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Divorced families, how do you do it?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by sassypantz, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. sassypantz

    sassypantz Approved members

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    Samantha is turning 12 in a couple of weeks, and she can be very mature for her age, so it's easy to forget how much help she still needs in dealing with this. Her dad is making it all the more difficult.

    First of all, it's been 3 months now, and we're only now starting to get the insurance untangled enough that we can get enough supplies. Hopefully now we'll have enough that we can keep some at dad's house and not worry about it so much. The kids go there every weekend, and it's 80 miles away from my house, so it's VERY inconvenient if she forgets something.

    To say that my Ex is a First Class Jerk would be kind. I would say he's an undiagnosed bipolar narcissist, and that's not an exaggeration, it's an honest assessment of his personality. For instance, the first time Samantha ran out of test strips while at his house, they went to the store to get more, and when he saw they cost $28, he stood in the middle of the pharmacy and yelled at her for being so irresponsible, saying it was absolutely "egregiously overpriced" and he shouldn't have to pay so much for something so stupid. And that's not the last time he's done it, either. He argues with her about when she should get her shot (he takes them out to eat for just about every meal, so there's a timing issue regarding waiting for a table, waiting for their order, etc.), whether or not her hands are clean enough, whether or not she counted her carbs correctly, etc. Mind you, he hasn't bothered to learn any of this stuff on his own, he relies completely on HER knowledge and direction, and then second-guesses her when she says something.

    It's not even this petty ridiculousness that bothers me so much--the worst of it is this: he decided a long time ago that he needs to have "one-on-one" time with each of the kids, so in order to do that, he just takes one with him out to lunch or to the park or whatever, and leaves the other at home alone. My kids are 9 and (almost) 12! We're not talking 20 minutes here, we're talking about hours that they're left alone. I fought and fought with him about this, not because I don't think they should be left alone (I know it's a matter of opinion and I won't get anywhere with him on that argument), but because he doesn't have a phone in his house! He has an iPhone and doesn't see the need to get a landline or a second phone of any sort for the kids to use while he's not there. This started before the diabetes dx, and we fought like cats and dogs over it because I felt if there were an emergency, it would be disasterous, but even in non-emergencies, when they're feeling scared or lonely, why torture them by cutting them off from everyone?? He relented and got a second cell phone. Now my kids inform me that he never ACTIVATED the phone and they are forbidden to acutally USE it.

    I know for a fact he doesn't understand the dangers of leaving a diabetic 12 year old alone. But we've argued over this so much I just can't get through to him. He thinks I'm just trying to control him, or meddling into his business. He doesn't see the risk, it never occurred to him that she could have a sudden low and have a seizure or pass out or any other number of things. And now that I've brought it up, he won't budge because that would mean he'd have to admit he was wrong.

    Over the next couple of weekends, I know there will be plenty of people around for the holidays and Samantha's birthday, I don't worry that he'll try to leave her alone any time soon, but once they're back on a normal schedule, she's asked me to stay here for the weekend and let her brother go by himself. I know she's safer that way, but it's just infuriating that it comes down to this.

    Do you have someone in your life that refuses to learn about D? He thinks he knows everything already, so there's just no talking to him, and I don't know how else to get through to him other than refusing to let Sam stay with him until he agrees to make certain changes.
     
  2. danismom79

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    Yowza! I'm "lucky" enough to be able to just refuse to leave my daughter with people who won't learn (which is everyone). I don't know how you would work it out in a divorce where the non-custodial parent has the right to see the kids. Well, not without involving the courts. Would he listen to the endo?
     
  3. etringali

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    You may need to document these things and present it to court. One on one is great, but not when potentially leaving kid in a dangerous situation. And not just the D child either.
     
  4. sassypantz

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    Right now, I'm thinking that perhaps what he needs is a book that will give him more insight to what Samantha is dealing with... something that explains the dangers without making it sound inevitable that she'll go blind and lose her legs.

    He's very much an academic type, so he's more likely to believe what he reads than what he's told. :rolleyes:

    For instance, after our first visit to the endo, I told him all about how the autoimmune response had worked, how it had nothing to do with her diet previously, etc. But he still harps on Sam about her weight--she's not overweight! She weighs 101 lbs. and is 5' 1"! When her clothes don't fit right it's because she's growing out of them! But on and on he goes about how she shouldn't be allowed to eat bacon, and all that cheese isn't good for her, blah blah blah, and he's actually told her that she probably got D because she ate too much junk when she was younger. Granted, I wish she ate more veggies, but she's never been overweight, and she's never had a HORRIBLE diet, so his criticism clashes with every fact you can think of in her situation.

