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Questions Over Dinner

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by earruda, Apr 17, 2006.

  1. earruda

    earruda Approved members

    Feb 13, 2006
    We were eating dinner tonight... just an average night... meatloaf and mashed potatoes when Margo (age 11) asked, "Mom, am I going to get those side effects of diabetes that I learned about in school? I don't want to go blind. I will die if I can't see!" Well, I took a deep breath and told her that I hoped not.. that the best thing we could do was to all stay as healthy as possible. I was confident and calm and we talked about all kinds of diseases that people have. Diabetes is a disease that you have a lot of control over. She smiled and we ate dessert. Then I cried for half a hour. I hate having to talk about my kid going blind over dinner!! One a positive note, our local Kiwanis club has sponsored Margo to go to diabetes camp in Mass this summer!!
  2. EmmasMom

    EmmasMom Approved members

    Dec 31, 2005
    That's so sad.:(
    I don't look forward to Emma being old enough to understand how awful this disease can be, but maybe knowing the truth helps them realize how important it is to manage it well.
    I lost my father to diabetes complications when I was 5, which my 7 year-old son knows. When he was five he would ask me if his daddy was going to die too, since he also has diabetes. What could I say? Daddy takes good care of himself and hopefully he will live a long healthy life. Now he asks about Emma too.
    There have been more than a few tears shed over diabetes in my life. We just do the very best we can and hope and pray for a cure!

    I hope she loves diabetes camp!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2006
  3. Sue too

    Sue too Approved members

    Apr 18, 2006
    Diabetes Camp - Mass

    I hope your daughter enjoy's the camp. assuming you are speaking of clara, they are having a chat with the campers on may 1. you will need to contact the camp to find out the password, etc. my 11 year old will be going this summer too. her fifth year. i hope margo enjoys it as much as she does!good luck!

  4. Ellen

    Ellen Senior Member

    Oct 22, 2005
    We worked very hard to NOT use complications as any measure of impetus to get our child to do what was necessary for diabetes. It has the potential to hang a very ugly cloud over their lives which to me is simply unfair. We can manage each day to the best of our abilities and stress that life is good and they can be healthy. (Many in the past have found the threat of complications backfired so teens felt, well if I'm going to get them anyway, what the h***? and give up!)

    My son was diagnosed 17 years ago. My grandmother passed away from unspeakable complications of type 2 when I was a teen. My son does not know about her complications. I don't want him doing any "anticipatory grieving". He has every right to feel good about his fate today. I want him to see a life ahead filled with achieved goals and dreams, not dread about something that may never happen. We stress the positive and we find humor in the ignorance out there.

    Reverse role playing is good to give your children tools to respond to people who say "DIABETES? MY GRANDMOTHER HAD DIABETES yada yada yada " and go on with their unwelcome horror stories. Teach your children to CUT OFF THAT CONVERSATION.
  5. allisa

    allisa Approved members

    Jan 13, 2006
    I, too have NEVER spoken to my son about diabetic complications (he is 8).

    I can barely fathom thinking about them myself and the unfairness of it all....I don't think an 8 year old could or should have to deal with it any better than I can. I never thought about this coming up in school.....hhmmm.....my older son (middle school) is just starting on this in Science class.....I'll have to check out his book and see how it is handled in class.....I know he has a classmate with Diabetes as well.

    My intent would not be to HIDE facts, but I'm just not sure all facts need to be presented at once..... like when your child asks where babies come from....you give them the bits and pieces that they can grasp....when they are old enough to ask for more you give them a little more.

    Diabetes really can stink, no ?
  6. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

    Jun 1, 1995
    I believe that kids living today with diabetes are highly unlikely to develop complications, if they take their diabetes care seriously.

    With today's glucose meters, you can easily check 8, 10, or even more times per day, giving you many more opportunities to make corrections. This can reduce overall glycemic exposure which does reduce risk.

    With fast-acting analogs, we can better cover post-prandial spikes, and with Symlin we can do even better.

    With Lantus and Detemir, we no longer need NPH, an insulin that has significant absorption variability which makes predictions on its behavior very difficult.

    With pumps we have an incredible tool to match insulin needs to the body's daily rhythms.

    With continuous sensors, we can -- for the first time -- see exactly how our bodies are responding and use that information to fine tune care and prevent lows.

    With statins we can reduce the risk of cardiovascular complications.

    With ACE inhibitors we can protect kidneys.

