Hello, although my son has had diabetes for 8 years my nephew was just diagnosed last week. It’s bringing back a lot of memories but now that we’ve been diagnosed for so long and pumping I have forgotten some of what it was like. My nephew is 5 and is obviously showing signs of anger at his situation. I think it’s mostly directed at his mother as he lives with her and his parents are divorced. My son was diagnosed as a baby so we didn’t go through this. Anyone have any experience with this and how did you handle it?
My son is 8 years old also but was diagnosed when he was five. He didn’t seem to feel any anger about being diabetic. I think because he wasn’t too restricted with his diet. He basically ate what he wanted and counted the carbs for insulin dosage. He experienced most of his frustration when he couldn’t go with his friends without me or his father tagging along. I’m sure your nephew’s mother is feeling very stressed with being a single parent and dealing with diabetes. A good support system is so important when your child is first diagnosed.
My niece was eight and adjusted relatively well. She is more moody in general, and I think that goes hand-in-hand with fluctuating blood sugars. She IS angrier about D lately, now that she is 12. So far, nothing major, just an expression that it can be a PITA. Mostly expresses it is a pain if she has to stop what she is doing to treat, etc. I have looked for teen support groups and not found any. But I plan to look further. It might be a good idea for her to see a therapist, but we would have to find a young, hip type; otherwise, she would have no rapport with the person. I think it is good if he can express anger soon after diagnosis. And I would seek treatment if I felt it was helpful.
My daughter was diagnosed a year ago this month. When we were told that she needed to check into Children’s Hospital (bg was 450) she came home very angry and cried the entire time I packed. After getting to the hospital; she was better and even handled the first shots like a trooper. It wasn’t until the middle of the night on our second day there that she broke down again after asking me how much longer we had to do this and realizing that it was a forever thing. Constant support from our family and lots of help from our endo team have made this ride a little less bumpy. I don’t know if your nephew has a social worker as part of his team, but they can offer some good insight. Being different from everyone else is what makes this so hard… having to sit out of activity because you are low; not being able to eat the giant cupcake because we can’t even begin to guess how many carbs are in it; no overnight because we have made a dose adjustment and you will need to be checked at in the middle of the night. All of these things are so hard for kids to understand. We still have angry days and days where she is just a huge grump to everyone around her, but showing her that she can play soccer, swim, go to birthday parties and do all of the things she did before, just with a little modification sometimes, has made things better. Her close friends all know and support her which has been a huge blessing. Hope your nephew & his mom have an easier time of it in the weeks to come.
My son is 4,5 half years old and was diagnosed 5 months ago. Yes, anger was one of his feelings after the hospital. Not able to eat whenever and whatever he wants created terrible scenes at first, especially while watching the snack ads. But counting the carbs creates a bit freedom. I usually tell my son that he can eat whatever he wants but only under control. I think time is the answer for your question. Just one week is so early for a 5 year old boy to understand all these. I hope a healthy and a happy future for all type 1 d children.
Thanks so much for all your insight. It has been 8 years for us and my son was so young when he was diagnosed that we didn’t go through these phases. I am learning all over again what it means to be newly diagnosed. My nephew was able to come for a visit and hang out with his older type 1 cousin. It did everyone some good. Thanks again for your responses.