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Tanya Kurtz

Parent of a newly diagnoised type 1 diabetic

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Tanya Kurtz

Hi My name is Tanya and My son Mack was diagnosed at the end of last march as being a type 1 diabetic. Since his diagnosis he is acting out and I understand that hes angry, confused and just plain old mad but hes becoming belligerent, physically and verbally abusive towards his sisters, father and myself. hes getting into altercations at school won't participate in  things at home, has started smoking pot and hes only 12, he will be 13 in April. I'm at a total loss we have taken his phone away, grounded him etc... he just simply does not care. He will "punish" us by not eating a meal. He sneaks out when we are asleep and doesn't bother to take his kit in case he needs to check himself. I am at a lose I just do not know what to do for him, I'm ready to send him to military school. I am hoping I can find a pen pal for him of some sort...someone whos been there done that and perhaps  understands his struggles.

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meyery2k

Tanya - Welcome!  You will get some good practical advice from people that have been there.  Being a teen is tough enough without diabetes on top of it.  As other posters see this, I am sure you will get some replies. ~ Mike

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JohnSchroeder

I don't know how much I can help here really... but I do know that when my blood sugar is too high and even when its low... I can be short-tempered and a bit anti-social.

 

You might see if he would be interested in going to Camp Sweeney, which is a summer camp for T1 kids.   His current behavioral issues might give you pause, but this might be a great experience.

https://www.campsweeney.org/

 

 

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meyery2k

@JohnSchroeder brings up an excellent point.  High or low glucose can affect mood.  I remember before I was diagnosed that my thinking didn't seem as clear as it is now and I would be pretty irritable.  I mellowed considerably when I got my glucose to normal.  Diabetes messes with you in so many ways.

 

 

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JohnSchroeder

Pulled this from their website.  Impressive.

 

The impact of Camp Sweeney goes far beyond the summer. After just one session at camp, many campers see substantial improvements in their diabetic control. There were 121 campers who attended Camp Sweeney in 2016 and 2017 with an initial Hemoglobin A1c of 8.9 or above. One year after attending camp, their HgA1c had improved by an average of 1.4.

Screen-Shot-2017-11-24-at-12.03.34-PM-10

Though the impact on a HgA1c is invisible to most, the change in a camper after a session at Camp Sweeney is impossible not to notice. Campers leave with a renewed sense of strength, self-worth, and determination, secure in the knowledge that they have the inner resources they need to live life to the fullest.

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Tanya Kurtz

Thank-you everyone, we have had no issues with keeping his blood sugars within range...haven't had a high since he was diagnosed and he might have a low once a month. Hes always within 4-8 and if he is low its typically a 3.9. we eat very healthy and did long before he became a diabetic. He has no interest in camp but I'm sending him anyway there is a family one in May and his father and I have decided that we are all going. WE live in an isolated area and I am having a hard time finding someone to connect with him and share their story so that he understands that what he is feeling is completely normal and that this too shall pass and he will be able to live with being a type 1 diabetic.

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adiantum

Hi Tanya, my heart goes out to you and Mack and I'm so very pleased that you have joined us here.

 

A BG of 7 or 8 is very high  which might be  a contributing factor.

 

Google the foods you consume and see if those are high in carbs.

I thought I was eating healthy  when a vegetarian.

Then I adopted the recommended  food pyramid  which is toxic to a diabetic as its extremely high in carbs.

Type1 or type2, we all have to watch our carb intake.

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Fraser

Tanya this may not help, but if your son likes sports there are events created by a type 1 who was a semi pro base ball player.  He is based out of San Francisco, but i am told he holds events else where.  He just loves sports, and from his stories let's say he would understand you son being rebellious.  

