Thursday, February 4, 2010

The next chapter...

I've been freaking out, having anxiety attacks and episodes of panic. I try to breath deeply and relax when I feel it coming. It happens ever so often whenever I see a bunch of teenagers. Yup, that's the trigger. I become anxious because this is what is just around the corner for us. I'm noticing that things are starting to change already. Adele is starting to want to only wear certain brands of clothing, she makes up her own outfits to wear to school, she'd like to wear bigger earrings (like in the picture) but we don't let her except for a few pics of her "modelling" them at home. Yes, Adele is only 9 and I shouldn't rush things too much, but if I look back at how fast the last 10 years have gone by, well you know what I mean... Shouldn't I be doing something more to get ready for this? Or is it just best to not think about it and let it happen... and then see what happens?

As difficult as it is to be gaming right now, technically we have it quite good. At 9 years old, we still have pretty much 100% control over what Adele does, eats and the insulin that she receives (she's socially immature for her almost 10 years of living because of her Diabetes). She's old enough to understand most of the Type 1 game rules, but we're the ones making the decisions. We're pretty much 100% in control of her diabetes at the moment. It's by no means easy, but we've become comfortable with it for the most part. It is now our normal.

But this is about to change sooner than we think. Adele will want and need to become more and more independant in life as well as in her Type 1 care. Will she be able to make the right decisions? Will she love herself enough to continue to take care of her Diabetes? Adolescence is a tough time for everyone, now add the Type 1 game into the mix and you've got potential for disaster.

What can we do to motivate her to continue to take her Diabetes seriously? What can we do to encourage accountability? How can we maximize the chances of her becoming a "responsible nerd"? Will we be ready for this new chapter?

9 comments:

Rachel said...

Honestly I don't know. I have the same worries with Tristan. I'm in fear of the teenage years. When you figure it out let me know alright? :)

Bennet said...

I got three words for ya:
FRIENDS FOR LIFE.

CWD's conferance in July.

It is outstanding. There both parents and tweens can get ready for the teen years.

Look me up - I will be there.

Laura Houston said...

In Texas we have summer camps that the D-kids can attend and they look amazing. Not to wish away Nate's childhood but I cannot wait until he is old enough to go.

The information I have read just looks amazing. Such a great camaraderie between the kids and the older teens at the camp. I have heard that it really build their self esteem and teaches them the right way to take care of themselves and their T1.

Take a deep breath - it will be fine. You guys are doing an amazing job.

Jen said...

Hi Mike,
I have been enjoying your blog! Even though my son Addison is only 3, I can't help but fast forward in my mind to the teenage years and then a few hairs on my head turn grey! I was just having a conversation with my parents about how to help Addison stay responsible when his care moves into his own hands as a teenager and young adult. It is a great unkown but it sounds like you are on the right track with Adele! Just keep doing the great job you are doing!

Diabetes Super MOM said...

It is a hard age... we are right there in that weird transition. I really communicate EVERYTHING with my kids.

It's hard to see them want to grow up so fast, becaue I just want to go back. Communication is a big thing in our family. We don't hide anything from our kids, and we discuss life and every thing in it.

I think now is a good time for her to help make decision regarding her T1.. then you still have control and can show her and instruct her on ways things are done.

Breath deep, it isn't all that bad, the hardest part is knowing that they are growing and we can't stop it!

phonelady said...

Well as a mom of a t1 who is now 25 and he has seen me inject myself and take care of myself and he always tells his friends Wait insulin time . you get through it one day at a time and before you know it they are out of your house and totally caring for their selves . they learn and so do we . I hope I have given you some encouragement . I have two sons one 25 and the other 23 and the 25 yr old is a t1 and so am I and have been since I was 16 and am now 49 .

Anonymous said...

The best thing we did for Ben when he got to the age that he needed a little independance was buy him a cell phone, with the stipulation that he call us, day or night.

It is really hard to let go of the control, Mike, but for your sake as well as your daughters, you should start with baby steps now. Let her do the carb counts now while she is with you so she will be able to do it on her own. Ask her if she thinks she should test. Involve her in the day to day management.

I never stopped Ben from going on sleepovers, although I was picky about where he went - I had to know the parents well enough to know they would take Diabetes seriously.He called at bedtime and from his numbers, we would decide whether or not to use a temporary basal. This meant some sleepless nights for me, but Ben had fun, and that is the important thing.

Ben is a kid first, that just happens to have diabetes. He does most of the management himself now, at 14. He does need reminding - but at 14, he needs reminding for a lot of things.

He does not manage as well as I think I would, and I know he doesn't always eat the way he should, but his glucose numbers are pretty good, and I'd rather he manage his diabetes in his own way, then totally rebel against my management and stop altogether. The bottom line is that as parents, our job is to give these children the tools and confidence they need to fly on their own, no matter how hard it is for us to watch them go. Good Luck!

Alice

Mike LeBlanc said...

Thanks for the helpful comments everyone !

Shamae said...

Hard stuff!! I worry about this too and Sydney is 6! I think we have to do the best we can and then hope for the best. My analogy is this. Lets say you have a plant you want to put in your yard but it isn't ready for the outside world yet. You start the plant inside. Care for it. Nurture it. Give it the food and sunlight it needs. If you put the plant out too early, it won't make it. But if you give it the necessary things it needs to survive and plant it outside when it's ready, it will thrive. Of course it still needs care once it's outside in "the real world." But if it was cared for properly, it will do ok. Plants go through something called "transplant shock" when moved from being indoors to being planted outside. Much like our children will. It takes the plant a bit to figure out life outside our 24/7 shelter but they do. The transplant shock is a necessary part of the growing process but if you've done your part, the plant will thrive outdoors.

Take care Mike. You are a great daddy! And remember, no matter how old Adele gets, you will ALWAYS be her daddy. :-)