I am the mother of a 4 year old girl who was just diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Up until this point she has been very healthy, so this has been an overwhelming diagnosis. She is having a hard time with the daily injections and the 2 a.m checks. I just wanted to reach out and see if anyone has some good information on helping her get use to taking injections. Also, any other information that I should know with diets/snacks and exercise would be helpful as well. She currently is in gymnastics 4 hrs a week and I want to know if there is anything special that I should be doing other than monitoring her behavior afterwards.
First of all, thank you so much for reaching out. A T1D diagnosis is incredibly overwhelming and it really helps to have other people to talk to for advice and sympathy.
There’s no “magic fix” for getting used to injections. I was diagnosed at age 7 and it was terrifying for me; I was super scared of needles and it did take some time to adjust. A few tricks to try:
~If it’s possible, you can try distracting your daughter by talking to her about a topic she likes, or by showing her a video or something else to take her attention off of the shot. The truth is, the worst part of getting a shot isn’t the actual needle–it’s the anticipation leading up to it.
~When I was first diagnosed, my mom would give me some kind of “reward” after a shot–like reading a book with me or letting me watch a short video. Sometimes she’d even do a bit more insulin so I could have a sweet treat, like a piece of candy.
It seems scary now. I know. But I promise it’ll get easier–for you and for her.
Exercise is a tricky thing… Make sure she gets lots of water while she’s exercising because dehydration can make her blood sugar go waaaay up. Keep a logbook of her numbers (there are plenty of apps that can help with this) so you can see patterns, particularly after gymnastics. Exercise will make her blood sugar drop, so give her a little less insulin before practice. When I took gymnastics, my mom would give me a small snack (typically cheese and crackers) after practice, with no insulin. That really helped keep my levels under control. Eventually, your daughter will probably be able to sense when her levels are dropping, so that’ll make things a lot easier.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any other questions or just want to talk! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Best of luck!
Another thing you should look into is an insulin pump. I’ve included a link which shows some pictures of it. Insulin Pumps are really handy if doing the injections are to hard for her to handle