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Feeling helpless

Discussion in 'Parents of Teens' started by Mom2dirty, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. Mom2dirty

    Mom2dirty Approved members

    Oct 24, 2010
    So Dirty wanted a break from the pump and went back to MDI on 12-5-2010.

    He had a horrible transition and was out of school for a week with high numbers and ketones.

    He was finally back in range and now he has decided he is tired of checking his BG and I suspect has been eating without bolusing. He spent the night with a friend and lied to us about checking BG. The night before last he lied to me when I asked him his BG before I went to bed. I checked his meter yesterday and he was 97 at 8:30 pm not the 134 he told me he was at 10:30 pm.

    I feel so helpless and I don't know what to do. Parenting a child is hard enough but parenting a child with D seems to be SO HARD right now. I am second guessing my decisions and am so confused. But mostly I am SO AFRAID of losing him.
  2. chbarnes

    chbarnes Approved members

    Jul 5, 2008
    Not checking or bolusing is a dangerous behavior and should be dealt with as you would any other dangerous behavior. Try to be positive. Try not to yell. But use consequences, like grounding and restricted privileges to get the point across. If necessary, require him to check and inject in your presence. But make it as easy as possible. I often bring my son his things so he can test and hand him the alcohol wipe, the multiclix, and the meter so it causes as little disruption as possible for him. You can also calculate and prepare his syringe.
    Consider a pen if you are using regular syringes - they're easier.
    As much as possible, take the burdon off your son, but insist that he does it.

    And if he doesn't do what he has to when you are not around, well he just can't go to those places.
  3. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Feb 20, 2010
    I would start with making a habit of checking his meter a few times a day. My general habit is first of the morning and last thing at night, I just scroll through and we discuss whatever needs discussing. He is aware that I do this.

    For sleepovers I generally ask him to text me his numbers, clearly he can lie but he knows I'm going to look at his meter and it will get noticed when I check, so what's the point?

    Teenagers can be very difficult, mine definitely sometimes hides his numbers or fudges his reports, so please understand that I don't have the answers either, but I do have lots of empathy. I would praise his good efforts and let him know you are there as a resource, but give him lots of freedom so long as he is in range. Manage things well and you can do it on your own; numbers looking off and I'm going to intervene type of approach.

    I'm not clear on why he felt the need to lie to you quite honestly, his number at bedtime wasn't bad, maybe could have used a spoonful of peanut butter but what teen is going to complain about a little snack?? My son recently lied about being "fine" during a party and when I reviewed his meter that night he had been running in the 400's the entire time. I was partially in charge of the party so I believe he was trying to protect me, but it was somewhat shattering to me having him hide the truth. There's nothing good about this disease and seeing him protect me from something that could potentially harm him greatly was very difficult for me to accept.

    Anyway, I definitely understand. I personally would let him know that you will be checking his meter regularly, it isn't a choice, you are in charge of his medical decisions while he is still a minor. Let him know that you trust him to make all his decisions until/unless he begins to make poor ones. No sleepovers unless he texts or calls with his numbers. Blood sugar checks a minimum of 5 times per day (first of the morning, before each meal, last at night) and check daily. Non negotiable.

    What I have found is that I really don't have to be a jerk, I just have to lay out expectations. No time with friends if your sugars aren't in control. No sleepovers if you don't check. Etc.

    Trust but verify, that's my motto.
  4. wilf

    wilf Approved members

    Aug 27, 2007
    Firm, loving, tenacious oversight is the way I would work to get this situation back under control.

    If he's lying about meter readings, then you check EVERY reading. One good way to do this is to get a book to log the readings, that way you have a record of where you're at and an excuse for checking.

    And he doesn't go out with friends at all unless he's checking at agreed upon intervals, and bolusing for all carbs.

    What makes you think he's not bolusing? If he's not, then he has to be home for all meals.

    If he is not being honest, then you have to keep him under constant supervision. He won't like this. You tell him that if he wants you to ease up, then he needs to show that he can be trusted..
  5. LJM

    LJM Approved members

    Mar 10, 2008
    We just had a few of these slips this week. Some of them are normal, but I tried to act right away to nip it in the bud.

    First, I was clear that if he does not test when out and about with friends---he is not going out and about with friends--at all.

    Then I had him text me his numbers on an agreed upon basis when he was at a friends house yesterday.

    I check and log the meter and pump everyday and we do discuss what is going on.

    As long as he is not missing boluses I try not to get too crazy when they try Panda Express and all those other hard to handle foods---he is learning and they are very hard to dose for correctly. Have to cut him some slack as a teen as he is out with kids eating this stuff on a regular basis.

    Breathe, a lot. They are really smart at this age and pretty hostile on a regular basis.....we are just trying to get through it with some semblance of a "normal" household.
  6. Bigbluefrog

    Bigbluefrog Approved members

    Oct 1, 2010
    Hang in there. This is where tough love comes in.

    I would try to get him in to see a diabetic counselor, my feeling is sometimes they listen better to someone non bias. I notice that with my teenagers, that sometimes a teacher or another adult will make more of an impact than mom.

