Help with T1 daughter

I have a daughter who is 18, she has had diabetes for 8 years. She is doing hardly anything to take care of herself. She might test a few times a month! She hardly takes her insulin, and refuses to use her CGM. She has made friends with someone who drinks, even though neither one of them is old enough!! I don’t know what to do. If I try to talk to her, and she just gets defensive and leaves the room. So I walk on eggshells when I need to talk to her. I’m so afraid of what’s going to happen to her. Her doctors said I can’t do anything, either she’ll figure it out or she will crash. I don’t know if anyone has any advice for me, even though I hope you do. I’m just glad to get this off my chest. Thank you for listening!!

Kay @kaypmom,

I feel for you, and pray that Cassie may wake up and return once again for caring for herself as a person. Sooner than later will be the better choice for her; take that from me who at 18 refused to admit that diabetes needed MY attention and now many, many years later I’m paying the price. I stopped seeing any doctors and in those days that was the only way to get a blood sugar check. I may be one of the “lucky” ones because at 25 I met a good, understanding, caring woman who told me that the only way we would get married was when I began taking proper care of myself under the guidance of best available doctor. We’re still married, 50+ years later.

An 18 year old "knows’ that she is invincible and also knows she can do whatever makes her feel good - her doctors might be right n saying that she needs to crash first so she has her eyes forced open. My advice for you? Be caring, concerned and loving while trying [yes difficult] not to be pushy or appearing that you are trying to run HER LIFE for her. Step back a little bit while being there for her so she knows you will be at her side when she decides to wake up and do what she knows in her heart is necessary for her, by herself.

I recently read what might be a helpful article for you - I’ll try to find it and send to you. In the meantime, if you need a shoulder …
Many people are here who have been in your shoes.


Hi Dennis, thank you for your reply. I guess I knew this would be what I would be hearing. It is just so hard to sit back and watch. Thank you


I know this won’t be especially helpful, but it is totally normal for her to be acting this way.

I’m 37 now and was diagnosed at 7, so not quite 30 years T1D.

When I went to college, I was convinced I could just “live like everyone else” and not really worry about my diabetes. I was on a pump, and I still filled it and took boluses and such, but I almost never did a blood test, and I certainly never said “oh wait, I should eat first” or anything similar.

My “crash” happened when I dropped so low on a weekend my roommates called my parents for help. I was so embarrassed by it I vowed not to ever have that happen again.

I honestly believe the message just can’t come from you. Nothing you say to her will get through because you have been the one helping her from the start. She’s “rebelling” just like we all have done in life. Everyone has a rebellious phase. Unfortunately, the way T1Ds tend to rebel is by pretending nothing is wrong.

So, you reach her the same way all rebellious phase people are reached: send a messenger. Maybe you are close with one of her friend’s parents and can plant the idea there? Her friends are the first ones who can reach her. Maybe a teacher or a coworker she respects? Someone whose opinion will matter. Not a doctor or a parent though. She’s probably rebelling against all of that, too.

Oh, and one small silver lining for you. Even though drinking at this age is self-destructive, it is probably also helping to keep her blood sugar lower. Liquor generally lowers blood sugar about 8-12 hours after you drink it.

Thank you so much for your help. I will try your suggestion of getting a friend or someone to try and talk to her. It is really hard to sit back and watch her do this. I know she will end up crashing and I only hope she will be ok! It is nice to hear from someone who has gone through it! Thank you so much!

I’m so sorry your going through this with your daughter. Teen years can be very tough already then you add diabetes and becomes even worse. I will pray, and be strong, I have heard of this type of situation from many diabetics and parents. I know as a mother it is very difficult to watch your child not taking care of their medical needs. As she gets a bit older and finds herself I believe she will come to realize the importance of taking care of her diabetes and managing it instead of letting it manage her. I hope this was somewhat helpful.

Thank you so much. It is nice to know there are people who understand. A lot of times I feel so alone with this. If I try and talk to other people, they just say well just make her or tell her to do it!! They don’t have a clue!! Thank you for listening!!

