From Delray Beach, Florida, USA:
I am very concerned about my nephew. He is 11 years old, and was diagnosed with diabetes 3 years ago. He does not appear to care about his health and I don't think my sister sees the problem. He blood sugar is never consistent. He goes from 68 to 380 almost daily. I know very little about diabetes yet I feel sure that there should be some consistency. He will lie about what his blood sugar is, he will say he feels low just to get something sweet to eat. He sneaks candy and anything else sweet that he can find. I want to be able to help him adjust and come to terms with being a diabetic and I don't know how. After 3 years my sister still has to remind him every morning to take his blood sugar and shot, she has to remind him when to get snacks. He will do nothing on his own to keep himself healthy. He tells me repeatedly that he hates being diabetic and doesn't want any of his friends to know. Anything that you can advise me to read or if they have a group for his age (11) that meets in this area so he can be around other children would be greatly appreciated.
You are in a difficult situation and your concern for your nephew is obvious. My general recommendation for extended family members is to find out they can be supportive and helpful to the family with a child with diabetes. Diabetes in teens can be difficult, and sometimes compromises have to be made to help the teen develop and work through the teenage issues. Maybe your sister needs a supportive and nonjudgemental person to talk to and to help her. If your relationship is such that you might help your sister and nephew by learning about diabetes and helping your nephew out, ask to be involved. Sometimes in a family situation it is hard to offer help without it sounding like criticism, so tread gently. Sometimes families are doing the best they can, and do have the best resources available to them -- but it looks like chaos from the outside.
Is your nephew being followed by a diabetes team experienced in taking care of children with diabetes? It also sounds like diabetes camp would be a fun and helpful experience for your nephew.
Original posting 10 Nov 1998
Posted to Behavior
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:00
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