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Question:

From Las Vegas, Nevada, USA:

My nine year old son, diagnosed just a month and a half ago, instantly embraced being helpful and doing whatever needed to be done. He began doing his own glucose checks, and within two weeks, he was giving his own injections. (I was mixing the insulin and overseeing.) However, less than a week ago he quit wanting to do his own injections, has started to say his injections sting, and he hesitates momentarily when doing his glucose checks, saying it hurts. This morning he jumped when he pricked his finger and said "Ouch, that hurt!" This is really the first time.

He has been such a trooper and we have let him know how proud we are of his maturity in not only doing what needs to be done, but in being so mature and stepping up to the plate. Could it be that the reality has set in that this is not just some "special attention for a few weeks kind of thing" and that this is a lifetime (24/7) situation instead?

Answer:

It is very unusual for any nine year old to assume the amount of responsibility that you described for your son. Therefore, it is not surprising that after the initial excitement and pride of independently doing these tasks, he is now no longer able to sustain the effort. Diabetes care is not a normal part of a child's life, and has an emotional impact on children that sometimes is not so obvious.

I would let him choose who does his blood sugar checks and who gives him his injections. I would let him make that choice for at least the next year or two. By offering him the choice, you let him know that you are available to do all of the diabetes care tasks, but that you are also willing to allow him to do some of them when he is ready. He will be responsible for his own self-care for many, many years to come. While he is at home with you, he should always know that you are ready and willing to do the diabetes care tasks for him.

JWB

DTQ-20031014181245
Original posting 18 Oct 2003
Posted to Behavior

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:52
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