That’s Not The Point

I try really hard to give my kids ample independence.

We compromise frequently on when I think they should be checking blood sugars and when they think they should be checking blood sugars. I try very hard not to be too needy of a Dmom – in other words I resist the urge to constantly ask “whats your blood sugar” “did you check” “did you dose” “be sure to dose” “please check your blood sugar”. Of course I still ‘ask & tell’ but I assure you not nearly as often as I feel the urge. Sometimes the kids are happy with their freedom, other times they want help, and then there are the times that despite my best attempts at a hands off approach I’m still not hands off enough for my teen.

So here’s a story I want to share.

My daughter would prefer not talk about diabetes to any of the kids at her middle school. She is still trying to figure out who best to be friends with at a new school, tossing in diabetes is both stressful and embarrassing. Thus she went through a few weeks where she simply wasn’t checking her blood sugars unless she felt funky. That wasn’t the original agreement – the deal was 3 blood sugars a day, mid morning, before lunch and before getting on bus to come home. She agreed to that. She didn’t follow through. When I discovered the discrepancies there was an argument. After voices were lowered we worked out a new compromise. By this time my daughter had started on the Dexcom G4 CGM (continuous glucose monitor). The new deal agreed on by both of us was if Dex was within 20 points at breakfast she could avoid the mid-morning check, still check a blood sugar before lunch and if that was within 20 points she could skip the pre-bus check (BTW – her bus ride home is nearly 25 minutes).

She agreed to the new compromise, all was well for another week. Then her sensor came off – that sucked because numbers were spot on but the tape failed. We have not put on a new sensor. Thus she was asked to check BS 3 times a day until we put on a new sensor. For 5 days I have suggested we put on a new sensor. She loves her Dex and misses it but she has been very busy – homework, outings, TV whatever – always I would hear “not this minute, later, I promise”.

So here we are at yesterday. I had packed her a chicken caesar wrap (corn tortilla, caesar dressing, romaine lettuce, roasted chicken). She loved the wrap I sent for lunch and asked for one when she got home. I happily obliged and at the same time showed her how I made it. Before she sat down with her wrap I reminded her to check BS. Ten minutes later I found her making a second wrap, I giggled and simply said well don’t forget to dose for the second one too, glad you enjoy them.

Fast forward a couple of hours – my middle son wanted a haircut. My daughter wanted to ride along so she could get some school supplies from target. My youngest asked if we could get some Five Guys and Fries. All loaded into the van we were off. I had put each of the boys Dbags in my purse. I didn’t ask daughter if she had hers because every time I did ask she replied with “I never leave without it, relax”.

Haircut – check, Five Guys – check for me and boys, daughter wasn’t hungry (she did already eat two wraps) so she just munched on fries. I reminded all kids to dose and headed to Target.

We wandered Target for a bit picking up more than school supplies. Daughter found me to get money for a Starbucks cookie crumble thing. Fine. “be sure to dose”

Lazy evening at home finishing up homework, watching TV and daughter face-timing with friends. Around 9:30 she came down to say goodnight, “goodnight baby – hey check your BS and correct if you need to please”.

Midnight – (well after midnight) after chatting with a new Dmom on FB for sometime I  was finally headed off to bed. Checked Sugarboy – sailing smoothly in the upper 80s, checked Middles also smooth sailing in the low 100s. Went to check daughter – searched high and low (not a pun) for her Dbag while her cat mewed at me. It was no where. Damn. Back downstairs to check counters and couches. Nothing. Out to van to see if it was forgot there. Nope. Back upstairs to check her bathroom and bedroom again – NOTHING. WTH? Back downstairs to look again. Surely it wouldn’t be in her backpack – she has consumed food multiple times since returning home. Still I checked. nope – but wait – she didn’t empty her lunch box, darn it I have to do it because I also realized I hadn’t started the dishwasher and her containers will need washing. Low and Behold – her Dbag. Thus – no blood sugar checks had been done since noon when she ate lunch. No pre-bus check, no pre-wrap check, no pre-fry check, no pre-cookie crumble check, no bedtime check and still not wearing Dexcom.

Back upstairs expecting to find some awful number.

123photo

Nope – 123. Well crap. I mean great, but crap. The 123 means she managed to dose correctly for all her food but without any blood sugars or a CGM.

The ‘123’ is not the point though.

Things could have gone badly.

While never actually lying to me she left me to believe she was doing what needed to be done – did what I asked and reminded her to do.

Dumb luck doesn’t win prizes. 

This morning I mentioned to her how long it took me to find her Dbag at night. She shrugged it off. I didn’t try to make her lie by asking “hey what was your BS last night before bed?” because I don’t have time for those shenanigans. I asked her to please be more diligent and told her there would be no hanging with friends on Friday if she doesn’t do the bare minimum we had agreed to. Luckily she never asked me what her midnight number was even though that’s not the point.

I started this post – crap I don’t know when – sometime last week. It was mostly done just needed to upload a picture and think of some witty ending.

