Overwhelmed Newbie

My 13-year-old son was diagnosed on New Year’s Eve. We are very fortunate to have a good support system of grown nephews and niece who have T1D and have been so helpful in teaching us and encouraging our son. The past week though has been more difficult. He’s been bouncing between lows and highs at school. It’s been stressful trying to figure out why he’s been bouncing like this, what we are doing wrong. The other day at work I just kind of lost it and started crying. Mom is supposed to make everything better and I can’t make this better. I felt like a failure. I wanted to be with him at school instead of at work. I never thought I would have to manage something like this with my child. I have a form of Muscular Dystrophy that I grew up with and now struggle with a bit on a daily basis. Sometimes it’s exhausting trying to juggle my son’s T1D, my MD and work. I don’t know what I would do without my husband. Unfortunately he will be going to Japan for two weeks for work at the end of this month. I’m so scared about having to do this all myself while he is gone.

My daughter was just diagnosed January 9th. She is 10 (almost 11) and I completely understand how you feel overwhelmed. I am still learning, but our daughter’s numbers have been bouncing around a bit too. For her it’s a battle between her sports and how exercise affects her and competing with the “honeymoon” phase. You are not doing anything wrong. The simple fact that you are managing it is a step in the right direction. First and foremost, take care of yourself so you can be there to help your son. Advice I often forget for myself, but our kids do need us to guide them through this. Our nephew was diagnosed at age 5 and is the same age as my daughter, it helps to have family who have been through this. Lean on them and share your frustration and worries with them. They’ll understand in a way no one else can. I have always felt better just talking to someone I know “get’s it!” This diagnosis really impacts the whole family, but together you’ll get through it. That’s what I keep telling myself. Hang in there!

My 12 year old was diagnosed last year on New Year’s Eve. It does get easier and your son, you and the rest of your family will adjust. I never thought it would be second nature to us after only 1 year. Puberty is tough, the lows and highs rarely make sense, and if he has a “honeymoon” it may be more of a curse than a blessing. We try to catch the lows early and look at them as a great time to eat candy and get out of class. As for the highs, keep looking for trends and make adjustments to formulas every few days to try to keep him in line. I was able to take a class at our hospital so that I could make changes instead of waiting to hear back from the Dr. after the first few months. Also, don’t be afraid to call the hospital emergency line or your Dr. as much as you feel like in the beginning. They are used to it, and you can learn a lot by asking lots of questions. Try to focus less on the numbers and on how he is feeling. I am amazed at how much my 12 year old can handle and how well he can handle all the ups and downs and making good decisions. My best advice is to empower him in everything from meal prep to making adjustments to his doses. I figure we only have a few years to teach them everything and then send them out in the world on their own with diabetes. We did just start the Dexcom g5 one month ago. It has given us a lot of peace of mind(no more 2 am checks!) and has given him freedom to be a preteen boy without one of his parents hovering.
I’m sorry for all you are having to deal with at once, sounds like you have a great support system. It is okay to get mad, sad and frustrated, but diabetes doesn’t have to stop your son from doing anything.

You have a tough gig! Highs and lows can very hard to understand, so tools like the PredictBGL app can show you what should happen to the blood sugar after eating - so you can explain many highs and lows and use this to adjust doses with more confidence. Given that he was recently diagnosed, you will most likely need the help of your educator to set it up, as it is based on MDI / pump therapy.

It definitely feels overwhelming at the beginning. My suggestions would be at this point don’t worry about getting everything fine tuned. I suggest a “treat the number” approach, especially while your husband is out of town. That is, dose for carbs and dose for correction based on BG test results - don’t worry TOO much about figuring out the patterns right now.

When you feel more able, make sure to check in with a Diabetes educator to share your log and get some thoughts.