Monday, January 24, 2011

If Mom Wasn't a Tough Enough Job, Lets Just Add To It!!!

Its like playing a video game...each level harder than the last.

Level one:
 Being a Mom

Level two:
Being a Mom of 5

Level three:
Being a Mom of 5, 4 of which are girls

Level four:
Being a Mom of 5, 4 of which are girls, and the oldest is a Type 1 Diabetic

Level five:
Being a Mom of 5, 4 of which are girls,
the oldest is a Type 1 Diabetic, and dealing with the school (and a teen).

If you have ever played video games with your kids (or if you can remember back to before the kids) then you know that each level has new challenges and it takes most of us a few tries (maybe hours of tries) to get to the next level, there is always that one spot you just crash and burn at no matter how hard you try!

Well that is how I feel right now about being a mother to a Type 1 Diabetic teenager! We aren't new to this. Its been 8 years since Macy was diagnosed. The part that is new is giving up the control and letting her do what she needs to. She has 2.5 years left and she will be an adult! She will have to do it all on her own and no one is going to be constantly on her case asking her what her blood sugar is and how many units of insulin she bolused. That in itself scares the hell out of me.

We strive for testing a regular 5 times a day (to you moms with young diabetics, that will seem like way too few), with more if there are problems. So she must test her blood sugar 1-wake up/breakfast, 2-lunch, 3-home from school/snack if necessary, 4-dinner, and 5-bedtime. If there is a high or a low blood sugar then there are more testing times to get it back to where it needs to be. She has an Insulin pump so she needs to dial in her insulin bolus' when she eats. We have an extra injection at meal times of a hormone that helps with her Insulin insensitivity as well (which sucks because it is in the pen shot form even though she has an insulin pump for the insulin). On top of all this she must monitor her supplies: battery life, test strips, lancets, insulin in her pump, and her pump connection. She must always have a test kit with her, a snack of some kind (in case she goes low), and her cell phone must always be charged and with her when she is away from home. And the final steps are refilling her pump and reconnecting her pump to her body every 2-3 days depending upon insulin usage and site maintenance.

Now if you are a non-diabetic family that sounds like a lot doesn't it? But to us Diabetic Moms, its not that bad, really it's not. We are lucky in a lot of ways. Macy is old enough to monitor her own blood sugars and doesn't have to go to the nurses office at her school. She doesn't need the school to supervise her insulin usage and manage her every move. That's how it was when she was younger. I have fought long and hard every step of the way to get her out from under the "school nurses control". My argument being that she needs to be the one in control and learn to manage her own life. In college there is no school nurse to check in on her and control everything. (Believe it or not the schools absolutely hate this. They want to be in control of everything for liability purposes.) We are also so lucky because I have never had to give her shots or attach her pump for her. She has always done it for herself, since the very first shot in the hospital. (It may not sound like much luck but those with very young Type 1 Diabetics have to do all this for their children and I cannot even begin to imagine the emotional pain and toll it must take to jab their little fingers/toes to test sometimes over 10 times a day and give them shots multiple times a day.)

The way you control what the school can and cannot do (and they in turn try to control what your child can and cannot do) is a 504 plan. Every year you have to review and change the 504 plan with the school administrators. For us this has been especially difficult because we have moved 3 times in 3 years (although we are done with the moving now). So each year it has been a new school district with new administrators to deal with. We have had to fight each time to protect the rights of our daughter. Each time we have been angry, frustrated, and have had to be on the defensive.

PhotobucketSo the reason for my frustration today is all the work we have done to protect our daughter and she doesn't want to deal with it. WHAT? Well the semester ends on Friday, so the 12 absences she has had this year so far (not too bad for a type 1 diabetic but definitely not our best) have resulted in missed classwork and a missed chorus concert. Each absence was followed up with the documentation from us to make sure it was excused. However, she has 2 teachers who have given her F's on her classwork  and tests she missed and that winter concert for chorus. Once I figure all of this out the teenage fight is on. Mom wants to know why you let it go so long and teenaged daughter is flippant and doesn't care so why should her mom? Are you kidding me?

So a couple of emails are sent (cc'ing the principal of course), both emails were very polite but also strategically mentioned the 504 plan my daughter has in place that is protected by the ADA and IDEA. However, the teenager must also talk to her teachers and get the make-up work completed, before Friday. This week is going to suck. I am already at my limit with the daily arguments my daughter and I have over managing her diabetes. I really am not looking forward to dealing with the school work and make-up assignment arguments.

My mom used to have a bumper sticker hanging on her bulletin board when I was a teenager. I remember scoffing at it. It said "The older I get, the smarter my Mom gets". I can't wait for the day when my daughter realizes: I am not a complete moron, I do understand what she is going through as a teenager, that her daily battles being a diabetic child hurt me too, and I am smart (not a dumbass).


  1. Following you through Mommy Monday blog hop. I would appreciate a follow back.

  2. I am a follower! I hope you will stop by my blog and follow back!

    Emma Michaels

  3. Oh my gosh, I'll stop my complaining right. NOW. 5 kids... you go girl!!! seriously, amazing, your newest follower ... add me to your "daily reader" list

  4. Akkkk, Sheldon fought the good fight when she was that age. It does improve, really, I swear.

  5. Just keep swimming....just keep swimming..... (Nemo song)

    You are doing great! Remember that even though it is REALLY annoying that your daughter does not care about her poor grades, it is absolutely normal. Once I give up on trying to get my kids to think like me and just make them do what they must or give a consequence for whatever is needed, I feel a lot less frustrated (after the fight, that is!) She WILL thank you one day, you can count on it.

  6. Damn right you make me laugh hooker!!!

    My dad is a diabetic! So I totally know what you're saying!!

  7. awww so sorry... I'm way behind in my following.. but so glad I found you.. today was the day I needed :o)

  8. It is so hard having a child who is sick and missing school. It is even harder trying to help them catch up, juggle the ever demanding attendance officer and make the child realise you are helping them.

    My son is so wrapped up in his health probs that school work and grades are at the bottom of his list. He has had the talk about his grades and catching up being important as he is 2 yrs from his exams.
    But then isnt that most teens. They dont realise the importance of school until it is gone. The kids with health issues to deal with and non attendance must find it even harder.

    Plus being a teen,like all teens, anything mum says is complete rubbish.

    Just wanted to let u know u are not alone, u are doing great ( I need to listen to this too), and that in the long term your daughter will understand you were doing it for her best interests.


  9. Hello I am a new follower from Tuesday Trips. I would love a follow back at

  10. Good for you encouraging your daughter to be independent. Many parents won't release those reigns.

  11. What a difficult age - teenagers are made to push their parents to the limit. My daughter is 11 and autistic and is already showing signs of adolescence. Her techers keep telling me, "it'll get worse", just what a mum wants to hear. NOT!

    Deep breaths, relax, take yourself off for a massage and some "me time".
    CJ xx

  12. Thank you for visiting! Love your blog and just subscribed :)

  13. Hi- teenagers can really be a hand full- it is great that you are teaching her to be self-sufficient and to take control of her disease, I think that is very important and also a bit hard to let go of the responsibility that has been on you for so long. My husband is a diabetic so I have an idea of living with a diabetic.
    I am your newest follower- I hope you will check out my blog and follow me back.
    at Grandma's Secrets to Savings-

  14. A friend of mine has a daughter with diabetes and they were just diagnosed last year. It has been a struggle to find a way to handle it on a daily basis. Kudos to you for trudging ahead.