Newly diagnosed 8 yr old son

Hello my name is Joanne and my 8 year old son was just diagnosed the 23 of May 2010. This is very hard and stressfull for me. He is very angry about it all, the sticking is the biggest complaint. I work all day and worry about him while he is in school. I know the nurse is compitent to do he test and shots but I still worry, am I wrong for feeling this way? What do I do to make him feel better about this and not so angry. Can someone please help me with this. Oh and is there any other way to test other than sticking his fingers?

Hello Joanne my name is Kasmere and I was also recently diagnosed . There is no other way to test his blood sugar other than his fingers and you are right to worry ! Im 16yr's old and my mother worrys all the time . You should read the pamplets they gave you at the hospital and really talk to him about how he feels about everything every now and then . You have to stay strong for your son , but its okay to be worried :)

Thank You Kasmere, I hope one day they make it easier for you and my son to test yourselves. I try to talk to him as much as possible. But he is only eight and he has a twin sister who is NOT a diabetic and I hear him say over and over why doesn't she have it. I know it's something hard for him to except right now.

I have a couple suggestions. Have you tried alternate site testing? Most meters have suggestions for site other than fingers -  forearm, palm, etc. Some people think those are less painful. It's worth trying. However, they lag behind the fingers a little, so if you're checking for a low, test with the fingers. 

Second, has your whole family made the same eating adjustments that your son has? A diet healthy for a diabetic is healthy for anyone, so if you can get rid of the foods that aren't good for him, that might help. I know that if I watched my sister eat something I wanted to eat and I couldn't, that would make me angry. It would also make me more likely to sneak foods. 

Letting your son know that you know that it's hard for him, and that it's okay that it's hard for him, is crucial (or at least it was for me when I was diagnosed. I was 19, but I bet it would still help your son). This can mean letting him know you're there if he wants to talk, but it also means that you have to be prepared for him to not want to talk. Don't force it, just be there when he does. 

Talking to other people with type 1 is enormously helpful for me, both in terms of new things to try and in terms of moral support. Your son might not be open to it yet, but I bet he would get a lot out of it - and so would you. See if you can get involved with a local JDRF chapter, or if he can go to camp next summer. 

And the last thing I have to say is remember that your son is still a normal boy, you just have to worry about something most normal boys don't. Focusing on the diabetes can make it bigger, scarier, harder, and more frustrating that it has to be. I'm not saying ignore it, or go into denial - I'm saying don't let diabetes take over, for you or him. Remember that it's hard for you as well - so if you need to take time for yourself, do it. Kerri at recently posted about diabetes like an oxygen mask - you can't help someone else put theirs on until you've taken care of yours. Take care of yourself, and then you'll have what you need to take care of him. 

Welcome to the type one club, and to Juvenation. You couldn't ask for a better and more supportive group of people. Bring us your questions and we'll answer, with the combined thousands of years of experience with this disease. Good luck!

I used to do test from my forearm, they definitely hurt less. As someone already said, they lag a bit behind the actual BG level, but unless you are looking for a low or ate recently, they should be fairly accurate.

Hi, Joanne.  My name is Moriah and my 8 year old son was diagnosed on 3/20/2010. I have a good idea of what you are going through.  Vincent has 2 younger siblings a brother 5 and a sister 7.  Since about the second week of his diagnosis, Vincent has been checking his own sugars most of the time.  His doctor prescribed the Accucheck Softclix which when used properly is much less painful when sticking fingers.  He really prefers the Softclix to any other lancet device and right on the box it says that the Softclix can be used on either the fingertips or forearms for testing.

Since 3/20/10, I feel like I am on a constant state of alert.  So I truly sympathize with your concerns.

Hang in there and stay positive.

Hi, Joanne,

I'm so sorry your son was diagnosed.  I know how devistating that dx can be, and how frightening when you're trying to learn everything and keep him healthy.  Just hang in there, you're doing great!

Our son was dx one year ago, just before his 8th birthday.  It was a terribly difficult thing for him, and he still has days when he just doesn't want to do the testing anymore.  But, it gets better over time with lots of support and understanding. 

