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Our college freshman is not testing - help

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by eon, Oct 25, 2011.

  1. eon

    eon Approved members

    Oct 25, 2011
    Sure hope you're right. But as you say, age of dx does have an effect: a later-dx'ed kid will have a different attitude about the whole thing than those who got it very young. Of course, there are differences among those diagnosed at the same age, as well. But I'm guessing there's something about the "never knew a life without D" that makes a difference to how a kid adjusts as they age, and to other aspects of the whole equation.

    But lets go back to the topic and not get all philosophical/psychological. It's been really helpful hearing all the viewpoints, both of parents and the recent student who wrote here. I actually wish there were a few more college kids posting here, ones who went through the same non-compliant phase. That would be great.
  2. OSUMom

    OSUMom Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    Could he be testing more than once a day and you just not know about it? He can be testing on a regular basis and still hit a 460 or 60. Maybe when he sees his next A1C it will be an eye opener?

    If you're paying for college, I think it can be appropriate to have some expectations of his behavior. How are his grades do you know yet?

    I hope he's really doing more than you think he is - it's hard to know when you're that far away what the reality of the situation is.
  3. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007

    Sorry your going through this. My friend's daughter just went through this a little over a year ago. She also diabetes all her life since 17 months.
    Once moving to college She hardly checked maybe once a day at most. Eating terrible etc.
    I really don't have advice but what happened to her. Since they were paying college and dorm they stopped paying because grades went down the drain too. Coming back home didn't help because the 'new drinking, smoking' started at school also continued. After a length of time she is no longer living at home and no longer in college which the daughter now regrets. Her last A1C was 11 or 13 and they told her she had other problems in her bloodwork. The endo started forcing her to fax in downloaded BG's every week. I think she had to go every month to see her. That has been the most help because she refusing to listen to her parents at this point.
    They have mentioned the Dexcom to her but she hasn't gotten it at this point.
    I think since she has gotten the high A1C it has opened her eyes some.
  4. Judith

    Judith Neonatal Diabetes Registry

    Oct 30, 2005
    Not testing at college

    Been there/done that - and it's probably not much better now with my 25 year old, dx'd at age 8 weeks. I think the point about this being a more common problem with those dx'd very young is probably accurate. They may not fully realize how much better they feel "in range". They may think (with some accuracy) that they can tell what the bg is by how they feel. There may also be reasonable fears about embarrassing or dangerous lows away from home. I think it's imperative that several people (esp the roommate, RA and school health services) know about the diabetes, how to recognize problems, how to treat lows, when to call for help. The reality is that we all may need help sometimes, and diabetes makes that more likely. Having support from others with diabetes is important. If there are old camp friends or a diabetes group on campus encourage that contact. Finally, learn about D-Treat, weekend programs held around the country for people 18-25 - led by peers who "get it". See http://www.diabetescamps.org/programs.html for more info.
  5. RomeoEcho

    RomeoEcho Approved members

    Dec 22, 2008
    I am not a parent, and can't give parenting advice. But I am someone who has been on the other side and made it through.

    I have been a non compliant young adult before. I have even been a non compliant not-so-young-adult before. It's not something I'm proud of, and it's not something I can even entirely explain how and why it happens. But every once in a while, I've gone through spurts where I just can't seem to bring myself to do it. And other than that, I'm a hard working, testing 12 times a day, cgm/pump wearing engineer, a classic CWDer in pursuit of "perfect" control. These episodes have never effected more than one a1c in a row, and while I'm sure that they aren't healthy and may have some long term effect down the road, they've also never made me seriously ill or gotten me in the hospital (that all happened while I was ultra-complient).

    It's probably not what you want to hear, but I know that during those times, no amount of scare tactics, threats, or incentives would have gotten me going again. It was something I needed to experience and come around to on my own. I needed to find my way through it, and find a reason to keep going. If he is taking enough insulin to be out of dka, he may be in a stage that I was and needs to find his own way. I did, and while it may have given a few people more than a few grey hairs, I think I came out the other side pretty ok. I am not suggesting that you ignore your son or his needs, but if what he needs is to spread his wings, find his freedom, etc, you can't do it for him. And he might fall and he might fail, but he knows what to do and that's all you can really give him. I know from the caregiver side, "failing" when it comes to diabetes sounds like too big a risk to take, but not all failure leads to the big scary stuff you are fearing. The most important thing anyone ever did for me in that period was be there to help me back up when I needed it.

    I'm sorry I can't give you the answer you are looking for, but this was my experience.
  6. Nick Masercola

    Nick Masercola Approved members

    Sep 5, 2011
    Unfortunately, I'm don't think you're going to like what I'm going to tell you.

    ...There really isn't much you can do.

    Is it right what he's doing? No. Is it smart? Definitely not. But I think nearly every teen with diabetes goes through a phase where they stop testing as often as they're supposed to.

    This in and of itself isn't a major problem. For instance, if he stopped testing but his numbers were still well-controlled, it would be an annoyance, but not something to really get nervous about.

