14 year old daughter

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carolann Posted: Tue, Apr 10 2012 8:28 PM

My daughter is 14 years old and has been type 1 since age 4. We would like her to go on the pump but she refuses. Are there still teens out there who dont want the pump?

 

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amrad replied on Tue, Apr 10 2012 10:40 PM

to pump or not to pump is an individual preference. I have no desire to myself, much simpler to inject, although I do know someone who does and it does not bother them. Guess if the doctor tells me I must then I will cross the bridge when confronted with it.

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Hi, the pump is a great piece of technology but it is not for everyone.  I see a lot of adolescent patients with diabetes and some are using the pump and some are not.  I have heard several patients tell me that they are not interested in the pump because they do not want to be connected to anything.  Since the pump is such a great piece of technology, I usually recommend that parents try not to force the issue, because if your child has a bad experience on the pump they may stop using it and never want to wear it again.  But if you do not press the issue, your child may change their mind at some point in the future and still be open to pump use.

I wrote this article several years ago, before the Omnipod pump was being used.  I have listed some of the pros and cons of pump use, so this may be helpful for you to read.

http://www.diabetesselfmanagement.com/Articles/Kids-And-Diabetes/to_pump_or_not_to_pump/

Good luck!

-Debbie Butler, LICSW, CDE

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carolann replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 12:50 PM

Thanks- I feel somewhat better. My daughter does not want anything on her body and I respect that. But I feel so much presure from everyone around like. My husband, friends, parents of children who are on the pump even the doctors. I feel like they feel I am not taking care of my daughter properly.

She could be better at managing herself so I do know that is some of the problem. I think she is sick of dealing with it and just wants to be free, and I want that for her too.

 

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I have heard other parents say the same things that you are saying. I think there is a lot of "peer pressure" to put your child with diabetes on the pump. That must be very hard especially if you think that other people dont think you are taking care of your daughter properly.

Remember that adolescence can be one of the hardest time to manage diabetes. If your daughter is burned out from having diabetes, can you ask her how you can help her?  Some teens needs more help during adolescence if they are feeling burned out or stressed.  You may also want to ask your diabetes health care team if they have a counselor that you could both meet with to discuss diabetes stressors and how to help your daughter.

Good luck!

-Debbie Butler, LICSW, CDE

 

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carolann replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 1:42 PM

I think that would put even more pressure on her. She just doesnt want to talk about it. I grew up with two brothers both type 1 and now my daughter so I have been dealing with it indirectly for much of my life.

My daughter is just sick of the ignorance that goes with it. Just the other day a facebook friend commented that she ate so much candy on easter that she was going to get diabetes. My daughter was really upset. I told her to reply with the truth but she wouldnt. I even work in an elementary school and the kids are learning about good nutrition and one of the small children said"my mom told me that if you each to much sugar you will get diabetes and the teacher I work with agreed with him. I couldnt believe.

Thanks for listening.     

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elyse replied on Tue, Nov 27 2012 8:21 AM

I also have a 14 year old daughter who was diagnosed just before she turned 11. She is on the Omnipod, which is much better than shots, but she is very difficult right now. Her sugars are all over the place and she is angry and pushes us away. She refuses any kind of therapy or support group, and just wants to be with her friends. She is very independent with her care, but we don't think she is doing the best job - she doesn't check her sugar frequently enough, doesn't always bolus for snacks, skips meals, etc. As parents, do we just accept that these next few years she will not have the best control and hope that as she matures she will realize that she needs to take better care of herself? She doesn't want to hear about long term complications. This is especially hard for my husband, who has had diabetes since he was 18 (he's 50 now) and takes very good care of himself. At what point do we back off? It feels like we are always nagging. When we ask what we can do to help we just get told to leave her alone and let her handle things herself.

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amrad replied on Wed, Nov 28 2012 7:14 PM

I would ask her what else is going on in her life, without even touching the Diabetes issue. She already knows the consequences, so endo doc and the eye doc will need to keep a more watchful eye on her.