    I agree that if he isn't being safe with his D care, than you have to get tough and make firm decisions.

    your right....raising teenagers is difficult, add the D in and it has a new level of challenges.
  7. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Dec 29, 2007
    I feel your pain. DD is 12, so not quite a teenager, but so close. She had this thing about checking her bg when she was spending the night with friends. I don't know if she just didn't feel like it, forgot about it, whatever, but she just wasn't doing it, and it didn't seem to matter what I did. So, I told her that there would be no more sleepovers, either direction, for the next four weeks. Four weeks is an eternity to a middle schooler. Every time she asked within those four weeks, I said no, and we discussed why the answer was no, and what she could do in the future to regain her sleepovers.

    When the four weeks was up, I allowed DD to have a sleepover. I told her this was her chance to prove how responsible she could be. I didn't require certain times that she had to text me or call me...I left it up to her, with the knowledge in the background that I would be checking her meter when she got home. She did a fantastic job! She tested when she should have, treated when she should have, and did text me numbers. She doesn't like to get up in the middle of the night, so she just stays up until 2am, checks, and then goes to bed :). Now she has earned back her spend the nights and friend time, and she continues to do a good job with them.

    For your own sake and his, I say this...be careful that you aren't projecting your fear of losing him onto him. Make the rules, insist that they be followed and provide consequences if they aren't, but don't hold too tightly, KWIM? Our kids already have a very real fear of dying. Remember when our babies were babies? If we were upset when they fell down and were bleeding, they were twice as upset as they would have been had we been calm.

    Hang in there. Parenting teens is hard. Parenting teens with D...a whole new ball game.
  8. Mom2dirty

    Mom2dirty Approved members

    Oct 24, 2010
    I am back to checking his meter several times a day and making sure everything is written down on his log.

    We have already talked about his choices and the consequences. He said he lied about his BG that night because he is tired of checking. Basically he is tired of having D. We talked about his feelings and about the fact that D won't go away by ignoring it.

    I don't know if I am projecting my fear onto him and I will make a conscious effort not to do so. I would imagine I probably was to some extent. This month has been overwhelming for me. I am usually able to keep a clear head but for some reason I was not able to do so. Maybe from lack of sleep or just everything catching up with me.

    I am back on track after some time off from work and a few nights of sleep. I am hopeful this bump in the road will be behind us soon.

    You are all so helpful and have such wonderful ideas. Thanks so much for you replies!
  9. rebesser

    rebesser Approved members

    Oct 17, 2009
    Diabetes burnout

    sounds like your son has diabetes burnout, and just wants to put his hands over his eyes and say, "I don't have diabetes, just go away".

    Understanding why he is making up his BG readings and not bolusing is going to be part of finding the solution. You are desparate to keep him safe.You may feel alone and isolated, and so may your son. He just wants his diabtees to go away. He may feel that the only interaction he has with his parents is about his diabetes. There has to be some compromise. If he can come up with the solution it is more likely to work than if you dictate it. Does he want you to take over some of his diabetes, to give him a break? eg doing prebed BG's or injection. Having to remember all the time, on top of handling friendships, school etc is tiring work.

    Does he know anyone else with diabetes? Speaking to another young person with Type 1 who he can connect with (not just because they have D, but also for other reasons) may make him feel less alone and share his feelings. He may not be able to share with you.

    I hope this helps, hang in there and keep talking.

    Best wishes,

  10. rebesser

    rebesser Approved members

    Oct 17, 2009
    sorry, I don't know why I didn't see this post, or I would have replied to the oter and to this in the same one....

    Having had Type 1 for 25 years, and now working with families with D, I see that being a parent is often more tough than for the young person with the D. You feel overwhelmed, and worry about projecting your fear onto your son. Many parents of children with D feel exactly as you do. Your son may pick up on this, even if you try to hide it.

    Many parents in your situation benefit from speaking to others without their child present -to other parents, or counsellors. It will be important to offload your feelings, but not onto your child. No one in your situation can hold it together all the time, if they do, then that is abnormal!

    It is often harder for parents than their children with D. Dealing with your feelings will probably help your son deal with his, as you will be in a better position to help him.

    Sounds to me like you are doing a great job in difficult circumstances and the love you have for your son is clear.
  11. skimom

    skimom Approved members

    Jan 16, 2008
    i agree - sounds like burnout . It is especially frustrating as they know deep down that they can't take a break from D ... I know when my son went through this, we sat down and had a really good heart to heart . We both cried, we both expressed our fears etc - at the end of it all, he picked what he wanted to "control" and what his dad and I could look after for him. Another thing we agreed upon was that BG readings were just numbers - when asked what the reading was, he was to give us numbers - no judgement was allowed by anyone . Neither one of my kids are allowed to refer to their BG as good or bad - they are merely numbers that help us to guide decisions as to how to treat things.That was a huge step for all of us as I think the kids were afraid that they were disappointing us if things weren't going well. The diabetes team also was really good about not judging how the kids were handling their D - instead they just offered suggestions and support - they focused on what the kids were doing well and encouraged them in the not so good areas.
    Sorry I am getting a little off track here - guess what I'm trying to say is to sit down with your boy, let him know you love him , that you want what's best and together come up with a plan that you both can live with and then cheer on his successes with the plan. Let him know what you expect - have him come up with the consequences of not meeting the agreed upon plan. These kids go through so much - they need to rebel, they need to have their pity party - they need to get angry. So do you. - but then you both need to move on and he needs to steadily assume more control while you assume that supporting role.
    Good luck - these times aren't easy but they will get better.

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