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Ways to boost their morale from afar

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by momto2, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. momto2

    momto2 Approved members

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    Hey all.

    I'm dealing with an issue right now with our daughter, diagnosed in May upon her return home from a very stress filled Sophomore year in college.

    She seems to be struggling right now back at school. She had been having no issues, even while studying abroad this July, with controlling her sugar. She's a child who enjoys learning, so she dug in and found out what she needed to do to lead a "normal" life. She has CHOSEN not to go on the pump, though her doctor originally didn't want her on it because he wanted her to learn how to manage the disease first.

    She is having issues now - lots of stress from her major where she spends a lot of time working on projects. She's having a harder time keeping her levels in check, even though she's "doing everything she's supposed to".

    I could tell this past week something was wrong, and last night she called and finally broke down. Has been having bad dreams about losing consciousness from low blood sugar -- which fortunately has never happened to her. It's so hard because she is in Virginia - and we are at least a 7 hour drive from her by car.

    She loves to cook, and frequents a gourmet shop near campus, having also taken cooking classes there, so this week, before I knew how bad things were, I sent her a gift card to the shop just to surprise her.

    But my questions are:
    • Have any of you had to deal with helping boost your child's morale long distance?
    • What sorts of things did you do?
    • I'd love to send her a care package, but as picky as she can be about many things, what does one send?
     
  2. Nancy in VA

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    Well, I don't have any answers to the questions you have, but where in VA is she ? Maybe there is a board member who is in that town that can be an "adopted Mommy" for diabetic information while she is at college
     
  3. momto2

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    Nancy - as much as I would love that, she would hate that. She is SUCH an independent "child". She'd get upset with me for even attempting to set something like that up.

    The fact that I was allowed to go with her the first time she went to the endocrinologist was more for moral support, than for information. I did not go in to see the doctor at all - remained out in the waiting area. She has wanted to fully handle her care on her own - as much as possible (except for dealing with the prescriptions simply because we have been forced to do mail order)

    But she's at Virginia Tech. We think the stress of the last few weeks of school there was the trigger for the diabetes. The doctor suspects that the combination strep and mono she had for about 2 months over the winter might be the source of a virus they think may have settled in the pancreas.

    She hates to talk to folks about the shootings- she feels like most are just being "nosy". A result of having to cope with the press on campus for so many days including one reporter that didn't know to stop asking questions when my daughter made it clear she didn't want to talk.
     
  4. OSUMom

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    Hi Gail,

    Sorry about your daughter's diagnosis. It sure sounds like she's been through alot lately. Does she have close friends at school (NonD)?

    It sure would be neat if there were some other Type 1 college kids there at VT that she could hook up with somehow. I know my son has joined some facebook groups that are out there - not that he has really spent any time communicating through them. Would it be helpful I wonder if I passed on his facebook name to you for her? That could go no-where or it could connect her to some other girls who maybe would chit chat somehow. I would PM you my son's name if you want.

    I don't really send care packages - bad mom. :eek: We do call and my son does talk blood glucose numbers and ways to change things with my husband. I think it helps to talk the blood sugar management over with someone else - but she needs to be open to talk to you with it. If she's not willing to talk about it, then that makes it rough.

    I text message alot - checking in - sending positive messages, encouraging stuff - but not suffocating so. :D

    Hopefully your daughter has some good close friends because I think that helps just to have close relationships even if they're nonD.
     
  5. momto2

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    Laurie - Would love to share, but she's just such a private and reactive person (was before the diagnosis) that I'm hesitant to. She did seek counseling out on her own this summer, so hopefully she'll do so at school since I know the resources are there for any student.

    Oh yeah - almost forgot - she broke her leg the last day of her study abroad trip! Her muscles are still recovering from that - she just got her walking boot off last week.

    I haven't done care packages either -- I did for my son's first few months as a freshman, but now he's in grad school - we're not bad moms. Maybe just busy? Maybe just a little cheap? I don't know! But...I did arrange for her to get the gift card (the shop was sticking it in the mail to her...she should have it today, or perhaps tomorrow at the latests).

    Fortunately, she has lots of friends, and a wonderful boyfriend. All seem to know how to giver her hugs when she needs it, and to give her space when she needs it too. Just none of them can be "mom" when she needs that - and she TRIES not to need that very often. She's more like her grandmother than she cares to admit!

    Thanks for replying. It's nice to finally have some folks to chat with who understand this from a parents' perspective.
     
  6. OSUMom

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    Oh that's so good that she has close relationships there at college, and when she does need mom I'm sure she knows where to go. :) You sound like you are totally open and waiting and I'm sure she feels that.

    My son broke his hand this past summer and had surgery. We talked at length last night. He still has pain with that and issues - sure seems like he needs some physical therapy - I guess we'll get that figured out in December at his next appt. :rolleyes:

    I'm so glad you found us here. I hope you post often. We need each other! :cwds::cwds:
     
  7. momto2

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    Laurie - My son is in grad school for physical therapy. He already talked to his sister as she has had substantial muscle loss in the leg that was broken (that took 3-1/2 weeks to find the break, and it was a doctor up at school that I found long distance that finally found the hairline v-shaped fracture). He didn't want her to wait too long before starting physical therapy if she was still having problems. And her doctor at school said they could refer her if she felt she needed it.

    You might want to consider talking to his doctor and seeing if he'd like a physical therapist to evaluate him at his school. I know I waited far too long with my shoulder 2 years ago and paid for it dearly when I had to start therapy for it.

    I'll post as often as I can. I'm on several other non-medical boards so sometimes it's hard to keep up with it all.

    My husband just called. he spoke to our daughter late this afternoon (as he was boarding a plane). They did talk about her finding a counselor up there that specifically had experience with diabetes patients. Dad can always suggest more, and more directly, than Mom can!
     
  8. Margaret O

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    Hi Gail,

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds like your DD has had a really rough year. But it sounds like being a Mom has been just as tough. It is so hard when they are away and worrying about everything including diabetes management. First take a deep breath and know you have found a place where we understand. :cwds::cwds:

    Going away with diabetes so new in her life is an adjustment, but it must be somewhat comforting to know your daughter wants to take control of this. Our son has always wanted to be in control from the very first shot he gave himself the night he was diagnosed at 13. I think she will reach out to you more but she is still absorbing a lot right now.

    I think splitting the appointments with the endo works best with us and believe me my son would prefer to do it entirely on his own. Its just we need to be on some level ground on understanding issues and concerns, and find positives like a lower A1c result...(sometimes its a celebration...other times our endo makes some suggestions to adjust insulin).

    As to care packages...add my name to the bad parent group. We do call and text but I have yet to send him a package... and he is "dying" to have some horseradish sent to him so he can have some roast beef sandwiches. (Most normal kids crave brownies..mine craves horseradish:rolleyes:) I guess I'll bring a case on parents weekend.

    Hang in there. One thing I have learned in this very new thing called freshman year, is that its okay for me to call when I miss him or worry about him so much. We let him set the pace (which meant him not calling enough IMHO) but now we all enjoy a quick call.
     
  9. momto2

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    Definitely I have learned (since she's now a Junior) that it's best 99% of the time to let her call me. Of course...she doesn't keep her ringer on, so it usually is futile anyway always having to leave a message unless it's out where she can see it light up.

    I think it actually helps them feel like we trust them. She and I have had many conversations about my feeling funny trying to balance the "giving her her space", vs. "not seeming interested". Thankfully, she truly does understand and appreciates that I try to give her her space.

    I'm glad I found this board. I'll be back as often as possible!
     

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