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My son is feeling anxious

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by myshell, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. myshell

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    My son is very anxious about his T1D. He says he is feeling lightheaded at times and when we test his BG and the numbers are good, he feels better. We have an endo appt. on Thursday. I hope that will help to alleviate some of his fears and mine. This is a huge adjustment. I feel sad for him. Does the pump really make a big difference in managing T1D?
     
  2. Teacups

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    My son was dxed at 11. He's 13 now. Those early days/weeks/months are tough for everyone. There's such a learning curve and each T1 and their family approaches it differently.

    For my ds he just wouldn't go out to play very much that summer (dx Memorial Day Wknd). Playing outside meant more testing and he just decided to play with Legos or draw, etc. That was his way of coping. But it also gave him time to listen to his body and become familiar with the feelings of being high/low.

    By Labor Day we took a day trip for bike riding as a family and all had fun. It just took time.

    For your ds, it is still so early! You're getting used to things - your new normal. It's good that he's in tune with how he's feeling, even if it seems misleading at first. Things will even out as time goes on.

    18 months after dx we looked into a pump. Ds just wasn't interested in a new learning curve prior to then. Now that he's a teen, we'd both agree that the pump makes it easy to adjust his insulin as hormone levels fluctuate.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  3. myshell

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    It does help. I guess it will take time to get used to. Thank you.
     
  4. DavidN

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    I feel sad for your son too. I'm sorry.

    Last year, before dx my son went through bullying hell. We found out about ittwo months in, raised hell at the school, and put an immediate stop to it. The night he finally told me about it he recounted the bullying with tears streaming down his face. A friend had told us about a LCSW for kids that she had sent her son to. So we took our son so he could talk through the bullying. She was terrific. We did this for a few months and it really helped.

    After dx, we set up more visits with her just so he could talk about diabetes if he wanted to with someone other than his parents. Yes he talks to us, but he confides more in her. Our son didn't express any anxiety to us about T1D but he did with her. And I think sharing those fears and talking through them can be very helpful.
     
  5. Christopher

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    The early days are very tough, for everyone. As time goes on you will both get more used to doing all the things you need to do to manage this disease.

    This may not apply to your son right now, but one thing I have learned is to listen to my daughters body, regardless of what the meter says. There have been many times when she says she feels low, she checks and her number is in range. However, her BG is actually dropping and 30 minutes later she is low. Just something to keep in mind. Your son's lightheadedness may just be anxiety, but it might not hurt to recheck him a little bit later, just to be sure.

    Take things slowly, one day at a time, one meal at a time and one BG at a time.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
  6. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    He will most likely learn to listen to his body in a new way and feel less anxious as his ability to feel his lows increases.

    When kids are just dx'd and they have been functioning for weeks or perhaps months at higher glucose levels the brain acclimates to that new level and will, for a time, "read" normal range numbers as "low". It will take a while, maybe even weeks for this to reverse and for normal range numbers to feel ok again.

    Test if he feels he needs to test and do your best to model calm behavior. If it persists you might want to ask the endo for a referral to someone on staff who can give him some time to talk through his fears.;)
     
  7. quiltinmom

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    It is a huge adjustment. What I would recommend is having him talk with the diabetes educator about his worries. I would also try to find other kids his age with T1 so he can see that someday he'll feel normal again. What I mean is, having T1 will someday feel normal to him. If he can see that other kids have it and deal with it, maybe that will help him feel better about it. (but be careful...you don't want them teaching him bad habits. :rolleyes: ) And see if you can find a diabetes camp for him to go to this summer. My DS has gone three summers, and he absolutely loves it. It's second only to Christmas for him. :) For once he doesn't feel like everyone is staring at him. He doesn't feel different. It's a nice break for him. If you can't afford camp, find a way to afford it! Our camp organization also hasa few gatherings during the year. You can find out if there's an organization like that near where you live. That might help him feel like he's taking charge of his diabetes, instead of feeling like it has taken charge of him.

    Another thing he needs is just time. The more he deals with it the more comfortable he'll get. He also feeds off your emotions, so try to stuff them while you're around him. Don't talk about his diabetes to your friends/family within earshot of him unless he is involved in the conversation.

    If those two things don't work, you can put him into counseling with a person who specializes in dealing with disease, even better if you can find someone who has experience with T1D kids.

    Honestly, I don't know how it happened, but somehow DS has taken on Diabetes as something that makes him special. (I know camp helped with this--because nobody else gets to go.) If you can put it in that light as much as you can, he'll probably deal with it better.

    Good luck! Feel free to ask any questions you might have (even if you think they might be dumb or asked a million times already) or vent your frustrations here. We get it! ***hugs***
     
  8. obtainedmist

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    I remember those early days so clearly and understand what you and your son are going through! My daughter went on the pump after 3 months and it radically changed how she viewed herself and the disease. She felt more like a normal teenager again because she was able to eat when she wanted to and dose very discreetly. Another thing that REALLY helped during those early days was consistent exercise! It was more for mental health than BG control! When Molly got teary, we recommended that she go for a walk or to the gym or get on the treadmill at home. It saved her many times! Best of luck...it does get better! :)
     
  9. MomofSweetOne

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    I've read a study that most T1 kids show signs of PTSD in the weeks/months after diagnosis but that it lessens as time goes on. That has been our experience.
     
