Why doesn't she care about her diabetes?

dragonflymike
By dragonflymike Latest Reply 2010-04-03 23:45:29 -0500
Started 2010-03-12 21:05:44 -0600

I am a father of a diabetic 11-year old and she shows little or no regret for eating things beyond her limit. My wife is also pregnant and diabetic as well. Last year we lost our babies , I believe as a result of her diabetes. But this change in my daughter is pushing us all over the edge. There are some days when we pick her up from school and she is skyrocketing towards 600 or higher. She claims they put sugar in the school water. I say its the availability of candy and cookies in the cafeteria and school store. Can someone please help me understand. It is really tearing us apart? For one I am her stepfather and she really shows no interest and two my wife is falling apart. I just want our family to be stronger and to overcome this event in our lives right now. We put so much faith in God and his ways that we sometimes overlook what makes our family, and that's our ways. Thank you for any suggestions passed my way.- God Bless


19 replies

Least
Least 2010-04-03 23:45:29 -0500 Report

There's allot of good replies on here, so I'll just add a couple things that come to mind! Sorry if I'm reiterating something!

I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 8 and I know it's only my faith in God all these years and His care for me that has got me through. Your daughter is young and confused, possibly even angry. I know that's how it was for me! Here's a couple tips to help in the sweets department -

Sugar free candy - be careful though! not all of them are actually sugar free! I used to like some of the sugar free chocolate mints and, of course, bubble gum! You could put some in her bag to let her know you care and to give her something else to "snack" on instead!

Diet soda, sugar free drinks…

Does she know any other children with diabetes? Sometimes having someone your own age to relate with makes things seems more real, more important. I met a couple kids when I was younger and it helped me to feel like I was not alone, it was neat that they knew what I meant when I used words like "low" or "high".

How does her doctor treat her during a visit? Is he/she interested and informative on her level? I found it was good to have a childrens doctor who could relate things to me at my level.

Also, to make this long comment longer :) Have you considered pumping? I got a pump when I was her age and it was a LIFESAVER. I was able to bring my sugars under better control and have a much more normal life. Eating candy, cake, soda, and other sugars was actually an option most of the time. As long as you are checking properly and staying on top of things with your doctor the pump can be a HUGE difference in a child's life!

Let us know how things are going!

~Least

Justice
Justice 2010-03-16 14:38:52 -0500 Report

I am so sorry to hear about everything you and your family have and are going through. There were alot of great things suggested already. I would definately contact your local American Diabetes Association asap. I live in the midwest and I volunteer with them. They have a summer camp every year were it is very hands on they have professional medical staff members that help the children learn how to take care of their diabetes step by step. Also, I would contact her school if you haven't already and set-up sometype of meeting with the principal/teacher and school nurse. You guys can come up with some type of schedule when she takes her bs and insulin. And if you have any problems with them not wanting to comply you can let the ADA know they deal and fight cases like this all the time. I pray that God will truly order your steps on how to deal with this. Be encouraged :)

KarenH
KarenH 2010-03-14 22:26:41 -0500 Report

I am sorry for the struggles you are going through with your daughter. Does her school have a nurse on duty? If so, maybe they need to monitor her more closely. My sister works for a school here in Austin and it sounds like quite a bit of the day is devoted to caring for the children with diabetes. Best of luck! Karen

CeeLou
CeeLou 2010-03-14 16:54:45 -0500 Report

OMG, a camp for diabetics would be such a great experience for her where she could relate to other kids and get support from those who are going through the same challenges!!! I was diagnosed at 11 and it changed my world severely! Thinking back, if there was anything that could have helped me cope, it would have been to have more diabetic friends. To not feel alone, to be able to embrace my disease instead of hiding it. No kid, especially at that age wants to feel different than their classmates. We're going through enough changes! I would get so embarrassed when I had to leave class to go check my blood sugar at the nurses'.
American Diabetes Assoc. has a camp. Go to their website. If she likes computers, get her a page on this website. She needs support so she doesn't feel alone.

Here is a link to the ADA camps:
www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/parents...

