I have a beautiful 11 year old daughter who was diagnosed at age 4. She is great, she wears a pump, and for the most part, takes good care of herself. She does not like for her friends to know that she has diabetes, she hides it. Hides it to the point that she will nnot check her blood sugar or bolus until she is alone. Sometimes, like today, when she got to her mother's house, she was HI! the meter only read HI. Not good. How can we get her to understand that it is okay for her friends to know, that she needs to check her blood sugar and bolus before eating. Does anyone else have these problems with their child??
My daughter is 14, diagonsed at 6. We have been battling this issue for about 3 years. She does similar things, like not testing during volleyball tournaments while off her pump for 3 hours, not leaving a class when she feels low as she doesn't want to bring attention to herself, etc etc. Like your daughter, mine also will take good care of herself in private. All of her friends are aware of her diabetes, and are very supportive of her. However, her bottom line is that she does not want to be "different" from everyone else, so she would rather take the risk of being hi or lo rather than deal with the diabetes during social and sport events. Very frustrating for parents. This past year her A1C went up to 7.6 from 6.8, so her endo got involved as well.
It's difficult to lecture a responsible kid living with a chronic disease when they are really doing the best they can juggling that disease and fitting in with an adolescent social group. However, I felt I could not allow her to continue to be out of control as it is such a health issue. So I set up guidelines that she was asked to follow if she wanted to continue to be with friends on her own. For instance, she had to give herself a unit before disconnecting her pump before volleyball practice or games, and test every two hours. That really helped. A couple of times she lost social privileges due to non-compliance. What may happen with your daughter is that she may have such a bad diabetes experience from not taking care of herself that she will just learn from her own mistakes. My daughter was at a swim party the other week, so was off her pump while she swam and ate cake, candy, chips, etc. She was so hi by the time she got home she spent part of the night with a horrible headache and vomiting until her blood sugar came down. The natural consequences of her choices really taught her a lesson - better than I could ever teach her. I don't know how long it will be before the memory of that night fades, but for now, she is being much more careful with taking care of herself - without me saying a word. Because each child is so unique, I don't know what would work best with your daughter. We need to walk the tight rope of being the parent and the one in charge, yet respecting that they are the ones with the disease, not us. Try setting limits (which I'm sure you have) and allowing your daughter just a little rope to learn from her experiences. Good luck. Sorry for the long email. Your message was one I could have written myself, so I just had to respond and vent a little :)
ps. If your daughter has never been to a diabetes camp, it may be a good summer to send her. Mine goes to Camp Conrad-Chinook in CA. It's an excellent experience for these kids to be with only diabetic kids their own age. www.dys.org is the camp website.
Thanks for the reply. It is a difficult disease to manage sometime, and to get children to understand is even harder. Your reply has helped. We are trying to get her signed up for Camp Wilderness here in North Carolina. Hope your daughter continues to do well with volleyball. I know she will take care of herself.