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Daughter's friend just diagnosed, how can we help, brighten her spirits?

Discussion in 'Teens' started by Nicmor, Aug 14, 2015.

  1. Nicmor

    Nicmor New Member

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    My daughter's dear friend, who is 15, was just diagnosed with type 1. They are overwhelmed & we want to help out, brighten spirits, show support, bring helpful items to the hospital, etc. we would love your suggestions.
    Thanks so much.
     
  2. msschiel

    msschiel Approved members

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    I don't have a teen with D (he is 12), but I saw your post and thought I would chime in. Shortly after my son was diagnosed, another girl in his class (who we didn't know) was diagnosed. Her mom happened to see a mutual friend at Walmart and her mom was distraught over her diagnosis and didn't really know anything about Type 1. I knew some because my dad has been a diabetic since he was 10 (same age as my son was diagnosed), but I had no idea how it was cheated or how he calculated his insulin or other things that come with diabetes. I hate to put it this way, but it has been some what of a blessing to have these two kids diagnosed at nearly the same time. Our kids are both shy and have similar personalities. We get along great. We just attended a prepump class together and often compare notes on how the kids are doing.

    Do you have a child with D? After my son was diagnosed, I talked with a long time friend of the family whose grandson was diagnosed at 3 years (she is a Type 1 herself) and she gave me many helpful tips. I know so many parents do things differently than the hospital tells them to, so it was nice to have an experienced adult help out. Just be there for support. Things to get better and once you get into a routine it does get somewhat easier. You never know what number is going to come up or you think they will be low or high and they are just the opposite! Send them to these boards. They have been a valuable source of information in this ever changing journey!
     
  3. sszyszkiewicz

    sszyszkiewicz Approved members

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    I think just visiting and listening would be great. Do you have any experience with T1D?
     
  4. rgcainmd

    rgcainmd Approved members

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    What would have meant the world to me after my now-13 year-old daughter was diagnosed at 11.5 years old would have been if friends/family would have made an effort to educate themselves about the differences between Types 1 and 2 and about Type 1 in particular in more depth. If they had, many unintentionally hurtful comments could have been avoided. And they would have developed more of an appreciation for the ongoing struggle we face each day. No, my daughter's life did not turn to cr@p after diagnosis, but Type 1 still manages to throw a monkey wrench in the works on a nearly daily basis. At this point in time, if anyone in my real life could understand that, I'd be grateful.

    The fact that you found this Forum and posted your question is beyond caring in and of itself. I wouldn't take a friend like you for granted...
     
  5. Nicmor

    Nicmor New Member

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    Thanks guys. No I don't have a child with Type 1. I am familiar with it because I am a paramedic. What I can relate to with my friend as a mom is having a child with medical need & their world being turned upside down. My daughter who is 15 also was diagnosed with an Arnold Chiari malformation over a year ago. This past spring she was also diagnosed with POTS, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome & Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. Watching her decline this last year has been heartbreaking. Trying to find the right specialist to get the right diagnosis's was frustrating. My friend has been there for us in that all. We want to be supportive & show we care.
    We are going to the hospital today & wanted to bring her some helpful items, maybe books that each of them might find helpful? Education is key right? Just feeling heavy hearted, I know that overwhelmed feeling she has & want to help ease it for her.
     
  6. msschiel

    msschiel Approved members

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    Definitely educating yourself more about the different types and how they are managed will be a big help. I wanted to say that in my original post, but got sidetracked. The first sleepover my son went to after diagnosis (besides family) was a friend who has severe food allergies. It means the world to me that friends and family are willing to take Aaron, when it could easily scare people away. The friend with food allergies didn't get to go too many places because people were scared of giving him something he wasn't allowed to have. Just be willing to learn and help out. Diabetics can eat pretty much anything, just have to watch serving sizes and carb counts!
     
  7. njswede

    njswede Approved members

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    A couple of things. First, try to reinforce the idea that this isn't going to change who she is and what she wants to do. When my son was diagnosed and I read up on the disease, I saw words like "deadly", "life altering" and "life limiting". It's true that this disease gives you a lot of new things to worry about, but your life, your passions and your goals don't have to change in any meaningful way.

    The other thing I would do is to encourage her to be open about the condition and explain and educate her friends and loved ones. My son is doing an excellent job of this himself and it's paying off. Yesterday at his football practice, he was doing horribly after a day with blood sugars all over the map. But since all his team mates know about it, they offered help and support instead of making fun of him. That being said, I don't know this girl and her personality, and being this open doesn't work for everyone.

    But most importantly, do what others have suggested: Get educated! Our hospital offers care-giver classes that are open (and, I believe, free) for friends and family to learn how to care for a diabetic. This way, your home will be a safe place for this young girl to hang out and do teenagy stuff with your daughter. That was the one of biggest issues when my son got diagnosed: The number of places where he could hang out and have play dates got drastically reduced. I don't know what your relationship with this girls parents is, but if you can and are willing to, reach out to them and offer to learn about how to care for her and help out. They will appreciate it, as it helps them off-load some of the burden.

    And whoever you are, girl with newly diagnosed diabetes, you can do this! Life will go on and you can soon start focusing on being a teenager again!
     
  8. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    Just be there. Listen closely, let them share what they want to share and don't interject, make assumptions, or offer advice. Realize that the dx may have happened on one particular day but it takes about a year for most of us to really process, experience, evolve through the diagnosis. In short: be a good friend and hang in there.
    Best of luck to you all!
     
  9. susanlindstrom16

    susanlindstrom16 Approved members

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    I think they are lucky to have you guys as friends! One thing I would say is just try not to minimize the diagnosis. Not that you would do that on purpose of course, its just that a lot of times people who are coming from a good place will say things like "Well, at least diabetes is treatable, at least its not cancer, etc." And while I think that stuff is true, it probably won't be received very well by a newly diagnosed 15 year old who is being told she will have to wear a pump/ give herself shots every day for the rest of her life.

    All the best and be sure to tell the parents to come check out this message board for questions/ support!
     
  10. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    My daughter was 11, so younger, but the thing I appreciated the most was my friends who weren't afraid to have her over. One even kept her for her kids' bday parties including jump-house and pool just three weeks post-dx! My daughter had a great time and learned to advocate for herself with someone who cared, and I paid the deep stack of medical bills while she was gone.
     

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