Skip forward (well backward now) to later that day, after school, after homework, after dinner. Her meter was on the counter along with used test strips. I wasn’t being nosey. I just felt like I should check her meter. Her last check was 5:49pm just before dinner – cool. Her check before that – 5:45am – crap. 12 hours AGAIN. No mid morning check, no pre-lunch check, no pre-bus check, no pre-afterschool snack check and no Dexcom. All the rules dismissed despite the soft reminders that very morning.

My quiet questions to her regarding the missing BS checks were not met with humility. Instead I was accused of being too protective, too nosey, too everything.

So how can this turn around?  Do I just wait it out for the next 3 years hoping that my very smart, very kind, very responsible daughter will emerge from the chrysalis of teenage years unscathed and ready to fly?

God I hope so.

In the meantime – Dex is back in business.

About Christina

Mom of 3 kids, all 3 have Type 1 diabetes - I blog to share stories. I am not a medical professional and my thoughts are my own. Please do not make changes to your medical care plan based on my stories - always consult your medical team. Hope you find something in my ramblings helpful and or amusing. You can find me on twitter @momof3T1s and on my Facebook page Stick With It Sugar. May all your dreams forever be bolus worthy.
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19 Responses to That’s Not The Point

  1. Laddie says:

    I was diagnosed as a young adult and give thanks that I didn’t have to deal with diabetes in middle school and high school. I would have been horrible and my mother and I would have fought daily. Or ten time daily. The only consolation I can give you is that if she will check the Dexcom and follow through on never omitting insulin when she eats, she’ll do okay. You/she can do fingersticks and calibrations at home. The Dex is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good. It’s not as though meters are always spot on and it’s a rare T1 who hasn’t bolused for a BG reading that read 250 when it really was 110 on a re-test (of course after the correction bolus!). Good luck!!!!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks Laddie. Im not sure how parents of kids with D manage with the mental drain that D is without all the same support I get from my adult friends with D. I mean honestly before I was emerged in the DOC I was so lost and felt so alone and always felt like I was failing my kids. Then I met adults with D that did all the same stuff as my kids and they turned out fabulous – knowing that these crazy teen years are unlikely to cause damage to my kids helps me focus on all the stuff we get right and sleep more peacefully knowing mistakes can be made without massive repercussions later in life. Dex does help and hopefully with people like Sue fighting for CGMs for those on medicaid everyone will have access to the awesomeness that Dex is.

  2. StephenS says:

    Part of me is saying that if you could somehow make it appear really cool for her to take care of everything in front of people at school/in public/etc., all your problems would be solved. If only it were that easy. Don’t give up– there will definitely be a time when she appreciates the hell out of you for helping her through this.

    • Christina says:

      LOL Stephen – I think the days of making things seem cool are long gone for my girl. Sugarboy embraced that idea when he was diagnosed but he was 2. Having 3 kids diagnosed at different ages has given me a range of experience. I figure Ive got 3 more years (with her at least – hoping the boys are easier). I can do anything if I know there will be an end to it. Thanks for your thoughts and the comment. Hope you are well and enjoying the spring.

  3. Karen Joseph says:

    Oh my heart breaks for your daughter — of course she wants to fit in. I FEEL for you though! When my son turned 13 over the winter, he suddenly started taking what I call “short cuts” by sometimes using the Dexcom to bolus for after school snacks or bolusing for a snack — but then eating more and not hitting the buttons to add another dose of insulin. For nearly 8 years, he followed the “rules” so this has been alarming. Like you, we try to remain cool and calm. This is not the place for a power struggle! I hope your daughter adheres to regular testing — SOON. I know so many others experience difficulties with their teens too. I’ll be staying tuned and hoping things improve — and hoping to hear pearls of wisdom from you and from the comments on your blog! 😉
    PS. I tried to post earlier but think it didn’t go through. If you see it, please delete one of these comments!

    • Christina says:

      I can promise no pearls of wisdom but likely lots of colorful language. 🙂
      Since she is using Dex I feel better than if she was using a different CGM – (having used both). The accuracy of Dex is unmatched. She too will dose for one amount and then eat more and forget to dose for seconds – all my kids do that occasionally. I don’t punish for forgetfulness as long as they are checking blood sugars as per agreements I am ok with it. Forgetfulness happens and Lord knows it could be worse so many teens (especially girls from my understanding) intentionally don’t dose and that scares me most of all. This too shall pass and I know all three of my cwd will continue to thrive – I know this because of so many adult friends with D that are some of the most amazing, strong, funny, and humble people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. Thank God for them and for parents like you who share my pain and offer words of encouragement and support. Thank you.

