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Mum

Teen Daughter allowing disaster

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Mum

Hi everyone. hoping someone can help me with this. My 17 year old daughter is not letting us help her with her diabetes anymore and we are so worried. Over the last two years her A1C has not been under 10.0. The last one was 11.7. She is on pump therapy and has had diabetes since she was six years old. She is so angry with us when we try to help and we don't know why. We hardly even bring it up, but try to ask if she has been doing okay and she snaps our heads off. I know you are thinking we must be awful to not get on this but I just can hardly bring it up without her going into a rage. I tried to get her to her dr. this month and she said I could make all the appt. I wanted she wasn't going. I have a new one made in Aug and short of dragging her kicking and screaming I do intend to make her go. It's real hard to get an appt so I hate to cancel. She knows of other diabetics that have not made out so well when this has happened and it doesn't seem to make her want to look after herself. She claims I make a big deal out of nothing. The denial of the outcome of these results is very strong. Recently her general dr noticed she had very high cholestrol levels and let her know his concern. She seemed upset for a few days and now when I bring it up she tells me to shut up she is looking after herself the best she can and that I don't know how hard it is. Well, yes she is right about that, how could I know if I don't have diabetes, but I have stood by her and watched the struggle. It's not like I am unsympathic to her struggle. When she was younger we always weighed and measured her foods, adjusted her insulin to suit and she regularily (three to six months)seen the diabetes team. She is very schooled on care, as are we. I am just so frustrated with the resentment towards us and her disease. Please, share some ideas. We are a middle class family of four and don't really live any different than anyone else. Have always spent a lot of time with our kids and I just can not figure out where we have went so wrong.....

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Kendall

I know that it may be hard to get her to go, but it sounds to me like she might benefit very much from counseling. Does the diabetes team have a social worker? If you think she might take it better, you might go as a family. I went through a very difficult stage in my teen years. I got very depressed and didn't want to deal with diabetes any more.

 

My parents got me into counseling and I was put on anti depressants too. Even though I didn't want to admit it, diabetes was a big part of my depression. I felt like it was uncontrolable and every time I tried to control it I failed so why should I try.

 

The counselor helped me realize how angry I was that I had diabetes and how unfair it was. I slowly came to terms that no matter how well or poorly I controlled it, it wasn't going to go away. It was going to be there forever so I may as well do the best I can. Try hard and not worry about the rest.

 

I had some hard years, but now I'm happily married and healthy. There is hope. I'll keep you and your daughter in my prayers.

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fgummett

It sounds like she knows a great deal about Diabetes but is not acting on her best behalf. I'm sure it is scary for you and I suspect it is for her too. My son is 17 and fortunately does not have D but I still find it hard to believe just how much pressure and expectation is placed on these young shoulders... seems to be so much more than when we were kids ourselves :) Maybe an offbeat suggestion, but are there any diabetes camps for youngsters (younger than herself) where she might find her way as a camp counsellor :confused:

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morrisma

My non-diabetic son reacted this way at 15. Snapped at everything we suggested or asked about. The more important it was to us, the more he fought. The only thing I can say is he got over it after a couple of years but that's a long time to go with high sugars.

Are you in contact with any of her friends? Can you ask them for help?

I hope you and she can weather this storm.

Mike

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BlueSky
... I just can not figure out where we have went so wrong.....

This all sounds very familiar. We went through the same thing, also with 17 year old T1 daughter. She wouldn't listen to anything I said either, in spite of the fact that I had been living with T1 for 26 years at the time. You haven't done anything wrong. Believe me, you are not alone in this. Your biggest sin is that you are a parent :( . And I know how stressful it is.

 

The counselling suggestion is a good one, if you can get her to go. But even if you can't, rest assured that the whole thing will will come to an end sooner or later. There is little you can do to force the issue, and at all costs you want to preserve the relationship you have with her. I know you are very concerned for your daughter's wellbeing. But the chances are that she will be fine. She will eventually figure out what is in her best interests and do whatever it takes. The best thing you can do IMO is .... nothing. Tell her that the ball is now in her court and that you are ready to help if she needs it. And don't bring up diabetes again. As hard as it might be, doing this is the first step to getting her to take real ownership of the diabetes, and it should improve the relationship too. Good luck. :o

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Jan B

I think Blue Sky has it right.