He definitely prefers the Multi-clix lancet device over the lancets included in the BG test kits.  Fiddle with the settings to be sure your using the minimum depth needed to get enough blood.  Also, some meters require less blood than others (you can use a shallower lancet setting), so switching meters might help.  I was really surprised when we switched to the Freestyle Flash how little blood it takes to get a reading.  The pricks hurt more in the beginning, but begin to hurt less over time, probably as calouses build up.  I can even test him in the middle of the night without waking him now. 

The other thing is, William has been much less resistent to testing since we switched him to a pump.  Before, testing was just the first stage of a multi-part, very uncomfortable process.  So, it wasn't just the pain of the finger prick that upset him, it was knowing that he'd have to wait for me to calculate and draw an insulin dose, and then he'd have to inject himself, before he could sit down to eat with everyone.  With the pump, it's just the finger prick, and I can bolus him almost immediately with no discomfort at all.  It's helped a lot in making the entire process easier for him.

Finally, please be sure YOU are getting the support you need.  It's a very difficult time for you, as well as for him, and you're going to be his rock.  There are quite a few moms out there blogging about their experiences with raising kids with T1, and they're an amazing group of ladies.  Some are newer to this, and some have been at it a long time (Meri has three boys with T1, and she's a hoot).  It really helps to hear their stories, hear about their daily lives, and to talk with them.  Let me know, and I'll send you a list of my favorite D-mom blogs.

Hang in there, mom.  It's gonna get better.




Everyone gave great advice, so I don't have a lot more to add. My only thoughts are ... This disease will give you better and worse times over the years, but things will definitely get easier this next year after his diagnosis. It won't always be this tough. Also, is the rest of your family waiting to eat until son son is ready? There's no worse feeling than checking and injecting, knowing your sister or whoever is already digging into her after school snack without you. Both growing up and now, I ask my family to wait to begin eating until I'm ready. My in-laws have been the hardest to train, but even they're getting slightly better.

Hang in there! This time next year, you'll be giving advice to other parents on here!

On alternate site testing, I never found it very easy to use. After 27 years of doing this I do not feel the lancets any more, and before I went on the pump, I really didn't feel the syringes either. Your nerve endings stop reproducing when you constantly are poking yourself like a pin cushion. I don't know if this is encouraging for you or not!

I don't really have anything to add. We've had no experience with alternate site testing.  My 6-year-old was diagnosed in January of this year, and I can tell you that it will get easier.  You will always worry, and there will be adjustments at school.  Just make sure you have clear and open communication with the school nurse, teachers, and principal.  One thing that might make it easier for your school nurse and give you peace of mind, is to include an index card in his lunch with a listing of what's packed along with the carb count for each.  Under that, I always write out the calculation (inlcuding the coverage for the meal and the correction if needed).  The nurse calls me every day and we review it before she injects.  This gives us both the comfort of learning together.  Diabetes is specialized, and treatment has improved signficantly over time, so this is new for many nurses.  The insulin calcuations are entirely different than they were 30-40 years ago when my mother and my son's school nurse went to nursing school, so just don't assume that she's well versed on everything.  I have found that communication is key and that Juvenation is a wonderful resource.

Good luck.  We're here for you.

Thanks Jonathan, I'm sure it will be like that for him too as he gets older.

Hello Anne Marie, Thanks for the input. I do send notes with his linch. I guess I'm trying to find peace of mind when he's at school.The school nurse is really good with him too. Thanks for being here for me.

Hello Ajax, Thanks for the info, I'm really looking foward to maybe sending him to camp next year. I think it will do him a world of good. Godd advise all around. Thanks

Hi Moriah, I'm glad to see I'm not the only one in this. I'm glad you wrote to me it is very incouraging. Is you son doing better now? Keep in touch.

Hi Monique, I'm very happy to know that things do get better. I would definitely like to chat with other Moms. I need all the support I can get right now. It's really hard working a full time job and then come home to all my regular home duties, and on top of it all is my son Daniel. He has a twin sister (Janeese) who is fine but I have to devote time to her too. So most of the time I feel I'm being pulled every which way. Thanks for the support. I really need it.