  4. Debra says:

    I feel you, at least with the teen thing, not teen-d-thing. My oldest daughter has worn contact lenses since middle school. She worn disposables but they had to be taken out every night then thrown out after 30 days. She would inly take them out when they started bothering her. Her eye dr would tell they weren’t meant to be worn that way he would tell her every time that she could cause permanent damage to her eyes if she kept wearing them that way. Yet she kept doing it no matter how many times we told her she shouldn’t be. I know that’s not the same as diabetes, but seems like all teens act like that.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for the comment Debra – no contact lenses are not the same as Diabetes but I appreciate your words. My middle son has worn 30 day disposables since the end of 3rd grade. Luckily he has not considered leaving them in overnight. Sure hope he doesn’t start. I think since it is now a routine – remove contacts, brush teeth, shower each night he will continue to do as needed. regardless that D and contacts are not the same – teens and responsibilities regarding health are. We can only do so much to teach them best practices and hope that any deviation will be short lived. I hope your daughters eyes remain healthy and beautiful despite the awkward teen years. Again thanks Debra for sharing.

  5. Elisheva says:

    I said this before but I love your writing style. I feel your frustration and don’t really know what to say other than that being a teenager is hard and being a teenager with a chronic condition is harder. That stage is all about becoming independent from parents and fitting in with peers. That doesn’t go well with disease management, which kids tend to associate with their parents forcing them to do things. Remember its a stage and she’ll get over it. It took me a couple years (my asthma control was pretty rocky from ages 12 to 14) but I got over it. She needs to see her diabetes as hers and understand that taking care of it benefits her alone. Being responsible about it will allow her to be more independent. I think I’m just rambling now. Am I coherent? I need to go to sleep.

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for the compliment. I write like I talk and talk like I think with very few filters.
      Thanks for the thoughts I am sure teens with D are very similar to teens with any chronic disease. I just keep telling myself I have 3 more years. Well with her at least. I love your ramblings – hope you got some sleep. בריאות טובה (teehee google translate) God I hope that says “good health”

  6. Scott E says:

    This is just a teen being a teen, and perhaps a teen rebelling against authority. (Not saying that you are being too authoritative, I’m just saying that it’s how it works).

    I still remember an incident- years ago- where I had lied to my father about testing my blood sugar, and got caught in the lie. He asked me “did I test”, and “really? promise?” (there was no memories in the one available meter at the time), and after saying yes, he showed me the lancer device that he had – and I didn’t.

    I lied and said I pricked my finger manually.

    Then he showed me the meter which I didn’t have in my possession.

    I lied and said that I realized I didn’t have it, so I matched the colors on the strip to the side of the vial (as was done at the time).

    He asked how I came up with a number like “138” (or whatever it was), when the increments on the vial were 60-80-120-180-240-300. I told him it was between 120 and 180, but was afraid of being scolded for not having my meter, so I picked a number in between that seemed like it came digitally.

    Then, I remember this clearly because of its awkwardness, he gave me an unfamiliar look and extended his right hand. Not quite understanding what it was for, I extended my right hand to his and shook it.

    I have no idea what that handshake was about. Was he congratulating me on my brilliant workarounds in the absence of my supplies? Was he asking me (and I accept) to give my word through that handshake that everything I said was 100% true (as far-fetched as it was)? Was it a gesture to say our relationship was friendly and that I could be honest with him – no matter what?

    Twenty-some years later, I still have no idea what that handshake was all about. But it was unexpected and awkward, and for that reason it stuck in my mind, and I remember the day I shamefully lied to my dad about testing my blood sugar. And I know that I don’t want that feeling again.

    My point is — well, I’m not sure — but (a) your daughter will outgrow the rebelliousness and let the responsibility shine through; and (b) if you find a way for her to see that being honest is about the relationship between her and you (who she loves), not the relationship between her and diabetes (which she doesn’t love), maybe she’ll see things differently.

    Things will work out in the end, I’m sure.

  7. Karen says:

    I was exactly the same way when I was a teen. Honestly, I’m not sure what my parents could have done or said to make me do what I was supposed to do. I really do wish I had some great advice and answers for you, but I don’t. All I can say is that I was there too. I get where she is, but I also get where you are. And I’m sending love to you both!!

  8. Deanba says:

    I dread the day my girls are teenagers! My D-girls are 8 & almost 2. It really does help to have the D online community! I don’t know how previous generations survived… Thanks for sharing your stories 🙂

    • Christina says:

      Sometimes I think previous generations had the same issues we have – they had different issues. The newer technology does a lot for us and our kids but also brings diabetes to the surface more often – many of my adult FWD (friends with diabetes) spent much of their childhoods and adolescents with diabetes as an afterthought. sometimes I wonder how much easier that might have been and how much harder we make it on ourselves. Then I think of how fortunate we are for better technology and opportunities to know more.

  9. Briley says:

    I feel for both of you here. As the now adult, I completely understand where you are coming from. As the former kid who couldn’t stand her mom checking everything, I understand her side as well. I wish that meant that I now had some sage advice for you, but I do hope you get through it without getting too mad & frustrated at each other!

    • Christina says:

      Thanks Briley – I know we will be fine – I just keep reminding myself It should only last 2-3 more years – right? Then she will like me again. right?

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