 

I really feel for you. I was diagnosed at 18 and I had horrible control most of the time until I was 22. Most of the time I lived away from my parents, and from the start, the ball was in my hands. My parents knew that the more they pushed me, the further I would go in the opposite direction. Short of being locked up, I could not have been controlled.

 

Knowing what I know now about good control, health, and consequences, it would be very scary watching a teenager be so careless. The years of transition from child to adult are overwhelming enough without having a chronic disease. Your relationship probably is more important than focusing on the diabetes. And we can all hope and pray that things will fall into place in good time.

 

I also like the counseling suggestion. Helping others is a great way to help yourself. I was a church camp counselor in my early twenties. Then, volunteering at Scottish Rite Children's Hospital was the most beautiful, eye-opening experience I ever had. I learned how diabetes was so minor compared to what some others have to experience.

 

Age 17, then 19 were two of the hardest years of my life. As much as I "hated" my mother back then, I probably would have never made it without her love.

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xMenace

17 was the worst year with our daughter. The up-till-then "perfect child" became a demon from ****. She's almost 19 now and actually comes to visit once in awhile. And she's pleasant! ;)

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alicat61

Hi,

You are caring that is not wrong, evan if your daughter thinks it is at this time. I was diagnosed at 21 and hated my parents mentioning anything about my diabetes and control.

I new it was because they were worried about me,but I wanted to be left to my own deises.

I work with lots of kids and have seen what you are going through happen often. Blue Sky has given you good advice

Just remember you are a good parent

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mortis505
Have always spent a lot of time with our kids and I just can not figure out where we have went so wrong.....

 

Its simple, shes a teenager. But seriously, I also have to agree with BlueSky. Tell her its up to her now. She needs to own this. Just be there for her, with or without the Diabetes being the subject. She'll start to get control of it. She just needs some space from the whole "D" thing for a bit.

 

Counseling is a good idea but save it as a last resort.

 

Of course, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.

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UpNorth

She's a teen, it's as simple as that i think. Teens can snap at anything and for no reason. I can't even imagine what it must be like to have T1 on top of that since i was diagnosed when i was about to turn 19 and was already quite an adult then.

But be there for your daughter. Drag her off to see the doctor if you have to. The advice about counselling is good too. It might do her, and you very good.

High bloodglucose can make people get a shorter fuse too, so that can also be a reason behind your daughters behaviour.

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SueM

Sounds like teenager hormone levels on the loose :eek:

I would drop her endo a note so s/he is forwarned as to what is going on.

I would also sit down and explain to your daughter she isn't the only hormanal teenager in the world and you went through it all too. But.................there are certain standards in the house that you expect and no., 1 is respect for you from her.

Also point out you are funding her pump at great expense and if she isn't going to use it properly then she can go back to injecting. End of story.

I suspect all it will take is an increase in basal to counter act the hormones.

Unless she is using high blood sugars to keep her weight down!

But no you have not done anything wrong. Her rages/unreasonable behaviour are due to high blood sugars.

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lgvincent

I went through the same thing at her age and it lasted several years. I simply thought that if I ignored the diabetes I wouldn't have it. I hope it's just part of growing up and I'd like to say she'll grow out of it like I did but each person is unique so I can't be certain. If she's like me, the harder you push her the more she'll resist and resent it but I do sincerely hope she'll soon come to the realization that she is only harming herself and take control of it soon. It's a hard disease to have to deal with and I'm sure many who developed diabetes at a young age have gone through the same thing. I wish I had an answer for you but I would say don't push too hard because when it happened to me I allowed my control to get even worse. Do you know any adult type 1 diabetics who have gone through the same thing? Maybe they can talk to your daughter. I don't know that it would help but they more than anyone should know what she's going through. I'll be happy to try if you wish but not knowing you you're daughter will probably not respect my opinion. We can talk on the forums in the chat room, she can leave posts here, we can talk by private message, e-mail, even phone if you wish. Just let me know.

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Scrabblechick

Counseling might help, but something BlueSky said made me think. Until now, you've basically managed her diabetes. Which, as a parent, is exactly what you're supposed to do. However, as long as you manage it, or try to, it belongs to you, not to her. Sounds weird, doesn't it? But that's sort of what I think is going on.

