Friday, December 18, 2009

Tip O' the week: the trouble with shots

When I first started this blog, I wanted it to be a voice of comfort to others out there who were dealing with the same issues as I was. When I stumbled onto the D on-line community after Elise was diagnosed, it was via some message boards. But most of the people on there were Moms (and some Dads) of older kids. Even if their kids had been diagnosed at an early age, I couldn't find any that were as young as Elise.

It was the same with blogs... in the beginning I couldn't find any babies with D out there (I now know I just wasn't looking hard enough). So I started to write. About my experiences, the trials, the troubles, but I also wanted to offer tips, recipes with carb counts, and any advice I thought could be useful. My, my, I think rather a lot of myself, don't I?

I have sort of gotten away from my original purpose of this blog and have been on a rather long pity-party as of late. So I thought I'd channel some of that feeling-sorry-for-me energy into something good... a (hopefully) helpful post!

When we first brought Elise home from the hospital, giving her the shots was somewhat difficult. Since she was a baby, I could easily over-power her, but there was something very distasteful to me about holding my screaming daughter down while poking her with a needle. At that age, I found that toys that had buttons and lit up while playing music was a great distraction for her.

But soon we were on the brink of spending her college money on a rotation of toys that would hold her interest, so we moved onto something cheaper. I discovered my daughter coveted stickers and stamps, and loved sporting them on her hand. You can read more about it here.

Those made her happy for quite awhile, and she was such a rock-star, we could even give her the shots without any form of bribery. Life was good! Needle fear over and done with!

Except, not so much. About a month ago, the trouble started anew, and twice as bad. Maybe because she is stronger. Maybe because she is more vocal and can tell you exactly what is on her mind. Whatever the reason, it was bad. And it was getting to the point that I almost couldn't give her the shot by myself.

When I was lamenting about my troubles, Wendy told me that she used to use mini-marshmallows when her daughter was younger. Because I cannot have any form of marshmallow in the house since I discovered you can roast them campfire-style over your oven burners, I tried to think of something similar that Elise would go for.

And then it hit me. M&Ms! Ever since Hallowe'en, Elise had been addicted to M&Ms. We'd let her have a few after her dinner every once in awhile, and she got to where she would ask for them, giving us the cutest look ever and saying, "how 'bout ONE M&M?" She would then hold up one finger and reiterate in case we'd missed it, "ONE".

So the deal became, she would get one M&M after her shot if she did not put up a fuss or cry. If she was difficult, then her Poppa or I would get to eat the M&M. In front of her. Oh, yes we did. That happened ONCE, and she's been great with it ever since. The girl loves her some M&Ms.

We also found another solution when we were in SF. Elise LOVES other kids and thinks most of them have hung the moon. If we were around some of our friend's kids when Elise was getting her shot, we'd call them over (after checking with the parents to see if it was okay), and ask them if they wanted to see how brave Elise was. Elise would then very PROUDLY show them how she gets her shot, and exclaim, "I Brave!" She loved it.

It also was a neat experience for the other kids too. The older ones would even ask questions about Elise's diabetes.

This post has gotten rather long-winded (not surprising, if you know me at all). I hope some of the tips were helpful to someone out there!


  1. What a little cutie!! I can just see her holding up that "one" finger for that "one" M&M!!! :)
    Jada seems to go through phases with her shots. Most of the time, she does great...but every couple of months she'll go crazy on me and absolutely throw a fit!!! Because it's only once in a while, we just remain firm, calm and hold her down....with lots of hugs, kisses and affirmation afterwards. If she were younger, we probably would do "bribery" but she's getting to the age where it's important for her to "just do it"--at least Jeff and I think so!!! It's worked for us!!

  2. I am happy to have found some other families of little ones too! It is nice to know I am not alone with a toddler who has D.

    We also "reward" Zane! He is on the pump, so it is a little different. We do site changes every 3 days and he gets a dum dum sucker each time. He rarely gets any candy, so this is HUGE for him. It works like a charm. :)

    We also used M & M's for potty training. I had a parent of a non-D kid look shocked that he would potty for only 1 piece of candy. He is easy to please. :)

    (I also bought a bag of mini M & M's so they were smaller, and fewer carbs, he does not know the difference)

  3. @ Amy - I know at some point Elise will need to learn to "just do it", but right now we're taking the path of least resistance!

    @ Tracy - I LOVE mini M&Ms, but I can't find them anywhere here. They used to sell them in big bags at Target, but not anymore. It makes me sooooo sad.

  4. I can only find the mini's at Fry's (Kroger). No one else seems to have them.

    I know we will someday have to just get through it all too, but since they are so little, and really don't fully understand, I am completely ok with "rewarding" for having to do the D tasks we have to do. :)

  5. Hmmm...I never thought about roasting marshmallows over my gas stove top....S'mores, s'mores, s'mores...why didn't I think of that!

    Anyhoo, I'm glad to hear the M&M's are working. I think Addy was just about 5 when we began weaning from the bribes. Now and then we'll toss one her way (mostly 'cuz it makes US feel better), but she's become quite the compliant little D girl ;)

  6. @ Wendy - Oh, yes... they taste just as good too! I found this out after we'd had a fondue party at our house and someone left all the extra marshmallows from the chocolate fondue in my kitchen. I found myself craving a roasted marshmallow and decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, it works.

  7. MMM ~ Marshmallows... I have a flat top stove so I discovered the long stick lighter thing that you light candles and stuff with.... yeah ~ I so do that!

  8. I am all for bribery! Just last month I promised L that I would buy him a 5 pack of hot wheel cars if he started checking his sugar himself. (He's 6, he can do it.) He started doing it NO problem. He hasn't asked for the hot wheels yet, but I have them. I'm waiting for the right time to present them to him!

  9. Luckily Janelle is and has always been pretty good about tolerating everything without too much fuss. But I have learned a few tricks along the way to help with distraction. For example, we think of a category such as animals and she has to think of one for every letter of the alphabet. I also will "draw" letters on her arm with my finger and she has to guess what they are. Blowing bubbles is also a great distraction for little ones. We mostly use these tricks for procedures but they work well for us!

  10. Nate was doing so great and now he screams as if we are actually sticking the needle in his eye. It is torture for all of us. I may have to try the M&M trick. He's only 17-months so it is so hard to explain why we have to do it.

    Mommy Guilt Sucks!

  11. We tried everything and nothing worked. Avery would fight and scream with every. single. shot. No lie. Until about 2 weeks before starting the pump. THEN she was cool with it. Go figure. She just isnt very extrinsically motivated (which is good and bad). When the time actually came for the shot, nothing we had talked about would keep her from freaking out. NOTHING. We seriously could not give shots alone for a VERY long time.

    Switching to the pump has helped a bit. She still cries and fights a little - but she also tells us that with the EMLA she doesnt feel anything. So I know that it's just anxiety and not being in control - not real pain. Plus, only doing a site change every 2-3 days is soooo much better.

    I have no advice because nothing but time worked for us. That sucks, huh?

  12. so sweet! She is a rock star, and so are you.

  13. okay well my boy Jackson was 6 when he was dxed and that was many yrs ago when meters were the size of tvs !! and they did not have plastic syringes they had glass and I cannot tell you how many times I broke one just getting it out of the box and never had any of these tricks so you guys are all lucky and yeah Joanne the one day will come when Elise will just have to do it .


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