Hi, my son jacob is responsible about his D and struggles more with the emotional side of dealing with D. His biggest issue is being different and he has trouble sharing anything about his D with his friends. I think most of this is personality and age related, he is 14. I just feel so bad when I can't seem to find the right words to make him feel better. I think when anything is bothering him his D comes into it as part of a downward spirial. He is not "depressed" just expressing sadness, and my lame I know how you feel,I am here for you, you have this and that going for you ect. only makes him feel worse. Any good ideas on how to help? If I let him be he ussually comes around, I guess this is all part of growing up and dealing with all kinds of emotions, but when D seems to be the biggest player in his angst of course I feel bad and want to help. One major trigger is when he has to change his omnipod, it is a hastle it hurts and it reminds him of how dependent he is on his pump I guess. Oh and despite my suggestions he is not interested in joining tu, he wants to treat and pretend he is "normal". I would appreciate any words of wisdom!
Maybe he would like to have a private journal. Lots of times, it is hard to talk to someone else about things, but talking to yourself through a private journal can help you deal with stuff. It could either be an electronic journal or a paper one. I like electronic forms since he can employ security to make sure it remains private. It may be helpful to provide "prompts" on what you shoud write about. What were today's successes? What were today's failures? What made today a bummer?
Journals are a fantastic idea, as long as they are his and his alone. I journal a lot and my husband is smart enough to stay away, unless invitd to read.
And have you considered couseling or a kids camp? Knowing you are not the only one was huge for me. My mom sent to camp (ready?) NEEDLEPOINT! As I look back, it was the first and only time I met type 1s until I was in my 40s. Really was nice.
I know I would have loved having a friend whom I actually liked and admired with type 1-diabetes when I was his age. Is there any chance you good hook him up with and older guy (18-20) with type 1? Nothing serious or scheduled, but just someone he could talk to when he feels like it?
Siri has some great advice. A mentor who is also a type one would be a fantastic outlet. Even as an adult I get depressed about what we go through. Thankfully my karate instructor is a type one as well, and that provides a great positive outlet.
Not to doubt the good nature of 14 year old boys, but historically they haven't proven to be the most outwardly supporting environment for people with any type of differences.
If he doesn't like the pod change, I would say a good idea, would be to move his change time to either later at night, or early in the morning.
I grew up with diabetes since I was 7. My dad always used to tell me I had the diet coke or sugar-free ice cream because "I was already sweet enough" haha. Not sure if those types of pep-talks helped me out as an adult because I am not ashamed to talk about my diabetes, but I don't go out of my way to bring it up in conversation - it's just hard for non-diabetics to really empathize or understand what you are going through - it seems I get more sympathy than I want. I do recommend that your son think about going to Diabetes Camp as a camper or a counselor. I loved going, when I was his age I was there the whole summer. I do like coming on here, though, there are lots of good discussions and a very helpful community.
Personally I don't like thinking about myself being "different" because of diabetes. We are all different anyway and that is what each of us individuals. I love Star Trek and in one of the movies Kirk tells Spock's brother that "I need my pain".
Having diabetes is a bummer but from the sounds of it he as already made it part of himself. In time he will learn, at least with that special group of friends, to let them in a little. But do tell him that I said he is different in so many other ways and that makes diabetes no big deal.
But he is a child. So different. I was 10 and it turned my world upside down.
Yes he is a child. But I have met many children who were told their whole life that they were "different". Many felt like they couldn't succeed because they were different. Like I said, different is a good thing but there are many parents that (not pointing fingers mom) that use different as a crutch or as a negative. I met many young men in scouting and in my professional life who are living with that for the rest of their lives. I'm probably a little more sensitive to that word then others are. If I offended any one I am sorry. That was never my intent.
i think your intent is spot on, i do not ever want him to put himself in the different category, i have tried to teach him diabetes is like having brown hair or crooked teeth, it is part of his genetic makeup and he has to deal with it, but it does not define him. i like the one happy diabetic's attidude on here, that he is actually a better, healthier more mindful person because of his D, i think he has a live chat coming up, maybe i can convince jacob to watch it with me, there may have to be some bribary involved but i find him sooo inspiring.....that being said we all know having diabetes is alot more of a burden than having crooked teeth!!
i agree with your line of reasoning and i hope he gets to that place when he is more mature!!
thanks gabby, sorry you had such a bad experience with the omnipod, it was the only pump he would consider and although we have had some issues with it he has been stable on it, his worst fear..it only beeped once during lunch so he pulled that one off without much ado, i think he is hitting the teen glumness stage which i guess all kids go through,i just somehow feel without D he would be less glum, obviously i try to teach him that what we can not change we have to accept, what doesnt kill us makes us stronger all that and he is more mature and responsible than his peers, but any advise coming from me just doesnt go over that well when he is down, just looking for some inspiration from others that have been there. although it would be good for him he so does not want to connect with anyone else with D unless it was just hapenstance. i guess all moms go through this it just stinks to see him unhappy as a mom you want to make it better, i know i can't and shouldnt expect to but i still wish i could!