 

To that end, I think BlueSky has the right idea. Don't bring it up, ask how she's eating, bolusing or anything. Make it a complete non-issue. I suspect that, after a few months of total do-it-yourself, her attitude will change a little.

 

Good luck!

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fgummett

^^I have to agree. With my son I have tried (and still continue to try) to give him the best information and guidance I can, but at some point he is off on his own and pretty much all I can do at that point, is watch helplessly from the sidelines and be there for him if he needs me. I'm confident (hopeful?) that he will do the right thing and I will continue to be his Father, loving and supporting him unconditionally no matter what, but I can't run his life for him; and in even trying to do so I would be robbing him of the confidence that he needs to do it himself. I think back to the horror (mixed with pride) the first time he climbed the jungle-gym all by himself... he was so little and it was so high! I try to live by this saying, "you can allow your child to climb trees where they may fall and break a leg, or you can stop them from climbing trees and almost certainly break their heart" :)

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Mum

Thank you everyone for you replys. I truly appreciate the posted opinions. So much of this advice makes sense. We do try to hold the reins on her diabetes. She likely resents that the most. I guess butting out of her business is likely the best thing in this case. It may be hard, but I think she is trying to tell us to leave her alone. The relationship is very strained and I really don't want that to happen. She is and always has been very stubborn. Counselling has came up over the years. Her diabetes team has one on staff. She didn't like to visit her and always put up a fuss when we booked her in. I think she just learned what to not bring up and the lady would go away. I finally just didn't book in with her anymore. She is scheduled to visit a Adult clinic now and is done with the juvenille clinic. It will be a whole new team. Last year her grades at school fell below the level she needs for the college entrance she required for her choice of career. She was real disappointed in herself and changed her goals. She has always had the same education goals. It was pretty hard on her and I suggested councelling for her education. There are 100's of education choices out there and I wanted her to open her mind on it. She thought that would help her with decisions and I hoped somewhere through the process she would sort out her anger, but now she doesn't seem to want to do that anymore either. I haven't pushed it, maybe I should. For a while this spring she spent some time trying to get her control under order and we noticed how much happier she seemed. We pointed this out to her and she was so proud of herself. She agreed to feeling better and wanting to. Then she fell back into not looking after it and to this anger point again. I was able to get ahold of her monitor the other day and she has only tested her blood sugar four times in the last month. When we brought it up she was so angry. As far as her friends go, she used to have a very concerned friend, but no longer seems to spend much time with her. Her new friends I am not sure realize the consequences of some of her choices. We happend to find her at a social event drunk one night. Of course we were very scared for her and when we asked the friends how much liquor was consumed by her none of them knew. We told them we only wanted to know so we had some idea what we were dealing with and not one of them would tell. It was frustrating. Later we were told the one sat and drank shot for shot with her in a game. Not sure what any one of them were thinking. We are scared this goes on more than we know, but she has reassured us not, but in the same breath accusses us of showing no trust. Pretty hard, again, to not want to know. We went over the liquor subject at the clinic one time and she had taken a friend with her that day(the one that was always concerned for her health). The clinic was very happy she brought a friend to support her. If only one could keep her in a glass bubble! I'm gonna really work on this minding my own business and see if it will work out.

Thanks again for sharing your time with my problems.

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volleyball

Mum, you've gotten lots of good advice. You may be in a no win situation. You will let her do what she wants and then if complications arise down the road, you will get blamed for not forcing her. If you hold tight, you will considered too controlling.

Freedom and responsibility is something that is very tough to balance.

I would not allow my kids to get tats but piercings and hair color was up to them. They appreciate it now.

Maybe tie her meter readings to some form of support. Start now and continue through college. The quality of her readings determine the extent of support. A good year of readings gets her a new laptop. She stay good and her cellphone gets paid. It's like getting good grades for doing your homework.

The wildest college kids seem to have been the most repressed at home. A more gradual freedom and responsibility is my opinion.

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BlueSky

Usually what happens in these situations is that the teen figures it all out and starts doing what it takes to move forward with their life. It can be a smooth, uneventful process. But there is often some drama involved. And sometimes it takes a dramatic wake up call. The hardest thing in dealing with this as a parent, is stepping back from the situation and letting it take its own course. Because, ultimately, this is all you can do.