    However, skipping boluses is an entirely different matter. To be honest, your child just sounds like they're swept up in all the hoopla of being on their own, and in a new place for the first time in their life.

    Unfortunately, this wouldn't be fixed by making him go to the local college. It's a personal decision, and until he decides to devote more time and energy to managing his diabetes, nothing you do is really going to work. I'd hate to tell you the same things as several others already have, but you're not going to have much influence over his decisions at this point. With any luck, he'll learn shortly to take better care of himself, but for now, don't threaten. It will backfire.

    I wish I could give you a better answer, but I'm not sure if there's many other options for you. Hopefully he'll get sick of pissing out gallons every 20 minutes and get his act together shortly.
  7. jojouu

    jojouu New Member

    Jun 29, 2012
    so helpful

    these responses are so helpful to us.
    we are struggling with our 19 year old who is not testing too.
    I posted a new thread today.
    just found this group.
    thanks so much!
  8. Bigbluefrog

    Bigbluefrog Approved members

    Oct 1, 2010
    This is a tough time for both of you. I see you got great advice already. I agree with not sharing with the frat brothers and peers. He will feel more anger and that will push him farther away. I like the idea of sending treats with carb counts on it and calling with how can I help.

    Great idea - counseling with the Endo clinic. The parents could meet with the counselor and receive tips on how you can address this too.

    Hang in there, it is tough when they grow up and want independence.

    Sending prayers too!
  9. Ronin1966

    Ronin1966 Approved members

    Feb 18, 2010
    Hello Eon:

    In theory your son is an "adult"... the harsh truth is there is very little you can do. How do you have any conversation without being overprotective puppeteers now 1,500 miles away?

    You play the worried mommy/daddy card too heavily and he will shut down so fast he'll be thirty before you hear an honest word from him again, if then. You can offer carrots and/or sticks... sometimes both at the same time.

    But you cannot control his "stupid", we were all his age once and made the same kinds of dumb choices. Whether we are diabetic or not, everyone makes them. Taking genuine responsibility for ourselves is a long painful process. Diabetes is only one piece of that puzzle. An important piece but only one of a many.... Diabetes is not the first word out of his mouth.

    So the true question before you is simple, how do you achieve the result you want ? Have you tried blunt honesty, as if he were someone else's son and needed to hear it:

    "...You are not taking intelligent care of yourself... but you know that. Won't effect Dad or I in the least if you hurt yourself you're a big boy, and that's entirely your choice. A day or two not being picture perfect control fine. You get burned out. Everybody is entitled to a diabetic vacation... a couple days off...

    ...But this I'm not a diabetic routine is dopey. I want to be a grandmother. I want you alive and having babies... someday. You ignore diabetes and you wont be able to get it up, much less use it. That is not fiction...

    Nobody wants to think about the what if crap... and should not need to...

    But you've ignored diabetes for a bunch of months. You've had a lot of fun. You are not stupid you know there is a price that WILL be paid, whether you want to or not. Diabetes does not care it turns on the most vigilant

    You cannot pretend not to be diabetic. It will hurt you. Wont hurt me or your dad in the least..... again nothing you don't already know... I'd like to know what you intend to do about it...

    Don't tell us what we want to hear... be straight with us for once. You're pretending to be an adult, lets talk like one..."

    If possible in your place I'd talk to the "partner"/friend in his life. They are sharing many things, and have far more ~persuasive methods~ ;) available. If he does not have one...don't be polite, be direct, blunt. Use an approach you've never used before just to get his attention. Something radical.... do tests for a week yourself, using old strips, but get the droplets for every test, regardless of whether or not you get a single reading. That alone should give you a new conversation you've never had before...

    A dialogue from a new perspective
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2012
  10. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    This thread is over a year old...
  11. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    Posted on october 2011, now is august 2012 -- only about 10 months in my calculations.

    You must not have an entering freshman.
  12. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Sorry for misreading the dates :rolleyes:.
  13. d007

    d007 New Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    I know I am not a parent of a diabetic. I am a type 1 diabetic college student and thought it would be interesting to see the parents side of things. I agree with a lot of the previous comments. He most likely will not change no matter what you do until he decides to. I to have gone through times when I did not take care of my diabetes. Unlike him I did not have parents who called all the time and wanted to know how my diabetes was going. If they would of pushed to much then I would of not been calling them when I did get myself into a situation where I needed help. I think it is a very fine line of being supportive and trying to help and pushing him away. What I have found to help me is having my close friends know about my diabetes and me feeling comfortable about it. I am more likely to take me bg or bolus if it is not a big deal with the people around me. Also being in college is hard when it comes to time and having to take time to take a bg, or bolus can be frustrating. I find that it is easier to let my bg run higher and then I do not have to worry about it when I am running around as much. I can take a test or act more normal at a party a little high then a little low. That is no excuse but I though maybe that would help with understanding him a little more. Good luck just make sure he knows you love him and respect him.

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