Thanks Sarah, I too have hi hopes that things wll be better next year. Thanks for the support.

Joann,I have been type 1 fror 64 years and I am very healthy. These are difficult times for your son, but when he adjusts and has better control diabetes will be second nature to him. I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. There are much better ways of having good control now, than in my childhood. With your help and guidance, your son should do very well. Good luck to both of you!


My 9 yo daughter was diagnosed 12-15-09 and well in many ways it does get easier. They adjust to it you relax a little over time. I cant say it gets easier because at this age they are growing and changing so easy isnt a word I would use. You do get use to it tho both the parent and the child. You both (he probably more than you) will have burn out days but sadly have to keep on going with his diabetic care. We have only tested from the fingers. Ri has asked to try from other places but I want the most accurate readings so I dont let her. She understands why tho.


Have you guys tried sticking his toes instead?  Sometimes especially when Vincent is tired he prefers I test his toes which don't seem to bother him at all.  I always test his toes at night (12 and 3) and he never wakes up.  Also I know that the pricks begin to hurt more if the lancet hasn't been changed.  We change lancets every day because after several uses the tip begins to dull and it hurts more than a sharp tip.

Also, Vincent is a picky eater and very social, there are definitely days when he either won't eat everything that was packed in his lunch or he ran out of time.  So we test his BG before he eats but he doesn't get his insulin shot until after his meal, that way we hopefully give him a more accurate amount of insulin without worrying that he didn't eat enough.  Wouldn't it be nice if there was one approach that worked for all kids and circumstances? 

When he was first diagnosed, we definitely had struggles with the unfairness of it all and why him etc...  He really had a bad attitude around all of us in the family and he was acting out a lot, mainly just being rude and obnoxious to us.  He is 8 so was it all because of the diabetes? because of his age?  So hard to deal with all of this and then try and maintain a sense of normalcy for the other two kids.  I tried to get Vincent into counseling but he would have nothing to do with it.  He basically refused to talk to the therapist so that was a waste of $150.  Right now for him it is about being with his friends and he knows that he needs to be aware of things that his friends don't have to do but he has blinders on and really never wants to discuss his thoughts or feelings regarding diabetes.  Fortunately for Vincent there is one other student at his school in 4th grade who was diagnosed late Fall 2009, and they see each other in passing through the clinic for testing and shots. 

I'm freaking out though about summer vacation.  Vincent is the type of kid who just runs out the door and he could be gone all day playing on the street and in the neighborhood with friends and trying to get him to slow down to test his BG and making sure he eats and then gets his shots is going to be a challenge.  We did get him a cell phone so that we can all stay in touch more easily but when he forgets to take his phone that doesn't help us much.  So I live in a constant state of panic while trying to let him be as normal as possible and do everything he wants to do and also trying to make sure his siblings aren't forgotten and pushed to the background.

You need to give yourselves time to deal with everything that has happened.  It hasn't even been a month, things do get to be more of routine in some ways but because life is ever changing and the kids are growing, routines that worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. 

I'll cross my fingers that things start to get easier for you.

I was so anti-finger testing that I didn't test at all for a little while. My fingers tips would get awful calluses, peel off & I barely had finger prints anymore [after 10 years of testing]. I finally found Freestyle Flash about 9 years ago which you can test on your forearms or your finger tips. I love testing on my forearms. It's painless and marks are very minimal [i test about 9 times a day too]. I highly recommend this meter. The Freestyle Lite is very very tiny and requires no coding, you even get a free one. Check out their site.

And like everyone has already told you, you and your son are both allowed to be upset/angry/worried. It's all very new and sometimes change really sucks. You're allowed to worry about him, but just make sure it doesn't effect him negatively. I never knew how my Mom did it, but she always made sure that I was able to do everything that every other kid did without making me feel different. I'm sure the sleep overs, late nights out, candy bags and multiple sports played made her worry, but she kept all her worry quietly to herself [and my Dad].  I'm beyond thankful that she didn't make me feel like i required special attention. It's nice to feel normal.