Originally Posted by educgradstudent
My daughter who is now going on 12 was diagnosed with type I diabetes when she was 4. When she was younger she seemed to respond to her treatments better and was much better at controlling her blood sugars. Now we are lucky if her sugars are below 200 and often spike over 500. I don't know how to make her see what she is doing to herself and what else my husband and I can do to help her. In fact she tells us how much she hates us because we try to control her food intake. If anyone has advice on how to deal with this type of situation I would appreciate the input
I am going to sound a bit harsh and I am sorry about this, but this is my opinion. You are talking about the way she takes care of herself. She is much too young to be saddled with such a huge burden. It is great if she takes a hand in it, but the truth is that she is going to have this disease for a long time. They have been telling the parents of T1 diabetes that there should be a cure in about 10 years since the mid 1950s. A cure is not just on the horizon. Your daughter has a disease that many adults are unable to handle. If you want her well controlled, you will have to take a more active hand in testing with her and monitoring and changing doses.
The other thing to keep in mind is that as she is growing, and her hormones are developing, you sugars are going to go wild. Puberty is difficult enough to handle withou the blood sugar issues as well. This is where you will have to help her as well because you will have a better idea of the big picture. As an adult, you are aware of the fact that nothing ever stays the same. During this time period (maybe as much as 6 years or more) her dosages are going to have to change all the time. Kids don't think of things as changing. They want their world to stay the same. On some level she may even feel that she is getting "worse" if her dosage of insulin goes up.
Whatever you do, don't threaten her with complications. Her brain isn't developed yet to a point where she can understand the consequences 20 or 30 years down the road of what is going on now. If she's not mature enough to vote or drive a car, she is certainly not mature enough to be responsible for taking care of things that will be with her for her entire life. She just doesn't have the faculties. I know that many docs and social workers will push you to get your kid "independent" as soon as possible. From personal experience and some pretty well established experts I can tell you that the independence should mean she can go places and stay over and treat her lows and highs herself. It shouldn't mean that she should shoulder the burden of what is in effect a full time job.
Is she on a pump or on mdi? Either way, anyone in the free world can tell you that strict diets don't work. The beauty of multiple daily injections and pumps is that if you feel you really need to eat that treat, you can bolus some extra insulin for it. Even though I was diagnosed in 1966, the doc made it clear to my Mom that it wasn't necessary to separate me from the other kids. We just had to know enough how much insulin to take for the ice cream and birthday cake.
There are things you can do to help her. You can offer to give her shot for her if she doesn't want to do it. I know every once in a while I still snivel to my Mom and let her do it for me. It is an incredible comfort to know that your parent can take care of everything if you aren't able to. How is she with testing? Does she test regularly? You could get your own lancing device and ***** your own finger along with her. That way she can't throw it in your face that you don't have to do it.
I hope I've helped a little bit. There isn't always a lot of good help for teens and tweens with diabetes. The medical profession sees it as something they have to do and don't stop to think of the emotional costs of the pressure of this disease. The more you can take the burden off her, the more you make decisions for her and do things for her (like how much to bolus and how to calculate it and doing the shot) the less pressure she will feel.
Having diabetes is a tremendous amount of work. You can't do anything without having to think about it. You can't eat, exercise, or even go to bed without worrying about carbs, and blood sugar and insulin and then wondering if you did the right thing and how will things be in the morning. As I said earlier, I'm sorry to say it, but a cure is still a long way off. They talk a lot about islet and pancreas transplants, but transplants are not a cure. The meds have a lot of very bad side effects. It is only another form of treatment and one that is not that appropriate for a young person. So she will have this burden for at least another 10 years as there is nothing commercially available on the horizon. If you have the ability (insurance or available cash) I would definitely look into getting a pump. It will make her life much easier and less restricted.
Good luck to you all, and please keep us posted.
PS, sorry about the rant, but I see it all the time in friends that didn't have the support that I did from my parents. My folks always took an active role in my diabetes knowing all about my doses etc and I am much more independant and well controlled now. It isn't as hard as it could have been.