 

Obviously, you need to be there to pick up the pieces if necessary. And look out for signs of depression. They can be very hard to see in a teen. We had a couple of suicide attempts, and we didn't see them coming. Both of them involved massive insulin overdosing, which was kind of ironic. Fortunately, they were unsuccessful. But they provided the wakeup call that was needed to get things back on track.

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KCP

I will say that she is lucky to have you caring for her well being!

But i will say, after having just been through my 'teen' years myself very very recently, that she needs to do this herself.

I drank, I didnt test, i didnt look after myself either.

I didnt even see a D team for two whole years!

So, between the ages of 16-22 I had very little care in the way of D. I moved out of home and had to look after myself in every respect. I did get my life under control by the time i hit 18, but for some reason my diabetes came very last and it wasnt until 6 months before my wedding (i was 22, i am now 24) that i realised i wanted to take care of it so my husband and i could plan a family.

And thats just what i did. I called my old specialist and made an appointment. He was more then happy to fit me in! I changed from pre mixed insulin to novo rapid and protophane and took control for my health!

I got my A1c down from 13.6 to today:6.8.

 

I had to realise that there was no magic formula for getting it under control, and no one was going to be able to help me with it, i had to want it myself.

 

My advice probably wont help, but I just want you to know, that just keep caring for her but let her take control for her choices and actions cos its the only way she will learn.

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rocky

I think what everyone has already said is great advise. Being someone who just came out of the stage your daughter is currently in a couple years ago, I must say it never helped to be nagged. Everything you are saying about her matches exactly how I felt. My mom would ask me what my BS was and I would just be furious, mostly because it wasn't good, or I hadn't tested because I didn't want to know how high it was. I was diagnosed when I was 12 and I was lucky enough to be honeymooing for a good 4 years, my mom took very great care of me and always had the majority of the diabetes responsibility, but as soon as I turned 17 and I was no longer going to my appointments in the pediatric ward at the hospital every 3 months and I took responsibility away from my parents AND was coming out of my honeymoon I was very much overwhelmed, so I tried to just not care about it. Having diabetes is hard work, it's unpredictable and even when you are diligent it can go crazy. It's hard to accept and keep at it but it's something she needs to realize she has control over. As soon as she gets to realizing that this will be with her the rest of her life and it will only help her to take care of it, help from you won't make a difference. I went through 3 different endos before I found the one I am with today and I love him, he's the right fit for the care I need. I think finding the right endo is key! Something that really turned me around and changed my mind about taking better care of myself was coming to these forums and reading about how everyone else goes through tough times and how important it is to have good control. I don't know if I am making any sence but just wanted to let you know that, I imagine, a vast majority if not all Type 1 teenagers go through the stage of not caring, and get past it! I'm living proof! My A1c was well into the double digits at my worst and as I continue to better my care over the past years I have improved it to 7.4% which I am very proud of. :D Hang in there.

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mell1682

After reading this, I want to call my mother and apologize for being such a hassle as a teen. I was bad to her when it came to my diabetes. I don't know of any advice I can offer but I can say that she will outgrow this. The big thing I wish I knew when I was that crazy 17 yr old is that what I did then would affect me for the rest of my life. Not all in a bad way, but not all good either. I agree with everyone saying to go to a counselor but it might be something that further angers your daughter. My mom tried it with me, and it was awful what I did. I was going as far as cancelling appointments behind my moms back and I was just plain mean. I was trying to live without my diabetes and it didn't work well for me. I wish you all the luck in the world with your daughter. You did nothing wrong...sometimes kids lash out at those they love the most.

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jcrome04

I went through that same phase of not really caring. I wouldn't go as far as to call it denial, since I KNEW I was diabetic, I was just young and healthy and didn't really care. Now thankfully things are back on track!

 

I wouldn't take it personally (easier said than done right) Its just a phase of life, especially for teens!

 

Maybe she needs someone in her age range to just chat with about it?? Someone that's "been there, done that" kind of thing...

 

If that sounds ok to you... I know I would have loved to have someone to relate to and talk with a few years ago! Send me a PM if it's cool and we'll exchange some info, messenger names or something..

 

Hope all goes well.

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