Roy531
Roy531 2010-03-14 09:26:49 -0500 Report

Maybe talk to the school board, I work for a school district in Okla. and they have remove all unhealthy foods and drinks from the elementary, and middle schools, They are trying to promote a healthy kids envirment

livlaughlve22
livlaughlve22 2010-03-14 08:58:58 -0500 Report

Your daughter is going to be a kid! thats the thing she still wants to eat all those sweet things that everyother kid is eating, tell her next time to just be honest! its okay if she still wants certain (bad) foods, so atleast if she's honest and realllly wants those foods you can adjust her insulin intake, then try finding alternatives to her sweet tooth! the grocery stores i go to have sugar free sweets like cakes cookies cupcakes, angel cakes are pretty low for the occasional sweet tooth or the cookies and snacks that are packaged sugar free, its surprising how good they taste. these foods i wouldnt recomend telling her to eat freely but are great subsitutions for sweets. Keep your eye out for russel stover bags of candy they make a variety of choc sugar free candy that could help fill that sweet tooth…good luck and stay strong!

cc9
cc9 2010-03-13 20:57:54 -0600 Report

mike, i am not trying to tell you how to parent. just sometimes i know with my tougher 'kids' i try to see what it feels like to be in their shoes. then it gives me a starting point to have honest conversations about the issue. i can see you are concerned and anxious all round bec of your wife's pregnancy and wanting to protect her. usually the presentation is just that and there is an underlying need that the bahaviour is trying to draw attention to. she may be just as scared and anxious about her mum's pregnancy as you are.

TanyaG
TanyaG 2010-03-13 16:16:44 -0600 Report

I took care of an 11 year old type 1 and I am also a type 1. I know that you limit the sweets in your home to keep the temptation away or atleast try to. In my experience when you treat something like it is forbidden, is like saying don't look down, you can't resist. I found that when we learned together about the illness, trying out new recipes of healthy snacks, neither one of us were "breaking the rules" as much. Make it fun and show her that she has the power to make the right decision.

spiritwalker
spiritwalker 2010-03-13 16:04:54 -0600 Report

The diabetic camps for kids are great. The kids sometimes
make life long friendships. Most of all it teaches they aren't alone or odd as a result of being diabetic. You might want to check with local hospitals in your area for peer support groups for children and teens with diabetes. The ADA
web site might have some information that could help.
Will be praying for you and your family.

Nova69
Nova69 2010-03-13 13:13:10 -0600 Report

Mike,

If your daughter goes to a public school, you might want to see if you can get some counseling services for her through your Special Services Department. There should be Child Study Team members who are available for this. Don't be afraid to approach this department - they're not just for typical special education students but also deal with chronically ill students of many kinds and if your daughter's diabetes is so out of control as to be life-threatening because of her refusal to cooperate in her treatment, they should be willing to get involved. It sounds to me like she is simply refusing to admit to herself that she's different from the other children. That, coupled with the fact that children of this age think they're invulnerable, is probably leading her to ignore her own needs. If your school district won't help, you can consult with a social worker at the hospital or, as the others suggested, a camp for diabetic children. This last might be a good idea because she'll be part of a group of children just like her and will have no trouble fitting in. In addition, she'll have to eat right in this situation.

Crashnot
Crashnot 2010-03-13 10:09:24 -0600 Report

Being a diabetic child is challenging in the best of circumstances, and denying it or trying to prove you're "better" than it by doing as you like is a typical reaction I think. Unfortunately some kids take it further than others.

Are you able to take her to a camp or educational week for diabetic kids in your area? Minnesota had great programs when I was growing up a few decades ago, and I know those programs have spread. Not sure where you are, but you can Google "diabetic camps" and see what's out there. Being surrounded by diabetics her age who are being proactive may be the encouragement she needs now.

Jeannie Holmes
Jeannie Holmes 2010-03-13 10:41:50 -0600 Report

I was going to suggest you get her into group or camp with kids her age so she can know she's not alone in this. 11 is a really hard age, and I'm sure she doesn't really mean to make things harder on you all. She just is hurting . My prayers are with you. It's a tough road, but you will get by!

Dev
Dev 2010-03-13 12:45:37 -0600 Report

I was going to suggest the same. Some kind of workshop or camp for how to manage diet and exercise and still live a full life. If you keep telling her that she needs to do this or that she is going to do exactly the opposite. The workshop might give her the tools to take control of her own life instead of she thinking that the adults and the diabetes has control over her life.

