From Andover, Minnesota, USA:
My daughter is three and half. We found out she had diabetes in October 2004 and she's doing pretty well! First of all, my daughter's father joined the National Guard in March and won't return until August, so my life has been a big struggle both financially and emotionally. I can't seem to find a whole lot of people to help out with my daughter. I do have a couple of people that are willing to help but I'm wondering who else I can turn to or how do I get the grandparents more involved so they feel more comfortable? I need a break, but it only seems to be for a couple of hours and then I have to go get her. She's been really irritated with me lately and when she's high, she ends up hitting me and telling me she hates me. I think it's because I'm the only one doing this right now.
You are certainly under a great deal of stress with a preschooler who has diabetes and a husband who has been deployed! You are probably right that her anger towards you lately is primarily because she feels her dad's absence and you are the easy target, since you are the one home with her. Children tend to show their angriest feelings to the person in their lives that they feel safest with (because they know that no matter what they do or say, mom will always love them).
As far as getting more help, I'd first recommend you ask your diabetes team if they know of other parents of preschoolers. Perhaps you can team up with another parent or two where you can switch taking care of the children for each other. That way, the children can make new friends, you can be comfortable that your daughter is in capable hands, and each of the parents can have some time to themselves. Another option is to ask the grandparents what their greatest fears/concerns are with respect to caring for your daughter. They may have misperceptions that they have not expressed. They may be willing to take classes about diabetes that would help them feel more comfortable as well. Finally, you may wish to explore some part-time preschools or day care programs that can take care of your child.
Additional comments from Barb Schreiner, diabetes nurse specialist:What a challenge you have and how fortunate you are there for your daughter. You may be able to find some resources through your local diabetes educator’s chapter. Check The American Association of Diabetes Educators web site to locate an educator in your community. That person may be able to link you with other parents who would love to "job share" with you. You might also try the local ADA office or JDRF chapter.
Also, your daughter’s behaviors seem normal given her age and what is happening. Children often regress and show much younger behaviors when stressed. I would remind her that you will not allow her to hit and you will help her find the words to tell you what is wrong. Be sure to spend "non-diabetes" time with her. By that I mean, pay her attention at times when you are not caring for her diabetes.
Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:00
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