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16 year old taking care of diabetes!

Discussion in 'Teens' started by Artgirl, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. Artgirl

    Artgirl Approved members

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    My 16 year old daughter was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes about a month ago. She is now injecting herself, checking sugars and following the carb counting and meal plan pretty well. I am so proud of her. Is it normal for her not to want to tell anyone that she has diabetes? I also find she gets really upset when I ask her about it or ask to check her numbers, and doses to make sure she is doing it right. She tries to be secretive and hides her things from me, I don't know why she started doing this, its not like there is anything wrong, her numbers are in range. She gets really upset when I talk about, is this normal? She just started feeling this was in the last week and a half. I told her it was my job to make sure that things are going good and that I trust her its just that I need to keep on top of things. Anyone can tell me why she is like this?
     
  2. kiwiliz

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    It's a good idea to keep checking - even if you trust her - there is a lot going on in a 16 year olds life. I recall hearing how a Teddy was getting regular shots! Some good advice I received early on was to treat it like homework - a quick look at a meter and back to ordinary business. Really difficult that this has swept in when she will be moving towards independence.
    No one wants to be different at 16 - it might be a good idea to find a well balanced, happy young person who has diabetes to meet with your daughter. She won't feel so alone then. Wishing you well - difficult path to tread.
     
  3. DiabetesMama

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    Not every kid wants to tell everybody that they have a life threatening disease. She was just diagnosed and she is probably internalizing a lot. The pressures of being a teen and having this too would be very overwhelming. I agree that you do need to do a "meter check" to make sure she is testing, but I wouldn't advise any negative comments if there are a few high numbers. Focus on praising her for the hard work she is doing and just be glad that she is doing so much of the care on her own. Now, if she stops testing or ALL the numbers are out of range, you will have to step in and figure out what is going on. I think that she is getting upset because you are asking too much. My son and I had to set up some limits this week because we were both becoming overwhelmed and getting to the "burnout" stage. Now, I have agreed to not ask how his numbers are unless the alarm on his pump or CGM goes off. We had to find a balance between keeping him in range but also being able to live and let diabetes take the back seat for awhile. We were all right there with you in the beginning, wondering where their numbers are, are they taking care of themselves, are they counting the carbs correctly, did they bolus, etc. It will get better. You do need to check on her but you have to let her live her life, too. Let her adjust to this huge change in her life, let her feel comfortable in her own time to tell people, try not to bring it up unless it's necessary. All of this you will have to learn in your own time. Make sure you focus on her, not the number attached to her. Hugs for you both. Hang in there and just take it a day at a time.
     
  4. kiwikid

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    It has probably just got to the stage where reality has set in.. and maybe a bit of grief too. This isn't going to go away.. It a HUGE thing in anyone's life - let alone a 16 yr old. Be there for her. Be aware that things don't always go to plan and if she has trouble with numbers being in range then she may hide it more, because she feels she is letting you down.
     
  5. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    Good advice already here. I wanted to add my experience as an adult as to what it feels like when someone asks me what my blood sugar is. It feels the same way you might feel if someone asks you what you weigh. It's personal, the number at the moment can be taken out of context (like a 200 can be either coming down from a 400 or up from a 40) and asking can feel so invasive even if the person asking has the best intentions. This is coming from an adult with diabetes so I can only imagine what a newly diagnosed 16 year old girl would feel like.
     
  6. sarahspins

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    This, exactly. I am not that bothered by a "did you test" or "are you ok", but revealing the number, no matter what it is (even though it is just information, it's not good or bad) almost always results in some kind of judgement towards me or my diabetes, and NO ONE likes that :) I imagine for a teenager, it's very much the same. The emphasis really should be on testing - not what those numbers are (because while that is important, actually testing is still more important).

    I am really not very open about being diabetic - in fact most of my own friends don't know (or know, but don't ask questions - I mean, the CGM is semi-obvious when I have it on my arm, and I almost always have my pump clipped to my jeans pocket these days, and I do wear a medical ID, so I'm likely super easy to spot for another T1, but maybe not for someone who just doesn't have a clue). I'm not super secretive though, and I don't go to great lengths to "hide" anything (but I am often discreet about stuff), but I'm also not one of those people who over-shares either.
     
  7. Ali

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    Brenda, agree 100 percent. I was a teen when diagnosed and now an adult and I agree so much with what you have expressed. It can be even more invasive than the general weight question. If you are watching your weight whether up or down and you just finished a meal or are just starting and someone says how much do you weigh that is akin to being asked about your BG number anytime of the day.:) It always feels judgmental and meaningless. ali
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  8. Artgirl

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    Thanks for the great advice.
     
  9. MomofSweetOne

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    It can be good to just create a habit of having the meter left where you can check it each night to see what the levels were, how many tests, etc. Having checks happening helps keep them accountable...and the numbers don't tell the story. There's always one.
     
  10. KatieSue

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    My daughter is 19. She calls them "stealth diabetics". Some people are just very private. And I don't think it's a good or bad thing just how that person feels. Mine hates me asking as well. I try not to, I'll admit to occasionally peeking at the meter when it's laying around. Lately at night I'll just ask if she needs me to get her up, she'll say yes or no. Then I leave it at that. When she turned 18 she wanted to take ownership of her diabetes. And she mostly has, not always with the best results but she will admit to the mistakes. Diabetes is so up/down/up/down that numbers at any point in time are just markers, and you can nudge them in the right direction. It will never be a steady line.
     
  11. quiltinmom

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    My 13 year old does better when I ask questions like, "do you need help counting carbs?" Or "do you know how much insulin to take?" Being there to support him is different from being helicoptery about it (which I have been guilty of from time to time). But sneaking a look at the meter now and then is a good idea too. We recently started using the dexcom continuous monitor, so I can check up on him without having to ask him. And without having to get out of bed in the middle of the night. Cgm isn't for everyone, and it may be overwhelming at this point for her. But it is something to consider at some point.

    Also having a conversation with her about what she needs and wants from you is helpful. And letting her know you are there and she can ask for things when her needs change.

    Her recent feelings about it may be that it is sinking in, but the thought also occurred to me that something may have happened that made her feel self conscious about it--could something have happened at school or with friends? You might ask her if something happened, or just sit and listen to her vent about what she's going through, if she will open up to you. I know 16 is a hard age.

    That said, my Ds has had d for 6 years...he doesn't exactly keep it a secret, but he appreciates when I ask discreetly when people outside the family are around. Not secret, just private. I think it is perfectly fine.

    Good luck. It is a lot to take in. We are here for you, and your dd.
     
  12. nanhsot

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    Yes, this. My son was diagnosed at 15 and took over care almost independently from the beginning, I always consider myself his researcher. I keep up with new products and manage his supplies, but he owns the day to day and always has. When he lived at home (he's in college now) I would simply check his meter and IF I had concerns, would ask what he was doing about x or y. For example, if I see a string of lows I might say "I noticed some lows, did you change your basal or is something else going on there." (and I'll usually ask if he needs more juice or tabs too). Etc. Better than "what's your number" that might be them on the defensive and make them feel like they are being judged for a number.

    If I check and notice fewer daily checks than I feel is healthy, I'll ask if he's wearing Dexcom. Answer is usually yes. Basically my teenage motto has always been "trust but verify." As long as things are being managed, even if not exactly as I would manage, I trust. I only stepped in if I noticed something I felt was harmful or worrisome, which in my son's case was very rare.

    My son has always been very open with his diabetes but he's had several friends who do hide it. It's a personal thing so to me that's just a personality thing, nothing to worry about.
     

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