- advertisement -

Losing my mind with my teen

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by sassypantz, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. sassypantz

    sassypantz Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    310
    I am soooo mad right now, I'm seeing stars! My daughter (14) is trying to kill herself, I swear. Her BS have been all over the map--high/low, wide swings with no clear enough pattern to figure out where to adjust. We took her off the pump about a year ago after some serious non-compliance issues, (she'd bolus for food without testing) and for a while she did really well, logging her food and insulin, letting us adjust everything. But she hated the supervision, and constantly begged to just let her do it because she'd proven herself. I knew that while she was on vacation this summer in Alaska she'd be getting away with stuff anyway since I couldn't be there, so I loosened my grip a little. When she got back, there were some wild numbers, but I attributed them to the drastic change in physical activity. Then marching band started, and that was another adjustment. I'd ask her her numbers, and she'd tell me. I'd ask to see it every couple of days or so. I noticed that she was particularly proud when she could show me an "in range" number, but I figured that was because I promised her she could get contacts as soon as I'm working again if she could get her A1C below 8.0.

    She's been complaining about feeling sick for the past few days, and we're all passing around a cold, so I thought little of it. But she skipped band practice again today and I started talking to her about her #'s. She couldn't tell me the formula she was using. "How do you know what to dose if you don't know the formula???" "I just guess."
    OMG. We have never done this, it has never ever ever ever ever been OK. So I call the doc and get the last formula we have on file, figuring we'll start from there, and that's the whole reason her numbers have been off. I pointed out that her long-acting insulin has probably changed, because it's been about 6 months since we recorded that dosage with the doc. "How much Levimir have you been using?" She burst into tears and admitted she hasn't been using Levimir AT ALL for MONTHS!!!!

    All this time, lying to me, throwing away good Levimir pens to make it look like she's using it. I'm about to have an aneurysm.
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    Messages:
    6,771
    Sorry you are going through this. Maybe when you have cooled down you can have a calm, but serious talk with her about her feelings. Why is it that she has not been using the Levemir? Maybe she is just burnt out on the daily things she needs to do to deal with diabetes. Maybe she feels too much pressure? I have no idea. But maybe if you can get to the root of what is driving her behavior, that will help you come up with a solution. But until you can identify what is going on in her head, it is going to be hard to change things.

    On a side note, I personally would not use lowering a child's A1C as a motivator to getting something they want. There are so many things that effect a PWD's blood glucose level. And many of those things are out of their control. So they could be trying really hard, doing all the "right" things, but their A1C still will not budge. But that is just my personal opinion, I am not saying what you did is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  3. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    Ok, you won't like this, but I think you dropped the ball. I'm not sure how she went from being on shots with you in control to back on a pump where she was in charge of showing you her data, but imho the goal with teens is to set specific task goals not bg goals and to trust, but verify, everything.

    My 14 year old doesn't know her insulin to carb ratio, her pump knows that. I know that. If you have to call the endo for that then honestly, I think you've stepped too far back.

    Just because a teen wants independence with D doesn't mean that they deserve it. From what you describe your 14 year old, like my 14 year old, isn't up to the task of independent management of D. And for good reason... it's HARD.

    I can't recommend Joe highly enough http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/video/JoeS2.htm
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  4. sassypantz

    sassypantz Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    310
    You're right, I'm sure. I'm constantly trying to walk a tightrope between what she wants and what she needs, and it feels like constant failure. It would be so much easier if she'd at least be honest with me about it. All the lying and obfuscation is just so danged exhausting. Just when I think I can trust her, she throws another curve ball at me. I just know that eventually she's gonna need to do this all on her own, and I never know how to judge where she is on that road.
     
  5. kim5798

    kim5798 Approved members

    Joined:
    May 7, 2009
    Messages:
    745
    I'm sorry that you are dealing with this. Obviously she needs help to do it. Figure it out with her/endo & go forward.

    I have to admit this makes me feel better about the stuff I deal with with my daughter(14)...testing once or twice in a day sometimes. "Oh, I forgot" Running the pump out of insulin. Leaving home with no fast sugar.
     
  6. miss_behave

    miss_behave Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2006
    Messages:
    2,217
    I wonder if going back on the pump would at least afford more consistent insulin delivery? She'd be getting basal and the correct ratios without having the pain of doing manual calculations. I agree with the PPs that you need to have a heart-to-heart with your daughter after you've calmed down. Is she simply burnt out? Maybe she needs you to take over her care for awhile, whether she likes it or not. Ask her what she thinks will help her get back on track. Would she prefer to pump or stick with MDI? Get her on board with her care and listen to her opinions. This is more likely to lead to compliance IMO. Good luck, the teen years are hard, but we get through them, I promise! :cwds:
     
  7. sassypantz

    sassypantz Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Messages:
    310
    She has said that she prefers not having the pump--she hated having something attached to her all the time. It's moot at this point, anyway, because I lost my job a couple months ago, and the cost of switching back to the pump is completely out of the question. Don't get me started about insurance.
     
