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divorced parents with a diabetic child?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by clowerkj, May 23, 2011.

  1. clowerkj

    clowerkj New Member

    May 17, 2011
    I am a divorced mother of 2 and my son was recently diagnosed. (3/11). The kids father lives 6 hrs. away and knows nothing about the disease but still wants the kids for a couple of weeks. I am SCARED for my son because his care is so variable. I haven't even let the local relatives take him for more than a few hours, and I am available 15 minutes away. Any suggestions what to do?
    SCARED in PA...
  2. Flutterby

    Flutterby Approved members

    Nov 11, 2006
    There are a few parents on here that deal with a split family and having to send their child with D to the other ones house.. how old is your child? The first thing that needs to happen is he needs to get FULLY trained. Its HIS responsibility to get that training, you'r son's dr's office should provide that to him, but seeing as he's 6 hours away, it might be difficult. he should attend appointments if he can.. The better that you two communicate the easier it'll be on your son, and for your ex to learn.

    I would not let your child go until your ex is fully trained in ALL aspects of D management. (By all aspects I mean, know how to draw a syringe, use a pump--if your child is using one--, how to calculate his doses, what to do for a low, how to use glucagon).
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  3. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Nov 20, 2007
    Is he willing to learn? If he is, you could work with him to teach him the general daily tasks needed to take care of someone with diabetes. I think the general basics can be learned in a few days. And then over time you get more proficient at all the specifics. The real key is his willingness to learn.
    Last edited: May 23, 2011
  4. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Nov 15, 2007
    They sent us home from the hospital with our son in less than 48 hours with some very basic instructions, a meter, insulin and syringes.

    Learning to care for a child with D is a process that evolves over time. And unless your son's father is given a chance to care for him, he will never learn to care for him.

    I would start now making some simple flow charts for your ex-husband. ("If before lunch BG is x, do y.") The actual mechanics of testing and giving injections are not hard. You can teach him that in 10 minutes. The key here is going to be communication between you and your ex, and only you know how well that is likely to go. You're both going to have to learn to set aside any differences that you have for your son's well-being.

    Good luck!
  5. akgiauque

    akgiauque Approved members

    May 13, 2010
    Scared with you

    I like the flow chart idea. Visuals are good for us guys, You could make a poster to take to his house. I made a dry erase board for our kitchen with dosing on it. It was very complicated for a while, 4 carb ratios and two sliding scales.
    Questions I would ask yourself and maybe him.
    Is he willing to learn?
    Will he check at specified times?
    Will he call you for help when he needs it?
    Can he count carbs?
    Can he give injections?

    Good luck.
  6. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    I'm divorced and my daughter was diagnosed at 13. We have 50/50 custody so one week/one week. I was really worried how this would work out as her Dad literally absorbed nothing the three days we were all in the hospital but it's worked out fine.

    He's not comfortable doing almost anything for her, which is fine actually, but he does call/text with any questions. Since she's 15 now and 13 when diagnosed she's been able to do most of her care herself and calling/texting me with any issues.

    Communication is the key, and of course my daughter is older so that helps a lot. I don't know how it would have worked out if she were diagnosed younger. I'm guessing it would have been a mess.

    We also have the advantage (some would say disadvantage) of living in the same cul de sac, I live in a condo complex and her Dad in the apartment complex across the way. I keep the majority of the supplies at my house with a few backups at her Dads. One of us ends up trekking across the street at least once a week because she's out of something. It works out well as it makes it easier for me to keep track of how much of anything we've got.

    My advice would be to find out if you can get him any training in his area. And communicate as much as you can yourself. What you do, when. The flow charts are a great idea. He'll never learn if you don't let him try. If he's willing to call/text you with numbers as you go along that will help a lot, and make you feel better as well.
  7. Becky Stevens mom

    Becky Stevens mom Approved members

    Oct 14, 2008
    Hello and welcome, Im sorry about your son's diagnosis. Its definitely a learning curve. Can your son's father take him to an endo appt? He could ask for extra time with the endo or CDE so that he can have some training with them. If the two of you get along all right he could come there and have more training time with you. Also make sure that he has the phone # for the endo so that he can call the endo on call anytime night or day
  8. bnmom

    bnmom Approved members

    Oct 26, 2010
    Welcome to the forums, sorry you have to be here. How old is your son?

    I'm divorced, and visitation definitely adds another challenge to D. My ex is about 2 hours away, which feels like a million miles when he has the boys.

    Your son was just recently diagnosed, so it's totally normal for you to be scared about him going...anywhere. But I promise, that will get easier. You've had so much thrown at you all at once, but you will (sooner than think possible) get into your own groove and the fear will begin to subside.

    My ex has been to a couple appointments and has our endo's number, and obviously mine (but he never calls. God forbid big macho man admits he needs help!) So he pretty much relies on me to tell him what to do when it comes to D, and he's pretty clueless on trouble shooting. I don't know how your ex is, but here is what I do with an ex that prefers to fly by the seat of his pants:

    Each time he picks the boys up, I give him a shaving bag full of supplies (which he knows he must carry at ALL times), each clearly marked with a sharpie:

    Humalog pen (marked "Give with food only")
    Lantus pen ("Give at 8pm only")
    Glucagon shot ("If non-responsive, give this shot and call 911")
    Ketostix ("Use these if over 300 or feeling sick")
    Meter, strips, lancer, plenty of lancets and pen needles
    Calorie King book and a calculator
    Log book and pen
    assortment of glucose tabs and mini candies
    a cheat sheet showing Bobby's current carb ratios and Lantus dose

    The first few times the boys went for visitation after dx, I was a nervous wreck. I still worry, but it's not as bad now. But what has helped me...

    1. I tweak the ratios I give dad, so that Bobby runs a bit higher while he's at dads house - that saves some of the worry of a low, especially during the night.

    2. Reminding myself that although dad is far from me, he's not on another he can always find a pharmacy or hospital if needed.

    Hang in there and keep breathing! Divorce sucks, visitation sucks, and D sucks - but you guys will find a way that works for you.
  9. textornado

    textornado Approved members

    May 15, 2011
    I was divorced and recently re-married when my son was diagnosed. It has been an adventure. No matter how much it hurts you have to leave a guilt free communcation line open. He has to understand that you are the first he calls. My ex, his girlfriend, my husband, and myself attended all of the education classes together. My ex still managed to let all of the information go in one ear and out the other. We started with shots and then switched to the pump. The pump is easier for him to use. Please contact me if you need support. It is hard!!!!!

    Smiles, Jessie
  10. nyholli

    nyholli Approved members

    Jan 5, 2011
    I sense your fear and still deal with some of that myself. I was in the middle of a "not so pretty" divorce when my daughter was diagnosed in 10/2009. He was only 45 minutes away so we did not have to deal with the distance issue but as everyone has stated, training will be the only way he can care for him properly. I would suggest speaking with your Endo to get some advice. Maybe he could start with meeting with a CDE in his area, but the best training will most likely come from you. Each child seems to have a "unique car plan" that is tailored to his/her needs and most likely your the one that knows it best. Would it be possible for him to come and stay in your area for a few days and assist/learn the day to day.

    I feel your anxiety and I am still going through it. My daughter is with her father and his new wife every other weekend. My X is not following my instructions (or the Endo's for that matter) very well, but it took his wife one visit to the Endo with us (I invited her) to realize that he is not taking care of this properly.

    If I can help or if you need a place to vent, feel free to PM me!

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