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Step parent not cooperative with BG testing

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by jwhit26, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. jwhit26

    jwhit26 Approved members

    Jul 1, 2011
    Looking for advice here. My daughter is 10 and was dx 3 years ago. She's been pumping for 2 years and is very capable and self reliant when it comes to her care, but she is still a child.

    She alternates weeks between my house and then with her father (my ex) and step mother. It has come to my attention that at her father's house, they do not check her BG at bedtime nor anytime during the night. (As a side note, I don't frequently check her during the night unless we are checking on a low-follow up, or chasing a high, or if basals have changed or something.) But how in the world can you not check a child at bed time??

    They check her at dinner and 99% of the time that's the last check until morning. Looking back through her logbook history on her meter, there have even been times she was 80 and that's the last check until morning! I will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they gave her a little snack to get her through the night, but how can they not follow up to make sure she's high enough to get through the night?

    I expressed to my daughter the importance of checking at bedtime (and we also check her when we go to bed later in the evening). I also spoke with my daughter's step mom about how it is important that we check at these times too. I would think she would understand this by now, not to mention she is a nurse!! But they STILL are not checking her past dinner. It's so scary wondering and worrying about her when she's not in my care. My daughter said her step mom says that she needs to be responsible herself to check at bedtime. Which I agree with, but an adult needs to ensure it happens! This has nothing to do with a dislike for her step mother, because I very much like her and think she is a great step mom other than this issue we are having.

    Suggestions on handling this? Am I overreacting? How often do you check (or have your kiddo check their BG?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. Wren

    Wren Approved members

    Apr 24, 2013
    Any chance you can get a cgm?
  3. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    Maybe the Endo could have a chat? That way it wouldn't be coming from you?

    Night checks are like teeth brushing. Part of bedtime routine. Yes they should remember to do it but mine's 17 and I still ask her if she brushed her teeth/tested before she goes to bed. And half the time she's forgotten.
  4. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    ^^^This is good advice. Putting that much responsibility on a 10 year old is setting the child up for burn-out, even if she seems like she can do it now. At 11 my daughter was doing more physical care than she is now at 14. She's highly involved and becoming more so in management ways, but she doesn't like to be bothered with doing the testing and bolusing all the time. Burn-out happens, and there is so many changes going on in their bodies and lives, that they can't focus and make decisions like an adult can. I couldn't believe how spacey my daughter became at 12, and I was thankful to read of other kids doing the same here.

    I agree with the CGM recommendation as well.
  5. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    IMHO, and as the parent of a 15 year old who's had D 11 years, I think expecting a 10 year old to "learn to" check before bed asinine. It's unquestionably age appropriate for a 10 year old to be tested by adults before bed and wildly inappropriate for the adults to leave it up to her.

    As we all know testing is one thing, acting on those numbers requires multi-step decision making which 99% of ten year olds don't yet possess.

    I see two fairly simple options:
    1. Give her a cell phone and have her call you at bedtime to discuss #s and dinner and activity level and then walk her through her actions

    2. Call a family meeting with the endo (assuming your endo is reasonable) and come up with a family plan

    or if you really believe her to be unsafe, consider seeing a revision of the visitation plan.

    I think you are right to be concerned. Good luck.
  6. Joretta

    Joretta Approved members

    Nov 7, 2009
    Maybe you could start having her have a goodnight call. At your house have her call Dad and say goodnight and at his house she calls you or you call her and check her number. I know this can be touchy in some household. Another suggestion is to ask your CDE if they could write orders for you to send in her number for bedtime nightly. Good excuse to call and get them.
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    I might say the same thing about people who don't check bg during the night. My point being that each family needs to decide for themselves when it is appropriate to test.

    I don't normally check Danielle at bedtime, but I do check her several times during the night, every night.

    Instead of assuming, maybe ask them what their management plan is and how they handle things like her number being 80 at dinner.

    I disagree. Recognizing that each child is at a different maturity level, I think 10 is a little young to put that responsibility on them. I think a more realistic plan is to set the expectation that they remember to check, but that the adult oversees it and reminds the child if needed.

    If you have already expressed how you would like your daughter's diabetes to be managed, and they are not doing it, I think you would follow up with them and ask them why they are not cooperating with you. If they will not work with you then you may need to look into your legal options, for example, putting something in your divorce decree/custody arrangement. As for her being a nurse, I have found that just being a nurse does not make much of a difference in managing diabetes.

    No I don't think you are overreacting. You are concerned and rightly so. But I did find it interesting that you say you talked with her step mom about this issue but you don't mention discussing it with your ex husband. I would think he would be the main person you work this out with.

    Danielle checks herself (or I check her) before breakfast, before lunch, before gym, before snack after school, before dinner, around Midnight and then it depends on her number then and if I have given insulin for a correction, maybe once or twice during the night.

    Good luck.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
  8. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Feb 22, 2007
    I agree with the idea of calling at bedtime to ask for the BG result. As a stepmom myself, I am curious why you are upset with her instead of your exhusband. Are you able to have a family meeting where you can all discuss expectations and improve communication?
  9. TheLegoRef

    TheLegoRef Approved members

    Nov 13, 2011
    I would give your daughter some sort of alarm. A watch with an alarm at bedtime, a cell phone, something. My son has a bedtime alarm on his pump - that way he's never without it (like a forgotten phone or turned off phone).
  10. jwhit26

    jwhit26 Approved members

    Jul 1, 2011
    To clarify, my ex husband is a pilot and is rarely home, so the lions share of responsibility (including my daughter's diabetes management) falls on step mom, therefore she and I are usually the ones communicating regarding my girls.

    Another clarification, when I say I think it's reasonable for my 10 year old to remember to check at bedtime, this is the same as I expect her to remember to brush her teeth at bed...but should she forget, I of course am there to make sure she does it. And I always oversee her checking and bolusing-it's never 100% on her.

    As far as burnout, at least once every month or so, she gets a "vacation from diabetes" in which I do all of her care: checking, blousing, carb counting, site changing etc.

    I looking into a CGM and will discuss it with her endo in January.

    I called her CDE today and we are arranging for the endo to bring it up with them at her next appointment. Hopefully they will take it serious from him.

    Thank you for all your thoughtful responses.

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