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Newbie here and our first obsticle

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by ShannonK, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. ShannonK

    ShannonK New Member

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    Hello, I had introduced myself on the "Parent's of children with T1" not realizing there are a Parents of teen board too.

    We have our first obsticle coming up in a few weeks. My son has asking to join our churches youth group at 6flags in a few weeks. It's a all day trip 9-9 I want him to continue to do things like this and I know in the future I will feel more at ease with him doing them but right now being only a couple weeks into his dx I just can't allow him to go off for a whole day like that.#1 He's not good at counting carbs unless the actual carb count is right in front of him which y'all know places like 6flags won't have them. And #2 he can't take his supple bag on ride and will have to place it in those little cubbies. What if someone take it? And #3 I have no idea if anyone going on this trip has an knowlege of DT1 and what to do in an emergency. I'm just not ready and I feel horrible to tell him no. Sure I could go along but what 14yr old wants their mom following them around like that? Any advice on this will be appreciated.
     
  2. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

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    I think you've presented some reasonable stumbling blocks but I think you need to see, one by one, if they can be mitigated to a point that you can, in fact let him go.

    I'd call the director of the church group, find out how they plan to chaperone the trip, then see if 1. you can be a chaperone ( if other parents are doing so) or 2. could you train someone to offer to help your son in the event of a D issue.

    You could ask your son to be mindful of what he's eating and come up with a carb cheat sheet for food that you think he'd be likely to have

    Set up strict testing times and have him stay in contact with you via phone and text

    You might ask folks here to explain how they manage six flags and what they do with supplies and then perhaps ask a specific chaperone to be the bag holder when your son is on rides.

    It's not easy, but it can be done. :cwds:
     
  3. Brenda

    Brenda Junior Member

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    Sorry you have joined our "club."

    With respect to Six Flags, I would have him tell one of the chaperones that the chaperone will have to be available to hold his kit when he goes on rides. You should also tell the chaperones this same thing. He should use cargo type pants with buttons so he can have some type of glucose (tablets, Skittles) on him at all times. Sometimes rides malfunction and you don't want him dangling up high for 4 hours (such as happened at Knotts' Berry Farm last month) without glucose.

    As for the carb counts, you should discuss in advance what he might want to eat and try to determine how much insulin he will need to take. Is he using a pen or standard injections? You might be able to look online or call them to find out what the food options are. They might even have a carb count or two.

    What often happens is that they end up needing less insulin because of all the walking around and/or the carb guesses are ok because of the walking. He should try to check his blood sugar relatively often to make sure he's doing ok. If he ends up with elevated blood sugars for that day/evening, it will not be the end of the world.

    Make sure he does have a cell phone or access to a cell phone so he can call you or text you his blood sugar once or twice. He may forget to call, but emphasize that not checking is not an option. If he has a phone, it, too, should be in those pants, not in a cubby.
     
  4. Deal

    Deal Approved members

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    You seem to indicate he would go for sure if not for Diabetes. A sure way to get an unhappy child would be to say no because of diabetes. He has enough reasons already to dislike this disease with more to come.

    I would find a way to let him go while remaining safe.
     
  5. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

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    Just be a chaperone, but allow your son the distance he needs. He gives you his bag to hold and comes to you with a guess for the carb count.
     
  6. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

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    This is what I would do as well. Less than a month into this and there would be too many variable for me to feel comfortable in that environment without assistance and needing to rely on untrained individuals.
     
  7. DsMom

    DsMom Approved members

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    My son's only 8, and so he doesn't yet have the independence of your son. I know it's hard, (just this past weekend, I sat in my car outside a birthday party my son went to...letting him have his first taste of independence without me being TOO far away!;)) but I hope you'll find the strength to let him go. He may be already pretty darn mad at having D...but letting D spoil his good time will only make things worse.

    You got some great advice on how to handle things. Even if you are not there, having a cell phone with him will make it just as if you are. He can call for advice at any time. As for his bag, when we took my son on roller coasters, the attendants who help people on and off the ride were kind enough to hold it for us...perhaps your son can do that? As for your #1...do you have a Calorie King book yet? It lists almost every food...and their carb counts, including carnival/amusement park type foods. And, as another poster said, you can both think together ahead of time about what he might eat...and look it up online or wherever you get your carb counts ahead of time.

    I would certainly talk to whoever is chaperoning to let him/her know the situation. A D emergency is highly unlikely...especially if you ask your son to check his BG very frequently (hourly?) and check in with you. If he has the choice between that and not going...I'm guessing he'll be willing to check.;) Let him know you want him to have his independence and you are trusting him to keep in touch...and that how he cooperates with that will have an impact on your willingness to trust him in the future.;)

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
  8. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    My daughter is 13, and we're two years into this. In August I went along on a camping trip to manage the nights. I stayed away from her during the day, but I think it was a relief to her to know I was near if she needed me. D is huge, and the kids feel the weight far more than they want to. While we don't want to curb their independence, some of the best advice given to me recently by two adult T1s is to not push her into more than she's ready for.

    I'd say go along and meet up as much as necessary.
     
  9. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

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    I just wanted to add that each experience you do, you and he will gain knowledge of how your son's body responds to different circumstances and have greater confidence for the next time. In the beginning, it doesn't look like much makes sense, but the longer you do it and read and research, the more you begin see patterns that help with sanity. Excitement makes my daughter run lower; in activity makes her higher. Put those together, and in our case, the road trip to other places has beautiful in-range BGs with low spikes while eating despite the inactivity. For the trip home, she needs more insulin. I've found a pattern! We're two years in now, and life is starting to shift to autopilot at times. The constant thinking through all scenarios sometimes just comes with an automatic plan. It gives me hope that my daughter won't have to overthink all variables as much through life as we've needed to for the learning curve.
     
  10. jennylee

    jennylee New Member

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    He is most likely just as nervous as you. You absolutely have to let him go. Whatever he did before, he needs to do now. Never use diabetes as a reason to not let him do things- it will back fire. He needs to know it will take extra planning, but it is ALL do-able!.:)

    This is a new diagnosis. Too new to let him go for 12 hours alone. Be a chaperone for sure. Someone has to chaperone! Hang back or better yet text every 1.5- 2 hours to check his BG or when he is going to eat. ~ then meet up. You will find yourself behind the scenes pre- planning and covering all your bases just for the simplest of activities. Its okay. You will be silently finding ways to be 'there' as back up and checking in. I would go as far as to say, this first year you will be where he is. I remember sitting in my car at diff. events. Then calling or going in real quick to make sure he was on track and then back to the car. Teen years will be tough, but until he has proven that he knows how to handle many difficult situations, there would be no way I would send him off. Heck, you are still learning- use that as your excuse when he protests to you going to six flags!


    Tips:
    1. If he pumps, wrap it in Glade Press and Seal. You can see thru it, and it will protect it from water. Use an alcohol wipe to get residue off when you get home. Know that sweat and water could = site coming off. Pack an extra. always. He can keep a backpack with the stuff he might need in the car and not have to lug it around. Or rent a locker.

    2. Choose clothing that has cargo pockets,( but not where items will fall out) for the items he needs to have on him. Or order a Spibelt. They have a diabetic one with a hole for the pump tubing, you will need that eventually if not already on pump. You will be buying clothing with these considerations- deep pockets. The Spibelt fits snug to body and is inconspicuous. My teen son will use it.

    3. The Calorie Counter app has all kinds of foods and carb counts. Love it, learn how to use it. If you or he does not have a smart phone, photo copy the carnival/stadium food pages from the Calorie King Book. Shrink it to fit in his pocket. This was a life saver when we were learning how to carb count. Also copy pages of other foods he normally gets there. Make sure to include fountain pop- he needs to learn that 1 can of all sugar pop averages 44 carbs. He should be able to visualize 1 can of pop in a cup with ice, and give insulin accordingly.

