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Diabetes - Type 1 Community
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TYPE 1 DIABETES COMPLICATIONS

I have a 14 year old who has had type 1 diabetes for four years. Her average bs is 241 and her a1c is 13! She is on target only 18% of the time (when she tests) in the past year she has been hospitalized twice for DKA and once for chest pain where they were very concerned about her kidneys.She is on intensive insulin management but does not record carbs or insulin administered. She does not think she will get complications. Is there an impartal third party who can WAKE HER UP!
5 Responses
Avatar universal
I'm a type 1, diagnosed at 3. I was the same way and now I have a ton of very serious problems. When I was that age I wasn't thinking about my future, I was imagining it, so when someone told me I would have complications if I didn't take care of myself, I ignored them simply because that's not how I saw things playing out. I wasn't feeling any immediate physical consequences and wasn't mature enough to understand that most, if not all my emotional problems were due to my high blood sugars.

I'm sorry to say, but I don't think anything would have woken me up. But to often I hear parents wondering how they can convince their children to check their blood and do their injections, while watching them waste away and destroy their lives. Talk to her, of course, but you are her parent, use your authority, stand over her and watch her check her blood, look at what she eats, keep her home if she can't control herself while she's out. This is something that once you learn the lesson, it's to late. If she was taking pills everyday that slowly killed off her body, would you tell her to stop or stop her yourself?
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed type 1 diabetes at 11.  From the moment I was diagnosed, I remember hearing about how diabetics with poor control were at risk of amputations and blindness later in life. That was enough to inspire me to never become one of those people.  I have had diabetes for 20 yrs with no complications, I also had 3 very healthy (and small - all under 7lb) babies.  I did have a few years in my teens where I was in a little bit of denial so I probably let myself go a bit, but I've never had a Hba1c over 9.2.  
I could imagine how hard it is to watch your daughter do this to herself, I guess it's like when teenagers smoke, they assume they'll never have the adverse effects themselves.  I would suggest boosting her self-esteem as much as you can rather than nagging her about controlling her diabetes better.  Fill her with praise as much as possible, let her know how loved and valued she is as your daughter and as a person.  If she starts to love herself, then she'll want to look after herself.  
If you ever want to get in touch with me personally to discuss this further, let me know, I'd be happy to try and help.
Avatar universal
I have 2 daughters w/ typ1. the 1st, diagnosed at 10yr.old has POOR control w/ a1c ranging from 9.8 -14.6. she is now 15 and still noncompliant despite all the realities i have spelled out toher. she is intelligent, stubborn,10ft tall and bullitt proof. her older siste, diagnosed at 17 this past feb. is her polar opposite, and does all the right things.
ithink all you can do is monitor her sugars, like put up a log sheet on fridge where she posts all daily blood sugars ( and check her glucometer periodically to see if she's fudging). give her varied snacks like nuts, popcorn etc and have her demonstrate how she measures portions and calculates insulin dosage. It is a thankless job now but as the reinforcement is important. they are still children in their sense of reality.
also as the reader above suggests, lots of hugs (i know teens and hugs) positve feedback and praise will help them be more open. hang in there mom, remember they are in Gods hands too.
Avatar universal
addendum,like any thing else when a kid is not compliant of what is expected-- give choices and consequences,and be consistent. another thought is to find an online or community JD support group she can participate in and make her give it say 6 visits, she will learn about her disease and hopefully connect w/ otheres in a positive way.
Avatar universal
I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 13 - the worst possible time EVER in my opinion! My body was changing and awkward, and for the first time foreign to me - and then it betrayed me by making me sick! I wanted to be popular and "normal" - a cheerleader, a straight-A student, a rebel... For a long time I tried to hide the diabetes and injections from friends, never checking my blood sugar in public, being accused of having an eating disorder for going to the bathroom every time I ate (to give shots), so that by the time I reached high school most people didn't know I was diabetic at all (including teachers and gym coaches). Unlike jbs359, I do NOT recommend checking your daughter's glucometer! Or if you do, make sure she has either agreed to let you look at it or is blissfully unaware. I eventually ended up hiding mine from my mom because it felt like an invasion of my privacy every time she asked me about my levels or "stole" my glucometer.

A lot of what your daughter may be going through could be a reaction to her condition and the perceived social stigma she might have about it. But she might also be flat out terrified and having a difficult time adjusting to it. I have had Type 1 for 15 years and it has only been in the last 3 that I have felt comfortable talking about it with friends.

I recommend lots of positive reinforcement, and counseling with a specialist who has experience specifically with people with Type 1 - otherwise they will misdiagnose and probably treat her as any other "wayward" teenager. That, and try buying her a couple of autobiographies by people with Type 1 - the first one I read was "Needles" by Andie Dominick (http://www.amazon.com/Needles-Memoir-Growing-Up-Diabetes/dp/0684856549/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1223594027&sr=8-2) and it was the first time I'd ever discovered that the difficulty I had with being diabetic is not just my own.

Best of luck!
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