I've been thinking alot lately about how much Diabetes responsibility I *should* be expecting from Maddison at age 8. I think the key here is that every child has different levels of maturity. The age of diagnosis, or how long Diabetes has been present, plays a huge roll in my mind also. Honestly, I believe every parent does what they know is right for their child, and I don't see any approach as the *wrong* approach when it comes to responsibility. I just wonder if anyone see things my way...or am I just too sheltering because I know how having Diabetes really feels?
I tend to think my expectations of Maddison are based around my own feelings of having Diabetes since I deal with all the HASSLES and emotions myself. I personally know how it feels wanting to ignore the low hoping it comes up. I know how irritating it is to have to stop what you are doing and check your blood sugar, even if you are only watching TV. I hate that Maddison has to stop and check her blood sugar in front of all her friends when they run and play wildly outside for hours, I don't want her to be the "different" one, so I sneak in there and check for her as quickly as I can hoping Diabetes doesn't become something irritating to her. I know how my fingers can throb after a poke, and figuring that "this one time" I don't need to check before I eat. To someone that doesn't actually live the Diabetes it is easy to say "how hard is it to stop for two seconds and check?" but the point isn't that it is so hard or time consuming, the point is that sometimes you like pretending you don't have to. So, in the beginning I used to do all her finger pokes for Maddison without even asking,unless she took the initiative.She was also only 6.
Nowadays Maddison pretty much does all her finger pokes and dosing her pump herself, but I still take over if she refuses. Should I "insist" she do all this herself? Sometimes I do insist, it depends on my feelings and reasoning's at the time. I guess I think that each coming age is the ideal age in which I should *expect* more from her, meaning we will INSIST she do all these things herself and "consequences" will result if she refuses. In your opinion is it "wrong" that I give her the option to choose not to do these things because she is "just 8"?
I think I need some other perspectives here.....I'm not necessarily doubting my decisions, I'm simply curious of others outlooks, particularly the adults that have been a child with Diabetes. I know this is an extremely controversial topic, I've just been spending too much time questioning what is "right" and what is "wrong" when Maddison refuses to poke or dose. Should she be faced with consequences when she doesn't want to check her number and doesn't want to bolus? I wonder if someone could influence my outlook by mentioning something in their experience that I have never considered, I'm also looking for assurance that I'm not being to lax!
My concern here really is burnout. Diabetes care today is just so much more demanding than years past. My worst fear is burn out even before the teenage years. Heck, I'm burned out many times and I'm an adult that has only been dealing with Diabetes for 3 tiny years! On the other side of the spectrum, I also worry about having a child that refuses taking responsibility or shys away from being confident to do so. I know Maddison is totally capable, and I know she needs to be responsible to a point, which she is. Of course any expected level of responsibility given has no guarantee what the years ahead will bring as far as compliance and willingness/eagerness to manage the disease. I even fear the day I myself may decide I'm done with Diabetes and decide to let things slide to the point I can't find my way back. You never know what could trigger this scary possibility. Lately, I am wondering if the adults out there (diagnosed as a child) feel that their "expectations" and given responsibilities as a child paved the foundation for how they care for themselves today? Or is your care and attitude with Diabetes today simply based around your personality type, attitude, life experiences etc?
The first year and a half after Maddison's diagnosis (she was diagnosed at age 6.4 years) I was completely against expecting ANYTHING from her. I always did the finger pokes unless she wanted to. If I asked her, she would. But for the most part I came to her when it was time to test. I never expected her to stop playing and test. Why? Because at the age of 6 I just wanted her to be carefree and not "different"....I don't regret how we did things then, but I still wonder if it was the "right" approach. Alot of parents would say at age 6 she should be doing the finger pokes for this is *her* disease and she needs to be "responsible." Alot of those parents also had kids diagnosed in toddler hood. While I mostly entirely disagree with that level of responsibility for such an age, I can also see the point. As always, I can see things both ways... Had this been my first born child, maybe I would also feel differently. Maddison has always been a tad bit on the "immature" side. Maddison was willing to give herself injections as well, count carbs, and get sugar to treat a low at the young age of 6. But we never "expected" her to either.
I would appreciate comments from adults with Diabetes. Why? I'm interested in what responsibility was expected when you were a child with Diabetes vs what is expected in the modern day for our kids with "D". We all know that Diabetes care has become alot more intense over the last 10 years. (or more?) Years ago children with Diabetes weren't expected to test 10 times a day. The constant demands are overwhelming for me sometimes, even as an adult. Sometimes I think the modern day approach (testing 8-10 times a day etc) is what leads to more burnout among our youth. Did you feel supported by your parents? Do you feel they could have done something to help you carry this burden? Do you think your parents expected too much from you, would you have appreciated their help with Diabetes care? Do I make a bigger deal out of the responsibility than it is? As always, I think I think too much.
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6 years ago