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What to do? Am I being overly protective?

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by gloria, Nov 20, 2011.

  1. gloria

    gloria New Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    My 15 yr old diabetic son is going on a band (optional) trip to Hawaii. All parents are welcomed to attend as well, so I was planning on going too. I just found out that I have a conflict and can't stay the entire length of the trip. My son does not want to leave early and would like to stay and go home with the rest of his group. He would be on his own, regarding his diabetes care, for about 2 days including the 11 hour plane ride. Part of me wants to let him stay and part of me is scared to death! This is when I hate diabetes. If it was one of my other non diabetic kids, it wouldn't even be an issue. I'd let them stay. Here's the thing, he manages his diabetes well and can do his own site changes. He does all his own sugar checks, carb counting etc. However, whenever there is a more serious issue, he gladly let's me take over. For example, one time his site fell off in the middle of the night. He woke up very sick from the high ketones. He seemed so out of it that I am uncertain if he would even be capable of doing a site change by himself. It was actually his brother, who shares a room with him, that alerted me to the situation. Another time a low came on quickly and he seemed so confused. What if these type of situations happens during this time apart. Although these situations are rare, this is what scares me. No one else on this trip knows how to manage diabetes. My son says, he'd be able to step up and take care of himself. As a mother I just want him to be safe. I know this decision needs to be made by me but I just would like other peoples thoughts and opinions. Thank you
  2. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    In my opinion, you should let him go for sure.

    It's just a matter of working with him to think through what could come up and figuring out ways to deal with it.

    For example, if there's a site problem a temporary switch to shots could help bring down BG levels until he's able to get it sorted out.

    But for sure let him go! :cwds:
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    I think I'd let my child go but I would want someone to be at least somewhat trained to know how to deal with emergencies. Certainly there is some adult on the trip who could learn to treat lows, use glucagon, understand the risk of illness (ie traveler's upset stomach) and who could reach you by phone if there was an emergency. I don't think that that's asking too much of the organizers of the trip.
  4. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    When my daughter was 14, 6 mos after diagnosis, I let her go on a DC/Philly/NY trip for a week. It wasn't through the school but it was all classmates going. Her friends knew what to look for if she was high/low but there was no adult in their room. They saw about 1000 monuments in week (or so it seemed) the schedule was unbelievable. She was fine. We were MDI then. I was terrified the first few days but luckily had friends in all the areas and figured if she ended up in the hospital I knew someone who could go meet her.

    Nothing happened. Few off numbers but nothing alarming. She had a blast. And she was very happy that I trusted her to take care of herself.

    We texted here and there but otherwise I had to check facebook to see where she was :)
  5. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    I think I would let him stay, but I have little kids still, never a teenager. I'd have him change his site before you left, and make sure someone know how to deal with a low. I'm assuming he can give himself an injection incase his site where to come out and he'd go high and possibly confused. if he can give himself the injection and do a new site once he comes down, or just stay on injections until he's home. Where you are going to be there for a few days before hand I'm sure there is a plan that you all can come up with for keeping him safe and letting him enjoy the rest of the trip with his friends.
  6. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    My son went to Philmont Scout Reservation for a 10 day hike in the back country when he 16. He ended up doing OK -- not perfect.

    Your son could probably handle a couple of days on his own. It is good practice for when he goes off to college.
  7. Marcia

    Marcia Approved members

    Feb 22, 2007
    He will be going off to college soon and it sounds like he is pretty independent already. You could write up a protocol for him as far as keeping you in the information loop on a daily( or more frequent) basis. The only problem I would see is if an adult is not willing to be trained in glucagon, help with lows or recognizing when you need to be called. I am grappling with this myself because there are band and orchestra trips coming up.
  8. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Let him stay and make sure another parent/chaperone is trained. If you are really concerned about the site changes, you can add in some Lantus and set up a pattern on your pump to take that into consideration.
  9. Tigerlilly's mom

