Help - I am the mother of an adult Type 1 who doesn't take care of himself, and doesn't care

My 24 y/o son has been diabetic for 10 years now. Over the past 4 years or so, he has not checked his glucose levels more than once a month or so. He HATES doctors and hospitals, and refuses to go. He had passed out and been taken to the ER about 25 times over the past couple of years, but every time, as soon as he is strong enough to walk, he removes his IV's and signs himself out. I have done everything I can think of to get him insulin. I provide him insurance, so at least he is covered that way.

He is nomadic and doesn't stay anywhere for more than a week or two, is always between jobs and can't keep one because he gets too sick from his high BS. He has severe neuropathy in his legs, and marijuana seems to be the only thing that helps him with that pain. This is not conducive to keeping a job.

The only insulin that still works for him is Apidra, which can't be purchased OTC. I'm at a loss as to how I can help him. He just says he wants to die because he feels so crappy all the time. Anyone have anything similar that they have gone through, and maybe offer some solution that I, as a mother can live with.

Views: 263

Comment by Dee on February 13, 2014 at 2:48pm
I am sorry that I do not have an answer. It is painful to watch someone you love exhibiting such self destructive behavior. I just wanted to let you know that I hear you and hope you find a solution and peace of mind soon.
Comment by Doris D on February 14, 2014 at 12:42pm

it is very painfuk watching ur soin do that I got a daughter who took d at 11 I kinda know where ur comig from there
but I had to finally give in and let her lrean the hard way sounds like he's been through the hard way though
see if u can get hi to join up here maybe that will help him accept his diaetes
doesn't sound too much like he knows he will die w/o insulin and mary j just makes u eat more causing ur bs to go up

Comment by Doris D on February 14, 2014 at 12:45pm

I know thast isn't much help but I too am a diabetic so that helped her too we atr a like

Comment by Sunny on February 15, 2014 at 7:40am

This is more than a condition that diabetic doctors can handle. He needs a very comprehensive team that definitely involves a psychiatrist with inpatient care. The problem is that he must want help which obviously he doesn't want. Pray, love, care for but do not enable his disease (his mental status, not his diabetes). Do not give him money, but rather buy his supplies for him. And pray. And love. xoxoxo

Comment by rick (aka: #blankieboy) on February 15, 2014 at 6:01pm

I was diabetic at age 17. By the time I was 19 I had decided to go my own way. I paid nearly no attention to the disease, I took insulin faithfully avoided sugary substances (drinks, food etc.) and pretty much went on my own way. I stopped seeing doctors and really didn't start back up for over 20 years. So first I hope you can do what my mom had to do (also a type 1) let it go. I realize you are a little different than I was because by the time I was 19 I was off mom and dad's health insurance, but my best advice is let it go. I will guarantee that if he senses nagging it will go in one ear and out the other.

Second, I suggest that what he really needs is psychological counseling. What happened to me was that I first got into therapy and then found my way back into the medical system. I was fortunate I made it. 25 years later I was still pretty healthy and was able to rejoin the medical system.

So this is my idea, and it is harsh, I apologize in advance for offering this suggestion. Suggest he either go to therapy to help resolve his issues of loss and lack of control (this is often expressed as depression) or you remove him from your health insurance. I realize he can stay on but because he can does not mean he should or that you will let him. The day is rapidly coming when he will be on his own anyway. In our day if you were out of college you dropped off your parents plan, I was in college, but I got married when I was 19 so I went off their plan anyway. (Man what was I thinking?)

Anyway, I would not nag or threaten unless you intend to do so. And if threatened than you must follow thru.

I wish you the very, very best. My parents worried with no end about me and I of course I worry about my sons. I made it and is hope your son will as well. Let me know if I can help in some way.


Comment by Randy on February 18, 2014 at 1:03pm

Hi Yukon, I am soeey to hear this. Unfortunately this is all too common. I waas diagnosed T1 just over three years ago, but had been undiagnoes for ten years or so, as best we can determine. At DX i haddd bad neuropathy aand retinopathy. So I understand a lot of your son;s issues. The horrible feling that hiiggh BG brings and th unimaginablle pain of PNcan be overwhelmingannd make death seem like an alternative. I was told thatt my onlyy hope foor improving ANY of this was to maintain normal BG. I chhose to fighjt. It took aa LOT of study and experimentationn but bI have been pretty successful aand my issues have all improved. It just takes work and commottment. No one could do this for me. Not the best ddoctor or medical team in the world. All the help in the world is just thst, help. The doing has to come from me, from each of us for ourselves. This is true for each oof us in all that we do, not just diabetes.

I think a lot of folks see this diagnosis as a sentence of gloom aand doom which it need not be. I don't believe they are given enough information to understannd the options so they just don'tt try. It takes ownershi and committment to manage thhis.

I agree wiiith some of the otheers that some type of therapy may be in order. First thingfirst, gain the perspective and will to give the good fight. Your son is too young to just give up. Believe me, if I can do this so can he.

As a side note; I also agree with Rick. WHAT WAS I THINKING at 19?

Comment by Randy on February 18, 2014 at 1:10pm

QMG! I apologize for all the dropped and multiple letters. I'm getting used to a new wireless, large print keyboard.

Comment by Yukon65 on February 18, 2014 at 1:38pm

Thanks for all the positive feedback. I have tried the let go thing, and told him I was out of resources to try to get him insulin, he ended up going to the ER on his own, while he could still walk and they gave him an IV with insulin and morphine for the neuropathy. He found out he has an allergic reaction to the humilin/novalin, and can now only take apidra for that reason, not just that he is resistant to that. He seems to be trying to come to grips with things again.

All of your support has been very helpful to me, thank you.



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