My daughter is three years old and was diagnosed shortly after her second birthday. Her glucose reading was 1066 when we took her to the hospital and the entire situation was traumatic for her. I was expecting our second child at this time and there were some factors that prevented me from being with her the whole time she was in the hospital.
Since her diagnosis, I have become concerned with the changes in her behavior. I realize that she will act differently if her glucose is very low or high, however I am seeing more changes in her than I expected. My loving, gentle daughter is just not there most of the time. I sense a lot of anger in her. Most of it directed at me. She refuses to listen to me or her father. This concerns me because I want her to start pre-school and I worry that she will be labeled a child with behavior problems. I do all of her diabetes care myself and her father works many hours of over-time. On the other hand, she does not like for me to leave her (even to go to the store). It is almost as if she tries to act her worst just to see if I will still love her and stay with her. Is it common to notice a significant behavior change after a child has been in the hospital? Her readings vary greatly, perhaps this is also a factor. I love my daughter and want her to be happy. I would appreciate any advice on the psychological effects of hospitalization and diabetes on children.
Your experiences are very common. Very young children find it difficult to express their feelings except by being awkward and difficult. I also wonder if your daughter senses your anxiety and this may make her even more unsettled. Remember that what you are doing to her is essential to her future life and health--although she doesn't understand this.
I think you should discuss your concerns with your diabetes team and I feel strongly that you should not be put off sending your daughter to pre-school for a few hours a week. It's the best way for her to find out that she's not the centre of the Universe.
Original posting 14 Nov 96
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:51
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