    Me telling him what the endo says won't work. I'm going to send the Pink Panther books to his house with her over the holidays, maybe he'll pick one up and read something he didn't already know. ;)

    I do want to find something more adult for him to read, though. I've seen tons of suggestions on this board, I have to sort through them all and decide which one might reach him, KWIM?
     
  5. danismom79

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    But will he listen to the endo him/herself? It seems like any suggestion that comes from you, maybe even the books you plan to send, will go in one ear and out the other.
     
  6. sassypantz

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    I have already given him the endo's phone number and told him to call them with any questions if he needed clarification. There's really not much more I can do on that end.
     
  7. bgallini

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    How about Using Insulin or Pumping Insulin by John Walsh or Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. But if he reads these, he may decide to tell Samantha what to do with her D care and it may or may not be what the endo is telling you. So maybe you should read the book first and decide whether to give it to him or not.
     
  8. sassypantz

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    I'll have to read them first, I think, because you're right.

    Still, an "educated" directived from a book would be better than his random opinions now.
     
  9. Omo2three

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    I vote for "Think Like a Pancreas"

    Is it possible to get a cell phone for your oldest? just in case of emergency?
    or for your peace of mind.

    We added the boys on when they started driving...and $10 extra a person, but worth every penny.
     
  10. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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    I don't know if your ex is in Illinois, but it is a state law here that no child can be left home alone under the age of 14. Only Illinois and Maryland have such specific laws. HTH.
     
  11. sassypantz

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    It is my goal to eventually get her a cell phone (reluctantly, since I know we're in for huge bills when she overdoes it!), but right now even $10 is more than we can afford. The cell plan we have has the lowest amount of minutes and texts that they've got and we can't afford an increase. And when I added my DH to my plan, that "only $10" turned into a total of $25/month more, and I definitely can't afford that.

    I hope our finances level back off now that insurance is covering more of her testing supplies.
     
  12. sassypantz

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    Wow, I didn't know that! But no, he's not in Illinois. That would certainly simplify things.
     
  13. hawkeyegirl

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    I am not aware of any such law in Illinois.

    I would look into mediation. I think a 3rd party could really help you guys out with communication here.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2009
  14. BrendaK

    BrendaK Neonatal Diabetes Registry

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  15. purplewowies

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    On the phone issue, even though he doesn't pay for landline phone, does he have one anywhere in the house? Even though she couldn't call you, she might be able to call 911. And as for the cell phone, even if the it's deactivated, it should still allow emergency calls, as long as the phone is charged.
     
  16. Beach bum

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    Tell him that you refuse to leave your children with until he has a phone line in the home, or provides them with a phone to call someone in an emergency.

    Look into mediation, he needs to realize how he's jepordizing your kids lives.
     
  17. hawkeyegirl

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    Ah. I see. You'll see that it is illegal to leave a child under 14 for an "unreasonable" period of time, which is different than it being illegal to leave a child under 14 alone period. Not trying to nit-pick you here, but just didn't want a lot of people panicking over it. :)
     
  18. Kalebsmom

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    A good friend of ours was dx'd with T1 9 years ago. I was talking to her yesterday and she told me when she was dx'd she bought 8 copies of the book "Type 1 for dummies" and handed it out to all of her family members.

    I have never read it but she said it is a pretty easy read and not as scientific as some of the other books.

    I think your ex needs to educate himself. I feel bad for your daughter. I can not imagine how it makes her feel to think she caused this to happen to her.
     
  19. kajumom

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    I went through a very similar thing with my ex. He was so disconnected that I had a lawyer put in the judgement and it was required we do mediation for the kids and custody stuff. It was decided that he had to do his own diabetes education with the endo and educator before he was allowed extended parenting time with our 3 girls. He had them once a week for an hour and a half and that is it. Took him over a year to finally go there and get some training done. (Training he could have done all along and should of known if he had ever been around).

    After that was in place he was able to have overnight once every other week. He has them Saturday afternoon to Sunday morning but still calls to get help dosing etc, which is good because we both feel more comfortable.

    It was nice having the endo send a letter backing up his lack of involvement and the documentation they have as to who is there at each visit, to the lawyers and the court. There was no way I was going to allow her to be where it is not safe and someone doesn't know how to properly take care of her.

    At any (attorney) cost!

    Stick up for her and her safety! It is hard b/c this is so fresh but hang in there. Hopefully the sea will settle a bit and communication will open or begin soon.
     
  20. Corinne Masur

    Corinne Masur Approved members

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    Divorce

    What a difficult situation!! For your children AND for you!!! How about a cell phone for each child? And a strict talk with them about how it is to be used? (ie, for emergencies and to call you only). That way, they will always have a way to get help for themselves or for each. other.
     

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