26 answers

4 Year Old Just Diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes

I am writing this request hoping someone out there will have some ideas on how to make this transition easier on my four year old daughter. She is a twin and we were at her and her sisters pre-kindergarten check up when they found sugar in her urine. We were admitted to the hospital immediately. She is not adjusting very well to checking her blood sugar and having shots each day. What an enormous life change. I really took for granted how nice it was to just be able to give my child a snack when she was hungry, and just cook a yummy recipe and not need to worry about counting out the carbohydrates and exact serving sizes. We have a teddy bear that also has diabetes and she gives him shots, but she is still very upset when we need to do them. On top of this, she broke her leg two weeks ago jumping on the trampoline Easter weekend. We are doing all that we can to keep her happy, comfortable and entertained. She has to keep her leg elevated for one more week and then hopefully she will be able to start putting some weight on it and move around a little bit. Any advice would be terrific. Thank you.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you so much to everyone who responded to my cry for help. Your advice, care and concern really touched my heart and made this feel like something we can do. We had our first appointment with her endocrinologist at Primary Children's last week. He is encouraging me to take the pump class and the carbohydrate class to get her on a pump within a few months. She is very nervous about the pump and has started doing much better with her shots. I will still take the classes just to be prepared. I am thankful for all of the resources and helpful links provided me. I have saved some of the email addresses and look forward to continuing communications with some of you. What an incredible thing to be able to sit here in my kitchen and type a message and have people who are so awesome respond and help me. You are all wonderful. Thank you for taking the time to help me and my daughter.

Featured Answers

My daughter's best friend in kindergarten had diabetes. Her favorite treat was a candy spray you can get at Harmons, Target, Albertsons, and gas stations. The company that makes it is too tarts:
http://www.tootarts.com/
http://www.tootarts.com/media/news_releases/walmart.html

"Too Tarts SmartChoice candy, the newly reformulated brand of healthier kids candy, contains no refined sugar, 50-60 percent less calories, and is sweetened with fruit juice concentrate."

My own kids LOVE it. Sometimes I give them each their own and sometimes I hang onto it and just give them squirts when they ask.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

A. - I just saw your post, and I am so sorry! My 2 1/2 year old son was diagnosed with Type 1 this past November, so I know what you are going through.

It does get easier - I know that is hard to believe some days, but it will. One thing that has helped me is a group for moms of Type 1 diabetic kids on CafeMom - they are a great group of moms. http://www.cafemom.com/group/4736

My son prefers to be tested on his toes - we let him pick which foot and toe. In the beginning, he really wanted to hold the glucose meter. I try to let him make as many decisions around testing and the shots as he can. He's really good about testing now - it was very hard in the beginning, but he has accepted it. He still resists the shots a little, but we have a 'game' where he gets to squeeze a family member's finger when he gets his shot.

Also, there are 'free' foods - things with very little carbs - peanut butter, cheese, nuts.

Hang in there and feel free to contact me - I would be happy to email with you.

C.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.- I understand what you are going through. My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was six he is now 10. That first year or so was pretty hard. Life changed for everyone. I read as many books as I could to help me understand it and help me deal with it. It felt like I had a newborn baby again- I had to check in the night and worry about all the time.
We go to the U of U/Primary Children's clinic in Salt Lake and they have helped so much. There were hard days and it helped to talk to one of their counselors. Now my son is on an insulin pump and it is wonderful. He pretty much takes care of everything himself. We still constantly ask him what his blood sugar is but he does great. It will get easier and it will become a part of your life that will be normal. Feel free to ask me any questions- I also have a neighbor who has an autistic child with type 1- so between she and I, I'm sure we can help you out.
Another thing I highly recommend is diabetes summer camp- your whole family can go and it's a huge learning experience for everyone. My son now goes on his own- it is a great program. It's called FCYD -Foundation for Childeren and Youth with Diabetes. http://www.fcyd-inc.org/programfiles/summer.htm
Again feel free to ask any questions-

1 mom found this helpful

Hi A.,
My mother is diabetic and I have been very health conscious with my kids as far as sugar. My kids do not have diabetes as far as I know. For meals and snacks, I would suggest Diana's Schwarzbein's Cookbook. She is an endocrinologist who specializes in diabetics. She also has a few books based on her healthy lifestyle "The Schwarzbein Principle". It is great info for the whole family and all of her recipes would work for someone with diabetis. Also, Suzanne Somers weight loss books have fabulous recipes with little or no sugar in them at all. If you can skip over the weight loss reading and all that, the recipe section is perfect for those who can't eat sugar or need less carbs. I would recommend her book "Fast and Easy" for the most kid-friendly recipes, but she has at least 4 other books full of recipes. (I just take the covers off so I don't have to look at her in a bathing suit whenever I cook LOL). Also you can go to her website www.suzannesomers.com and click on the message boards and find a ton of great low carb recipes that kids will like. I have printed out hundreds and we eat them on a daily basis. You do have to register but it is free. Hope that helps a little. I am so sorry to hear your daughter broke her leg. This must be a difficult time for everyone. Hang in there!