Anytime you need to let it out, I’m here to listen. Trust me I get the same advice from friends who don’t have diabetic children or no children to just make them do it-they really don’t get it at all. I think I told you my son just got diabetes at well at 16, I thought it would be easier since he’s seen his sister since he was 6. No, it’s it’s actually worse. He checks but is deathly afraid of going low so his blood glucose numbers are in the 300-400 range. No matter what I say, it’s wrong, I don’t know.

Just a thought, does you daughter have a pump? especially with the new continuous monitoring system like Dexcom? I’m trying to get one for my son. At least they get a given amount of insulin though the day. No shots, just push a button and the insulin is released and it checks your blood throughout the day and tells you if your high or low.

Again, you probably are already aware of it, but it really made a difference for my daughter, and I’m praying it will make a difference for my son.

Always here to listen.

Hello, I can relate to everything you have said. I have a 17 yr old son, T1 for nearly 5 years now. Like you I realize I can do very little now. It is up to him. Currently he is taking reasonable care of himself but unfortunately , 2 days ago while away on a such trip in Iceland, he suffered a diabetic seizure. All is well right now, but I feel incredibly protective of him at the mo, as its all too fresh. Im still tearful about it.
It is so very hard to watch your child make what we consider poor choices regarding their health.

Am here to chat to, i get it!!

Best wishes :slight_smile:

Hi friends,
This is my first time on this site, certainly wont be my last! I have a 16 year old son diagnosed in 2012. He is really struggling and very non compliant with basically everything related to his diabetes. We fight about it quite a bit. It is VERY hard to watch their self destructive behavior. I am overwhelmed and saddened by it all. Wish i could trade places…
Glad to finally have friends who understand.

Hey there!
I know I am not a parent of a T1 diabetic but I have gone through a very similar time as your daughter. I was diagnosed when I was 17 and am now 19. I started to ignore my diabetes and not take care of myself either around the age of 18. I thought I was invincible and felt that if I wasn’t ending up in the hospital, how bad could it really be. That is until I went a weekend with no insulin and large amounts of sugar and ended up in the hospital for a few days. I’m sure it’s horrible to sit back and watch your daughter not take care of herself, but sometimes at 18, the last thing you want to do is have someone tell you that you can’t do something or restrict your lifestyle. I know that I would eat certain foods just because I was told that I couldn’t! However, spiraling into DKA was one of the scariest things I’ve ever gone through and was a huge eye opener. I really hope she doesn’t get to that point and if she needs someone young and who struggled the same way, I’m always open to talk! Hope everything turns out okay!

Your reply as a teen with T1DM is so very helpful! Perhaps you can provide further insight for me? My daughter (13 years old) was diagnosed about 9months ago. She is very resilient by nature and thus far has been not horribly phased by life with T1DM. Further she is a competitive although, and was welcomed and encouraged from minute one by her team, club, and coaches- some of which either had T1DM or experiencing coaching people with it. She is amazing at being able to keep her BG in range to play/practice and compete (a1c is great too. We made a great team strategizing- thinking through the best approaches to various situations…so smooth sailing! Until the start of school this fall. She sleeps alot(still practicing 8 hard hours/week), is short tempered, says she is is incredibly stressed, bags are not as great, and now pushes me away. I want to continue to support her- but am not sure how best to do that. I suspect her behavior is all part of the process. Any insight you can provide as a teen with T1DM would be great!! Thanks !

Hi. I realize this post is a little older and I just signed on to T1Nation. I have a daughter who is 17 dx in 2014 with T1. It is a struggle. The best way for me to help is to ease the burden of food prep and ideas. It is virtually impossible to eat Low carb these days and having the support to buy, prepare, discuss or whatever level of contact is available then I think that common ground btwn parent and child/young adult can bring level of trust and support. And then I build off of that platform to help her when she is non compliant and defensive and otherwise being a normal sassy kid.