Parents ask, "What do I do? My child won't take care of himself."
This page is for parents and caregivers of type 1 diabetics. I have received so many emails from mothers, grandparents and guardians that say basically this: “My young child (12 and under) won’t take care of himself, he lies about it to his teacher and to me. I want him to have a normal life but I don’t know how to help him; I don’t want him to hate me, what do I do?”
Of course most parents are asking, ‘what advice do you have for my child?’ That is not a bad thing but it needs something else, like “what can I do for my child?
Not just what can I tell them to do, but what can I do to help them. This is an important question because you are the key to your child taking care of their diabetes!
Wow, I’ll bet you weren’t expecting to hear that eh? Believe it or not, your child wants your help whether they show it or not. I have told many mothers asking this question that I was not a “perfect patient” with my mother either. I did try to take care of myself, and I did try to learn, but my mother and I didn’t always see eye to eye.
A lot of times I felt kind of torn, because I wanted my parent's help but I felt like I couldn’t explain to them my reasons for different things I did with my diabetes. I felt like it was my life, my disease, and I knew how to take care of it. I thought I knew more than they did about diabetes, which in some cases was true, but I came realize, it was not worth fighting about.
My mother was concerned about my health yes, and that is why she kept at it and kept bugging me about testing and writing down my blood sugars etc. Not to mention, she watched the time as closely as I did, if not more closely, to see when I needed to test my blood sugar again.
She got up with me at 2am to test my blood sugars and sometimes multiple times during the night. There were many times when my dad also got up with me during the night to test my blood sugar.
My parents love me, and I can see that through all the tough times we had together, learning together, and doing together.
Together is the key word guys! Together!
Working together makes the “patient,” so to speak, feel like they are not alone. It makes them not feel like you are just handing it all to them and letting them take care of it. It makes them feel like you aren’t just standing back and saying, “okay, here you go, it’s your life, you know what to do, do it!” It makes them feel like you are involved in their life!
It also helps them to see that you truly do love them and care for them. Yes, it’s going to take a lot of hard work and a lot of perseverance but if you don’t want to see your child die than you will do it.
I have told a lot of people, “so what! So your child hates you because you are involved with their diabetes. Do you think your child is going to hate you the rest of their life? Sure, if this is their last day. If you don’t risk their anger to save their life than I wonder how much you really care.”
Now I’m not pointing in your face and saying, “you don’t love your child! You care only for yourself.” No, that’s not it at all, but if you don’t look at it in this light than you may never realize just how precious your child is to you!
You are risking your child’s life by not being involved! I hope this is clear and easy to understand because I want to save as many lives as I can! Your child will thank you in the end for your involvement!
If parents are not involved and your child goes on living as if they don’t have diabetes than one of two things could happen.
ONE: They could live for a while and then start having problems with their kidneys, heart, nervous system, blindness etc.
TWO: They could die tomorrow because they were too high and had Ketoacidosis, or they were too low and went into a coma and died.
It is very easy to pass out in your sleep and go into a coma because you are too low and haven‘t been taking care of your diabetes. I have not been in a coma because I take care of my diabetes, but I have been low in the morning and just a couple of days ago I heard from a diabetic friend that their blood sugar was so low that when they woke up they were in the critical stage, just about ready to pass out!
I have also been so high to the point of almost going into the hospital. I woke up and my blood sugar was high, I had a headache and a really bad stomachache. I threw up multiple times that day and it took me two and a half days to lower my blood sugars and get rid of the Ketones in my body.
This is SERIOUS!
If you don’t believe me now I don’t know what it will take to convince you!
So, this page, I guess, is for both parents and caregivers, and diabetics alike! It is important to take care of your diabetes!
Parents, it is important to help them! Be involved! Give them shots if you need to instead of leaving it up to them. Wear an insulin pump patch for a couple days with your child, my sister did! Test your blood sugar too, and compare! Believe me, it helps!
My family is involved in my life and my diabetes, and encouraging me to keep up with it. Together is the key word people! TOGETHER!
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