pleasing the parents

By m101499 Latest Reply 2014-05-06 11:19:01 -0500
Started 2014-04-24 17:39:44 -0500

My parents are scared I won't take care of my T1 when I move out of the house in a few years. So when I have bad blood sugars, I get grounded. I do care about my health, it's just not always perfect. Is there anyway I could convince them to let me go to a friends house this weekend? I just want my life to be normal.

26 replies

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2014-04-28 10:19:13 -0500 Report

I'm sorry I missed your question last week. As a parent of a T1 for the last 14 years, I think I may have a relevant perspective.

While I do understand the anxiety your parents feel about the dangers of uncontrolled blood sugars, I have to completely disagree with the entire notion of "bad" blood sugars and particularly punishing you for "bad" blood sugars. If this were an exact science and every input (what you eat, how much you exercise, etc) produced an exact and predictable outcome, then maybe holding you accountable for every blood sugar reading could make sense. But this is far from an exact science. Even the very best, most diligent diabetic has blood sugars outside their target range. Sometimes, WAY outside. It happens. There is no routine that can perfectly control blood sugars. Period.

And the great danger when you start labeling certain numbers as "good" and "bad," is you stop seeing your readings as helpful information that lets you know what you need to do next. Instead, each number becomes a judgment of how "good" you are and perhaps feel like a judgment of your worth as a diabetic and a person. What a terrible thing to go through, 5 or 6 times every day. And it only leads to a desire to not test and to lie about what the meter really says.

I would hope for a couple of things for you and your parents. We would love to have them come on here and talk with us about this. We would love to share our experience and perspective. I would also hope that you could ask for a few sessions with you, your parents, and a Certified Diabetes Educator to talk about this very topic. I think that would be very helpful.

The last thing I will say is actually a question for you. Will you share with us what your latest A1c is? The A1c gives a much broader perspective on how your overall control has been. If your A1c is really high, then there is cause for concern about long-term damage being done to your body. Not that grounding you is an OK option for a high A1c either, but rather that it may indicate there is a real need for some serious changes in your routine to get you on track.

I hope that is helpful.


m101499 2014-04-30 07:05:43 -0500 Report

Wow, thank you! My latest one was 7 I believe

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2014-05-06 11:19:01 -0500 Report

7 is fantastic! That shows that overall, you are in really good control. I really hope that in some way, we can help your parents understand a little better how unpredictable this crazy disease is. And that you have to take a long-term view of things. One or two out-of-target tests are not a sign that you've given up on diabetes control.

jayabee52 2014-04-27 16:18:12 -0500 Report

Howdy again M

When answering another teen about her "terrible" Aics, I remembered a topic which your parents may well consider. As a teen your hormones are running amok and messing with your Blood Glucose (BG) levels and A1c numbers. This is part of what I told Rachel: "You, however, have the added confusion of being Dx'd in your adolescence. There are a lot of hormonal changes going on in your body, readying you for adulthood and preparing your body to have children. Generally speaking your body and brain finishes its physical maturation by 25 years of age.
Hormones interact with one another and one thing I learned researching this answer is that insulin resistance in an adolescent can vary from time to time"

I continued later in my reply: "A quote from 'The challenge of adolescence: hormonal changes and sensitivity to insulin' In Diabetes Voices: 'The cause of insensitivity to insulin during puberty has been under investigation. The major hormonal changes that are associated with the onset of puberty include a two-fold increase in the secretion of growth hormone and an increase in the sex steroids that lead to the development of secondary sexual characteristics, remarkable increase in height, and change in body composition. Thus, both growth hormone and sex steroids are likely hormonal candidates for inducing insensitivity to insulin during puberty.' source ~;"

So you may have terrible numbers which may not be your rebelling against the strictures of your T1D.

This modifies what I said below a bit, but does not nullify it completely.

I pray that this is helpful to you and your parents.


Silicone eyes
Silicone eyes 2014-04-27 14:35:54 -0500 Report

I've got a weird perspective on this, my sons best friend has been D since he was 2 and his mother was similar to yours, I finally convinced her to let him stay, because if I didn't know how to handle what came up who would? He was 14 at the time. Being a parent, my greatest fear is my kids having this; well honestly, there are much worse things to get, but…;
You have to be able to show them that you can manage things on your own, and they need to let you grow up. Bad numbers happen, its how you deal with them. My pump cannula kinked awhile back and my numbers shot over 500. I didn't go to time out, I tested blood, tested ketones, drank water a lot, corrected with a syringe, and poked in a new infusion set. I wouldn't be scared of my kids going to low or too high, I'd be scared that they wouldn't know what to do, or handle it at all. Just show them that you can handle the responsibility of it, and cut them a little slack, As cliche as it sounds, when you have kids of your own…alright jeez, I'm not old enough to finish that statement

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-26 20:48:34 -0500 Report

In my opinion, you have to show them that you are responsible. Being responsible means you don't have to be told to test, take meds or to eat properly. You will never have the "normal" life. I don't think anyone can really define a normal life because what is normal for some may not be normal for others.