    Tigerlilly's mom Approved members

    Dec 3, 2007
    I would also let him stay. As others have said, make sure another adult is trained in case of a serious low etc. In regards to the sites...before you leave to go home early, put a back up site on....that way if the first site fails, all he has to do is connect to the backup site. (this is what I have done when my son has gone away for the weekend with other families - he hasn't needed the backup site, but it was good to know that it was there just in case).
  10. Deal

    Deal Approved members

    Nov 2, 2009
    This was the defining sentence. Withholding permission based on diabetes at this age will only make him hate the disease more. I think you should find a way to allow him to stay.
  11. gloria

    gloria New Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Thanks for the input

    Thank you for your thoughts and good advice. I do not know the other parents well. That may be an issue with trying to "train" someone. They will have chaperones on the trip. I'll have to talk to the band director about my concerns. I would have never thought to put on a "backup" site before I left. That's ingenious!
  12. skimom

    skimom Approved members

    Jan 16, 2008
    i would let him go - he is more than old enough to be away on his own . Each to his own, but my kids were going away much earlier than this and they did fine. Things might not be perfect but your son is never going to learn how to be independent if you don't give him the opportunity.
    Your son has a phone, your son knows how to handle basic diabetes issues, and if you make sure that those on the trip know what to do for a high and a low, that is good. Personally i would not train anyone on Glucagon as that is a lot to expect of anyone (plus EMS response would be fast so it wouldn't be an issue - you are not going to a third world country). You could ask your endo if he has a colleague in Hawaii that could be consulted in the case of an emergency if that would help you feel better.
    I think the damage you would do by not trusting your son to be on his own is far worse for your relationship with your son- my son would never have forgiven me if I made him come back early . He would not even want me going at all, come to think of it.
    I hope your son has a WONDERFUL time.
  13. Jensmami

    Jensmami Approved members

    May 17, 2007
    I like the Lantus idea, maybe half of his basal needs. That way he would always have some insulin going, and things should not go that bad. Also they probably will swim a lot, and we all know that this can cause issues too. But I would also let him stay.
  14. Tamara Gamble

    Tamara Gamble Approved members

    Jul 28, 2006
    Hi I'm Tami, I haven't been on in a long time but this is what I have to offer as far as how I would treat the situation in regards to school and also psyche. It doesn't matter if it's an optional trip. If the other kids have the opportunity to go and to stay then whomever is offering this trip needs to accommodate your son or it's discrimination. We say it like it's a dirty word but it's true. My son is 17 and cares for himself but the reality is that he can't give himself glucagon if he is unconscious. My son's never gone down due to diabetes but that is not the point. I would make sure someone is trained and let him stay. Never compromise on safety with these schools. Other things can be give and take but never safety is my rule. Even at college they have to accommodate him and will. I just participated on a panel of speakers at a JDRF conference not long ago and a professor from one of our universities came and was very upset that she wasn't made aware that a student had type 1. She couldn't accommodate the student because it wasn't addressed with his/her application. The lesson learned is that he can go and it's okay to advocate for his needs because diabetes doesn't leave itself behind and he's worthy of what everyone else gets. We know this as parents of course but sometimes others fail to understand. So then we educate them. I don't think it should make to many waves. If it does then shame on them. I would still do it but it's a very personal decision. I am also assuming that I am speaking with someone in the US. Hope this helps.
  15. coldblood676

    coldblood676 Approved members

    Sep 3, 2008
    As another teenage diabetic i would have to say let him attend the whole time. It would be a good introduction to living independently with diabetes. At the age of 15 it would be a perfect time to experience this.

    This is where you have to have faith in your son and let him take control of his life, which from what you have said sounds as though he has pretty much already done that.

    It would be handy to inform the teacher to keep an eye out for him if they do not already and other than that id say he would be all ok.

    You seem to be a very caring mother, and he seems very lucky to have you there for him. I wish you good luck! and i hope everything works out well for you both.

    -Luke Saunderson

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