I am a single parent who suffers from nightime lows. I live in constant fear of not waking up. I have been lucky. I always feel it and do wake up, but that doesn't mean that this will always be the case. My son is ten, almost eleven. He lives with me all the time. Is it unreasonable to think that a ten year old will be able to pick up the phone and call 911 if he suddenly finds his mother unconscious? Have any of you prepared your children on what to do should an emergency arrive? I just do not want to add to my son's anexiety. We recently have been abandoned by his father, and I know that he is deeply afraid of losing his mother too. But reality is reality and not preparing him would be equally detrimental to his wellbeing as well.

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Hi Dee Dee--same deal here, only my daughter is four. I'm trying to teach her how to use the phone, but it seems so much less than an ideal solution. She shouldn't have to worry about this at her age.
Hi Andrea and Dee Dee,

I have twin six year old girls, and too am a single mother. I have only recently decided to gain better control of my diabetes (I've been on insulin for 27 years). We had this discussion today. I had to treat a low, and while the three of us sat at the kitchen table eating skittles, we talked about what could happen if I didn't treat my low. Then we talked about what they could do to help if I needed it. (call for help, or if they couldn't remember how to call, get a neighbor we trust etc.)

I am always very honest with my girls, so this conversation didn't scare them, it was just another "fact" mama was teaching. They had also just finished a fire safety and 9-1-1 lesson at school, so it was easy to relate to that.

It is scary, and no a child should not need to be responsible for their mother, nor have these worries. BUT we should never had to have dealt with this disease either. it is the nature of the beast we call diabetes. That being said, we also have a responsibility to our children to keep them safe, and be there for them. Even if this means they need to help us out a bit to be there.

What if we do need their help one night, but we haven't taught them. What good are we to them then?

OK, sorry about all that, I realize I was lecturing myself a bit there too! I hope I gave you some ideas! We CAN and we WILL make it as parents, while single, with this disease!

Wow. That is so scary! But I definitely think a ten year old can handle the responsibility of learning how to dial 911. I wrote a post on my blog, www.alsmercer.wordpress.com a while back about an Ellen Degeneres show that featured a mother with diabetes and her daughter who saved her mother from crashing the car b/c her blood sugar was low. The story irritated me of course b/c they made the mother look so helpless, but the girl was younger than 15 and proud of what she'd done. I have a 6year old and a 3 year old and I know they are proud when I ask them for help. You don't want to have to set your alarm to go off at 3am for the rest of your life...ask for help!
hey there, this is such a tough part of being a parent w/d!

At 10, yes, he's old enough to be taught/practicing 911 (they say that kids as young as 4 or 5 can do it, and younger kids have).

My husband travels, so I have nights alone with my guys and they've been taught 911, we have a list of phone numbers to call for help (neighbors mostly), and when they were younger I put pictures of the people on the phone list next to their speed dial number.

A 'low box' is also a good idea - a set of reaction supplies that are easily grabbed and otherwise off limits. That way, if there's an emergency, he doesn't have to worry about finding supplies or pouring/carrying juice.

I think emphasizing that lows can be scary but are treatable and that help (neighbors or emergency responders) is always available is a good idea.
You know what else is interesting, I just answered a survey on diaTribe (a diabetes website I think created by james Hirsh, author of "Cheating Destiny", great book!) and in the survey they were asking questions about 2 new tools for diabetics, (what would we prefer basically) one is similar to a mini pump that you attach each night and the other is similar to a shot that you give before bedtime and the purpose is to stabalize blood sugars, to prevent hypoglycemic occurances. So, yet another tool to keep us up and running, but it sounds like it would be helpful to someone like you Dee Dee!
And I like the "low box" Kassie, good tip!
Hi there Dee Dee,
I too am/was a single parent..my daughter is now 21. I can't tell you how many times she was my hero. She learned very young how to help Mom with a low. I had a number of hypos at night as well. I remember waking up one night and my bedside lamp was on and she was laying next to me and said "mom, can I have that last piece of candy you didn't eat". Bless her, she had heard me hypoing and came in gave me sugar. I think she was about 5 years old. I of course always feel this horrible guilt that no child should have to have that worry. She assures me now that it was ok, it was just a part of our lives. She also knew how to dial for emergenices if need be. Kids are amazing and darn adaptable. Take care and just be honest with him.

Hi Dee Dee, I think your son might feel better if he knows that he can call for help when your low. I think it would make him feel better to know exactly what you need for him to do. My daughter had to call 911 when she was 5. She tried to call her dad at work, but could not get through. She told the operater that I am diabetic and that she tried to give me juice, but I could not drink it. She then asked her to call my husband at his fire station to ask him to come home. She also told her that her baby brother, then 2, wanted to talk to her, and all he would say is" mommy needs sugar". My daughter is my hero and did everything my husband and I taught her to do. When they tested my BS it was 16, they said it would'nt have taken much more for me not to recover. I think if you set up a kit for him with juice and other sugars that he can help when your low might work also, but I think that teaching him how to help will take away from his anexiety. Good luck!




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