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What do you tell your children...

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by BCmom, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. BCmom

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    about possible complications?

    My daughter is 11 and was only diagnosed a few weeks ago. And yes I have read about possible complications but I haven't ahred them with her except that if she ever has the stonmach flu we may need to go to ER and low sugars and ketones are dangerous and need to be treated and that high sugars could result in organ damage over the long term...

    But I have read in some threads about telling people that their children could be dead in two days with out insulin..... I can't imagine saying that to my daughter just yet (if ever), or when well meaning friends talk about someones kidney failure due to diabetes... I make sure she is out of ear shot...

    So my question is.... when do you tell your children about the worst case scenarios... when is the "right" time... because just now I can't imagine ever having to tell her these things.
     
  2. candise

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    Hi there,
    My daughter is 11 as well and was diagnosed in Feb. 2009. For us we will tell her when and if they apply to her. We are lucky that our daughter is a big time rule follower and loves being healthy. If and when she makes choices that we feel will compromise her health later, then we will discuss the implications of her actions. It is hard enough for kids to adjust to the daily rigors of this disease- so we feel why scare them more than need be. Just our opinion though.
     
  3. wilf

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    I ruthlessly shut down any idiot who tries to tell his story about the aunt who had both legs amputated..

    But at 11 I had also told DD that the insulin shots she was cursing were the difference between surviving and dying, and that sustained high BG could lead to nasty long-term complications. There is no need to be graphic about them, and for sure no need to mention them more than once or twice.

    I also told DD that if she "listened to" the D and did the following:
    - worked to keep BG in range;
    - have a healthy diet and keep weight in a normal range;
    - exercise daily;
    - avoid pop, never smoke, and go very easy on the alcohol..
    then she could look forward to outliving the majority of her peers.

    It is important at 11-12 to give them the full picture. In my view it is crucial to NEVER use the threat of complications to try to motivate your child to measure BG or take a shot or whatever. Positive messages will yield positive results.. :cwds:
     
  4. Connie(BC)Type 1

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    With the tools we have today, a lot of the extreme complications are no longer a huge worry(always some I think), and sometimes , it's a crapshoot, like anything in life can be. With good management, she can live a long healthy life.

    Any chance your family can go the the FFL conference in Florida in July this year?
     
  5. BCmom

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    Thank-you!

    That is my feeling exactly... I have had a few aquantances wanting to tell some gory details and I am horrified when they start up within ear shot of my daughter!!! I could strangle them!

    But I have also matter of factly told her about how amazing it is she has the tools she needs and the wonderful insulin and if she followed the rules... that she could be an extremely healthy individual who happens to have diabetes and I have left it at that.

    And No Connie. Florida simply isn't a possibility. We simply can't afford to go as much as we would love to.

    WE will have to wait for Vancouver next year!

    And thank-you for tolerating all my horrible misspellings....I have been very sleep deprived...and am not functioning as well as I should...
     
  6. wilf

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    You need to be truly ruthless and shut them down. I know this is hard for us Canadians to do, but do it! I would not hesitate to "accidentally" spill a drink on someone, if they didn't respond to me asking them to stop with their idiotic story.. :rolleyes:
     
  7. BCmom

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    Thank-you!! I needed that!!! LOL!
    Wish you were my body guard for awhile.....

    I am just not very assertive... my natural inclination is to go hide in hole somewhere....LOL.
     
  8. buggle

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    When my son was first diagnosed, he'd just turned 8. Like everyone else, we were reading constantly, trying to learn all we could about diabetes. I left something up on my computer and Brendan read it. It said that T1 shortened their lifespan by 15-20 years and he turned and asked me if it were true. :( I felt so horrible that he saw that. I told him that people who died young and had complications were children a long time ago before we had the types of insulin we have today or the meters to track BG accurately and that those stats don't apply to him and the kids who have D now. And he was ok with that.

    We're working on a video now for fundraising and he does say in it that T1 can lead to complications. He reads everything and he's aware of everything. I still hate for him to know about it, but I'm hopeful that the effort to keep him in range helps reduce the odds dramatically. I can't bear to think about the future and the possibility of complications, so I hate for our kids to worry about it. I do know that my kid is going to read a lot about diabetes, so he's going to be exposed to all this. It's a difficult thing to know how to deal with. I just try to reassure all the time that we're taking good care of him, so he doesn't have to worry about it. But, I'm scared to death myself. I never want him to know how scared I am.

    We've been lucky not to have people repeat horror stories in front of Brendan, but Brendan's classroom assistant told me one day while the kids were at lunch that her friend's husband had his leg amputated and he's riddled with complications. Brendan was talking to his friends, so he missed it. I think she realized she shouldn't have said it as soon as it was out of her mouth. So far, no one has said anything like this in front of Brendan.
     
  9. Jacob'sDad

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    I tell him that the complications from well controlled blood sugar are....