I don't have experience with a 11 year old but my husband is a baby and he reacted well the minute I let go and just helped him find the tools to control his life. Otherwise he was retaliating and being self distructive to prove that he was in control.

Hope you find a way to help your daugher.

CeeLou
CeeLou 2010-03-14 16:42:19 -0500 Report

OMG, a camp for diabetics would be such a great experience for her where she could relate to other kids and get support from those who are going through the same challenges!!! I was diagnosed at 11 and it changed my world severely! Thinking back, if there was anything that could have helped me cope, it would have been to have more diabetic friends. To not feel alone, to be able to embrace my disease instead of hiding it. No kid, especially at that age wants to feel different than their classmates. We're going through enough changes! I would get so embarrassed when I had to leave class to go check my blood sugar at the nurses'.
American Diabetes Assoc. has a camp. Go to their website. If she likes computers, get her a page on this website. She needs support so she doesn't feel alone.

Deborah L
Deborah L 2010-03-12 23:47:53 -0600 Report

HI Dragonfly Mike, you really opened up here and shared some painful stuff. I want to commend you on staying with it and trying to find a solution for your family. You defnitely have your hands full and I pray you find some answers soon.

I'm sure you remember some of what it's like being 11 years old. Sounds like there's alot going on that is deeper than just not caring about BS levels and blaming it on unreal things like sugar in the water. Life is still changing much too fast at that age and diabetes can often be beyond their comphrehension, scarey too. Her brain is still forming especially the executive functions. Have you considered you might all benefit by professional help that teaches her and both of you as parents how to deal with this. It may take that to find out the causes for her disinterest. And to help you understand how to help her better. I'm sure you have alot of stress about this. Hopefully she will learn to take it seriously and take care of herself now. I've seldom seen scary tactics work with that age group, but you know your daughter best.
Good luck and lots of prayers for you and your family..

dyanne
dyanne 2010-03-12 22:54:43 -0600 Report

hi first i would like to say how sorry im that u lost your babies. i have also lost 2 babies at different times in my life and there are no words to describe the pain. i also am sorry for what u r going through. i can only try to imagine how hard it is for an 11 year old to deal with. im sure she really doesn't get all the damage that can happen from out of control sugars. my only suggestion would be to speak to her dr. and let them know what is going on and maybe they can help explain to her and she maybe more receptive hearing it from the dr. i wish u the best and my prayers r with u for the new baby… keep in touch.

jamie salas
jamie salas 2010-03-12 22:41:48 -0600 Report

hi its not that she doesn't care its that she doesn't know how to handle it i was diagnosed when i was 11 and it wasn't easy at all to accept let her know that its ok if she wants to cheat but she has to learn how to. go to a nutritionist and ask her how to carb count then she can cover herself with extra insulin if needed, if she knows its ok there is no longer any temptation, it is not easy dealing with the idea that you have to take shots everyday for the rest of your life

truckerfriend2002
truckerfriend2002 2010-03-12 22:09:21 -0600 Report

I am wondering if ur daughter needs to see from pics and stories what can happen from not taking care of herself. If that doesnt help then maybe she can talk to others and get first hand accounts from those she talks to about what can happen. Take me for example, I found out last may that I have the start of cateracts from my sugars being out of control. I am also starting to have problems with circulation in my feet and ankles. Might talk to her dr and see if there is anything that u can try.

Harlen
Harlen 2010-03-12 22:05:58 -0600 Report

I am so sorry your going thrue this
You cant make somone do the right thing.
What you may be able to do is start checking her BS when she comes home from school every day and watch her take the insulin to cover for it.Its a hard road your on
Your wife well as you know you cant make her do a thing its her life.
You can ask if she loves you or not for shes not showing you that she dose.
I love my wife and would never dream of making her take care of me when I go blined,kidnys quit working have a foot cut off no I love her to much to make her go thrue that so I take care of my diabetes.
To see somone die from not taking care of it like my mom did realy makes you see that you never ever wish to go that way.
Best wishes
Harlen

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