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Teenage son won't do his insulin

Discussion in 'Children & Teens' started by Davidcharles, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. Muneeb

    Muneeb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I was the same, I used to even make up numbers for my diary to show at my appointments at the clinic. Yes I was stupid, but I went through that stage. I don't think I would ever be so stupid knowing what I know now.

    Maybe try and get him to learn more about diabetes management, or as I did, get into fitness and nutrition, which all aids with diabetes management. You can't build muscle with high glucose levels, so maintaining good control is paramount for fitness. A few good resources are: Phil Graham - Diabetic Muscle and fitness (he has a book called diabetic muscle and fitness guide - which is great) an online facebook group. This would be great for him to join and interact with or=thers. I'd recommend Dr Bernstein's diabetes solution, but as that advocates a lot of low carb and eating well, without really beating round the bush, its probably not best for him at this moment.
     
  2. Fndwheelie

    Fndwheelie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I understand this is worrying and frustrating for you but maybe if you look for a different angle, although he’s not managing it as well as he should, he is still taking some insulin on his terms. If he’s eating icing sugar and Nutella with a spoon being type 1 without insulin he’d be hospitalised seriously unwell. I know it’s not brilliant but if he’s doing the bear minimum that’s better than nothing at all. It sounds like, from the other type 1s here, wanting better control and health will come with a few more years under the belt. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.... as the saying goes, if as parents you make sure he has all the medication, supplies and equipment available to him, you can’t make him manage the diabetes.
     
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  3. Muneeb

    Muneeb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, education is key, but not always necessarily from the people around you. Sometimes it just takes complete outsider to knock some sense into you, hence joining facebook groups or reading the books is key.
     
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  4. Davidcharles

    Davidcharles Family member · Member

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    Thank you the thing is living with it over the last 13 years we pritty much we know what's ment to be done I still do his back ground insulin before bed this is the only reason he's not in hospital . He not done and fast acting in days or blood tests . As u say he knows and we have all the right meds and supply's easy accessable even cab counting books and he has the app on his phone to . Its just that I'm in the parent stage of watching him not make the right choices
     
  5. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm really sorry, you're having a tough time as a family.
    Could you contact your diabetes team and ask about a single injection that they have for people not coping with the number of type 1 insulin injections, my diabetes nurse told me about it in my first appointment, as she didn't think I was coping well. Also, (apologies as this is a rather grim suggestion), but could you get your son to meet someone who has experienced complications? My colleague's friend from school rebelled in the same way and was blind by the time she was 23. This has had a major impact on me, as I initially refused to go on insulin and stayed off insulin for two years after a type 1 diagnosis although I was told to start it immediately. It was enough to terrify me into taking insulin.
     
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  6. Muneeb

    Muneeb Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    There's no point him going on single injection per day, as that will not adequately control type 1 diabetes and if it did, everyone would be on it. He needs to learn what good control is and how to achieve it with the correct medicine. I get your point but that would be providing a false sense of security, on 1 injection a day he will always be running high.
     
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  7. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I agree it's not ideal, but it is better than what he's currently on in the short term. It's something to discuss with his diabetes team. I work with teenagers and the positive here is he's allowing one injection. Start with that, with small steps.
     
    #27 ert, Jul 25, 2019 at 11:03 AM
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  8. Davidcharles

    Davidcharles Family member · Member

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    My son needs a injecting with everything he eats one long lasting of an evening and how ever many fast acting per meal . The problem is he won't eat meals he snacks all day on rubbish and sweets not thinking about the long term effects this will have . We show him pictures of bad control off the internet but for some reason still has no affect . I do tell him horrible things like he will go blind or lose a limb but even that won't shock him in to doing it
     
  9. Fndwheelie

    Fndwheelie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @Davidcharles just an idea if you brought a freestyle libre sensor from a pharmacy, would 14 days of playing with a cool gadget connected to his phone, wake him up a bit. He can scan as much as he wants, it needs 1 scan every 8 hours so you don’t loose data, and you can use the linkup app to see his scans if you want.
     
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  10. etmsreec

    etmsreec Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'd have to ask why he isn't doing all of his own injections?
    I was diagnosed when aged 12, manual mixing of Actrapid and Monotard, and was doing my own injections before they would let me go home from hospital after diagnosis.
    Your son needs to become independent, obviously, and so, perhaps, needs to take responsibility for his basal as well as his bolus.
    At some point, he will almost certainly wake up to his condition and realize that he's not invincible. Could be that the first stages of retinopathy do that for him, when he starts to lose sight. Or when he starts to have other complications like ED or perpheral neuropathy.
    Obviously things like the Freestyle Libre and an insulin pump would make life easier for him, though he would be unlikely to get approved for either if he doesn't engage with his condition first.
     
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  11. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I know you are trying and very worried, it is serious. But now you might be the lecturing parent that he is no longer listening to? You might try that if he wants to stay in college he will have to be well enough to attend it. But of course if he has to switch colleges he might be leaving his friends behind and upset about that anyway.

    But maybe see if there is a counselor that you can get some suggestions from on how to interact with him the best?

    I hope you find something that will be successful in helping.
     
  12. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Have you looked up 'diabetes burn out' ? Might be worth it, if anything connected to that might help.

    On the scare tactic front, have you had a man to man talk about what he's doing to his 'manhood', as a young lad I'm sure he doesn't want to loose the ability to have a normal sex life? (this might hit home more than loosing a foot or his eyesight)

    The other thing with diabetes is bad control can lead to psychological issues - depression which leads to bad control......like the diabetes control roller coaster once it's started it's difficult to get off. His head probably isn't on straight at the mo - and it'll only get worse, he needs counselling.

    I think you have to tread very carefully though - I wish you and your son strength to get through this.
     
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  13. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't diagnosed as young as your son, but at the age of 8 in 2001. What kicked me into shape was the infections I was facing because of DKA and high BGs. It wasn't a pretty sight.
    I'm wondering whether it's worth your son to re do carb counting education, I don't know what courses are available in your area but DAFNE is one of the popular ones. I met a few other type1s there too, we all have issues and it was nice to come together as a group, no judgement, no hate to discuss all the factors we face - illness, carbs, exercise etc and also learn to manage it to the best of our ability. Yes I thought I knew everything but DAFNE was a good refresher and I think I'm doing a tad better compared to the last 3 months. As I said previously, maybe you can discuss other tools with his team to help your son - libre sensors, this can go either way and I don't know if it'll motivate him to see his levels in a form of a graph. But it makes our lives a tad easier, it doesn't completely eradicate finger pricking but it does help to give our fingers a break and additional information to improve control. But do goggle about the libre sensors :)
    In terms of his attitude, as a father do you think he'll benefit from CBT or to see a clinical psychologist who are tailored towards people with long term health conditions? I know it is difficult, you can only be there for your son through difficult times, especially now. I hope it is a phase that he is going through and it'll end soon.
    He could however join this forum as well, there is a teenager group category with chums his age to have a chat about whatever his concerns are. Things will get better, sending you lots of hugs. :)
     
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  14. Davidcharles

    Davidcharles Family member · Member

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    As he was diagnosed at 4 we did everything for him the doctors were never that worried about him not being able to do all his injections he has had two pumps over the years bit his last one got taken away as they said he was miss using it . Since back on injection he was terrible to start my Mrs thinks he mite have a needle phobia so we got him covered needled for his rapid and for a wile he was doing it fine but then he got lumps were he was injecting to so had to change site this was a big issue for him
     
  15. ert

    ert Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes in an ideal world, but you need to ask your diabetes team about a workaround. He isn't the first patient they have come across with this issue. Hence, a combined dose once a day idea could be offered. Pictures are like films, they happen to other peop.e Meeting someone in person makes the experience.
     
  16. becca59

    becca59 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This is a very distressing situation for you as a parent. We all love and want the best for our children and would do anything to help them. However, perhaps it is time to take a step back. You mention in one of your posts that you look to check if he has done his checks and injections but that he lies. The very act of checking up on him will exacerbate his rebellion I fear. Human nature is a strange thing. If he was away at university you wouldn’t be witnessing this self destruction, but as he is living at home it is in constant evidence. I am also a little concerned that you a still doing his daily basal. He is 17 and should have been doing this himself many years ago. You are expecting him to be sensible and independent but are also wanting to maintain some control. Very very difficult and upsetting but perhaps you should sit down and talk rationally to him about handing all control for his health to him now he is on the cusp of adulthood.
     
  17. MeiChanski

    MeiChanski Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think the mixed dose insulins will mostly likely be twice daily. Taking into account with the way he is eating as well.
    Which will still be an issue if he is running high now and he will be running high on twice daily or not bother to take it. Mixed insulins seem to work for those who have a routine of 3 meals a day and nothing else because it doesn't have that flexibility.
    If OP can find a way to get more support for his son's mental health, a different approach and attitude towards diabetes might make his management a tad easier. But of course it is a difficult balancing act, if diabetes control is bad, your mental health will be affected and the continuous dark thoughts will thrive on it. But I agree OP's son's diabetes team need to offer more solutions to help but I fear he can have all the help offered to him but still be stubborn and reject it. As some of us have said he has to help himself in order for other people to help him.
     
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  18. slip

    slip Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Has he been to clinic since having the pump removed? Is he continuing to keep his appointments?
     
  19. Lynne C J

    Lynne C J Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    How about going to a local gym or sports team and try to find out if there is a member there who is diabetic and managing it well. It could help to show your son that being diabetic needn't stop him doing stuff and living an interesting life.
    The diabetic rebellion seems to be common with teenagers and you need to be able to stand back from it and hopefully avoid the arguments. He's going to need your support but someone else (not a medic) may have more response.
    Good luck x
     
  20. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I got diagnosed just before adolesence and my version of not taking my insulin was an eating disorder. I also recall pretending I was hypo as I walked along a cliff edge just to wind them up. I did not want my diabetes to be my defining characteristic and was in my early 20s before I took it seriously (living on my own forced the issue);
    I am a parent of teenagers now and the hardest thing to do is allow them to make mistakes but in your case its worse because the mistakes could be fatal. However he is going to have to learn to take care of himself and a technical solution won't be granted to him when he is 'non compliant' with his current kit.
    Diab complications tend to arise over a few years of poor control in type 1s so he does have youth on his side though I'd hate to think that a DKA incident or some loss of vision would be needed to shock him into taking his medication.
    I think it is your wife and yourself that might need the support here to consistently back away whilst still letting him know you are there for him e.g. ask about anything other than the big D and don't order in his supplies for him or check his tests unless he tells you. In an ideal world you'd get him into a room with other teenage type 1s who are going through that stage but I appreciate that might be his ideas of hell (until he got there and realised he was not alone in his isolation and frustration with it all).
    Other than the diabetes, do you have any other concerns about this mental health e.g. does he have good relationships and is he mood stable? If he is holding down a job etc. then that is a really good sign that he'll emerge from this and realise what he's put his lovely parents through Might take a few years for the latter part but the former will happen!
     
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