From Marion Center, Pennsylvania, USA:
My four-year-old daughter was diagnosed with type 1 just one month ago at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. She has done a great job responding to insulin injections. Her glucose numbers have somewhat stabilized and she has her energy and personality back. She never really fussed over the finger pricks or injections, but now she is really starting to resist. Is there something we can do to help minimize the pain or discomfort of the checking and injections? We alternate site locations and try to be positive with her. We have started to use some Lanacane after to help alleviate soreness. Is there a stronger anesthetic that we could use? We have also been reading about pump therapy, but I do not know how my daughter will respond to the needle used and site rotation of the pump. Is this a stage she is going through? Is there something we can do to help her through this? She has three injections a day and we want to do anything we can to make sure she is physically healthy and give her as normal a life as possible.
My best to you and your family with the new diagnosis of diabetes. I am glad that you have found this web site for all the support and good information it provides.
What you have described in your daughter's behavior is incredibly normal! Typically, this resistance is a temporary thing and gets better. She is expressing her feelings the way a four-year-old does. I would check with your diabetes care team to make sure there is nothing you are overlooking that would cause the behavior. With a little time and consistency, she will get these things over with fast and get back to what she was doing or wants to do. You will find that children act out or express themselves at very typical type of behaviors, depending on their developmental stage.
A lot of families have success with a sticker chart. Talk to her when she is not upset and explain that every time she cooperates, you put a sticker on the chart and when it fills up she gets a special treat -- something she likes to do or a present, etc. She could even draw the sticker chart, or some other fun activity. It does not need to be a big, expensive reward.
In the meantime, I would be loving and firm (kids pick up on our wavering -- not just about diabetes) and tell her that we have to check your sugar and we have to give you shots to keep you nice and healthy. If you can get everything ready to go before you call her over, that gives her less time to wind up. Also, if she is able to talk and is not too worked up, you can offer her choices that are acceptable to you such as left or right arm, etc.
Be sure to talk to your health care team for more assistance if things are not improving. I hope that you are also getting the support you need, as it is very stressful when a child is newly diagnosed with diabetes, especially given her current lack of cooperation.
Original posting 8 Oct 2007
Posted to Behavior
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:12
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