We have a similar situation with our 17 year old son. He is insulin-dependent and on a pump. He tests his glucose 4-6 times a day, but will not write them down in his log book. He tells us he has and sometimes even pretends to. We have grounded him, taken away his car keys and various privileges, we have pleaded and we have educated him on the consequences of poor blood sugar control. (We have now institued a policy that he cannot leave the house without showing us that they have been recorded.) Our doctor cannot determine how to change his regimin without info regarding the carbs he eats and the insulin doses he takes. The doctor has talked to him about this many times.
My question is, how can I get my children to see the importance of taking better care of their health? I'm not sure if they're in denial or just lazy or what. We have to fight our daughter to take her temps twice a day for her temp log. I record those, and I used to record my son's glucose levels, but have been making him do it for at least the last 5 years. I know when he goes to college in a year or so he won't record them at all and may not even test. I have even threatened to make him go to community college and live at home if he can't be more responsible. Does anyone have any suggestions on how I can get through to these kids? I'm also thinking my daughter, who emulates everything my son does, may just be looking for another way to be like him. As sick as she is at times, I never dreamed she would stop her treatment and pretend otherwise. We have had lengthy conversations with both of them trying to get to the bottom of this behavior, but to no avail.
As always, any advice or suggestions are always welcome and most appreciated!
Stressed Out Suzy
I do believe what is going on in your house is partly due to the adolescent mentality. They are in denial that they could possibly be sick because teens aren't sick, so the next logical step in their thinking is that they don't have to take their medicine. As for consequences of their behavior and their understanding of long term effects, teens can't see past 60 seconds from now, so to expect them to think days, weeks, months or years from now is pointless. Their brains just aren't wired like an adult's yet, so you can't expect them to think like an adult.
Now this does not excuse their behavior, but it just means that for the time being as a parent, you need to be more diligent about the meds and monitoring. You need to administer your daughter's meds, stand right there when she takes them and even have her open her mouth to show you she has taken them. Oh, she will piss and moan at you treating her like a baby, but you can remind her that you gave her the option to do this on her own, but she was not responsible enough for that and even lied to you about taking her meds.
As for all the monitoring of vital information, once again you have to be the monitoring person. The children have to take their temps, blood readings in your presence and have them logged in before they can do anything else. Failure to do so results in loss of privileges, as you have been doing with your older son. And keep on talking - if anything gets to a teen it's losing their cell phones and nagging!
I have two sick teens too and there have been a couple times where they forgot a dose, but for the most part they have been quite responsible. But I do have to monitor, and I know that is hard particularly if you are a lymie yourself - heck it's hard enough to try to remember when to take your own meds.
Best of luck. It's not an easy road with lymie teens.....
For the most part they are keeping tabs on each other in the morning cause they eat breakfast together......But at night they often forget after dinner. I keep telling them to bring their pills to the table like Dad and I do.....Do they do it! NO, still can't get through there....
Any yes, I'm the temperature gestapo, and the meds police...(for Dad too!!!).....I still browbeat them about writing symptoms on their chart. They are getting better,but teens are a constant challenge.......Hang in there!!
I have had to hide and lock all meds, so I distribute them daily. I do put all meds in little plastic bathroom cups and will often linger in her bedroom until she starts on them..She will eventually take the first batch so that I will leave..WE have so many meds, some are 30 minutes from other foods and some 2-3 hours..It gets very difficult when they have to go to school..
Good luck and I hope things settle down, but you are lucky in some ways and I won't dwell on the other complications but hang in there.
[This message has been edited by lymemomtooo (edited 08 February 2005).]
Add to that the Lyme fog, so sometimes my son can't remember if he took his meds or not, or even what he is in the bathroom for, and you have my son's profile to a T.
At one point, my son (age 13) began to get worse. I thought he might be herxing. Nope, he was RELAPSING, because he hadn't taken his meds for several days.