I think you should sit down and ask your parents if you can go over night and be home by a specific time the next day. If they say no, listen to their explanation. Do not get upset if they still say no. You have to accept that they are not always going to allow you to do what you want to do. If this is the first time you have asked to be away from home overnight since being diagnosed, they are concerned about your well being. Does your friend know you are a T1 diabetic? Do your friends parents know? Do they know what to do should you need help? If you answer no to those questions, then it would not be a good idea to go until they are informed and taught what to do to help you. Even if your parents say it is okay, they other parents can say no.

I also think that the next time you go to the doctor, ask him to better explain diabetes to your mom. Explain to him/her that you are grounded for having bad sugars and ask the doctor if there is a way the three of you can come to a decision on what to do when your numbers are not good.

It is obvious that your parents love you and they are being cautious. They want to protect you. It is up to you to prove to them that you are equipped to take care of yourself. Don't argue, don't get mad, don't whine, just listen and talk to them as though you are talking to a friend tell them how you feel about being grounded and how you feel you are able to handle your diabetes. Good luck to you.

m101499 2014-04-26 20:52:53 -0500 Report

thanks. yes all the parents/my friend knows. and I asked her nicely and she let me go I've been diagnosed since 3 years ago so this isn't the first time but my morning blood sugar was high so she was worried. but I never know how to fix my numbers on my own. And my parents always leave me home alone so I have trouble counting carbs and things sometimes.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-29 10:22:17 -0500 Report

I think we have all had or have a problem with counting carbs. There are videos on YouTube that will help you. Type in Counting Carbs and videos should pop up. You have to get good with that.

I am not insulin dependent so I can't help you on fixing the highs. For those times when you are home alone, find a hobby that you will enjoy and work on them. It will keep you occupied and will also help when you feel overwhelmed.

m101499 2014-04-26 11:37:05 -0500 Report

I just don't see why I would get in trouble for trying my best with this. And once they realized I was trying hard to keep it under control, I was no longer grounded. Maybe I should just go to a school counselor for support. This site seems to create more sadness and confusion for me than it should. Thanks anyway.

jayabee52 2014-04-26 11:19:43 -0500 Report

Howdy M.
Unfortunately your life, compared to a person who doesn't have diabetes, will never be "normal". (Are you currently "grounded" for some reason?)

Your parents are acting with an abundance of caution. They have a lot of love for you and don't want you to harm yourself or your health. I cannot get to your profile due to technical difficulties so cannot determine your age. Your age and maturity level would have a lot to do with letting you go and stay overnight.

Also it would be a good thing for your parents to know your friend's parents and whether or not her (taking for gender for granted) parents will be there and know how to care for you and your T1D if trouble happens. If I were your parent, I'd just want you to be safe. I have been the parent of 3 sons and have checked out the parents of the other child my son was goning to visit. (And I didn't have all the things of concern about a T1D child.)

The best way I'd try to convince them to let you go is to be as mature as you can and ask them, without arguing or complaining. Perhaps ask, not for a whole weekend, but for an overnight initially.

Introduce your parents to her parents and let them speak to them of their concerns and what her parents should know if you'd happen to have a hypo. Would the even be around while you two are together? (your friend should know what to look for and what to do in case of a hypo too)

I don't know about your parents, but as a parent myself, I love my children. They didn't always see that when I grounded or otherwise disciplined them I honestly wanted the best for them.

One of my sons took me out to breakfast a few years ago (I was having a particularly rough patch of life at that time) and really sang my praises at how their mother and I raised them, even the times we disciplined them (and yes we did spank them and my son remembered how we did it and how the way we did it affirmed him).

