Kids and Diabetes Complications

Dear Reader,

Does anyone else with a cwd (child with diabetes) find that it is hard to avoid conversations about the complications? Now, I am a realist, I think. I am not in denial about how serious my daughter’s disease is. But she is 8. I want to be able to control what she hears about the possible complications down the road. At eight, she just doesn’t need to know everything right now. I am sure it is different for different kids and at different ages but my dd is the over-conscientious worrying sort and I don’t feel she needs to know everything now.

Yesterday at the park with a couple of friends, we entered into a conversation with a dad there whom we didn’t know. He heard my friend discussing some issue her son is having and one thing led to another and he began talking about his girlfriend who has D and the eye  problems she has because of it. He didn’t say if it was type 1 or 2 not that it matters. And of course he didn’t know I had a cwd. I was watching my dd who wasn’t too near us but then she started to come over. Fortunately my friend changed the subject just in time and I don’t think my dd heard any of it. I realize the end result is that this is kind of a non-story. Nothing bad happened. But it could have. And even people who know a child has D don’t tend to watch what they say. To me this should be something like the facts of life that yes kids need to know at some point but it is the parent’s prerogative to decide when and where and how they learn everything. And you wouldn’t go and explain it all to someone else’s kid. Of course it is also like the birds-and-the-bees in that they apparently are going to hear it whether you are ready for them to or not and so you had better head it off and tell them first before they hear it on the playground.

Just because I am venting about this all (you can tell by all the run-on sentences that this is an irritated if not angry blog post), I do have  a story that was a lot bigger in terms of consequences. We were visiting family. The husband has type 2 and at his wife’s urging turned on D-life (a TV show devoted to diabetes). They kept it on very loudly through the whole show even though it was talking about various complications of D. And they knew my dd has type 1 and they knew she was right there. My husband and I tried to distract her. Later we asked her what she had thought of the TV show that had been on. She did look worried and asked us if it was about type 1  or 2. We told her that the show itself was mostly about  type 2, but anyone with D can get other problems because of it and that is why we check her bg and take care of her so she will stay healthy.

So, I would love to hear from other parents of cwds what you have told your kids and at what age.



2 responses to this post.

  1. I do not have any children with diabetes but am a type 1 since the age of 10. My dear parents were very conscientious with my care, such as it was in the early 70s. I went to boarding school at the age of 12 and so had to have all the skills and know how by then to care for myself. (We lived in the Australian bush and had no other schooling options) One of my older sisters had died about 5 years before primarily from complications of diabetes (she had other problems as well) This must have been a very stressful time for my parents. But I only appreciate this as an adult. They always stove to treat me as normally as possible. They allowed me to do whatever the other children were doing and persue my dreams.
    I actually took good care of myself and coped quite well through out high school. I attended a couple of Diabetic Children’s camps. I knew some of the possible complications.
    When I left school, however, I was young, reasonably otherwise healthy, naive and thought I was bullet proof. I was also unsaved at this time. I never got into drinking but I got into a very hectic lifestyle and long story short, ended up in hospital on multiple occasions in Ketoacidotic comas. My dear parents thought I was lost on a number of occasions.
    Now, I had councilling, I had many consultations. I saw films of the consequences but until I became a christian and saw myself in a different light before God, I took little notice.
    Now as a 47 year old woman, I have reasonable control……but I have almost all of those long term complications. Eye, renal, heart, loss of a child. I have also become Celiac which often goes along with the diabetes.
    I write all this to encourage you to persevere with the excellent care you are giving your daughter but also to encourage you to let her mature. I have young diabetic girls that I know who tell me their parents mollicoddle them and they want to be like everyone else. They never will be, but they can learn to control their own condition in such a way as not to stand out in the crowd.
    As I said once on my own blog, I have never wanted to remembered as that girl/ woman with the diabetes but for my other God given talents.
    Your daughter does need to gradually learn that her condition makes her very vulnerable to many complications, but also that she is precious in God’s eyes and can lead a relatively normal and productive life if she perseveres and takes good, sensible care.
    Sorry about the post length comment, but it is a subject very dear to my heart ♥ For me, being able to have children was of upmost importance and I was warned if I didn’t get my act together I might find that hard. Then, to my absolute devastation, I lost my first child due mainly to his prematurity due to my diabetes. This was a wake up call and God graciously gave my four healthy children (Though with some dramas)
    If you are interested to read the journey of my faith and family here is the link
    My main blog is ~ come visit some time.


  2. Ruby,
    Thank you so much for your comment. I appreciate that you put so much time into it. It is wonderful to hear from a Christian woman struggling with this disease. The perspective of the diabetes community at large is often at odds with what I woudl consider a godly view of the disease and it is nice to know there are other Christians out there dealing with it who maybe understand my perspective on it. It is also nice to hear from an adult who has grown up with it. I often think I am just feeling my way through in terms of when and how to deal with the emotional aspects for my daughter so any input is helpful. I will definitely check out your blog.


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