Fraser

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Tanya Kurtz

thank-you, Mack typically stays under 7 always tests at 4.5 or 5.5 within that anyway, we eat a high protein diet with lots of greens, he has typically a sandwich daily and that usually the only carb.... we have always limited our carbs even before he was a diabetic.  He plays basketball and is now in jujitsu so hes active, I'm just worried that if we don't get his behaviour under control now we will be in for a really out of control teen. This could be just his road as far as being a preteen I'm not sure... he sees the school counsellor once a week and we are looking at some outside counsellors as well. we do our best to be open and honest with him and just ask him to be honest in return. Mack is 1 of seven so hes not my first rodeo

in this teenage thing lol

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meyery2k

I was a bit of a troublesome pre-teen and teen.  My parents were mostly patient and would constantly stress that I knew how to behave and would always expect it.  I was diagnosed as "hyperactive" and was taking Ritalin when I was younger.  During grades 7, 8, and 9 I performed poorly in school and hung out with a rough crowd (stoners and the like) in an effort to try and fit in.  I never was brave enough to break the law but I was mouthy and disrespectful.  My grades were horrible.

 

In 5th grade I had to visit Ms. Horne once a week (counselor) and she helped me learn self-control and how to deal with my feelings.  I look back and realize how much help she provided.  I had impulse control problems all through school until about grade 10.

 

Grade 10 and something changed.  I decided to hang with a crowd that was motivated by more intellectual activities and everything else seemed to improve.  We would get in trouble for playing cards from time to time but at least that activity would stimulate the mind.  My parents, seeing the change, rewarded me with increased responsibilities and trust which was much appreciated.  By my senior year I nearly pulled straight A's.

 

Mack might just well have to take a rougher path to find his center but with love and discipline, he will likely pull through.  It is great that he is in sports.  That helps teach discipline and teamwork.

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Tanya Kurtz

Thank-you meyery2k, I'm kind of looking for someone Mack can go to when he has questions...not a doctor not a counsellor but an actual diabetic someone who was diagnosed around his age and has some advice and to let him know its going to be ok.

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Delphinus

 

 Hi Tanya, I have a bit of a unique perspective. I am a T1 diabetic, my father is, his mom was and my daughter is. We're keeping it in the family! :D

 

 This may sound odd but this may be the best thing that has happened to your son. He will learn so much about nutrition if he is pro active about it, and will learn about insulin, carbs, fiber and whatnot. It is overwhelming at first of course but in time everything will settle down and Mack will ultimately become a D master.

 

 In the end, your son is going to know more about diabetes than your family doctor. They aren't specialists and even endo's will never know as much as a diabetic unless they have it themselves.

 

 Not sure if they have been recommended but two books that are MUST reads are Think Like a Pancreas by Dr. Gary Scheiner and Using Insulin by John Walsh. The first book is written in very to understand non technical language and is rather humorous in some parts. The second book is more of a technical manual. Both of these books are very valuable. Buy them, treasure them.

 

Welcome to the world of the 'beetus!

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momg3

@Tanya Kurtz I was just reading your post and it actually made me cry.  My 14 year old son was just diagnosed on Valentine's Day.  He is an amazing kid, funny, caring, and he and I are very close.  Out of my three children, he is the most like me.  Since his diagnosis, when he is angry, he tends to take it out on me. He has good days where he is compliant and the school nurses say how great he is and responsible etc., but at home he won't look at his Dexcom and we have to tell him when he is extremely high.  When his father and I are "bothering" him, he ignores us or is almost belligerant.  He would never go to a camp for T1D, although I think it would be amazing for him.  I grew up with a T1D father who is now 74 and has had diabetes since he was 17. I am still not completely over my son's diagnosis, as crazy as it sounds.  When he was first diagnosed, people would ask me how he was doing or how we were all doing, and I told my husband it was like I was running for office as I projected this "we totally got this" attitude and everyone thought we were just amazing....I just wonder when he will stop being angry or start caring about himself more.  When my kids are not behaving typically they lose privledges, but with him, I always feel like he is so sad and angry, I am almost afraid of what he will do if he is punished.  Anyway, as you can see, things are not great, every day is not bad, but the amount of work we have to do on a daily basis being parents of a T1D teen is overwhelming.  I still get up every night and make sure his BS is  ok, as I am so scared of what could happen, as I have been around my dad when he has had extrememly low BS and it is so incredibly frightening.  Anyway, I feel for every parent out there who has a child with diabetes.  

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