11 year old refusal to take insulin

Mary is about 7 weks into this diagnosis.  We have her on target, most of the time.  Lately she has been hardly eating, or totaly refusing her insulin.  How do you handle this?  Punishing her?  I doubt that would work.   We insist she will take her Lantis or we will do it after she is asleep. So far we haven't had to do that yet.  She is down to maybe 4 units a day of Humalog, she eats tiny snacks all day.    I haven't fussed or made a big deal over this because I think that would push her to do it more.   Anyone else have a child do this?


I feel for you. I wouldn’t punish her. The Diabetes diagnosis is punishment enough. Have you been to the Diabetes Education class yet? Did you daughter attend with you?

Post wasn’t finished… My son was diagnosed 3 months ago at age 7. Prior to diagnosis he felt HORRIBLE. When he refuses insulin or does things that are not good for his Diabetes, I remind him how he felt before and ask him if whatever he is doing or not doing is worth going back to the hospital. Does your daughter understand (as well as an 11 yo can) her Diabetes and what it does to her body. Also a trip back to your Endo might help. They can explain how serious her condition can get if she doesn’t take care of herself.

If your daughter is getting enough calories and proper nutrition, it's okay to eat like that.  Some newly diagnosed diabetics eat low carb at the beginning to try to preserve the islet cells so they continue to make some insulin.  

My guess is that it's just a phase that she'll grow tired of but you need to keep a close eye on it and make sure she doesn't develop an eating disorder, which are pretty common for type 1s since we have to obsess about food so much.

Your daughter sounds extremely intelligent and it might help her to read about diabetes and understand it all better.  "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Scheiner is a great choice.  I'd especially recommend, "Growing Up with Diabetes: What Children Want Their Parents to Know" written by a woman who was diagnosed at age 11.  It's intended for the parents of diabetics, but might be good for you both.


If she's not at a normal body weight or is malnourished, you could ask your doctor what he/she thinks of switching to the old school style of insulin dosing where she would take the same amount of insulin each day and eat a set amount of carbs at the same time each day.  It's not as good as the Multiple Daily Injection regimen you're doing now, but it also doesn't link carbs directly to taking a shot.  

She might also be a great candidate for a pump, after you've had a little time to adjust to the diabetes.