C.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter's best friend in kindergarten had diabetes. Her favorite treat was a candy spray you can get at Harmons, Target, Albertsons, and gas stations. The company that makes it is too tarts:
http://www.tootarts.com/
http://www.tootarts.com/media/news_releases/walmart.html

"Too Tarts SmartChoice candy, the newly reformulated brand of healthier kids candy, contains no refined sugar, 50-60 percent less calories, and is sweetened with fruit juice concentrate."

My own kids LOVE it. Sometimes I give them each their own and sometimes I hang onto it and just give them squirts when they ask.

1 mom found this helpful

A.,

My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 12. There are TONS of resources for you out there. Your first route should be to get involved in JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). They offer so much for the diabetes community, information, support, activities, etc. My husband is actually on the Board. If you need any other specific advice, please feel free to ask.

C. W.

1 mom found this helpful

My heart goes out to you and your daughter. That would be such a hard thing to have to deal with as a parent and as a child. I come from a family where the risk of diabetes runs high. I have recenlty started taking liquid nutritional called Zrii which is designed to balance out your system. I've really seen it help lower blood sugar levels in many people and it has really helped me not expereince so many lows and highs. It's a combination of several fruits and herbs and is completely safe for children,(I give it to my 1 year old and she loves it). You should of course consult your doctor about it, but if you'd like some more information, please email me at ____@____.com.

1 mom found this helpful

I have an 8 year old that was diagnosed with type I diabetes 1 1/2 years ago. It is really common for children (and adults for that matter) to go through a period of depression after being diagnosed with a cronic disease. My daughter did pretty well at first, but after about 2 months she got really depressed and didn't pull out of it for 4-5 months. Just make sure you are there for her and as supportive as possible.

Here are some things that have really helped with our daughter.

1. I followed the diabetic diet with her. She felt a lot better when she felt like the family was supporting her and she wasn't the only one who couldn't have cookies whenever she wanted. We all tried to keep treats out of the house. I also recruited my mom and my sister to follow the diet. She would get excited when she know that someone else was supporting her.

2. Get her on a pump when you can. A year after the diagnosis we put my daughter on a pump and it was such a life saver. Now she can have a snack whenever she wants and if dinner was late it wasn't a big deal. We all felt like we had our freedom back.

3. I liked the idea of testing family members and friends that was mentioned earlier. We have done that when we went to visit family and I can tell my daughter loves it when her cousins want to check their blood sugar with her.

4. Try to keep things as normal as possible. Focus on what your daughter can do, not what she can't do. Two days after getting out of the hospital we went to the zoo so that we could reinforce that most things will stay the same.

5. Have your daughter participate in nutrition decisions and let her do as much as she can when testing her sugars and getting shots.

6. One of the most helpful things that that we don't make a big deal about her diabetes. Don't get me wrong, we follow all the rules and are very careful about managing it. However, when we talk about it we act like it's no big deal.

7. It's a bit of a drive, but we are seeing Dr. Michael Swinyard in South Jordan. He is a Type I Diabetic and has been wonderful with my daughter and me. Our previous doctor was also really good, but Dr. Swinyard can relate better than our other doctors because he deals with it on a personal basis. I have been very impressed with how well he can help us keep her diabetes managed. We are moving to Idaho Falls in 2 months and I like him so much I plan on keeping him as her endocrinologist after the move.

Your daughter will get used to it over time and it will get easier. Hang in there!

Feel free to email me.

P.S. The better you are at counting carbs and measuring portions the easier a transition to a pump will be.

1 mom found this helpful

A., I'm afraid I can't offer much advice, just support. My husband (25) just got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes a week and a half ago. They say it's somehow genetic, but we can't find any trace of it in his family. He has always been go at eat well and exercising, so I feel extremely blessed. I defiantly think it would be harder to adjust to having a child with diabetes. I know for me, as the one that prepares his food, I have found counting carbs a pain. I want to make things that he can have a lot of and not have to give tons of insulin. He is an active football player and gets HUNGRY! I just recently found this website where you can type in your recipes and they will calculate the carbs for you.
http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calculator.asp
I had spent a little time the last few days typing in recipes that I make and then I write right on my recipe card, how many carbs are in that dish if I split it into, for example 6 servings. Hopefully, this makes since and it can relieve some of the stress you might be feeling. I also heard of a few diabetes research walks coming up in the fall, if you would like any information on it let me know. It might be a good place to meet people that are going through the same thing and share advice. Good Luck! My prayer are with you.

1 mom found this helpful

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