Teenager's Diabetic Dilema

I just recently joined this site with my mother who is a type2 diabetic and i am a type1, my mother’s account is “Sparkle”. I have a little brother (which is the teenager i speak of in this discussion) He refuse’s to do his diabetes and has labeled this the end of the world and blames even god himself for this curse, he feels all hope is lost almost to the point of suicide. and my poor mother is trying everything in her power to help him almost to the point of forcing him to do his diabetes, the poor child has lost all hope. I have shared all the strategies i can with him as well as always been here to lend him advice whenever he needed it. I am here as his support 110% as well as my mother.

what should we do?

First and foremost, your brother is pretty lucky to have you… May I know how old is your teenage brother? Maybe we can invite him to join the community as well…for we have a lot of members here who are teenagers too. I’m sure they would be happy to support and share experiences with your brother. Have you considered also Diabetes Camps? There are camps for all ages. There are a lot of our members here that are products or graduates of diabetes camps. I’m not one of them but I have heard numerous wonderful leanings and experiences from them. Maybe you can check this out:
I wish you the best =)

Welcome, Enoch. Glad you & your mother found us!

Painful to see those we love not taking care of themselves. Especially hard because you know how he feels being a T1 yourself. Most of us don’t have anyone who truly understands what it’s like.

Any chance your brother would also join TuD? There are teenage members here who can share their feelings with him & offer support.

Would he agree to go to counseling? Feeling hopeless, angry & near suicidal requires professional help. If he agrees, suggest that he choose the therapist.

I can’t pretend to know what it’s like being a teenager with diabetes. I was diagnosed T1 as an adult. Reflecting on how rebellious I was, I know I would have not taken care of myself. Difficult enough to be a teen without diabetes. From what others here have said about their teen years, they were similar to your brother.

All you & your mother can do is be supportive & understanding. Acknowledge how he feels without judgment or telling him what he “should” do. No advice, pleading, scare tactics or nagging (not saying anyone is doing this) because that just causes people to shut down. We can’t force anyone to do anything, as much as we wish we could in situations like this.

Another thing you might all consider as a family is to contact a place like the American Diabetes Association or Joslin Clinic and see what “diabetes boot camps” are being offered near you. Then all 3 of you sign up and do it as a family affair. This might help him see that he is not alone - especially if the boot camp you attend has a large contingent of younger participants. I’ve heard (but don’t have links to) of diabetes friendly vacations (like cruises, etc.) where education is a key component but the idea of having a vacation that is “normal” and like “everyone else” is the real eye opener for some people. But in the end you have to remember that while he has diabetes, he also has to be the one that addresses it and either comes to terms with it or not - no matter how much it hurts you and your mother. The big thing is that you and your Mom have to not let it affect you (easier said than done) no matter what happens. His refusal now to address may well give him issues/complications sooner rather than later but he will have to live with that. Counseling may help but he would have to agree to go there. I hope it all works out for the best rather than the worst but you and your Mom have to accept whatever happens.

here is another family’s struggle. has he ever been DKA?

I got diagnosed when I was 12, lots of tears and misunderstandings went along with it, including the kids at school calling me “Diabete boy”. I rebelled against everything and everyone, including my dr.

My help ended up coming from my friends and their understanding (after a bit of explaining) of my situation. Also, I tuned out all of the people that tried to tell me what to “do” about it when they did not have a clue, which was not easy. Another thing that helped was discovering that people my age had it too and had to deal with it, that were NOT family. (As screwy as that sounds)

I woke up to it after a time and started taking care of myself, but I did have my issues. I look at it now as just a part of my life that I have to deal with if I want to keep on living the life I want. You could try getting him to do things that he “might” not think he can, that would give him some confidence to push himself to see what he can do on his own, and help him to realize that just because he has this nasty little bug there is no reason for it to run his life. I think he is just scared and he does not know what to do about it.

I hope this helps. :slight_smile:

I am sorry that I do not know exactly what to tell you, if he is as young as I was he may very well have a very bull headed attitude toward anyone that tells him what to do. Kind of everyone getting the finger from him when he gets annoyed.

