1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2021 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Helping Friend With T1

Discussion in 'Children & Teens' started by Socialist2002, Jun 9, 2018.

  1. Socialist2002

    Socialist2002 · Newbie

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi, I don’t have diabetes but my best friend does, and recently it’s been causing arguments between us, I was hoping you could give me some advice on how to be supportive without being overbearing?

    The other day, we were out for a while, and I didn’t pester him about testing or putting in because I thought he would be taking care of himself. I crashed at his and his mum came in about midnight to test him, and she told me his levels were 22 and he hadn’t tested since 7am that morning.

    The next day I was obviously worried about him, and so after we went out for breakfast I reminded him to put in, but he refused, he wouldn’t even test 2 hours later unless i bought him a sausage roll and a drink.

    About a week later we were out and got pizza, I said he should probably test and he told me he didn’t even have any kit. I said that i could go and get it for him, he said he didn’t care so i went and got it and gave it to him.

    When I gave it to him he got really mad at me, started swearing at me and telling me im not his mum etc, i tried to tell him i was just worried but he wouldn’t listen and made me leave. We haven’t spoken since.

    He has told me that he feels like he has diabulimia so i know that it’s hard for him, and he’s been going through this for like 14 years, since he was like 2, so i wasn’t going to start telling him about neuropathy and retinopathy and DKA because i’m sure he’s heard it all before but i am really worried he’s gonna hurt himself.

    So basically i want to a) rant and b) try to understand how i can help him and put his mum’s mind at ease (i’m one of the few friends she trusts to look after him) without actually sounding like his mum. Thanks
    • Hug Hug x 2
  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Sounds like a very hard situation for all three of you. I can't really offer you advice as I really don't know how best to approach this.
    Maybe you can talk with him about diabetes burn out, or if there's anything he can think of to make handling his diabetes a little easier. If he told you he feels like he has diabulimia, maybe he wants to talk with someone from dwed, an organisation dor diabetics with eating disorders. It might be easier for him to speak of his ignoring his diabetes with someone who is not his mother or his friend.
    Good luck, and I hope things will get better before he lands himself in hospital.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Expert
    Retired Moderator

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hello @Socialist2002 what a brilliant mate you are, sadly it sounds like he doesn't realise his though because where he is mentally right now.

    Sadly unless he is willing to ask for help then you cannot even attempt to help him and where he is right now it will be a wake up call in hospital coming up. When blood glucose levels are running high it actually makes mental reasoning and any capacity to think straight diminish so he won't be himself, he may well be depressed too, it wouldn't be a great surprise, imagine waking up every day and dealing with the same anxiety, it is wearing, but it's made worse when blood glucose levels are running high. If he's not injecting yet eating junk food then yes he's right this is diabulmia and he needs help from his diabetic team, contacting DWED also would be helpful.

    If I was you I would write him a letter, tell him your thoughts and concerns, tell him you support him and help is out there, tell him you don't want to see him end up in hospital, and then leave it up to him.

    The greatest fear in all of this is ultimately the damage he is doing to his body whilst he is in this current mental state, something he will be aware of but not prepared to deal with, so. Really do hope he can see sense and ask for help soon, again you are an amazing mate so don't forget this, however don't feel upset if he pushes you away this is the diabetes and his current mental state, once things improve and he is prepared to seek help then he will appreciate the support you have given him.
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Tell him to join this forum and read posts on the "complications" sub-section.

    There's plenty of people who ran around with their bg in the 20s, got complications and wished they had their time again so they could do it differently.

    Your friend will know that when his bg is low, below 4, he'll know about it straight away, because he'll feel hypo and it'll need sorted immediately with glucose.

    The more dangerous bit, though, is when someone kinda gets used to running above 10, into the 20s and thinks it's ok. People can get used to running at those levels and don't see any harm in it in the short term because they feel ok.

    But, behind the scenes, it's doing slow, pernicious damage to eyes, nerves, kidney etc.

    Ask him how he's going to feel in a few years time if he finds himself having kidney failure, needing dialysis while waiting for a transplant?

    You need to be overbearing in situations like thus. You need to tell him that it might seem fine at the moment but it can have serious consequences which he would pay good money to wind the clock back on when he's older.

