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New to the diabetes world

I am a mom of a 14 year old boy who just diagnosed with type 1. He seems to be handling it much better than I am! I know he needs to live his life and continue so the things he enjoys but I am so scared. I don’t want to leave the house. I feel so much safer being home. I want to support my son and show him that he can continue doing all the things he loves to do but right now I feel like I am doing the opposite.
I feel good when his numbers are good but as soon as they deviate I panic!
I know it’s not about me but I feel like I am in a funk that I can’t come out of.

  • #123001
  • hi Tina @countrymom71,

    I was diagnosed at 13. Right after diagnosis I felt great for 2 reasons: 1) about 2 weeks earlier I was convinced I was not going to live. and 2)whatever was wrong with me had a name and a strategy.

    it was in the weeks after that I grew angry for a million reasons – not the least of which were the feelings of being singled out and punished, that my peers did not have to do what I now had to do forever, shots testing carb counting, etc.

    I do get it, he’s your baby and there is a thing in front of you that you can’t change. You can’t take away the pain, you can’t fix him to the way he was before. He’ll be “sick” forever. This is a huge change for you and a huge loss for him as well.

    Even at 14, he’s watching you. If you are scared or pessimistic it says a lot about your reaction to his illness. If you are emotionally solid, unafraid of the future, willing to deal with the painful stuff and adapt to the new “normal” it will go a long way in his acceptance of the new deal.

    blood sugar is like looking at the speedometer in your car. it just gives you information. if you’re low, eat carbs, if you’re high combinations of water exercise and insulin will bring it down. there is no such thing as perfect. “in-range” blood sugar is like trying to throw a quarter into a shot glass 30 feet away. blood sugar is not a conviction, it is not a judgement on you or your son. There is no shame in it.

    there’s a bunch of us here with t1 for decades. I hope they chime in as well. I hope you have a great CDE and a endo you can count on. you are stronger than you think you are. this will become more routine in the years to come. please let us know how you are doing or reach out anytime you feel overwhelmed. we are rooting for you.

  • #123011
  • Hi Tina

    I am the mum of a 17 yr old boy with T1D. He was diagnosed at 13. I can sooooo relate to how you feel. I GET IT COMPLETELY. 1.)Pat yourself and him on the back for how well you say he is coping. That was exactly the same with my son. That feeling of not wanting to leave the house…I had that too. I too felt good when his BS was “good” and panicy when they were not. I assure you this will change and you will get used to both high/low readings. Give yourself time. I agree with Joe’s comments above in terms of no judgement on your son etc…no shame…no shame at all. And YES he is watching you. That’s whether he has diabetes or not. My sister has crown’s disease and at 18 unfortunately had to have a colostomy bag. ( I share this with you as I know she would be more than happy for you to know…she is very open about it) My mum at the time was incredibly pessimistic about it all and feared that NO MAN would ever want her. I used to get sooo upset and also angry with my mum and even those many years ago (over 20 years now) thought that was definitely the wrong message. She didn’t say anything like that to my sister with words, but she said it with her eyes and with her body language; it came across because that is how she felt. Interestingly (or coincidentally) my sister has had poor luck with men ever since. Who knows if it had an effect. I think it did have.
    After my son came home from hospital , 5 days after being admitted with serious DKA, (that’s how e discovered he had T1D) , 4 days later he wanted to go to football training as he typically would have done. In my head there was no reason to say no…the diabetic team said it was ok. My heart told me otherwise and with my heart in my mouth I decided to take him. Thank god as we were setting off I got a call from the coach to say it was cancelled. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t delighted.
    I too want my son to do whatever he wants to do, diabetes doesn’t have to stop it …not at all. And my son doesn’t let him. I TRULY believe he CAN do whatever he wants. Its not a fake belief….if it was he would see through it….it’s my true belief. Look at Steve Redgrave and the beautiful Halle Berry…they both have T1D.
    “I want to support my son and show him that he can continue doing all the things he loves to do” ….well done to you! If that’s what you think that’s what you will do. Be kind to yourself….its just the beginning for you. Pat yourself on the back…its a LOT to take in. I resigned from work when my son was diagnosed , I really took my time to get my head around it. Some family members were very unsupportive in my decision to leave work but it was the best decision for me and my husband and I think it got us off to a good start as stressful as it was.
    I hope you have found my response useful in some way. Please feel free to get in contact again and do add me as a friend if you would like to too.
    Best wishes to you and your son 🙂

  • #123021
  • Thank you both. It’s comforting to know that I am not alone. How do you handle things like going out to eat or going to someone’s house for dinner? I really am trying to continue life as normal but that’s easier said than done.

  • #123029
  • Tina,

    I am a 15-year-old boy who was diagnosed with type 1 less than 1 month ago. When I am eating out, I use the smartphone app “CalorieKing Food Search.” This gives you the amount of carbs (and other nutrition information) in each menu items for the most common fast food chains and restaurants. You can also search an average of all brands for a certain food on this app. When going to parties I ask what will be served and then I look up an average of that food and estimate the portion size once I get there.

  • #123030
  • It is very frustrating after a diagnosis, but by educating yourself with knowledge from online research and support groups, it all starts to make sense. I also recommend diabetes support camps for children and teens. Newly diagnosed diabetics in the US are very likely to have a long and healthy life. Their life expectancy is almost as good as it is for non diabetics. I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. After 71 years of type 1 diabetes I have good diabetes health. I have some neuropathy, but I do not have any serious diabetes related complications. With the proper care you will be giving your son, he will have an excellent chance of having a great and rewarding life.

  • #123042
  • I was the SAME way with our 17 yo son diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago ~ counted EVERY carb to a T and watched those numbers go up and down with trepidation every mealtime, etc. Give it time. You will become accustomed to the new routine and the fluxuations. Try to stay on your normal routine after you give yourself a few weeks to get over the shock. Try to be super positive with your son that his fluxuations are just part of the deal (within reason) and not anything he is doing wrong. It WILL get to be a new normal. 3 weeks ago our son got back from a trip with other youth to Thailand! We were worried (behind closed doors!) but I don’t want him to feel that he can’t do things he really wants to do. Good luck

  • #123100
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