I pray you can use this to mature a bit and to help your parents to see you maturing and able to care better for yourself when you finally leave home and go out on your own

James Baker

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-26 20:50:30 -0500 Report

Excellent post James. Although I think grounding someone because of blood sugar numbers is like punishing someone for being diabetic. I think she should get a third party involved because sometimes, parents hear what their kids are saying but they are not really listening.

m101499 2014-04-26 11:26:22 -0500 Report

thank you. but yes I am 14 and both my parents know my friends parents very well. they also know about my disease including my friend. I feel like I have been mature about it because I only asked her once when she said I shouldn't go. And because of that, and that I'm very good at tracking my blood sugars although they're not always 100% perfect, I'm not grounded anymore. Thanks for your reply but I think I am perfectly mature if not more mature than I should be for the circumstances I'm in. There's quite a bit more going on with me than one might assume.

m101499 2014-04-26 10:50:45 -0500 Report

I don't know what my deviation range is but yes I do know my target range. They just say they're "bad blood sugars" because they're always high in the morning then get better in the daytime & before bed. i log everything I eat, the carbs, my blood sugars, and lantus every single day and show my parents but i guess they expect something more.

wraithmb 2014-04-30 01:09:36 -0500 Report

Sounds like my blood sugars too. Good all day except for in the morning. With testing and careful consideration, I think what is happening is that my lantus injection "dies off" in the late evening. I plan to talk to my doctor about this when I see her again in 4 months. I would suggest that you and your parents mention this trend to your doctor as well. That is, after all, why we do those darned tests anyway…

There are many good points made here, but to sum up my opinion on the subject:

I think you and your parents need to have a talk about how you feel about this, and how they feel as well. Everyone involved needs to listen to the other side's concerns and come to a reasonable agreement. It may just be that your parents are worried sick about you, and they will always be afraid and concerned about what is happening to you. They're your parents…cut them a bit of slack and try to help them out :-). From what you've said here, you seem to be doing pretty good so far.

I think the other think you should discuss with your parents is the grounding… When I was younger I was in a sort of similar situation… Not grounded, but yelled at a lot. It didn't lead me anywhere good. Your school counsellor may be a good person to start with on this one. It sounds to me like you are starting to resent being diabetic, and I'm sure just about everyone here can tell you where that will go.

And third, if I were in your shoes, I would give your mom and dad a hug and tell them thanks for caring so much, even if they frustrate you while they're at it. They are doing the best they can for you, just like all of us here do with our kids, in the best way we know how. Your mom and dad may not be perfect, but they still love you. If you work together and support each other, you will all be much happier.

Type1Lou 2014-04-26 10:43:21 -0500 Report

How do they define "bad blood sugars?" We all deviate from our "target BG" range. There is something called "standard deviation" which assesses how frequently you go above or below your target range. Do you know what yours is? Do you know what your "Target range" is? Here's a quote from Dr. Francine Kaufman's user's guide to effective diabetes management: "Optimally, standard deviation numbers should be less than 55 mg/dl, or less than half of your average glucose level." To calculate YOUR deviation, you would have to track your BG's over a period of time. If you can show that YOUR deviation is within acceptable range that would be a convincing argument to use with your parents. It would demand log keeping and calculations but might be worth the effort.

jayabee52 2014-04-26 11:33:17 -0500 Report

is there a source link for that quote Lou?

Type1Lou 2014-04-26 12:26:01 -0500 Report

Sorry, I don't have a direct link but will look for one. It came from Francin R. Kaufman, MD's book "Insulin Pumps and Continuous Glucose Monitoring: A User's Guide to Effective Diabetes Management", published by the ADA in 2012. Although geared towards pumpers, the standard deviation guidelines can apply to those who inject as well. I received my copy from Medtronic as part of their Minimed Ambassadors program and will be using it to tweak some of my pump settings for even better control.

kimfing 2014-04-25 21:34:17 -0500 Report

wow. I don't know what to say. I wish i had something to tell u, but i am dumbfounded they grounded you!

Good luck

jayabee52 2014-04-26 11:32:13 -0500 Report

Howdy Kim.
Read her post carefully. She did not exactly say that she was currently grounded, what she said was "when I have bad blood sugars, I get grounded".

I see things from a parent's persrspective having raised 3 sons, who left "the nest" successfully and are contributing citizens to society.

So I am not dumbfounded IF m is grounded. When you have children you may well understand better.

God's best

kimfing 2014-04-28 22:42:52 -0500 Report

I have raised a very respectful and loving daughter who contributes well to society. I read the post and it doesn't matter if she was currently grounded but has been for bad blood sugar. I understand they do lover her and want her to be heathy, but my opinion, you dont go about it that way. yes there may be more to the story, i agree. But please don't assume i haven't raised a child.

wasted.wonder 2014-04-27 13:53:36 -0500 Report

I agree with James. It is the love of the parents for the child and nothing else. I think a mediator or counsellor should talk to them and … M should gain their confidence by managing D responsibly.
Love to all : ))

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