Wow, it has been so long since I blogged that I had to go back and read some of my own posts to reacquaint myself with my blog!
And boy was I angry a month ago. Wow. I promise to not do THAT again! Well, I guess I can’t promise that, but I will try. 🙂
So, so much has happened in the last 6 weeks. I have just been super busy. My oldest and my youngest and I were all in a production of The Wizard of Oz last weekend. It was so much fun, but man was that exhausting! For three weeks straight I went straight from work to rehearsal. Fourteen hour days for three weeks almost killed me! Thank God Medium went to diabetes camp during that time and I actually got five nights of uninterrupted sleep! I was so worried about him and what his numbers were and how he was doing and if he was having any fun at all or was he just terribly homesick, that I had to take an Ambien every night to ensure that I actually slept. But then my days were filled with work and Oz rehearsal so the week really flew by! And he had a great time! He did not brush his teeth even once while he was gone, but he had fun! He had fun and we got a MUCH NEEDED break! So I’d say it was a success!
I really struggled when he first got back from camp. His emotions were all over the place and I think he was exhausted. And then there were his blood sugars. They were SUPER high when he got back from camp. I was really feeling guilty about how I was feeling; that it was so nice while he was gone. We could eat food without thinking about what it was, how many ounces it was and how many carbohydrates were in it. The house stayed picked up, there was no arguing between the other boys, there was so much less stress in the house with him gone. Because besides having T1D, Medium also has ADHD and that, sometimes, is harder to deal with than the diabetes. At least with diabetes you know what you are trying to accomplish. It might be extremely difficult sometimes to hit that moving target, but at least I know that I am trying to hit the target. I know that I need to keep his blood glucose between 70 mg/dL and 140 mg/dL at all times. That is my goal. And to accomplish that goal, I check his blood sugar often and then I either feed him or give him insulin. I am over-simplifying this to make my point, which I will get to, someday.
With ADHD, I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I AM DOING! (hey, look at that, I got right to the point! Not usually my style!)
There is no rule book. When he lies to me, I don’t know if that is him being a pain in the butt 10 year-old or if that is his ADHD. When he sneaks food, I don’t know if that is him just taking what he wants because he is a kid, or if it is the uncontrolled impulses of his ADHD. When we ask him to take a shower and he yells at us and tells us that he’s not going to do that and that we are stupid, is that just him being defiant, or is that his ADHD? And then when we finally drag his sorry butt up the stairs and walk him into the shower and then he comes out of the shower with dry hair and puts on dirty clothing, is that just him being lazy, or is that his inability to focus and complete tasks with multiple steps that is a hallmark sign of ADHD?
The answer is, I just don’t know. And I don’t know what to do about it. We have tried everything. We have punished, we have yelled, we have taken away privileges, we have spanked, we have tried natural consequences, we have done it all. NONE OF IT MAKES A SHIT BIT OF DIFFERENCE! Which is what makes me think, it is more his ADHD than anything. So then what do we do? Just let him get away with this behavior? ADHD or not, this kind of behavior is not acceptable and should have consequences. So he is either ALWAYS in trouble, or just walks scott-free. I feel bad when he is always in trouble, especially if he really can’t control it, but I can’t stand the behavior!
We have been dealing with these issues all of his life (and for the record, he does take medication for his ADHD). Then he was diagnosed with diabetes and things have gotten worse. Now there are far graver consequences to him sneaking food (one of his favorite pastimes). And for the first six weeks after diagnosis we were waking him up in the middle of the night to feed him because he was low, so we knew he wasn’t sleeping well, so we chalked up his bad behavior to being tired and not feeling well from blood sugar swings of highs and lows. And then, of course, there is the simple fact that the kid was diagnosed with a life-threatening, chronic disease with no cure. So of course we wanted to cut him some slack.
But it has been six months since diagnosis and we have got to get a handle on this situation. We got the name of a counselor from a friend and I think we need to take him. Not just for us, but for him. Honestly, he doesn’t seem to be bothered too much by his diagnosis, but I know that he might be keeping it all in, or not know how to talk about it.
So we will try this.
Because if we don’t….
All I can say is: I so identify with this post and my two boys, it is exhausting to live with their behaviours & diabetes. I guess this isn’t a very helpful comment but I’m with ya on the ‘no idea’ so I just keep focusing on loving them the best I can.
Or it could be the diabetes. Defiance comes natural with diabetes (I think, at least it did for me). It’s as if there’s only so much structure and inflexible routine a kid can handle, and when diabetes places additional demands on a kid, they tend to rebel against other things. At least the smart ones do … they know they can’t safely ignore the diabetes, so they ignore something else.
As I write this, I keep wanting to say “we”, not “they”. I’m writing strictly from my own experience, and that’s the way I was .. a quarter-century (holy crap I’m old!) ago. I’m sorry it doesn’t give you the answers, but maybe will help you understand what’s going on.
No matter the cause – adolescence, diabetes, ADHD, whatever – it would be nice to have some guidance on this. I think a counselor is a great idea, but maybe for you as a family too. Then you’d all be on the same page, and maybe you could prevent it in the other boys as they get older. I wish you luck my friend.
[…] I have written about the “Honeymoon” period and even about diabetes and ADHD. […]