    4. If he is on shots, order the Frio diabetic bag, you just keep getting it wet to keep insulin cold. Do not get the small- it fits 1 or 2 syringes. Not a vial. If the trip is soon, figure out a temporary solution for six flags, make sure not to let insulin get too cold. If the temp is mild, probably fine with no ice. Remember alcohol wipes. I used to pre-draw up syringes or take a vial and keep in a cooler in car as back up. Food away from home is always more carbs than you think.

    5. the most common mistake is testing too soon. Once you test, you really need to wait at least 2 hours to test again, unless you feel low. Talk about trying real hard to have his snacks co-inside with testing times. If he is on a pump, this is not such an issue- it calulates active insulin for him and snacking all day is easier. If he is on shots still, this is an important factor.

    6. he may run low do to walking, but could just as easily run high do to adrenalin and excitement. What happens this time at six flags, will not be what happens next time. There are too many varibles. Know this, and plan throughly, and just deal calmly with each situations that occurs. It is better know you have what you need to handle situations, than to go into these activities panicking of what might occur. Stuff is going to happen at some point or another.

    7.I put the 'kit' of all the extra supplies we could need in the car. We only take what we need 'on' us. We can always go to the car. If it is easier to put it in a backpack for the day, then we do that. Just make sure it is accessible and enjoy the outing.

    8. to get the bulk down in his pocket, get a smaller meter and lancet- you can put some test strips in those Listerine breath strip packs. They are flat, little squares and will hold a day's worh of strips. Just do not store them in there permanantly. Fill as you use it. Clean it good first. It could be easy to lose, see what your son thinks. Could tape it to back of meter. Maybe cut some duct tape? Instead of juice, pack glucose tabs in a little ziploc bag for medicine ( found by pill splitters ect, or craft stores in jewlery section) This is easier than lugging a juice around. Cliff bars make a mini bar that are perfect carb proportions. I find them at Target in diabetic supply isle.

    Have fun and after a year, you will be ready to let him try independence in small increments.
     
  11. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

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    If your son is taking a basal like lantus or levemir, call your endo group to ask about reducing the dose the evening before to help prevent lows with the increased activity. In the calorie king book there is a section for carnival type foods, you could look to see what your son would most likely be snacking on and make a cheat sheet. There were several field trips where I wasn't exactly a chaperone, but I was onsite. The cargo pants sound like a great idea. Good luck and have fun!
     
  12. ShannonK

    ShannonK New Member

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    Thank you all so much for the tips. Y'all have been a huge help.
    We attended a Diabetes 101 class today and they actually gave us the calorie king book plus I downloaded the app. We decided that it would be best to let him go to 6flags and my husband and I (and our 7yr old) are going as chaperones. Corey was fine with that. We won't be hanging with him the whole time but it will give us all a little piece of mind knowing we are close by if something were to come up.
     
  13. stephnms

    stephnms Approved members

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    I'm so glad you posted this. We're going through the same situation with our 15-year-old son, who wants to go on a three-day trip to TN with his youth group from church the week after Christmas. This will be his first extended trip away from us, since his diagnosis this part March. I've been sitting here taking notes. :)
     
  14. DsMom

    DsMom Approved members

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    Hope you all have a great time!! And, once he (and you) get through the day with flying colors (and by that I don't mean perfect BGs, just a safe, happy day), you'll have a good D experience to tuck under your belt and help you gain confidence for next time.:)

    One of the most important lessons I've learned over the years is to relax my expectations during special days and holidays when it comes to BGs. I used to let the high numbers turn those special days "bad" for me. Now, I do my best to keep him in the best place I can for those special circumstances...and, if BGs run out of whack, get up the next day and get him back on track. If your son should encounter some BGs that are way off the mark...deal with them the best you can...and then the both of you go off and have fun.:)
     
  15. Ti'sMom

    Ti'sMom Approved members

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    I just read in my diabetic folder from the hospital (I'm new to this too), that theme parks will help with D. You can actually get on rides without waits and they will be ready for highs and lows with medics etc if needed. You just have to let them know when you first get to the park. Your son may not want to be singled out as "disabled", but sometimes the lines are really long and can wreak havoc on blood sugars. He might even think it's cool to go to the front of the line.:D Have a great time!!
     

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