I am writing in regards to my 14 year old sister-in-law. She was diagianosed three years ago as a type 1 diabetic. The problem is we have been unable to get her to realize the seriousness of the situation. on a regular basis she runs a blood sugar level of 400. Despite many warnings from doctors and others, she still consistantly eats what she wants, as much as she wants, checks blood sugar levels only when she wants to, takes her insulin only when she feels like. I myself am a type 2 diabetic and take insulin, so she thinks she can copy my diet and not follow hers. She takes Humalog and L.
Also her mom is not very good at following what is going on, not because she don't try, but because it is out of her grasp. Unfortunetly, I feel that not even the times she has been rushed to the hospital in an ambulance for her blood sugar skyrocketing, she don't seem to get it. All the talking, aurguing, sreaming and what not does not get through to her. I am hoping when you recieve this letter that maybe you can help me help her.
I know you wish you could take on your sister-in-law's diabetes, but in truth, it is hers to manage. Being the relative of someone with diabetes is a tough role to handle. You cannot make someone take something seriously. My hunch is that she does know how serious the diabetes is and simply does not want to face it right now. She is a teenager, she wants freedom, she wants to be like her friends, and I realize that this drives adults to distraction.
Be supportive and encouraging. Do not be judgemental. Offer to listen and provide compassion. If she asks for help, give it. As noted in prior posts at this website, the teen years require much of the grown up people surrounding the child with diabetes. Please feel free to click on the archives of Ask the Diabetes Team questions, or ask at the chat rooms, to find you are not alone. You might also consider joining a support group of relatives coping with teens who have diabetes.
Original posting 14 Nov 1998
Posted to Behavior
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