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July 11, 2001

Blood Tests and Insulin Injections

Question from Belleville, Illinois, USA:

My 17 year old daughter, diagnosed with type�1 diabetes two months ago, has suddenly developed a fear of giving her injections. She has been doing them herself since leaving the hospital, but it is now taking her as long as 20 minutes in the morning (the only dose she is on right now) to give it. I have asked her if she would like me to take over for a while, and she does not. Is this a common thing? She sees a wonderful diabetic team. Would this be something I should contact her social worker about? She has not missed any shots and is carefully watching her diet; it's just this one issue.

Answer:

It is not uncommon for children and teens to find it takes them a long time to give themselves shots. However, spending 20 minutes a day on shots, when it should take less than one minute certainly increases the burden of living with diabetes. You were correct in offering to give your daughter the shots to give her a break. However, at her age, she has the right to say “no thank you”. Nevertheless, she does need some kind of help in decreasing the amount of time diabetes is taking up in her life. Speak to her diabetes team. The team social worker should be able to give you lots of helpful hints. The nurse educators should also be able to help, and should watch your daughter give a shot to insure her technique is fine. There are devices available that give the shot without the person seeing the needle go into the skin, and this may be helpful to your daughter as well.

JWB

[Editor’s comment: Your daughter might find that using an Inject-Ease® will make things a lot easier. Have her try it — it works very well!

SS]