So I monitored his meds for 30 days. I also spoke a lot to him about the importance of staying on them, and that it wasn't my idea, but Dr. Jones.' (He likes Dr. J.) I have made it clear that his getting well is THE top priority -- above recreation, my job, homework, and even his schooling. (And he KNOWS how much his education concerns me!)
I have also read him stories of people who have been sick like he is, and of people who are even more ill. (We both went "eww" over the filiary worm thing!) I want him to be thankful he's not worse, and to respect the danger of this disease enough to stick with doing what it takes to heal.
Very frustrating, but s-l-o-w-l-y getting there!
Maybe she can't remember. My son can't and I forget to remind him.
He now has a 7 day pill box( with the meds in it) in front of his computer. He sees it, I see it and remind him. He hasn't missed a dose in a month.
I hope it is as simple as this for you.
I count the pills each week to make sure she is taking them and remind here every day. She goes in spurts on non compliance even to the point of putting them in the trash (we've nipped that one tho).
I found taking away the computer and IM has helped and I also enlisted the h elp of the school nurse - She can get them down her!! She calls me if KK doesn't show up for meds and then, away goes the computer!! I had to do this in order to spread things out enuf and keep things seperate - I gave the nurse the ones KK HATES taking!!! I love that nurse!!!
My child also has Cerebral Palsy which requires daily stretching exercises which she also fakes - I now have to sit w/ her and monitor this. I was trying to begin to treat her more maturely and allow for some independance - not a successful plan. She isn't allowed any computer time until she has completed 20 minutes of stretching - THE RIGHT WAY - not the teen way.
I'm w/ ya'll - I don't get why they don't want to do the things that will help them in the long run. Especially in her case, if she continues to not stretch she could end up permanently in a wheelchair - she's just a expert in "DENIAL"!
Guess we'll all have to just stay on top of it! I know about forgetting and trying to remember mine, hers and the hubby's is really a mind blowing challenge!!
not a far stretch from the truth..but it scared the you know what out of her..she took her meds after that..never had another problem..in fact one day she forgot, and was crying asking if that meant her brain was going to be affected...
sometimes laying out the truth or what might happen or could happen is the only way to go....may sound cruel, but at that age, sometimes it's the only thing that they understand..reality in their own mind...HOW COULD THIS AFFECT ME REALLY...of course i would never do this with a younger child, but a teenager can't think beyond what is right in front of them, and for my daughter that was her own body....and what COULD happen to it if she didnt' take them.
[This message has been edited by lla2 (edited 10 February 2005).]
Our son is 8 years old and we caught him doing the same thing. I noticed he was experiencing some behavioral changes, rashes and itchiness w/ rash. My Mom-police radar kicked in and I caught him plunking a pill on the floor by his computer's hard drive. I questioned him about it, he started crying and confessed to doing this on a daily basis. Then he showed me the growing mound of pills on the floor in the computer room. We later found pills under the couch, and Grandma and Grandpa found some under their Christmas tree. He also confessed to dumping his nystatin in the bathroom sink.
After a lengthy talk about health and the cost of medication, we grounded him from all electronics. We also insist he take his medication in our presence.
I have gone into police mode and have been carefully monitoring the taking of meds - I bought one of the am/pm weekly pill boxes and this is really helping as we are on pulse therapy every other day with most meds with another to be added in a week.
We are also monitoring our son's blood sugars more carefully. Both children were grounded this week for not following through on their medical responsibilities in the previous weeks and at least for the time being they are doing better.
I just wish there was a way to really get through to them the importance of taking care of their illnesses. Our son rolls his eyes every time we give him the speech about minimizing the effects of poor blood sugar control and every time our daughter starts to feel better she insists on doing too much and ends up crashing a couple of days later. It is so frustrating! I guess it will just take time and maturity on their parts and vigilance on mine. So, until they reach that stage where I can trust them to independently care for their medical responsiblities, I guess I'll just take it day by day and put on my best police officer act.
Thanks again to everybody who took the time to respond - I appreciate you!!!!!!