day but also has arthritis and struggles to make her hands work the way they need to in order to administer each dose.
“I’m afraid I’m going to mess it up,” Lou says. “I get really shaky and nervous and forgetful.”
One day, however, Lou’s great-niece, Natalia, noticed her struggling with the injection pen and offered to help. The fourth-grader says she was nervous that first time, but she did everything correctly, and now that she’s had lots of practice, she’s awesome at administering insulin injections.
“I was really shocked. She’s never failed. She’s done it every time,” says Lou.
Now that summer’s here ad Natalia is out of school, she’s become her Aunt Lou’s personal nurse for the season. She administers insulin injections before each meal and sometimes at bedtime too.
“She takes it before every meal, so I help her before every meal. Sometimes, I help her before bedtime. Nine o’clock is when she takes it,” says Natalia.
Of course, taking the time to give Lou three or four injections every single day is a bit of a sacrifice, but Natalia says that’s just what you do for the people you love who need help.
“You love them, and you have to do the best you can do while they’re here.”
And her work certainly has not gone unappreciated. Lou is very grateful for her great-niece’s willingness to help. “God has blessed me with Natalia,” she says. “I hope there are many more kids like her. I would hope there would be.”
The family now believes Natalia might be cut out for a career as a doctor or a nurse, and they’re very proud of her bravery and responsibility with learning to fill such an important role for her aunt.
See more of Natalia and Lou’s special bond in the video below.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?