New Diagnosis-Blended Family

Hi there,

I'm new to the group and already appreciate the previous postings. My husband's son was recently diagnosed with type I. He lives with his mom full time and we enjoy him for weekend visits. Mom and I have a very strained relationship and doesn't want to communicate with me at all about the son. Fortunately, she will communicate with dad on an interrmittent basis but we both are trying to find ways to open the doors of communication so that our shared son has a team rather than just people who live in the same village. Any tips on how we can help son and mom without stepping on toes?

Hi Allie,
we are a newly diagnosed family of a 14 yr old boy, I finally let him sleep over a friend’s BIG step for me. I am sure that his mom is an anxious as I am, maybe this can help ease your relationship if she know that you are as caring as you are about his medical condition. I know that it is very hard to learn all the “new” life changes, but it is comfortable knowing that my family members care as well.

Hi Allie,

Perhaps communication can be facilitated in a written form rather than verbal. Could there be a journal that goes between you all that makes notes of pertinent information this way you are all on the “same page”. In this case - literally.

Hello Lorraine,
I’m so glad you sent this message because that’s actually exactly what I’ve already done. I went to the store & picked up a three-ring binder & some tabs, hole-punched our shared information sent home from the diabetes clinic, and started what I HOPE can be a type of “journal” that can not only go between households but can also be used by other adults who may be in charge also (camping trips, church functions, sleep-over parents, etc.). Although there’s been no response from mom about the notebook at all yet, your suggestion makes me feel better about the idea and gives me a little bit of hope that maybe the written word instead of the verbal word may be the key.
Thank you!

I can only imagine letting your son sleep over at a friend’s house was indeed a big step for you. Go mom AND go son! Did everything turn out a-ok? Indeed, “new” life changes are hard and even after 5 years of step-parenting, we have a long way to go. I completely understand how anxious mom must be and truly believe she knows that I care for her son…hopefully she’ll do what I’ve done and seek out some avenues that allow her to understand others can be a support rather than another source of anxiety. Thank you so much for writing.

Hi Allie,

I love the idea of a journal. It would be ideal if the journal was two-way, but Mom is not willing to share the information, then you could record all the pertinent information and send a copy home after every visit. This would be similar to the type of information that our school’s nurse records and sends home on a periodic basis.

An additional idea, is invest the time to learn all that you can about diabetes so that you are better able to interact with both your husband’s son and his mother. When we were dx this fall one of the recommendations that I got from this site was a book titled Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin by M.S. Gary Scheiner M.S. and Ph.D. Barry Goldstein M.D. M.D. It is an excellent resource.

Welcome to the group. You will find there is a lot of great information and support here.


A binder is a fantastic idea …good call Lorraine !!

Oh, well good for you then. It sounds like you are being very proactive and, although it sounds like a less than perfect situation, you seem to be very open-minded and flexible so I think you will be able to make this work.

It reminds me of sending our journal (a teeny notebook) back and forth with Caleb’s nurse. I adore her, but when we get on the phone, we have a hard time getting off because we end up chatting. But when I make notes in the book, it is to the point, gets the information across and there’s no opportunity for chit chat! I also like that there is documented trail of his carbs, bgs and what action was taken. Even though much of this information is in Caleb’s pump, it’s nice to just refer to the journal to see patterns and whatnot.

I hope it works!

I wonder if there’s any way to improve the relationship between you and your stepson’s Mom - I’m sure it’s complicated as all getout, but is there any possibility that all three parents can meet with a counselor who specializes in families with children who have diabetes/special needs so that you can find a way to get past all the emotional difficulties and work as a team for the benefit of the boy?

Full disclosure: I’m a stepmother, and my stepdaughter’s mother is about as bad an opposite number as you can possibly ask for. I could tell you stories that would curl your hair, and I loathe the woman for everything she’s done to my husband and her children (not just my stepdaughter, but also her other seven children as well) but I’ve always managed to have a reasonably polite relationship with her simply by chanting silently to myself, “My child loves this woman, I will treat her politely. My child…” Of course, it does help that my stepdaughters Mom doesn’t have custody and has little interest in visitation… and perhaps the strain is more on her end than on yours?