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Question:

From Wyoming, USA:

My son is 17 years old and was diagnosed at age nine. He began pump therapy six weeks ago. Soon to be 18. He came home from diabetes camp angry and has announced that he is leaving to live with camp director on his birthday. He has always been responsible and easy going; now he blows up over any attempts to talk to him about anything. Is this related to the pump? He refuses to allow us to know what his blood sugars are running at all. This has been a really great kid who seems to have gone off the deep end all of a sudden. Any ideas? Could he be depressed?

Answer:

This sounds like an emergency situation. I recommend seeing a family counselor as soon as possible. I am also concerned about the safety of an insulin pump at this time, as meticulous attention is needed with a pump to prevent the possibility of ketoacidosis. By all means talk to your son's diabetes team, as perhaps they can help sort out the concern of "medical safety" versus "teenage/family issues."

LM

Additional comments from Stephanie Schwartz, diabetes nurse specialist:

Teenagers may make angry statements and act out (and not check blood sugars) when angry. If the threat to run away has persisted, then this is an unusual situation.

Regardless of whether the anger is persisting, if you haven't already spoken to the camp director, I suggest you contact him (or her) right away: if the camp is run by an organization like the ADA, ask them to help make the contact. It is important to find out what happened at camp so you and your son can more effectively deal with the situation.

SS

Original posting 22 Jul 97

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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