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Debbie replied on Thu, Nov 29 2012 10:03 AM

As I said earlier, adolescence can be the hardest time to manage diabetes, so it is a very difficult time for teens to start managing diabetes on their own during this difficult time.  It sounds like your daughter is not interested in therapy or a support group but I wonder if there is a counselor that you and her father can meet with that is knowledgeable about pediatric diabetes?  At Joslin we are lucky to have two clinical psychologists that meet with parents and families about all of the issues that you described below.

We usually do not recommend trying to motivate teens by talking about diabetes complications.  As you know teens are much more motivated by what is happening right now and what their peers think.  They are less motivated by their health and anything that will happen in the long term future because their brain is not fully developed.  That is why teens may engage in riskier behavior and feel more invincible.  Some parents have found it helpful to use other things to motivate their teen – like that they may do better in sports if their blood sugars are in range, or they may concentrate better in school, be less irritable with friends, have better skin or nails, etc.  These things are usually more important to teens than long term complications.

I know you said that your daughter refuses any help, but I don’t know if her health care provider requires her to check her blood sugar a certain amount of times per day to stay on the pump for safety reasons, so I wonder if she would let you do one (or more) of those blood sugar checks and boluses to stay on the pump.  If she says no you could ask her why.  Sometimes teens do not like the reaction that their parents give when they check blood sugars because they feel like they will get in trouble if they see a high blood sugar.  So you could ask her what she would like you to say or not say.  Some teens are more likely to let their parents help if the parents do not say anything when they are helping.  I have also heard teens say that they do not like seeing their parent’s expression or body language when they see a high blood sugar.

Another idea that some families have used is the reward system.  I do not like the idea of punishment for anything related to diabetes since it is not fair that she has diabetes (although when parents are worried about safety, they may need to use punishment – ex. If you are not safe to drive than you can not drive).  So if your daughter checks her blood sugar one more time per day than maybe she can work up to a reward.  Most teens like rewards that cost money so this can get tricky. 

I hope some of these ideas are helpful and that you can continue to work with your daughter’s health care team for more help.  Good luck!

-Debbie Butler, LICSW, CDE

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Hello! My name is Amanda. I just turned 24, and I've had type 1 diabetes since I was 10. I feel for all the moms out there as now that I am older I see how hard it is on both sides. For the issue of the pump, when I was younger I was the same way. I wanted nothing to do with it so I see that as completely normal. I just didnt want the change or to be any more "Abnormal" than any of my classmates though at the time I would have never admitted that was some of the reason. I actually still do not have the pump. It's really not a big deal to me at all, however if I had enough money I probably would get it now with all the great benefit of it. I also never wanted to talk about my diabetes when I was younger and would get very mad when my parents would even ask what my blood sugar was, I pushed them away as well. I honestly just think its about the age and dealing with this. That went away as I got older. It's just never fun but there is so many amazing studies now and things to look forward to, I try to keep a smile on for that reason. I also wanted to say I have also heard the comments about people eating too much sugar and thinking they will get diabetes, as well as the awesome "You dont look like you have diabetes" I am 24, average body type and blonde hair. I always wanted to say, "Well what are we suppose to look like?" Anyways, I am here to answer any questions or help out in anyway I can, I have been there and would love to be able to help out in any way from the experiences I have had being on this end of things. Good luck to you all =) 

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Steven replied on Thu, Jun 13 2013 4:38 PM

After using multiple injections for over 49 years, I have finally decided to wear a pump.

The truth is that almost anything you can do with the pump, you can do with multiple injections, and the one exception is to control the basal rate. That's one reason I'm switching, as I'm tired of having to eat a granola bar every time before a workout. I want to just disconnect and not worry about lows. (I realize I'm being a bit naive here, because I haven't started the pump yet.)

People have been telling me the advantages of the pump for years (including my brother, who uses the pump and works for Medtronic), and it has finally sunk in. I have been using a CGM for several years, and I also realized that I'll probably adapt to the pump easily as I'm already used to wearing the CGM and poking things under my skin.

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