  8. hawkeyegirl

    hawkeyegirl Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2007
    Messages:
    13,157
    I think this is really good advice. And I think at this point you need to take everything over again. She's telling you that she's not ready to do it herself. At home, you count carbs and either watch her dose or do it yourself. At school, she sees the nurse at lunch. When she's out with friends, she texts you numbers and boluses, or she can't go out with friends.

    It must be incredibly hard. Does your endo have a social worker on staff? I know ours does, and she is specially trained to work with families where a child has diabetes. Some family counseling might really help here. Ask your endo for a referral. It is not the first time they have seen this.

    Don't beat yourself up. Cry tonight, get back on the horse tomorrow, and figure put how to go forward. Hug her, tell her you love her, and tell her that you are her partner in this. And don't forget to take care of yourself too. :cwds:
     
  9. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Messages:
    4,925
    I'm not sure that what I have to say on this one is all that relevant given that I wasn't even diagnosed when I was 14.

    But I've often thought that if I were parenting a teen, I would want to be the one doing a bg check around bedtime, doing that correction if needed, and checking a few hours later if I had had to do a correction. Because (a) the kid's not likely to go into DKA if they have normal blood sugars at least once in the day, and (b) having to manage overnight bgs is a ton to ask a kid, and (c) that provides an organic check-in point where, by asking about what to expect for the overnight, you can also ask what your teen has been noticing bgwise over the course of the day, what their impressions are of what's been going on.
     
  10. Jordansmom

    Jordansmom Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Messages:
    2,172

    Jonah, you are so wise! This is exactly what we worked out as I started to transition responsibility to my daughter. I don't think it applies in this case as things have really gone off the rails. But as my daughter took over more and more control during the day, I still always asked for a bedtime bg and touched base about how things had gone during the day so that I had some info to base night time numbers, testing, and correcting. It's like a shift change. It helps a whole lot if the day has not gone really well, to get things back on track for a good start to the next day.

    We still usually talk each night about bgs, although she recently asked to do night checks herself. I think she's anticipating going away to college next year. But by now she has proven herself ready for the responsibility.

    To the OP. I understand how upsetting it is to trust a child when they tell you they have got things under control, and then find out they've been lying to you. It is so hard with teens to balance their safety with their desire for independence. Its a constant give and take.

    But I don't give one inch on basic diabetes care. We have had conversations about what she wants or thinks is fair. But in the end I decide what the minimum requirements for safety and health are and then its a hard line. And when I feel like its slipping, I will pull back responsibilities and take over D care. Sometimes its burn out and she needs more support. Sometimes its just being lazy or rebelling against diabetes. And when it is, I am a total hard****. It sucks to have diabetes and it sucks to be a parent who cannot sit back and let natural consequences just happen. But the possible alternatives suck a whole lot more. Good luck to you. :cwds:
     
  11. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    Messages:
    12,521
    So well said. :cwds:
     
  12. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,633
    Teens suck.

    We are doing untethered right now, which was working - but not right now...sigh.

    We are struggling like you are, only with missed boluses and forgotten Lantus doses and the question "what's a temp basal?". It is like her brains (and yes - mine) have fallen out her left ear. Honestly, we are both just so burnt out right now, I am not sure what will work. With that said, we are conversing and talking and arguing about it. I try to listen with an open mind to her ideas of control. And I try to let her test them, but in the end, I am the decision maker.
     
  13. Pauji5

    Pauji5 Approved members

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2008
    Messages:
    677
    I'm sorry you are going through this....I have a 14 1/2 year old son....while he does everything himself, I'm constantly asking, "did you bolus? How much insulin did you give? Did you do your Levimir?"......

    I wouldn't use A1c has a motivator.....I use his friends and going out...If he can't follow the rules, text me his numbers when he's out, then he's not going anywhere.

    I have 2 kids with D. I've told them both that as long as they know how to take care of themselves completely, I'll do it for them if they want when they're home. The are still kids, and sometimes, just get sick of doing it. Sometimes they take me up on it, sometimes not....

    I think a 14 should be expected to know how to calculate carbs and how much insulin to give...but I don't expect them to do it by themselves. That's what we as parents are here to do.....

    Personally, if I were you, I'd be checking her meter alot, and having her give insulin in front of you, at least when she's not at school. And that goes for shots or pumping.... I'm a big fan of grounding...If you can't follow the rules, you don't get to have fun.....

    Good luck..
     
