November 22, 2000
Question from Snohomish, Washington, USA:
My 12 year old daughter has had diabetes for two years. During the last two months, she has become angry. She has lied about her high blood sugars, has lost 10 pounds and was hospitalized with the flu. We don’t know what to do to help her get through this.
It’s normal to feel angry about living with diabetes. It’s also normal to become burned out by the daily demands of the diabetes regimen. Remembering to take shots on-time, check blood sugars, and make wise food choices is tough for even the most organized and dedicated adult. Imagine how hard this must be for a child.
I encourage you to try the following things to help your daughter:
Let your diabetes team know how much your daughter is struggling. They can help her understand how normal that is, and offer you some strategies to help her.
Ask your diabetes team to refer you and your daughter to a counselor who has expertise in helping families with diabetes.
Take over as much of your daughter’s diabetes care as possible for the next 3-4 weeks. That means check her blood sugars and write them down. Draw up her insulin and give her the shots. Plan and give her the meals and snacks. You may be surprised at how grateful she is that she doesn’t have to do the thinking or planning involved in diabetes care for a while. At the end of the 3-4 weeks ask her what parts of taking care of her diabetes she’d like to begin doing, and what parts she’d like you to keep on doing. Sharing the responsibility for her care will help her a lot!