  10. MomofSweetOne

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    The pump is another way of administering insulin. Your son will still have lows and highs, just like on MDI. The perks are being able to turn off basal or turn up basal fast with severe lows or highs. The downside is that highs from kinked cannulas, etc. happen. The convenience is what most of us prefer.

    If you wish to minimize the highs and lows, getting a CGM does wonders in that regard. It doesn't eliminate them, but it greatly, greatly reduces the number of severe ones, plus sleep is better at night. My daughter still has a hard time falling asleep with IOB (Insulin On Board - mealtime insulin still acting) if she isn't convinced I have the G4 with me. She can feel her BG dropping, and she knows that she doesn't wake to her lows. It's anxiety based in reality, unfortunately.
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Really? Can you link? I've not heard that before.
    Thanks
     
  12. Mish

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    I completely agree. What he's feeling is real. Just by acknowledging that he probably feels low due to running so high for so long you may do wonders to calm his anxiety.
     
  13. Christopher

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    I have never heard that before either, so I am also interested in seeing the study. That being said, it would not surprise me. Here is some general info:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    All children and adolescents experience stressful events which can affect them both emotionally and physically. Their reactions to stress are usually brief, and they recover without further problems. A child or adolescent who experiences a catastrophic event may develop ongoing difficulties known as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The stressful or traumatic event involves a situation where someone's life has been threatened or severe injury has occurred (ex. they may be the victim or a witness of physical abuse, sexual abuse, violence in the home or in the community, automobile accidents, natural disasters (such as flood, fire, earthquakes), and being diagnosed with a life threatening illness). A child's risk of developing PTSD is related to the seriousness of the trauma, whether the trauma is repeated, the child's proximity to the trauma, and his/her relationship to the victim(s).

    Following the trauma, children may initially show agitated or confused behavior. They also may show intense fear, helplessness, anger, sadness, horror or denial. Children who experience repeated trauma may develop a kind of emotional numbing to deaden or block the pain and trauma. This is called dissociation. Children with PTSD avoid situations or places that remind them of the trauma. They may also become less responsive emotionally, depressed, withdrawn, and more detached from their feelings.

    A child with PTSD may also re-experience the traumatic event by:

    - having frequent memories of the event, or in young children, play in which some or all of the trauma is repeated over and over
    - having upsetting and frightening dreams
    - acting or feeling like the experience is happening again
    - developing repeated physical or emotional symptoms when the child is reminded of the event

    Children with PTSD may also show the following symptoms:

    - worry about dying at an early age
    - losing interest in activities
    - having physical symptoms such as headaches and stomachaches
    - showing more sudden and extreme emotional reactions
    - having problems falling or staying asleep
    - showing irritability or angry outbursts
    - having problems concentrating
    - acting younger than their age (for example, clingy or whiny behavior, thumbsucking)
    - showing increased alertness to the environment
    - repeating behavior that reminds them of the trauma
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    I definitely saw some of the above signs with Danielle, but they went away relatively quickly. I also experienced some of them myself as well (maybe not the thumbsucking though) :D
     
  14. Brenda

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    PTSD study

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14626460 (209 children studied--they had been in an accident or diagnosed with cancer or diagnosed with diabetes).

    RESULTS:

    Children reported PTSS levels in the mild range. Sixteen percent of the fathers and 23.9% of the mothers met full DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for current PTSD. Type of trauma impacted differently on parents and children. In children, accident-related injury was associated with higher PTSS scores. Conversely, in parents, diagnosis of cancer in their child was associated with more symptoms. Functional status of the child was also found to be an important predictor of PTSS in children and parents. PTSS scores of mothers and fathers were significantly correlated with each other. However, child PTSS were not significantly related to PTSS of mothers and fathers. This was true for total scores as well as for DSM-IV symptom clusters.
     
  15. Mish

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  16. Sarah Maddie's Mom

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    Yes, I get the parents' PTSD, and I did look at those studies albeit quickly. The cancer/Type 1 study makes no sense to me. Did they tease out the D kids from the kids dx'd with cancer? If not, it strikes me as meaningless.
     
  17. MomofSweetOne

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  18. hawkeyegirl

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    Interesting. I'd like to read the whole article. I can't tell what percentage of the children had severe hypoglycemic episodes. Certainly seizures and losing consciousness would be traumatic in a different way than the trauma of diagnosis.
     
  19. MomofSweetOne

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    Even minor lows, though, can shake a child's confidence. My daughter was comfortable being home alone for over an hour before diagnosis while I ran errands, but that stopped immediately at diagnosis. Our endo team said not to leave her at all for two months, and she resented it. When the two months were up, she wasn't ready to stay alone. I think it took about a year. Even now, there are times she'd prefer to tag along rather than be left if her BGs have been doing wonky things. Only once have we seen her hit the slurring/staggering stage. The other "bad" lows have been 50s that wipe her out for a couple of hours. She's told me it can be hard to think in the 50s. The CGM gives her lots more confidence. Sometimes I wonder if she'd stay at all without it.
     
  20. hawkeyegirl

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    I understand that, but there is a difference between a loss of confidence and PTSD. I wish these studies were readily available.
     

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