  14. Mish

    Mish Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2009
    Messages:
    1,393
    First - you're certainly not alone. I think teen care has to be one of the most talked about diabetes road bumps ever. So don't beat yourself up. But know that it can change. You have the ability to implement that change. So while it might feel abrasive, no one is trying to beat your up either. :)

    Someone gave me these scenarios the other day:

    would you let your teen come home with his or her report card and not check it to verify her grades? Would you simply take their word that they got all As?

    would you let your new teen driver go off for hours and hours with no restrictions? Most states have certain restrictions on what has to happen in a car before a teen can drive fully unrestricted.

    Both of these are no-brainers for us as parents. Of course we verify their grades and of course we place restrictions on their driving because we know it's for safety. But many of us are willing to just let the kids do their diabetes care because the "want" to do it themselves. They "want" to do a lot of things that they aren't ready for. And they're not ready for full responsibility for diabetes care.

    There are certainly parts that they ARE ready for. Certainly she's capable of checking her own bg during the day, and giving her own shots, but she's showing that she's NOT capable of tracking that and not capable of making adjustments and not capable of following through and not capable of remembering to always do the correct thing.

    Those are going to be your job. You're going to make it easy on her (or so she thinks) All she has to do is the mechanical things. YOU do the recording, and the logging, and probably the nightly lantus. And then have a weekly sit down for 10 min to look at what's happening. You have the hard part. The tedious part. Pick one time of day where she can leave her meter out on the counter so you can go through and record without h er even looking on. Without a pump she's going to have to record her food dosing somehow for you, but that seems like a small trade off.
     
  15. JackyH

    JackyH Approved members

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Messages:
    386
    I asked my son just this morning whether an alien had come down and sucked his brains out because they appeared to be missing... We have major restrictions in place and I verify pump and meter EVERY evening and he still continues to lie. He has to call me from the nurses office (no nurse, but they have an office:rolleyes:) and tell me his number and verify that the bolus is delivering .. "Yes Mum, it's counting up..". I get home last night and check ... No bolus since 6am ... This morning I asked if he got his lunch from the fridge ... "Yes Mum, I have it". We got in the car and I just got this sixth sense .. I asked him to show me his lunch ... No lunch. It's hard work - he's not getting an inch until he consistently takes care of himself when he's not with us. I've no wise words for you because we are right in the middle of this struggle and haven't found anything that works for us yet.
     
  16. DsMom

    DsMom Approved members

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2010
    Messages:
    1,700
    You've gotten great advice. I agree that you will have to take a hard line with her...but I would couple that with the communication suggested as well. Talk with her about why she thinks she is doing this to herself. Not taking her Levimir for months:eek:...that is obviously beyond just forgetting D responsibilities like many kids will...she is actively and purposefully not taking care of herself. This can be some dangerous stuff. Why would she do that to herself when she knows she's the one who will end up feeling lousy? Is it a power play (for her) with you? Is she trying to "win" in the struggle you have trying to get her to care for herself? Is it an "I'll show her" kind of thing? I do agree that understanding her underlying motives is key to helping her. And she needs to understand YOUR underlying motives in helping her to care for herself. She may see it as you trying to control her (the way most teens feel about their parents:rolleyes:), but I would stress to her your love for her, your desire for her to feel her best so she can enjoy her friends, activities, and life. Help her to see that she would be doing this for HERSELF, not for you.

    Similar to the way I'm sure you would crack down on a child who was harming themselves with drugs or alcohol, you need to step in and take charge here. If she does not like it, well, that's just the way it will have to be until she can prove to you repeatedly and over time that she can be trusted. But I would keep up that positive communication. Move past blame and anger to the simple fact that she HAS to do this. If she won't do it herself, you'll have to step in until she will.

    Good luck. I really feel for you, and hope you two can solve this together.:cwds:
     
  17. jennylee

    jennylee New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    4
    You have some really great advice already, I strongly agree with taking back control. If you think about it, she is just sick and tired of it. Maybe consider that she is really struggling and these teen years is when she will need mom to coddle her. Camp. Does she go to diabetes camp? This is where my son gets the most camaraderie. This above all else, even though it is once a year, works! Check out the local JDRF and ADA for teen groups too.

    When you start taking back control, she may interpret it as you not trusting her, so be careful how you present it. Let her know that she matters; her fingers, toes, sight, they are all important to you. What goes on now, affects all her organs later. And this is how you can help, you can take on the responsibilities as much as possible again. She will show she cares about her body when she is at school, and you will be by her side when she is at home. She has her whole life to have to do this. As parents of diabetics we have to take a deep breath and realize - it is more important that the treatment is being done right, then it is right now for her to show total responsibility for her disease.

    We all have struggles and times of hardship when we need to be lifted up and taken care of.

