From Memphis, Tennessee, USA:
My seven year old daughter, who has had type 1 diabetes since she was 23 months old, also has ADD. Throughout our "journey" we have had constant battles over shots. In order to help her, I went to bat for her with my insurance company for 12 long months to get her an insulin pump. I did my research, and was convinced that we would not only have better control, but that she would suffer less since we would only have to change out her infusion site every two days, instead of giving two to four or more shots per day. We use an inserter, but we are still having problems with her psychologically.
We are in a battle with her every two days over changing her site, and I mean a knock-down drag out fight. She exhibits a great deal of anxiety. I rarely see anyone talk about this subject, and I think I need some guidance. Please keep in mind that we make it a point to treat her no differently than any one else, and we have been successful in that area since she is not at all ashamed of her condition. She views it much like a badge of courage. (I do realize she may be putting on a big front for us.) Can you shed some light on this? Can you point me in the direction of some reading material on the psychological effects of diabetes on very young children?
Your daughter really seems to be suffering from her fears related to her diabetes care. You worked so hard (12 months of fighting with your insurance company!) to help her get an alternative to multiple daily injections, and yet she is not doing any better. This must be so frustrating to you.
Unfortunately, there is no pat answer that will help your daughter. Her fears around her diabetes regimen is something that really needs to be addressed by a mental health professional, and I strongly encourage you to seek such support as soon as possible. The one truism about fears and anxieties is that the longer it goes untreated, the longer it will take to conquer. Please contact your diabetes team for referrals to a counselor familiar with diabetes in children. If they do not have anyone they work with, contact your pediatrician for a referral to someone with expertise in working with children who must deal with invasive procedures. The sooner you seek professional counseling, the sooner your daughter will feel better.
Original posting 11 May 2003
Posted to Behavior
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