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February 2, 2002

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Florida, USA:

I am 13 now, have had diabetes for 10 years, and I don't give my own injections, or my own fingersticks. I am too scared to, and every time I think about it, I don't feel well. I don't want to go to diabetes camp, and I will not go. I have to learn how to give my own shots and finger sticks within a year! Please help me -- what should I do?

Answer:

Giving shots and doing fingersticks can be very scary, especially if your parents have done it for so long. I think you need to ask your mom and dad to set up a meeting with a diabetes nurse to help you. There are many new fingersticking devices and ways to make it easier.

You can look through some of our other questions and/or visits the teen Chat Rooms at this website to find out more and see how others have done it.

It would be helpful for you to go to diabetes camp. It is a lot of fun, and I’m not sure why you don’t want to go. Maybe your nurse could introduce you to other teens who have been there.

I’m not sure whether you, your parents or your diabetes team has given the ultimatum of a year to learn to do these things. In any case, you can do it! It will take time and practice, and you shouldn’t take over doing all of them at once. Remember the Little Engine that Could? He finally made it over the mountain, and you will too! You’ll need lots of help and support.

One last point. If after reading this, you’re still really, really scared, ask your parents or doctor to let you meet which someone who’s good at helping people with your problem, like a psychologist.

I’m rooting for you! Please let us know when you do your first fingerstick or give your first shot, reward yourself when you do, and keep in mind the first one is the toughest — it gets easier after that.

SS