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Have you ever gone on vacation without your diabetic teen?

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by kelzer, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. kelzer

    kelzer Approved members

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    Hi
    My husband has booked a two week cruise in the Mediterranean for the two of us along with two other couples. My diabetic son is 16 and would be staying with his sisters who are 19 and 22. I know each child is different but am wondering if anyone has experience in this area. I am very nervous about the idea and want to cancel. My husband does not. We would have cell phone reception most of the time. I am worried about things like not being able to test him in the night if he has been exercising or even (it has happened a couple of times) drinking some alcohol. Clearly rules would be set and many instructions and emergency contacts would be left. His sisters are quite vigilant on the social front but not knowledgeable enough about diabetes to handle the medical side. Any thoughts?
     
  2. obtainedmist

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    How about giving the siblings a scenario list of..if this happens, then this action follows...so that they become more adept at dealing with the curve balls.

    Does your 16 year old set his alarm ever to test himself? Would he do that? Does he seem to problem solve the glitches that occur on his own or does he need a lot of support? Has he dealt with a situation where he's been drinking and has had a low as a result? Have you discussed the mechanics of the alcohol/liver connection so that he's armed with information. I know you don't want to condone the drinking...but they do drink no matter what we say and knowledge is power. Our daughter is a bit older...18...and we had this discussion with her within days of the diagnosis. She knew that she'd have to eat something if she was going to drink and be more vigilant about testing...and above all, not get drunk so that she couldn't take care of herself.

    In 2 years, you might be sending him off to college or he might be living on his own and working---this might be a good time to test out his level of maturity with regard to taking care of himself. If you have a sturdy safety net in place...I think you should go and enjoy yourself! It will probably be an amazing trip and a truly liberating experience for you! I say "Don't cancel and go have the time of your life!" :)
     
  3. selketine

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    Welcome to CWD!:)

    What a tough question. There is time to train the sisters on emergency protocols. I think much has to do with how responsible they are and he is. Any older aunts/uncles/grandparents, etc. who could come stay or check in? Would it be appropriate to ask the pedi endo his/her opinion?

    I have a teenager but my son with D is still 8 so....no experience.
     
  4. wilf

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    How long since he was diagnosed?

    And overall, how is the D management going?
     
  5. kelzer

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    To answer some of your questions, he was diagnosed at the age of 7. He does the set changes for his pump and tests 5-6 times per day (including right before bed). He has never set an alarm to test in the middle of the night - I do that so far. He would, I think, if he was worried and I was not here. I do the basal rate and bolus rate changes in conference with him. He is medium on accurate carb counting. He does know the dangers of drinking and that he should not do it (but what to do if he makes that choice). I have started to train him more intensively in order to release more responsibility in case we go and will make a trouble shooting list. (This is a good idea anyway, I know). I have also found out that I could get a cell phone with a special plan that would work on the ship and in europe (bit of a pain with the time change but its just more lost sleep. Part of having a child with diabetes). Anyway, still thinking but really appreciate your input and the chance to talk about this issue with people who understand my anxiety about it.
     
  6. joan

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    I know exactly how you feel. I am always nervous when we go away. When my son was a bit younger I hired a woman to stay who has an older child with d. He did everything as far as d was concerned but I just needed to have someone here that could deal with an emergency if it happened and that also understood d. She did check him at night. This really helped alleviate my anxiety and let me enjoy my time away.
     
  7. obtainedmist

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    Each step he takes towards his own care will empower him and liberate you! It sounds as if you are getting all the ducks in a row and you should be able to have a splendid time! :)
     
  8. skimom

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    Yes I have left TWO diabetic teens on their own for 3 days with their non diabetic sister. All three of them were under 18 at the time- we had all scenarios covered - neighbors all knew, diabetic clinic knew, school knew, grandparents and friends knew . I also informed parents of my kid's friends - more because we didn't want any parties at our house :). Kids did a great job because they wanted to show that they had earned our trust.
    I have left my family behind for 3 weeks without me - dad is not too savvy on diabetes but does know when to call for help.They all survived - wasn't necessarily how I would do things. However, they really did a good job and handled a D emergency like troopers. The clinic was quite impressed as to how things were handled without the boss around...
    Bottom line - Go on that trip. Things will be fine. You have to start letting go - the kids will look out for each other just as they would if something ever happened ot you. You need to look after yourself and your relationships so that you can be the best parent you can.
     
  9. kelzer

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    Thanks you for the support and encouragement. As much as I adore my son, I do need a break. My beautiful boy does require a lot of support regarding his health but also his school work (he is gifted with a learning disability). I guess we will keep working toward preparing for the trip (in terms of education and trouble-shooting plans).
     
  10. mamamccoy87

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    If you have time before you go on the cruise, have the kids dry run the day to day stuff - counting carbs, checking sugars, treating lows. Have him stay with them for a day or two and act like you are gone with them taking care of things but checking in with you as its going on (we're having pizza, its 68 carbs, the sugar is 188 we're giving x for food and x for correction); his sugar is 48 we're giving 30 g carbs and recheck in 15 min. Its going to be 2 hours till supper so we're having a snack of x grams.

    Know what I mean? Good luck - we'll b there in a few years.!!
     
  11. dejahthoris

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    vaca

    Would your daughters be willing to go through training? My daughter who is 23 , Thank God !!! came to the hospital for training when her bro, 13 was dx last yr w/ t1! It gives me such peace of mind to have backup! We of course have not been on a trip but I can leave her with him for short periods.
     
  12. Jessies_Mom

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    We went to Jamaica three years ago without our daughter and it was a much needed break. She stayed with family but I still worried. On thing that helped was me calling her each night. I added international long distance to our cell phones for the trip period. Calls were expensive but the peace of mind was worth it knowing they could reach me and I could reach them.

    Enjoy your wonderful vacation and break!
     

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