    If he's uncertain about how to manage his T1, get him to ask his dsn to get him on a DAFNE course.

    Buy him the book Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner, or nick his kindle and download it to that. He needs information about how to manage it.

    Or, if his parents can afford it (£100 per month or £70 if there's a Superdrug near you, or free on prescription depending on what attitude his ccg is taking) tell him to fork out for a libre. Many of us have found it very motivational, just being able to see our bg constantly, so we can make little tweaks and nudges to stay in line.

    Tell him that staying in range doesn't mean living like a monk or eating rabbit food. I go out for beers, have a kebab or pizza, and have a decent a1c.

    Play hard but fair with him. T1 can have serious, serious consequences, including blindness, kidney failure and death if he f*cks around with it, but with a bit of care and attention, it's totally manageable.

    Ask him what he wants to be doing in his twenties. Sitting hooked up to a kidney dialysis machine or going backpacking in Asia?

    There's lots of posters on here who've been in his position and managed to turn it around, so get him to join up here, and he'll get lots of tips.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    It's so hard for people isn't it, especially young teenagers, that must be the worse age of all to have to worry about managing diabetes. I got it in my 50s and that is bad enough but at least as a (fairly) mature adult, I don't have to worry about what my friends think or about what they might say at work because I don't give a d*mn. My son's friend (in his teens) went through the same thing, he went out with his mates, no testing, half the time no injections and I'm guessing he just wanted to be 'normal'. By the time he reached 20 odd he became much better at managing it and I think, accepted it. That is the key, until your friend accepts that it is what it is it can be so difficult to help him and I can imagine how he feels when he had got his Mum doing his injections (is he 16 or so?) and then you 'babysitting' him out of love. As others have said, all you can do is let him know you are there for him, maybe try not to watch him like a hawk and treat him as if he didn't have diabetes. The more you coddle him the angrier he will get. I am sure he knows exactly what he should be doing, he is just choosing not to do it. You sound like such a good friend, I would say take a step back, continue to be his mate but not his carer, (of course you can surreptitiously keep an eye on him!).
  6. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi @Socialist2002 ,

    Welcome to the forum.

    It can be difficult watching a friend you care about go through this. Problem is it can become a cycle where your friend relinquishes any resposibillty for his actions leaving you in a "perental" roll to sort it out.
    It's unhealthy for both of you..
    You guys should be both in a position to support eachother when things go wrong. That is the mark of friendship! :)

    Good luck & kind regards.

  7. kitedoc

    kitedoc Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Hi @Socialist2002,
    You can lead a horse to water but ....... Thank you for sticking by him.
    1) One ploy might be to point out to him that unless he starts taking responsibility for his diabetes that he will not be granted (or retain) a driver's license.
    2) poor control of his diabetes will and can affect his future sex life.
    3) google 'famous type 1 diabetics, sportspersons etc' for him to see, also many TIDs* go canoeing, cycling etc
    4) see whether there are any teenage diabetes camps in your area, Experience from attending camps are a great way for showing people they are not alone in having difficulties and they can learn better ways to cope with their condition
    5) not only are high sugar levels bad for health (particularly long term) but low blood sugars (hypos)**can be devastating within minutes and debilitating for hours afterwards.
    6) Getting and keeping future employment, doing training etc would all be affected by poor control.
    * TIDs = Type 1 Diabetics
    ** hypoglycaemia means low sugar in the blood
    Best of luck.
    Please carry jelly beans with you so that a hypo can be treated.
    And please read the section on this website about hypoglycaemia and how to recognise and treat them
    • Like Like x 1
    #7 kitedoc, Jun 24, 2018 at 3:40 AM
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  8. sarahpench

    sarahpench Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    How is you’re friend doing?
  9. Grant_Vicat

    Grant_Vicat Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Having been in his shoes, I completely agree with you except I ran as far away as possible from teenage camps. despised RE teachers, thought doctors didn't know what they were talking about as they didn't have diabetes, and above all wanted to be like every other person at school. Fatal! Well, almost, but I came to my senses after my first photocoagulation at 20 years old - that was the kick up the backside!
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Oscar_Emms

    Oscar_Emms · Member

    Likes Received:
    Trophy Points:
    You could try talking to his parents about contacting his diabetes team for help
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook