I am not always proud of my parenting skills– I think that is normal and to be expected. Sometimes I lose my temper, or don’t follow through with things.. But I am doing the best that I can and at the end of the day my boys know that they are loved.
Having a child with a chronic illness can be extra challenging sometimes. Our son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes when he was 13 years old. We were extremely lucky. His symptoms were found at a wellness visit and we were directed to the closest children’s hospital. We stayed for 3 days to get educated and we were well taken care of. Most of it seemed more like a hotel stay than being at the hospital. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra even came to the children’s floor to give a private concert. He wasn’t sick, he wasn’t in pain and while the diagnosis was a shock, I was completely grateful that he had an illness that could be completely controlled.
In the 2 years and 3 months that we’ve lived with diabetes, I think we’ve done just fine. It’s not always easy and we make mistakes, but we are doing the best that we can. And I am grateful that at age 15 he basically manages his diabetes without much help from us.
We have to get checkups every 3 months and they test his blood to see if his A1C has gone up or down or stayed the same. The lower the A1C, means his average blood sugar levels are ideal– so the goal is never to have an increased A1C.
Our drives to the hospital are sometimes stressful. He isn’t great about keeping his log updated (we religiously updated it that first year and constantly sent it to the hospital for them to monitor his numbers, but that becomes less necessary as time goes on and he’s able to change doses to meet his needs). So the drive can include me prodding him to backchecking his glucometer to update the log- plus me stressing to get him back to school- or home in time for the little one, etc. On my less than proud moments I might spend the drive lecturing him about high numbers he didn’t tell me about or not taking insulin BEFORE he eats.
Yesterday was our 3 month checkup. I picked him up from school and we had a nice drive. He played his favorite song (Africa, Toto) over and over again. I asked him how he thinks he’s doing. His response was surprising. “Not good at all. I’m always between 2 and 300 and I should have increased my Lantus (long acting insulin) dose. I don’t even know why I didn’t think of it until now. Yeah, this is not going good.”
You are managing a disease that even adults have a tough time with. Pretty much, On. Your. Own. He never ceases to amaze me and is one of my personal heroes.
I spent the rest of the drive reminding him of all of the things that he IS doing well. Plus, he’s still alive. HUGE bonus since he has a total nonworking pancreas and must do all of the work himself, manually, at every single meal.
Our visit was fine, although his A1C went up. They didn’t yell at us, but gave us some tips for lowering it. I have a feeling that our conversation in the car will help motivate him to stay on track more so than if I had yelled and berated him.
Yep, I’m not always proud of my parenting, but I feel like yesterday was a win. I’m going to remember to do more talking and less yelling and lecturing <3