    All of these things, and many more under study, are why I believe that our kids will not only not get complications, but will in fact lead long and wonderful lives.

    I don't want to dismiss the seriousness and heartbreak of diabetes complications, but it is absolutely vital that we all realize that complications are not inevitable.
  7. EmmasMom

    EmmasMom Approved members

    Dec 31, 2005
    I agree that you should never use complications as a scare tactic. But I think kids are smart enough to figure much of it out on their own. Information is everywhere and I think having open communication about it at home is key. I can think of nothing scarier to a child than reading about the possible outcome of their own disease at school, and then feeling like they can't talk about it with their parents.
    Yes, these kids are so lucky to have the medical advances and technology that they have. Hopefully they will never have any problems and some may even be cured before they are old enough to realize how lucky they are.
  8. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    Yes, my child will most likely hear about diabetes in school or from others. What concerns me most is that schools are using outdated books that do not explain the newer regimines such as Lantus/Novolog, frequent testing and pumps. This would help to better explain that with these breakthroughs, there is better control, thus less of the catastrophic side effects than in the past. I can only say that we won't use complications as a scare tactic, but as an example as to why it is best to stay on top of her treatment.
  9. cydnimom

    cydnimom Approved members

    Nov 8, 2005
    I don't think it would be fair to "poo poo" her questions and concerns of some of the dreadful complications that can happen when you have D. A lot of these "complications can occur" are used as scare tactics and feel sorry for D's to raise money and awareness by fund raisers (and it works). This may be where she is getting bombarded from as well as others saying "oh, this is going to happen to you".

    I think maybe researching things together could be good for both of you. As many have already said the advances in treatment being made today are phenomenal and she shouldn't be frightened into thinking all these complications will happen to her no matter what she does.

    Living with a chronic illness is stressful enough. I would expose her to the positive people/role models with D. I think a camp is a step in that direction.
  10. Cheryl

    Cheryl Approved members

    Jan 4, 2006
    It just amazes me how we all preceive our situations. I in the privacy of my time reading these posts often cry and still mourn (after 5 years) the loss of a nondiabetic life for my young son. Then I cry for all the new parents dealing with all the new overwhelming feelings and remember them like yesterday. Then I look at my friends also dealing with this disease and feel sorrow for each child and thier families. Then I look at my son and see the most healthy precious child I could ever imagine. He doesn't care that he has diabetes...he is a happy boy!
    Then I look at my 10 year old girl and she doesn't care either. On occasion she will ask..."When I get diabetes, can I have a pump too.?" Of course that starts a whole new conversation...and "I" continue to cry in the privacy of my time reading these posts.
  11. mischloss

    mischloss Approved members

    Dec 5, 2005
    Wow. What a dinner conversation. I would be frank with my son. "You will get complicaitons, IF you don't check your BG regularly...if you don't take your insulin dosage on schedule, If you don't exercise. I unfortunately have seen what D can do. My mother died of complications of D! My son knows about this. Even before he was diagnosed. I have hidden nothing as to the stark reality of the disease. But I also remind him that even 5 years ago, the treatment was different than it is now. And that each day, new things are being discovered relating to better treatment of this disease. That despite his grandmother's condition and deterioration...it doesn't mean that he will be in the same boat. She had to P on a stick to see if her blood glucose was high. She had no BG numbers to let her know. It was so archaic for her day. That he has such better methods of diagnosis and treatment. She had no Lantus! And that he will undoubtly grow up in an era where if not a cure, there will be a very managable way to deal with diabetes.

    Time is on our side. As parents we have to believe that...as time goes on there will be more techical and medical advances that will make the lives of our children manageable, less painful and tolerable. That is our wish and our prayer. That is our ultimate hope and the reason we go on...
  12. JessArt85

    JessArt85 Approved members

    Apr 20, 2006
    This may be a little off topic, and I know how serious diabetes is, but on a light-hearted note :eek: when I was first diagnosed with diabetes, a few weeks after I was out of the hospital and I actually had a chance to grasp what "diabetes" was. (The word was so foreign to me when I was diagnosed at age 10, I had no clue, and at first I thought it was going to kill me or something of the sort) While just sitting around talking, I remeber telling my mom, "At least I didn't lose a leg or something." I can still picture my mom's face with a little bit of sadness in her eyes, yet with a smile to say that yeah, things could be worse, and sometimes you just have to take it as it is and strive for the best!:)

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