I find this to be a difficult question to answer. On one hand, I have “needle-phobic” children who are, thankfully NOT diabetic. That doesn’t preclude a struggle with them when a needle is necessary - it’s just not a daily battle. If stress was the trigger of my diabetes, my arguments with kids over shots likely contributed to it. On the other hand, I am rather needle-phobic myself. I avoided doctors and dentists for many years because of that fear (among others, I suppose). After my diagnosis with T2D, I refused to test my blood glucose for quite a while, until I became more worried about the diabetes than I was afraid of needles. I started taking insulin only 4 months after diagnosis, and again the concern over the negative side effects I had from orals overpowered - to some degree - my fear of needles.
Been using insulin for over three years now, currently by pump, but I have to say that I am NO LESS afraid of needles now, than I was when I started – even though I KNOW that shots don’t hurt, inserting infusion sets, generally CAN’T hurt, and inserting a CGM sensor (I use that, too) almost never hurts. Funny thing is – knowing that it won’t hurt hasn’t alleviated any “fear.” I still have to steel myself every time I have to take a shot or a BG test or any of the other needles I have to use. (And feel like passing out at blood tests, no matter how many times I’ve had them… but that’s a long story… :didizzy_face: )
About 18 months ago, I needed a wisdom tooth extracted. The excellent oral surgeon knew about my fears and deliberately set out to prove to me that it would be non-threatening and painless… AND IT WAS – yet, I’m just as afraid of dental procedures as I was before.
I don’t think any of this is helping… What I’m trying to say, though, is that your son’s fears, irrational as they may be, may ease over time, or they may not. A therapist may be helpful, or may not. Changing endos is definitely a good idea – telling him to “grow up” isn’t going to fix irrational fears – I was NOT afraid of needles as a kid or as a teen! I’m not even sure what started it, but today, it’s just a fact. Does your son have any peers who have diabetes? Or perhaps there are peer groups in your area? I got involved in the ADA’s “Tour de Cure” annual fundraising bike ride, which has the added advantage of meeting lots of people affected by diabetes. Of course, there’s this forum where he might be able to connect with someone – the encouragement I needed to take shots came from the DOC (diabetes online community).
In a warped way, the endo you should leave is “right” - he will eventually have to “grow up” - at least to the point of accepting that we do many things in life that we find unpleasant or scary because we have to do them. The doctor is still completely wrong with his approach. I’m sorry you and your some have to go through this. I wish you both the best of luck and success.