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Question:

From Waynesfield, Ohio, USA:

We are having trouble getting my 16-year-old niece to listen and understand that diabetes is serious. Her glucose monitor reads high and she has been in a coma before. What kind of help is there out there that can help us deal with this? She is currently staying with me and I am scared something will happen to her. She has been in counseling and it hasn't helped.

Answer:

Your niece is very lucky to have there to help her. Diabetes is very difficult to manage and requires a great deal of energy, effort, planning, monitoring and problem-solving. That's hard to do when you are only a teenager. It can also be very frustrating if you've been in poor control for a long time, as it takes longer to get into better control and it can feel like what you're doing is not working.

I'd encourage you to take the following steps as you help and support your niece. First, talk with the members of the diabetes team and see if there are any mental health professionals that they work with who understands teenagers and diabetes. Second, take over your niece's diabetes care tasks, at least for a month or two. Check her blood sugars for her. Give her the insulin injections. Her diabetes team should be willing to educate you how to do so. That way, you know she is getting the treatment she needs to keep her safe. It will also allow you to look for blood sugar patterns and communicate with her diabetes team about any needed insulin dose adjustments.

JWB

DTQ-20080627105811
Original posting 17 Jul 2008
Posted to Behavior and Other Social Issues

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:16
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