Newly Diagnosed 2 YO struggling with injections

Hi everyone,

So pleased to find this forum! Our 2 year old son was diagnosed last week after a DKA episode that left him in the ICU. While I have a million questions my first one is aimed at parents of T1 toddlers.

How on earth do you get your kids to be on board with the shots? We are so lucky to have a Dexacom G6 and an iport but our 2 year old was someone we couldn’t even put a hat on without a meltdown, let alone inject him or switch our an iport every 3 days. We re-read every toddler course/parenting book out there and try to lead by prepping him for what’s coming, moving quickly, use distractions, explaining it’s for his health, practicing on Rufus the bear, being as gentle and calm and kind as possible but there are times in the day we have to have two people hold him (which breaks my heart) to get medicine in and I feel like I can’t go back to work until it is solidly a one person job.

We asked to be referred to a pediatric therapist because we know we need specialist help but were told we would have to wait until we see our Doctor in April for a referral. I understand things might get better by then but I just would rather be as informed as possible and nip any additional trauma to this poor little guy in the bud.

Thank you in advance!

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@CaliMM Hi Cali and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! I hope soon that some parents of toddlers will see you post and offer suggestions.

Although none of my children or grandchildren have diabetes, I have been in a similar situation as you now find yourself with a very premature granddaughter born without an immune system who was in and out of hospital for a few years. Trying to get blood draws or give needed injections was a challenge - needed one person to hold her steady - or more accurately to pin her to the table. The “good news”, was eventually she became more comfortable and grew out of her fear; by the time she was 4 she needed to be on antibiotics by IV four times each day. She was comfortable letting me, or her mother, do this without fussing and even come to my office daily so I could do her 2:00 PM dose - she rarely would awaken for her 2 AM infusion. I hope that your son will adjust much sooner than age 4.

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Likewise my sister - who is three years younger than me - fought strongly against needles and had to be held down for vaccinations and blood draws. I started taking insulin at 3 years old so they usually had us both go in the room at the same time and would take me first to show her it wasn’t so bad. Unfortunately it didn’t work but in time she did calm down and stopped fighting. Hopefully that gives you some hope as you wait for responses from parents.

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My son was diagnosed at 16 months, he’s 3 1/2 now. He took to the finger sticks and insulin injections like a champ, never a complaint… until now. Whenever he knows insulin is coming, he runs and says he doesn’t want insulin. I recently bought a roll of solar system stickers and let him know he can pick which planet he wants after he gets insulin. This seems to work for him right now. What’s interesting is he first even flinch when getting poked, I think he’s just tired of it. Perhaps try a reward for being a big boy?

I’m wondering if he’s finding the shots painful? If so a finger gauge needle might help, or you could try numbing the site first.
That would be the easier solution. It sounds like he just doesn’t want to have to take shots (no one does). There are some diabetes story books available. I’ve never read them myself but maybe reading those could help him with acceptance. Best wishes to you!