Mom of a newly diagnosed 31 m/o daughter

Hi!  My name is Sarah and my daughter, Vivi Anne, was just diagnosed Type I diabetic two weeks ago after a rush to the ER followed by 5 days in the pediatric unit of a local hospital.  I'm feeling very overwhelmed and frightened about taking care of her..  It's been hard for me to get used to the idea of sticking to a fairly rigid meal/snack schedule and I'm terrified about dosing her units of insulin!  My husband has 7 first degree family members with diabetes, but she is the first one with childhood onset.  He knows a bit more about how to dose, but works 3rd shift so I'm hesitant to wake him during the day unless I really need something.  ANY advice or suggestions about how to deal with the realities of parenting a small child with this disease would be greatly appreciated!

Hi, Sarah,

I am so sorry your daughter has been diagnosed with T1, but you've come to a good place for support and advice.  It is really overwhelming in the beginning, but you will learn very quickly how to care for your daughter, and you'll continue to get better at it as you continue to learn about diabetes.  My best bit of advice is to read "Think Like a Pancreas" by Gary Schiener.  It does a great job of explaining the various insulin treatments, how they work, and how BG is impacted by ... well ... just about everything.  Also, I found a great deal of support in the D blogging community, particularly other parents who are blogging about their family's life with diabetes.  I have found them all to be warm, supportive, and more than willing to give their time as much as possible to other D parents who need support.  My favorite is Meri, who has three boys with Type 1.



Thanks Monique - I will definitely look into that book!

Hi Sarah :)  I'm sorry for your little girl :(  My daughter was 12 years old when she was diagnosed.  It's horrible isn't it.  I know.  I hope you can find some friends here.  It's tough to feel like you're alone or don't know how to handle're definitely NOT alone!  Now gotta stick to the meal/snack schedule...I know it's tough.  But it's for the best.  She's too little to complain to tell you when she doesn't feel right, so it's up to you to keep things running smoothly.  She's got a long life ahead of her...a long healthy life ;)  And if your husband can do anything to help, regardless of whether he's sleeping or not, you have to use him!  Your daughter's team has to be as big and as knowledgeable as possible!  Use the doctors and their staff and your husband and your entire family...the more people looking out for her the better.  Ultimately you are her mom and you will know best but just remember to ask for help when you need it.  And take care of yourself too Sarah.  You need to keep your wits about you...keep rested.  I know what it's like to feel overwhelmed and terrified, believe me :) 

Whoooops...I forgot to tell you I think Vivi Anne is a beautiful name!

Hi Sarah,

My name is Angie and my 10 year old daughter Olivia was also diagnosed two weeks ago (April 4) with T1 diabetes after 3 days in ICU.  I know exactly how you feel...completely overwhelmed. I must admit, I had absolutely no knowledge of diabetes whatsoever. I didn't know the difference between T1 and T2, and unfortunately have had to learn the hard way. I am so greatful to have found this website...I don't feel so alone and it is teaching me so much. Thank you to those of you who are sharing your are a blessing :)



My daughter was diagnosed with T1 just over a year ago when she was 4 1/2 years old. At the time I never would have guessed living with the shots, highs, lows and calculating would become routine...but it has. Being in the hospital with her for 3 1/2 days and seeing the other children there made me thankful that if my child had to have "something" that it was "something" we could contrrol and teach her to take care of. Don't get me's not easy, it's frustrating at times and I wish every day that she didn't have it. But she does so we try and have as positive of an attitude as possible and make all the correct choices and decisions for her. Each day will get a little easier. Each shot will become a little more routine. You'll get good at figuring out when your child is high or low by how they act. And you'll learn how to make all the correct choices for her. If you make some wrong...don't beat yourself up over it...every step is a learning process and every child is different.

Hi Sarah.

My son was diagnosed in December, also at 31 months.  We're still pretty new at all of this, too, but let me tell you, you really do learn a lot, grow, and change very quickly.  I shared (and still share, to some degree) your concerns.  We were pretty free and easy with meal times before the diagnosis, and Kieran was a very inconsistent eater.  We are now really used to the strict schedule, but his eating habits still make mealtimes a battle.  Unfortunately, he eats more cookies and ice cream now than ever before in an effort to get the right quantity of carbs in him.

As for the insulin, it is scary and upsetting at first to give a little one his or her shots.  A few words of advice:

1. It will get easier as you all get used to it.  It used to take two of us to hold him still and comfort him, but now he hates washing his hands more than having his shots or having his blood sugar checked!  Your daughter is so young that she will not remember a time before shots in a few short weeks (I know, it's a bit sad, but overall, it's a good thing). 

2. We were so scared of over- or under-dosing Kieran at first that it took forever to draw up the shot.  Then we met a woman from JDRF at the endocrinologist's office, and she told us the story of how her grandson was petrified she would die if she didn't pay careful attention to exactly how much insulin she was injecting.  She pointed out to him that if she made a mistake, she might feel a bit sick for a bit, but she could always fix it without too much difficulty.  Don't get me wrong, you want to be precise, but it is not easy to slip up and give her a deadly dosage! 

3. Just remind yourself that injecting her is a sign of your love and commitment to her, and that you simply must do it (obvious but true)!

We're about to take the plunge into using the pump, so we'll be back to square one very soon.

I'd love to keep up a conversation with you, if you're interested.  It's great to get advice from people who have been dealing with diabetes for a long time, but I really feel the need to talk with someone who is in the same position as me now.  We're both new to all of this (right now, you might be overwhelmed, but in a couple of months, I bet we'll be on pretty even footing), and we are both dealing with the challenges of dealing with a diabetic preschooler, with all its unique challenges.  I find that people receive very different advice and strategies, depending on where you live, and I'd be interested to hear what you are being told and share what I know.

It's a roller coaster, and I go from "it's the end of the world and nothing will ever be all right again" to "you know, this isn't so bad" fifteen times a day.  I wish you luck, and I hope to hear from you.


I'm sorry to hear. Mine girl was 8 when diagnosed with Type 1. But it will get better in a lot of ways. Just keep a log and make lots of notes. Thats the best way to deal with injections in my book. I don't know how long your doctor will make you wait to get a pump, but that will make things much better with a toddler...they even have remote controls so you can boulse and they don't even know you are doing it.