I have been trying to give my son space. My boys are growing up and I have to step back and allow them to fall on their own at times. I think that is the hardest part of being a parent thus far. The older they get, the less I can stop them from doing things that could harm them. I have to sit back and be ready to wipe their knees and help them back up again. Diabetes is no exception.
For almost 12 years, I have preached about testing, bolusing, counting carbs, carrying meters, carrying glucose and the list goes on. Now that my son is a teen, its important that he start doing many of these things on his own. It is also important that I don’t drone on and on so that he completely tunes me out. Finding that balance is hell!
Now that he is more self-sufficient, I don’t think as much about two hour after tests. I go to bed knowing that he will test and if he is not in what we have established as a “good” range, he will either get me up or handle it himself. I know that he always has his kit with him. I know that he usually has glucose somewhere in a pocket.
Being a teen, he can take advantage of that trust…and does. Last night I went through his meter. I knew that we were having a few issues with lows so I had let things go for a few days to see if there was a pattern or if it was human error. As I sat down with meter and paper, I found huge lapses in readings. I really didn’t know what to do.
The lapses were during the day. They were sometimes while he was with me. More often, they were while he was at school or with friends. My son is terribly private. I think he is dangerously private when it comes to diabetes. He doesn’t want his friends to really “see” his diabetes. He carries his meter but he leaves it in his pocket. He is great at detecting when he is out of range so he uses his internal compass to keep him out of trouble. At night, when he knows he will not wake up from a low, he makes sure that all tests are done.
I was proud of myself. I didn’t yell when I saw blank spaces of up to 10 hours with no readings. I wanted to scream but I also wanted to cry. I was failing. I was being too lax. I laid out some new ground rules for the next little while. He will do all of his tests at school. No exceptions. No excuses. He will text me those readings for the next week. I will text him to remind him (in case his pump is not enough of a reminder). If he fails to do this, he will lose all online privileges including his xBox.
I then told him that testing takes about 10 seconds total. It can be done quietly by heading into the washroom or sliding it out at his desk. He does not need to draw attention to himself. He can stay private but he MUST test. He is putting himself in danger. I told him that quietly testing himself will not draw nearly the attention that throwing up from being high or passing out from being low will. Those are big time attention getter’s. If he wants to avoid them happening in front of his friends then he must test.
I left it at that. I was sad. I was ashamed. How could I let him go so long with no tests? Because I believed him when he said he tested. I trusted that testing when he got up was routine.
I give him breaks in his care. I test for him. I bolus for him. I help him with carbs. I remind him. I back off and let him remember. I do not ask a reading before asking him how his day went.
Its a struggle. I know we are moving forward. I acknowledged how much I appreciate that he is bolusing. I told him that remembering to test before bed was super important and I was so glad that he was doing that.
He is now in class for the day. I have texted him asking for his reading. He hasn’t replied. I am hoping it will happen by their first break. I hate one step forward and then sliding back. I know…its called parenthood. I have to be glad that there is forward movement but… AAAAAAHHHHHHH!! Okay I feel better! Today is a fresh new day.
|I Googled “fear of slides” and this image popped up!