Dexcom and site changes: tricks for toddlers?

It’s been over a year since diagnosis (over 1/2 year since on Pump/CGM) and we’re still trying to get Liam to “stop screaming bloody murder” every time we do a CGM or Pump change out. :frowning: I see videos of toddlers who act like it’s nothing…not mine. Breaks my heart every change out.

Mine used to do that as well…especially the Omnipod. He calls Dexcom “the easy one”. I used to wait while he slept to do change-outs so he didn’t experience the pain consciously.

Yes, we do this every chance we can get. Sometimes it expires and we just have to get it installed because he needs the constant basal to not skyrocket…but I’d say over 50% of the change-outs I’m able to sneak in while he’s sleeping. Sometimes he wakes up at the end of it, but cuddles with mama make him go back to sleep quickly.

Do you guys bribe him with a video or something while doing the site and sensor changes? My husband started doing that and I was very opposed at first but now he barely flinches and says “I’m brave” when it happens – I think the trick is finding something that is both a distraction and a sufficient incentive.

He does scream bloody murder when we try to take his “sticker” off, even though we know that part doesn’t hurt. So we often leave one Dexcom sticker on one arm and the other is working on the arm until we can stealthily put Unisolve on it.

Even though Samson is such a tough cookie, it still breaks my heart though too. :frowning:

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We have a “pirates chest” full of booty (toys) that he can choose from. We also have a “treat basket” he can pull a treat from (usually a piece of candy) and we offer him popsicles. His favorite shows are not Team Umi zoomi and Blaze and the Monster Machines…we always have one of these things going for him to watch during the changeouts.

He screams bloody murder when the process begins (the process “begins” with him actually finding out that the changout is about to happen…even before removing the old device) all the way until about 10 minutes after the process ends (installing the new)…cuddling with him works after about 10 minutes, but the treats, toys, popcicles etc.,., don’t help much honestly at this point.

Uni-solve makes the taking off part very easy and fast (we can get a POD off in under a minute now), it’s the “shot” part of the Omnipod and CGM that makes the whole experience a bad experience for Liam, I believe.

YES! This describes us exactly. He also hates taking off the “sticker”. Sidebar–our Endo was confused when Luke mentioned his “sticker”. Funny how close our experiences are.

it seems like it’s the psychological aspect and the memory of the pain then, not just the pain. So you probably need to have enough pain-free experiences that he no longer associates the process with pain and then maybe over time it will get easier.

Do you guys: slather on lidocaine cream 1 hour before hand, wipe it off, then ice the site with an ice pack for about 5 minutes before insertion? We’ve found that this reduces the pain— if he doesn’t notice the ice pack, it basically means he’s numb and he often doesn’t flinch at all with the actual insertion.

We’ve also done some change outs at night when our sensor failed after a restart and it goes pretty well. You might try that for a while to reduce his association of the process with pain. Although sometimes doing something less often makes kids more averse. We’ve found that with shots-- Samson didn’t bat an eyelash at shots at first but now he hates it if we have to give him a shot when his site is failing.

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I’ve never thought to use lidocaine. Brilliant! As with Samson, Luke REALLY hates getting shots if there is a pod issue. I think you are right that it is mainly psychological. He had been on MDI for about a year before going onto the pod. Interestingly he seems to have no issues with BG checks. Probably because he is so used to it.

yep! BG checks used to be no problem. They’ve actually gotten a touch more problematic since we started doing his night time calibration when he’s asleep. Going from checks 5 times a day to once a day has reduced his tolerance for the process.

For sure it’s psychological, but that doesn’t make it any less…loud! Not sure how to have enough pain-free experiences…we tried lidocaine but that caused red rashes/swelling so stopped that. We’ve tried ice…he hates that too because he knows the changout is about to start. lol. I’m sure he’ll grow out of it, but it’s just the phase we’re in right now.

We got a prescription for it and used it three times…it caused a reaction on Liam so we don’t use it anymore.

I don’t get that. The omnipod insertion is so much quicker. Is it the location? Or the little pre-insertion clicking it makes that perhaps is the sound of “impending” pain, maybe? Or maybe the 3 day change-out instead of 7+ days?

I would’ve thought the Dexcom would be much worse to a kid.

This is my experience from my kids, but not diabetes related. It might be worth a shot. My kids have always done better when they get to decide what happens and have some limited control of when. Is there a way to give your toddler a choice, i.e. “We have to change this, but you get to decide whether we do it now, or in 15 minutes” i.e. either decision will work for you, but it gives them a choice. Other examples “You can choose which one we do first” or “You can choose from site A or Site B”

Watching Liam’s changeout video made me sad :sob: But I am glad I watched it. I appreciate what you go through each day even more.

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I think the cannula and insertion system is bigger (wider) than the small Dexcom filament.

oh this just absolutely breaks my heart.

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I have extremely sensitive skin and find that switching brands will sometimes help w/ topicals. It’s usually not the active ingredient that is the offender – it’s the carrier.

Have you tried EMLA?

Another option is to have an anesthetic custom compounded into a carrier such as Hydrolatum, Aquaphor, vegetable jelly, glycerine, or even pure lanolin.

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I have not and I’ll look into these! Thanks!

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