08YeIJK is right. Sometimes people have to go their own way. I live in an area where diabetes (and obesity) is rampant. You’d think people would try and take care of themselves yet they don’t. Friends of mine who are nurses have told me how they’ll see diabetic patients waddling (yes waddling - not walking) down the street with a Frozen Frappocino in one hand and a donut in the other. They know these patients from the ER or observation floor and they know that they will see them again - usually the day after they see them on the street. You would think that some of these folks would learn but nope… Yes diabetes can be a struggle. I struggle with it every day and yet some things happen. Just Friday I was up at the wound clinic and there was a HUGE person (I am not svelte myself being very insulin resistant) there waiting for his turn in the hyperbaric chamber to treat a wound of his. That means it was a pretty severe ulcer. He was scarfing down a triple stack whopper and a shake. I asked him if he was a diabetic; he responded yes. I looked at his food. He “explained/justified” that he had to get his sugars up for treatment. ??? Turns out that yes - your gb has to be above 150 - but you and I both know that with what he was eating it would go probably to 300 and then some. I’m just pointing out that this fellow and your brother both have to take some responsibility for themselves and their own actions. And whatever happens you just have to accept and shower him with love.

We ALL do what we can… whether me, your mom, you or your brother… none of us get it perfect and all of us are the doing the very best we are able to cope with this nasty dragon! Its not easy stuff. It hurts. It does not play fair either.

How long has your brother been going this way? How long has he been diabetic?

There are a couple things you can do… just plain listen to him. Talk with him if you can… but mom will be much better at it because she is the grown-up. But you can talk to him, see if you can figure stuff out for you or for him. Talk to mom about it too.

Someday you could feel like he does… its possible. Not your job to “cure him” you’re a kid too. There are people who can help him, get his head straightened out. That’s what they do for a living. But there is nothing wrong with being angry that’s ok. But diabetes does not like it, when it gets ignored, or we preted it does not exist. We can all do that and many, many, many of us do but there is a price.

It will wake up and breathe fire try to hurt/kill us if it can. Is there anything mom doesn’t know about what he’s doing? There something you think he’s doing nobody else knows about?

Not taking our own tests is not the end of the world for a day or two. Thats called a DIABETIC VACATION;, all tests/shots someobody else does ALL of them for us for those couple days. Feels pretty good, someone else doing it all for us, not having to think about it. But when he’s not testing for weeks, forgetting shots, or totally guessing about how much insulin to use that can be dangerous.

Testing is a very new thing diabetes wise. Multiple shots a day is very. very new too. Until my late teens, early 20’s neither of those were common practice at all. If more remembered that truth, I believe the kind of thing your brother is doing at least on the surface level would not cause nearly as big a total panic as it does-can with some.

What has been tried with your brother so far?

Thanks for your reply,

In no way or form am i trying to cure him, hell i have type one diabetes myself and i know the effect after 11 years. I think there is more of a underlying problem going on. he is 18 years old. doesn’t take his shots. just injects himself without a meter to give readings and goes weeks…sometimes months without doing anything. and myself i am no angel to this game either. i have been there in his boots, i think its just going to take time and a little growing up for him to realize how bad its gonna hurt in the end. and your right, i explained to my mother its going to take more on her end of things to help him out. i had some pretty interesting comments back from teens and their diabetes and its amazing the majority of them that didn’t listen to family members and it took a friend to help them.

I wanted to thank you yet again for your comment back. In the end it his fate will be decided by himself, thats the reason i never nag him. i was nagged at my whole life about it. push’s you farther away.

Thanks for your time.

I am 17 and have type one if he just does what he has to it isn’t a big deal and he will feel much better it isn’t too hard to deal with tell him to just do it and take care of it when he has to then live life and not even worry about it until the nxt time he has to eat or check

You are a wonderful sister. And obviously your little brother is pretty wonderful too. It’s REALLY tough when you have diabetes as a teen. There is no way to know what will and won’t be helpful to him - especially for me because I don’t him or your family dynamic. My first thought is: encourage him to sign up on here and then let him explore the areas that interest him. Ideally he’ll discover there are lots of teens just like him who know exactly where he’s coming from.

Counseling is also a very powerful tool. Finding the right fit is hit or miss, so he may not particularly care for the first person he meets. If you are members of a church you could seek out a source of support for him there too.

If, if, if, IF you feel he is serious about taking his own life, please get some advice for what you can do and should know by contacting a suicide hot line. It may seem extreme, but you will be given some guidance as to how you can best help the person you love. If, if, IF you feel he is about to take his own life, please call 911.

You’re doing all the right things. I’m sending my warmest thoughts out to all of you.

Julie Ann

Hello Enoch:

I am closer to YOU, your brother my fellow diabetics in many many ways than I am with those whom I love with my life and may even be blood relatives!

As diabetics are closer because we share the same evil rituals, the same whispered secrets and unspoken fears. Though I have never met you, your brother… I do understand…because we are all diabetic. My job, as a fellow diabetic is to help if I can… or barring that at least do no harm

Hows he, you doing these days?