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!
When I was in the teenage hormone stage, my life was hell. (If they bleep that I wrote H**L) It was awful, awful, awful... I do not think hus problem is "glumness"--it is hormones and they are a very powerful beast. Oh and with or without diabetes, all teens at that age are glum!
I advocate that the diabetic control their own fate, but if he is removing omnipods "without much ado" you might have a bigger problem. Oh, and you are his mom, so any advice you give him will be wanting....
I have seen a lot of your posts and I do not mean to be invasive, but have you sought comraderie, assistance, couseling to help you help him? It really might help to find live support groups, chronic disease counselors, etc for you and Jacob. It might (or not) make a huge difference. Might be worth a try?
i think you misinterpreted my change out his pod without much ado, i meant he went to the nurse and handled the situation well without it being a major crisis! i'll have to wait jacob out i think he had a tough academic week at school, his nature is towards introversion with a bit of teenage self consciousness, honestly i hear such awful stories of teens rebeling and not dealing with their D at all i think jacob is in a fairly good place his Aic is in the 7's so he is compliant, i honestly think getting a compassionate girlfriend will really take him out of his shell. as for me i tend to be my own counselor with my yoga thing and like minded friends( that being said noone gets the burden or stress of having a loved one or having diabetes unless they walk the walk, that is why i come here!) i have gone the therapy route and the conselor just wanted to dig for skeletons in my closet that werent there not help me deal with my current situation that had more to do with my husband not my parenting, i expect life to be full of both suffering and joy, i just want to help him more, it things really do not improve i will definitely consider professional help, maybe the school guidance counselor. all in all i am very proud of how jacob handles himself i just feel bad for the angst that not sharing with his friends has caused him. thanks!!!
I can remember my mother trying to be so supportive when I was first diagnosed...all the encouraging words and pep talks...but heres the thing...I was angry and sad and just wanted to be that way...I didnt want to hear "your going to be ok" or "your not different" or any of the other wonderful things that she tried to tell me...There were times that I just wanted to be angry. And I wanted her to be angry with me...it helped me to know that I was not alone in how I was feeling...and your soooo right about it being in part due to his age...trying to process life as a teenager is hard enough, add in D and its a recipe for turmoil...maybe it would help to share your true feelings about it...that your sad that he has to go through this...maybe angry at times as well?? Its hard on the whole family...
I was an angry, sad, moody teen with diabetes, and I think the only thing my parents DIDN'T do, that I would have liked from them, is let me know that they were angry and sad about it, too. My folks are very strong believers in keeping their challenging emotions away from the kids, so while I knew all their tools and techniques for positive thinking about my diabetes, what I didn't know was that they needed those tools to get through the day just as much as I did. When I finally figured that out, as an adult, I wished they had let me in on it sooner. Jacob may not have other people in his life who are having the physical experience of diabetes right now, but you are probably right there with him in the emotional experience of it, and maybe knowing that would help him.
I certainly agree that interacting with other teens with D would be so helpful, but until he decides he wants to do it, there's nothing you can do. That's actually a typical reaction to groups of all kinds; people think they will hate "airing their dirty laundry" but once they get up the nerve to do it they realize how much it helps to be with others who can relate to what you're going through.
So, if there are limited things you can do to help him other than the many things you're already doing, what can you do to help yourself deal with your own frustration, anger, sadness, etc? Find like-minded people! Since I relocated last year to a rural area, I very much miss my Type 1 Women's Support Group. I discovered a group in a nearby town but when I went I discovered it was almost totally oriented to families of (young) Type 1's. As a 64 year old without children it had nothing to offer me, but for you it might be just what you need, other parents to relate to! If you contact the JDRF in your area I'm sure they have lots of parent/family oriented activities.
i think emily coles´ idea is excellent. the emotional isolation is killer in this. when i was diagnosed i complained about it to my mother and she said (brightly), "youll get used to it, soon it will be just like brushing your teeth!" i EXPLODED! it would have been much better to have her say that yes, it sucked big time.
emily that is an interesting idea, i ussually feel like i have to the the its ok cheerleader, he typically says i have no idea how it is because i do not have diabetes, of course he is right but as a parent i am right there with him and would gladly take it on myself. but maybe opening up to him more about the emotions i go through watching him struggle will help, i suspect he is in that selfish teen stage that he owns all the pain if you know what i mean, when he isnt being down about things he is a pretty empathenic kid and thoughtful of my feelings so maybe i will try a bit of that. thanks!
that is awfully thoughtful gabby, if it is not to much trouble and you are willing to do so, i can ask him to watch! i honestly thought participating in tu would be good for him because he could participate as much or as little as he wanted and he would just be jacob in massachusets not jacob in science class! but he is really opposed to is and wants to trudge on pretending he is just like everyone else ( between boluses, pod changes, worrying about what he eats, getting low...you get it!)
I hope this doesn't come off too mean but I can totally understand him not wanting to come to tu. Teenagers don't like their parents talking about them. If he came here he would be defined by all the things you said about him already - he would have no chance to be his own person. This might be different if you hadn't defined yourself through him by using his name and photo.
I wonder if you discuss his diabetes with friends outside the family that he knows. I could see this really bothering him. I think you need to be very sensitive about bringing up his diabetes in public places like when eating out for example. He needs to be the one to expose his diabetes to the public - if you do it for him it could lead to much resentment.
I also think it would help if you changed your name and profile picture to represent yourself and didn't use his name when discussing him - "my son" is all you need to say.
It could take him many many years to come to terms with his diabetes - it did for me. Trying to push it on him could very well make it worse and cause him to rebel even more.
i was not going to respond to this because it rattled me a bit, but since it is still on my mind i will try to clear it out. jacob probably will never come to tu, he is a treat it and forget it live in the moment kind of kid, i am so proud he is sharing about his diabetes with a group of like minded boys at school, i think these boys will be keepers and are honestly not to concerned about his D but ask appropriate questions and like jacob for himself this is the healing he needs. as for me i have never been into social network this was my first endeavor and did it for support for me, sometimes i feel being a parent of a diabetic can be more heart wrenching at times than having the control to deal with it myself in myself. i came to learn, gain support, and along the way i feel like i have supported a lot of other people here. of course i do not talk down to jacob about his D, we will discuss it together if say we are out to dinner or at a family members house, he is getting much more independent and can handle himself in social situations without me. i am very aware of the teenage mind. i am working toward being an available, empowering parent. he does rely on me, we are a team for now and this makes us both comfortable. as far as the idea of me taking his name and picture on here, like i said i have never been a social networker before and saw other parents doing this here, i wanted to come across as a parent of a type 1 this makes it very clear. in anycase, sorry if i took this all a bit personal, it is all close to my heart, i have been wondering if i have been spending to much time on tu and that maybe other activities might serve me better, we will see. amy
I picture the teenage boys sitting around and complaining to each other about their parents' social networking efforts! It sounds like you are doing everything you can to help him figure out how to make the right choices and that's the most important thing!! Hopefully he won't turn out like I did, guessing how much to bolus for more beer at 2:00 AM but, if he hits those spots, making good choices can be very important! Don't apologize at all for taking anything personally, diabetes is a *very* personal disease.