Daughter with uncontrolled diabetes advice

My daughter was dx with type 1 diabetes when she was 12. She just turned 18. We live outside of Cleveland Ohio. This journey has been a roller coaster to say the least. She has very poor sugar control. Last A1C was 10.4. Getting her to check her sugar and take insulin is always a fight. She took her self off the pump because she says she is tired of it and went back to the pens. She won’t seek counseling either. Honestly I am to the point where I am done fighting with her. She gets angry if I bring it up or if I ask her if she checked her sugar and took insulin. Honestly I am surprised she has not landed into a coma from the amount of highs she gets. She already has neuropathy, it scares me everyday the road she is choosing to take. Even talking to her doctors does not scare her. Is this a somewhat normal teen behavior and is moodiness a part of consent high blood sugars? I have have been told to let her figure it out on her own, and not to nag her about it but it’s hard. Earlier when she left for work, I asked if she had her meter. She told me I am so annoying and I just need to shut up about her diabetes and her meter. It’s hard not to say Anything.

Hi there. I am so sorry you are going through some tough times with your daughter. I have a 17 year old son who (diagnosed 1 year ago) who is also having some issues right now. I think they just get tired of dealing with it all the time. It’s such a challenging disease and it changes every single day. But I wouldn’t give up on her yet. I think that kids are very resilient, and even though she is already having some health issues because of high blood sugars at least she is still giving insulin when she needs too. It sounds like she might be rebelling against the disease and life and all the stuff that goes on when someone is 18.

One thing that was suggested to us was to do family counseling. Since the disease affects everyone in the family it’s often a safe place for people to vent frustrations and tell how they are really feeling. And maybe if she goes to family counseling she will realize she has a lot of grief and anger to work through and might want to do some individual counseling. She must be really scared and sad and angry and all of that to be rebelling in such a hard way. Do your best to try and keep as level headed as you can, take your fear and anger out of it and just be there for. Good luck and please let us know how things go.

Thanks. She actually goes to see her Endo tomorrow. She has refused therapy before. It might be worth another shot. Thou. Thanks for your reply

Hello. I’m sorry for your unpleasant situation. It does sound like she’s feeling depressed and alone. T1D is really terribly isolating sometimes.

Perhaps being around some good role models (if you can get her to meet them!) would help. Having a friend her age who actually checks bg and deals with the disease might rub off. In the least, it’s always nice to have someone to moan to about the bummers of T1D. JDRF is a good place to start.

Hi, sorry for what you and your daughter are going through…I’ve been there. I was diagnosed at 16, which is good from the standpoint of at least I could understand the concepts and numbers better than a little kid, but worse in a sense because I just wanted to be normal and go out with friends and eat what I wanted. My mom, unlike you, was very uninvolved. She just kept saying I was a “smart kid” and would figure things out, but she didn’t learn much of anything about it. I went on like this through high school and college, and thankfully only had one DKA episode during that time when I had the flu that got out of control. That woke me up to a point, but it was still several years before I really “got it” that I had a disease that needed to be taken care of.

I don’t think we give nearly enough attention to the myriad of mental health issues that come from this disease. Wanting to be normal and eat normally, wanting to stay slender (diabulimia), not having strong math skills, erratic schedules, depression…any or all of these things severely impact BG control. I found working with a Certified Diabetes Educator VERY helpful. You can get a referral from your endo. They can meet with her for an hour at a time for multiple sessions, and they are far more understanding than most endos about the difficulties of being a young person with Type 1. I hope she gives it a try.

hi @Mbweisse911,

10.4 is not 14, there is always something to be thankful for.

depression and burnout are common with anyone dealing with a lifelong chronic disease. There’s a book “Diabetes Burnout What to do When You Can’t Take it Anymore” which I found to be a good start to getting into the issues.

When I was 18, I was immortal and the smartest person to ever have diabetes. I was also deeply angry with my friends, my parents, my doctors, and that guy on TV who doesn’t have diabetes either. I was most angry with myself, and for want of a better description, I wanted to die but was afraid to die. No one could have gotten me to go to therapy.

She hears you. She hears you when she decides not to check. She remembers what you’ve always said - it’s in there but she is either too angry or too afraid to do anything about it right now. Fighting and arguments also have a special psychology: if you feel bad about yourself, you can engineer arguments and then when the people you most love are screaming at you it can reinforce your bad self esteem. it’s one way to stay stuck in the cycle. The important take-away is that you are playing a role in this and for the sake of your own sanity you have to learn about it so you can eventually stop starring in this drama.

eventually she will want to take care of herself - not because you’ve told her to but because it’s the right thing to do for someone who cares about themselves.

I feel for you, doing nothing is harder than nagging and arguing. letting her make her decisions, and then process the outcomes that she chooses, has got to be the hardest job you’ll ever have to do as a parent. You can’t be there for her forever, you can’t stop her, all you can do is prepare her, be am emotional rock, and lead by example (how happy are you - do you take care of yourself - are you open and honest, etc.) good luck. we can be here for you as well.

Thank you. She went to Endo today and she agreed to she a psychologist. We will see if she makes the call.