Thursday, September 15, 2011

Slack or Strict? That is the question.

School has started and we are back to the same old routine.

"Did you test?"
Of course.
"Did you test two hours after your breakfast?"
I tested at 11am. Isn't that the same?
"You ate breakfast at 7. No its not the same. Did you test before gym class?"
I tested at 11.

THUD! The sound of my frustrated brain smacking against another wall. My son is 14.  He is very, very private about his diabetes.  He would be just as happy if no one had a clue that he had diabetes. Mom is not this way. Mom would like everyone around him to know and understand diabetes so that he is safe at all times.  I want teachers to know that he is not drunk, lazy or stupid when he looks dazed and weak. I want them to run for glucose and ask questions later. I want people to understand that the six trips to the bathroom during Religion class was not because he really doesn't like the class but because he was high. I want them to understand that he is not wearing a pager, he is tethered to a piece of medical equipment that keeps him alive.

How much do I push him? His school knows that he has diabetes. I have spoken to most of his teachers over the course of the previous school year.  I asked the principal to meet with them all again. She said they had a nurse come in before school started so there was no need but she would speak to his homeroom teacher about meeting with the teachers he specifically has. I have not heard from the teacher so yesterday I sent them all a detail letter about Liam's care.  Personally, while the meeting with a nurse is wonderful, the individual needs and care of each student should be further addressed by having the parents of all children with diabetes attend this meeting. Because this did not happen, I went with the letter and hope to see a few of these people at the curriculum night.

Again, how much do I push things? The school will no longer set alarms for him to test. They want him to be self-sufficient and he is in grade 9. I am okay with theory.  I have thought of returning to our three strikes and your online privileges are gone routine but did it get me anywhere last year? Sometimes but it was not completely effective...he is still slipping into old habits this year despite the threat.

The slack part of me says, you know what? My son is really good at knowing when he is high or low.  He will most likely "know" when he is in trouble.  The rest of the readings just allow me to keep a respectable A1c level for him.

The diligent parent in me says, "Punish him! He will one day learn. He has to do this. Its the same as brushing his teeth."

The slacker response is that at some point I have to respect his desire for privacy.  I have to give him the space to be himself rather than just the boy with diabetes, as long as it does not endanger him.  This could mean allowing him to test as he feels he needs to.  

Testing at 11 instead of 9:30am is so far not harming him. Its driving me insane but he is still alive to tell the story.  I can continue to nag. I can hope that one day he will hear. I will work on breathing and not freaking out.  I will look at alternatives to the three strikes...probably...maybe...well I will try.  


  1. As always, I get a little glimpse into my future with Joe. I thank you for that. Your grace and thoughtfulness in dealing with your son and "D" are inspirational. I hope that I will follow your lead...xo

  2. i just found your blog today, and i am wondering, does your son wear a CGM? and if not, would wearing one give him a feeling of being a little more in control of when to test? and would it not allow you to see his levels over the times he isn't testing and better allow him to see that perhaps at certain times he does need to test a little more that he is now?

  3. Thanks Kim. My son has no interest at all in a CGM. Financially it is not on my radar at the moment either but it will be a must before he heads off to university. I will definitely keep your advice for the near future when he does get one.