    I will play devils advocate on rewards and good A1C's, BG's, ect.... I have failed and succeeded in my attempts to address behaviors or lack of responsibilites with my Type 1 son. We are all human and will make mistakes. Own your mistakes, and apologize and have a conversation and move forward. There are two ways to approach this, I typically would not suggest a reward, but this being a medical situation, I think we do whatever it takes. I do know parents who have tried all types of punishments, ect... and rewards do work for some kids. I suggest thinking hard on what type of kid you have, you do not want to look like a fish out of water and flip flop thru all kinds of tactics....She will take note of it for sure.

    No rewards: .... She should get contacts when you are back to work because she needs them, and based on that solely. If the expectation is that she care about herself and her diabetes- it is matter of fact. Cut and dry. No if's, ands, or but's... If you reward for it, she is in control and it suggests that she does not have to do it, that it is a choice. You do not want her to think that way, or suggest that you think that way.

    Yes reward: ....we give our kids allowance for chores well done, and good grades, ect... Good BG's certainly are important enough to reward if chores and grades are! Keep it short term, it is to allow her to see that yes, she can do it.


    Perhaps the best way to handle the contacts is to give the expectation that you and her are going to do all required work to keep her healthy, no exceptions. None. You will both pull your weight. Talk about what she needs in order to be successful with her diabetes. Things that make life easier, or discuss how she does them, is there an easier way? Yes, she will get contacts when you are able to purchase them, not in relation to her A1C. ~ Because you do want her to have the necessary things she needs for her health.
     
  18. caspi

    caspi Approved members

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2006
    Messages:
    5,134
    I couldn't agree more with this.
     
  19. nanhsot

    nanhsot Approved members

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2010
    Messages:
    2,626
    I've been tossing this around in my head a while, reading replies, and just first of all want to send you HUGE HUGS. Really truly this could be any of us, so you can't take it personally and you can't play the whole guilt/blame game. Teenagers are just plain hard. When my kids were young, heck, even when my kids were early teens and preteens I was so sure that nothing would happen to rift me from my kids. I was in touch with them, I understood them, they talked to me, we had mutual trust. I HAD THIS.

    hahaha. Then things changed and I'm still not sure when/how/why or what I could do differently. What I know without any doubt is that there is no way to prepare oneself for teens and it is, without any doubt, the hardest thing I've ever done.

    So, back to your problem. I don't disagree at all that you need to take over care, that she has shown clearly that she can't be fully trusted with this, that her health is the important thing here. BUT...taking over care isn't what would be my focus, not at all.

    My focus would be sitting down with my child, in a non threatening, comfortable, adult type atmosphere. Take her out for coffee, heck, take her out of school if that would make an impression. But sit down with her and frankly, honestly, emotionally, and straight on ask her what's going on. Ask her what she wants you to do. Ask her what she needs, why she needed to hide things from you, where her head was when she lied to you, over and over. Tell her you love her, you will ALWAYS love her, and you want to protect her health and her future. Let her know without any doubt, without any question that her choices have not affected the way you feel, that nothing is as important to you as she is.

    It could be that she is just burnt out. It could be that she needs counseling (a strong possibility in my mind actually). It could be that she's just over being diabetic and wants to act like she's not. It could be she learned about diabulemia and wants to lose weight. There are tons of options and that would be my initial focus...finding the root cause of her rebellion and lying.

    Then I would gently, firmly, and definitely make a plan. Clearly you can't give it back to her now, and she knows that (and quite frankly I think she wants you to take over for a while). You must be involved and you must keep on top of things. But the how and why should be negotiated with her.

    Here's the hard cold truth, a truth that is starkly apparent in my life. In 4 very very short years...SHORT I tell you!!.....she'll be able to leave your home and marry, get a job, head to college, be a mom, etc. That's crazy talk but it's true. So taking a hard line could backfire. So my approach would be one of mutual cooperation, compromise, and negotiation. Now, don't misunderstand...you must start checking meters, you must supervise levemir shots, you must start helping her on the path to health, but IMO you must also do this with her approval and allow her to be in intricate part of the plan to get her to health or you are doomed to fail.

    I'll repeat: raising teens is by far, hands down the toughest thing I have done. And that fact has thrown me for a loop as I KNEW I was ready, I KNEW I had relationships that would withstand the stresses. My kids are pretty amazing; caring, tough, resiliant, opinionated (I consider that a good thing), thoughtful...but these years, wow, these years have worn me down.

    I'd love to discuss this more if you need a sounding board. It's time to both tighten the reins and let the horse run....it's a hard balance but a necessary one. So while I won't disagree with anyone that a hard line is needed, I will caution that the line needs to be tempered with respect for the emerging adult in your home.
     
  20. Michelle'sMom

    Michelle'sMom Approved members

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Messages:
    1,432
    My CWD is 14 too, so I can't offer much more than sympathy. But I do have 2 adult dd's (32 & 28) & this post has some very good, very insightful comments, as well as good advice.
     

Share This Page

- advertisement -

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice