Should have sent her to camp with her Dexcom!

Sarah is at diabetes camp this week, which is wonderful and I’m so happy. But the camp called this morning to say that Sarah had a shower last night, suspended her pump and forgot to resume it! Somehow, someone woke up at 5:00 am and discovered this and needless to say, she was a very sick monkey. But is feeling better now and what better place than at camp where it’s full of medical staff and even her own endocrinologist.

But I’m kicking myself now for not sending her with her Dexcom! I didn’t because I wanted her to be like the other kids, and do all their manual blood checks together and make her think more about her blood glucose levels. Not to mention their Dexcom policy states that her counsellor would have had to carry Sarah’s phone and there is no data sharing at camp. I assumed that Sarah would have spent most of her time out of range and it wouldn’t make it worth it and it would be one more thing to worry about. But it would have been helpful last night!

The funny thing is, I’m actually on the fence about using a CGM. I think it works if you care… but Sarah is 10 and she really doesn’t care. I care of course, but then I’m the hovering mother, bugging her about correcting etc, which I DO, but it’s not enough when she won’t bolus or couldn’t care less about going high.

Her average blood glucose lately has been 11, and after two months on the CGM her A1C only dropped a tiny bit. I think it’s frustrating ing because as an adult, I would care if some foods made me go high and I would avoid them, or I would always make sure to bolus, but I know what the consequences are. She doesn’t get it, how do you get a 10 year old to believe that in her 30’s she will regret the choices she is making now?

Plus, but she isn’t going to give up things like caramel popcorn of her own volition. And it’s not like I buy it, but if someone else does and its available, she eats it regardless of what it does to her. And I’m really hesitant about labelling foods as “bad” and ‘forbidden’, knowing her personality she would want them more!

In talking to my husband we are all for removing foods from our household that are a problem for her so that no one eats them… and I would like to take more time this fall to make it a sort of experiment where we keep a food diary and see for fun what effect different foods have on her. Maybe that would help her to understand.

Sigh… this is not easy and it’s hard when it makes me feel like such a failure. My only hope is that going to camp will have a good effect on her and maybe some positive peer pressure will make her want to do better. She is competitive and I might ask one of her counsellors to keep in touch with her as a mentor to make Sarah want to try harder.

Sorry… this post kinda morphed into something different. But any other ideas for motivating a 10 year old?

There are more issues than only diabetes. Teen age girls in particular can get eating disorders. Being T1 would obviously not make her immune to such. I personally take such into serious consideration. You have no way of knowing if your child (teen age girl) will have an eating disorder until after it happens. To me, it is not worth the risk to be over-aggressive with the foods choices and restrictions at THIS age. Adults - whatever. Go for it. lol.

(Lots of posts in this forum with very different opinions. You are the parent. Read it all and decide what works best for you, your child and your family.)

I am a big fan of simply not bringing some things into the house at all. If it is not healthy just don’t bring it in. Actually helps everybody else in the house as well. Who needs that bottle of Pepsi anyway? No upside to it for anybody. Occasionally at another house? Kind of different. Some things you might want to let slide and just dose for it.

For overnight camp, you should be able to request a BG check in the middle of the night. I certainly would want a 2AM BG check every night. Camp activities are so different from normal activity so overnight BG could potentially have wild swings different from what you are used to. The staff should be using the same meter for only your child the entire time such that you are able to review the readings yourself should you want to.

At 10 years old, the personal treatment is very differently from the 6 year old and from the 16 year old. IMHO this is gentle transition period. You have the teenage years bearing down on you. Consider this prep time. Try for gradual improvements with increased input from your child as the years progress.

This is not a sprint.


I am fairly certain that kids at the diabetes camp I visited a few years ago had many CGM’s. But ask her about it, kids with CGM’s tend to test anout as much as kids wihtout and ntohing says both are not ok.

So how to motivate a 10-year-old? I am not certain exactly I was 17 when diagnosed. But here is what I I would do if she were my child.

First, yes keep the CGM, they are life changing. I would suggest giving up the pump before the CGM.

Second, I would work on carb counting and calibrating the pump.

Third, she has all sort of things going on and it will be a wild ride for some time.

Fourth, I would do some therapy to help her express herself fully, to you and others. This is a long term investment, it will pay off later in her life.

Fifth, let her experience mistakes. This is something she may never forget. Help her process it when she comes home. Not a nag, but discuss it. Let her know how brave she was and how proud of her you are.

Sixth, don’t beat yourself up. Whatever happens or happened, will not be harmed. I promise.

Finally, involve her in her care as much as possible. The more the better. She will make mistakes, but she will be ok. I promise.

Thanks guys, so appreciate your encouraging words. I think we just haven’t used the Dexcom to full advantage. My primary reason for getting it was to alarm me at night, but I think it could be so much more for us that we need to work on that.

And you’re right @Tim35… it is a marathon and not a sprint, but I forget sometimes and just want things to be good NOW. And as she gets older, it’s like I’m in the process passing on the torch - or the burden of her care - onto her, and sometimes she does awesome and sometimes the torch is just too heavy for a 10 year old and she stumbles. I want to be there for her when that happens but the process isn’t seamless and never seems to go smoothly.

One day at a time! The camp called me again tonight to say that she is loving camp and loves the fact that everyone there has diabetes… makes her feel so normal. I’m so happy that for a week of her life she gets to feel that way.


if you want some great lower carb meal and treat ideas Check out, which may help a little.

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Has she been to camp before? I’ve heard so many stories about how it changes kids attitude toward their self care. I’m really curious to hear if she develops new habits or becomes more interested after being exposed to peers with diabetes.

Ten is a tricky time. When they are younger, they don’t have much of a say in anything. When they are older, they are doing much more and making most if not all decisions. 10-12 is in between, as others have said and it’s a little harder to navigate. I found Caleb always showed me signs of what he was ready to do independently. It may have taken some encouragement, but no pushing or forcing. There were things, and still are things, that are non-negotiable. But those in between years are kind of feeling your way through, reacting to their cues and making your best judgments based upon what you know about your child.

I think it’s fabulous that she is not thinking about diabetes when it comes to food choices. That might sound crazy, but it says to me that she doesn’t have an unhealthy attitude toward food bc of diabetes. That said, you can still set some boundaries to be sure that she stays safe. Like bg checks at certain times are not negotiable bc you need information in order to make dosing decisions. Which is different than rules that give “bad” and “good” food connotations.

Dexcom can still be useful even if she doesn’t hold it in high regard. Caleb was not a lover of dexcom for a while. Now, it’s an integral resource for him. It can still give you information to help with dosing decisions. But you can also accomplish that without Dexcom.

When does she come home? I hope you’ll have a relaxing week after yesterday morning!

Bgs are more variable as a kid than they are as an adult. That’s just how it is.Take comfort that if she can figure out how to manage, as a kid, she will be able to manage as an adult.

I was a super conscientious diabetic at 11, but we didn’t have Dexcoms. Today no problems/complications in my thirties. Kids need a simpler algorithm to work with, as you know. If she is on a sliding scale and she is ten years old, then she is probably old enough to make her own food decisions like a normal kid would. I wouldn’t treat her any different than any other kid without diabetes.

I eat caramel popcorn and I dose properly for it. Its really not an issue. I would focus more on teaching her how to dose, rather than judging foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. That’s a real slippery slope. Anytime there is too much emotion wrapped up in food, there is the potential for more harm to be done than good.

That is a pretty big deal.

@Leelaa - Another suggestion if you are having trouble with your daughter and her behaviour during her WAKING hours. As parents, (Like the US Army)…


A reasonable goal is however bad today was - it will NOT carry over into tomorrow. The situation WILL be corrected overnight and the bg WILL be in range for morning waking.

Goals are goals. It doesn’t always happen. But it is a reasonable goal. My opinion.

Thank you all so much for your perspectives, it really does help.

@Lorraine… she comes home tomorrow and since they called me again later that day to tell me that she was Ok, I"ve been able to relax. To be honest I’m feeling a little smug thinking that 2 pediatricians, 1 endocrinologist, a handful of nurses (including a nurse practitioner) can’t replace a mom. haha :wink: And I’m glad you also feel that 10 is a tricky time. She is such an independent child and she really doesn’t let diabetes rule her life, maybe that is a good thing, especially when it comes to food. I like that perspective, thank you!

And I too am hoping that camp will help change her attitude towards her care. Hopefully when she sees her counsellors checking their blood and bolusing, she will realize that it’s good to take care of yourself!

@mohe0001… thank you. I didn’t realize that kids had more variables… but it makes sense, especially as they are growing. And I agree, I’m not going to label foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’, I see the danger in that. We will working on dosing for those sort of things, and perhaps pre-bolusing.

@Tim35… that made me laugh, because that’s so true!! And I don’t mind getting up 10x in the night to make sure that her numbers are great by morning, and of course that is where the Dexcom helps. A clean slate every morning with good blood sugars is a great thing.


Thank you @Rphil2 ,all great advice and I really appreciate it. Did you ever do therapy for you diabetes?

I was dx’d in 1971. As a child I learned that diabetics who don’t watch their blood sugar go blind.
When I understood that eating caramel corn or other sugar bombs might cause me to lose my sight I had very little interest in eating them

I have and I do. I was so far outside the medical establishment that it was necessary to have therapy to help me re-engage. I know at the university hospital near me, they have a large diabetes clinic with an emotional component for teenagers. It is a coming trend in diabetes and chronic condition care.

For a nonspecialist, I would look for a good child therapist and speak with her about goals before the first session. If I were her parent I think what I would hope for is that your daughter understands that she can at some future time turn to therapy for support. I did not understand that and it cost me many years of good health.

hey! this is short because I’m writing from my phone but I want to say this - as a once 10 year old with T1D who made some unwise decisions and stopped caring about my self care for just over a decade – there’s nothing I did at 10 or 11 that I regret now as an almost 27 year old.
These were times that food was labeled bad and I was developing a very bad relationship with food. Some things could have been different and worked out a little healthier sooner but I had to make my own unhealthy choices before I could realize how important health is. All you can do is care now and let her do the heavy lifting when she’s ready… and she will be ready one day.