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My daughter is Type 1 dx'd March 2008. She will be 18 in two weeks. We just visited her doctor and her A1c was 13.4. She really refuses to acknowledge her disease and take care of herself. Any suggestions/tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated. I am at a loss. She just doesn't check her sugars....and the fact that she is almost 18 and going out into the world scares me. What do I do?
Gary Scheiner says
She very much needs to meet with a mental health counselor who understands the ins and outs of diabetes. In the meantime, if she is walking around in terrible control and not knowing her blood sugar, she should not be allowed to drive. I would also reconsider paying for college or in any way supporting her living away from home until her diabetes is under some semblance of control.
Laura Plunkett says
It sounds as if your daughter needs a drastic change. With an A1c of 13.4, she is probably feeling tired and achy and lethargic and is at significant risk. When blood sugar levels are that high, it is hard to get motivated or even think straight. I have the following suggestions, and as her mother, you’ll know which ones fit your situation.
Teenagers are selective about who they listen to. If she doesn’t respect and listen to her current medical team, perhaps you and she could look for an endocrinologist whose directions she will follow. In addition, I recommend asking your diabetes medical team to find your daughter a social worker or psychologist that specializes in diabetes-related issues and finding something that will motivate her to go. Perhaps her doctor will also know of a peer group for teens with diabetes that your daughter could join. Finally, ask her what steps you can take together to work on this. Sometimes when teenagers don’t take care of their diabetes, it is because they feel overwhelmed and that the task is too big. Other times, it is because they feel over managed and a lack of privacy. If you can convince her that her health is at stake and that you are on her side, she may let you help her manage for a while.
The good news is that as her blood sugar control improves, she will feel markedly better. This tangible reward may convince her to keep going in the right direction.