    NOTHING
     
  10. Twinklet

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    My daughter is 11, was diagnosed at age 8. She is well aware of potential complications, but her Endo told her a few things when she brought complications up at appointments: "Complications are caused by poorly managed diabetes."

    What I want to know is WHY all the freaks come out to tell children who are newly diagnosed with a chronic, life-threatning illness all the sad and horrible stories of friends with amputations, dialysis and blindness? When people start that crap with us, I shut it down immediately.
     
  11. buggle

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    I do find it amazing what idiots people can be. I'm so glad that no one has said anything to Brendan about every bad outcome they're ever known. But, it's bad to say this stuff to us parents too. We don't need to hear this stuff. We need to hear about people, like my friend's neighbor, who is in his 70's and had T1 all his life and has no complications. When you're fighting cancer, you want to hear about the people who beat it, not those who had everything go wrong and didn't make it. People seem to get that, so why can't they understand how people dealing with D feel?
     
  12. ScottB

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    Just exactly at what age should you tell your child depends on how you feel your child can deal with the information and then how you answer it is debatable as well because at some point your child will ask questions about it. Justin was a very mature 16 year old when he was dx'd so I gave it to him straight however mature or not it was still a lot of info for him to take in. At the same time I made sure he understood that the better he took care of himself then the less likely any complications would happen. That fact plus he actually prefers to keep his BG in range as close as possible because he feels better when he does is the motivation he needs to keep him from getting lazy about it.
     
  13. Tigerlilly's mom

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    This is so true for Tyler too!!! He has realized that he plays sports better when his bg isn't too high. Considering that he plays sports about 7 days a week, this is great motivation for him to always been on top of his bgs!

    Back to the original question of the thread...I think that different kids handle the possibility of future complications better than others. If your child is going to lie awake at night thinking about all the things that "could" happen to them or panic anytime they have a bg that is on the higher side, then don't tell your child about them until they are able to handle it. On the other hand, if your child will be more motivated to keep bgs in range to avoid possible complications without it becoming the focus of their lives, then maybe give them some of the information.

    There is no one answer that will work for every child.
     
  14. mishcoto

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    Cole has good blood-sugars, his A1C is 6.5 and he STILL has protein in his urine. He is on meds, but his blood-pressure is excellent. This is what scares the hell out of me because I don't know what else we can do. He is almost 15 now and old enough to know that we are going to a nephrologist (sp?) even though he is doing the right things. My problem is making it not seem so scary to him or to us. Sometimes I feel like I could lose it but that's not possible when I have to be the adult and strong for him.
    When he was diagnosed at 10 and until this kidney-problem I was sure if we did everything right there would be no complications.
    I still shut people down when they talk about complications. I can't believe some people, what are they thinking?????????????
     
  15. AlisonKS

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    I'm so scared about someone telling Tony about my aunt who died from type 1 complications (in the early 1980's) before I can have the talk with him. I'm not sure how we'll go about it. He's only 3 so we have awhile to go.
     
  16. StillMamamia

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    Excellent advice!:)
     
  17. joy orz

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    Ava is only two and a half, but she's very talkative. When people start to tell me about their neighbors cousin who (fill in the blank) I stop them mid sentence and say.

    "I have no idea why people feel the need to tell me their horror stories, but we are NOT going to discuss this." It usually shuts them up mid word. If they are still yapping, I say. "We are working very closely with Ava's doctor and she is very happy with the excellent care we are giving her. Perhaps your friend would like her number and he can discuss it with a qualified medical professional."

    I've also walked away from people. I have NO problem protecting Ava from people's harmful words. That said, I do tell Ava when her BG is high and she wants a carb that if she waits to eat it, she will feel better. "Let's have some tea and some meatballs instead for a bit." Even the little ones know they don't feel well when they are out of range.

    We do have an excellent Endo who is type one herself, so when Ava wants to ask questions about long term prognosis, I think I'll let her ask her Dr.
     
  18. Mimi

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    As others have said, I think it has a lot to do with the age and maturity level of the child. At 7, I don't feel I need to lay it all out for Amanda. She understands that she needs insulin to stay healthy. She understands that we work towards keeping her bg in range by counting carbs, giving insulin. We talk about how she feels when she's low or high and that's it's not a good feeling and what we can do to try prevent it from happening.

    I will deal with her questions as she asks them, the same as any other questions she asks. Answer what they ask.

    Thankfully, we haven't had anyone tell us horror stories yet.
     
  19. mollgirl

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    Jason is 15 and was diagnosed at 14. We have never sugar coated or hidden things from him. He has done alot of research on his own and had talks with the endo. His #'s seem to be coming alot more into normal(knock on wood.) He knows what the complications are. I do not believe in threatening a child if his #'s are not in range. I also believe as a pp said you can do everything right and still have complications. That is the nature f d.
     
  20. MomOf2Boys-J.C.

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    Right after our son was dx'd we told him about everything that could happen but we also told him that as long as he takes care of his blood sugar and does everything that he is supposed to, none of those complications will apply to him anyway.
     

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