Recently I heard from someone I had not heard from in a long time. His son was in trouble. Deep trouble.
“Do you remember the times you would ask me how ‘XYZ’ was doing? And I was telling you great?”
“Well he wasn’t and I could use your help.”
I did what I could do but when legalities come along, and arrests, and judges…..I have to be very careful because the person who I was told, or who I remembered XYZ was, was surely NOT who XYZ had become.
I tell you this story because I did not judge my friend. I surely did what little I could do. It took me some time but if I can help someone, I usually try to do so. After I had done what I asked, spent a few hours of my time, I waited for an update. I sent an email and asked for an update. I sent more emails for an update.
I’m not jaded. Disappointed perhaps because I know no results but I will always be who I am when asked for help……..but here is the thing and the question I asked myself. Did the parents of XYZ know what was going on during the time, or came to a realization only when it was too late?
Kids with diabetes do not get a ‘bye’ on our observations on what they do out there in this world. They have the same temptations and the same roadway as everyone else and I am writing today to make sure you are not blinded about what can happen to them. Does your teenager tell you of their ‘wicked-low’ during the night but is really hung-over from a party you did not know about?
Good control, taking care of their diabetes is only one aspect to their lives….be smart about everything else as well. I wish I had a magic wand to show you how to do that and I know what we did may not be what would work for you; but KNOW THIS—make sure you know what your kids are doing.
An inch becomes a foot, becomes a yard and before you know it—you are in my friend’s position—MILES apart. I’m sure he was very embarrassed about his son and what I may think……and he would probably be wrong. I did not think, I felt. I felt bad for the entire family. I don’t think about situations where I could never possibly understand. How they got into the situation that now consumes their lives is not my business. I just feel bad for everyone involved.
I do know, as parents, we MUST be on guard at all times. We have to step outside the box and look for signs that our kids are ‘acting’ to the left or right of normal. Are they stating their diabetes management ‘is in bad shape’ only to mask your attention from other matters. As your kids get older—-WATCH FOR THIS—-whether it happened in our house or not, will remain with our house and is of no concern to the outside world but I will tell you that I HAVE heard of stories–incredibly sad stories–how kids have tried to do things without their parents knowing about it.
Scare you? Well I’m only trying to scare you into awareness. Nothing more. If it is not a problem and never is a problem…..wonderful. If two years from now you see something and you remember that IT COULD be something needing attention…….mission accomplished.
Bottom line is that we deal with much having diabetes in our households; just keep the parent senses ‘keenly’ open at all times—-it may not always be diabetes related–and attention being demanded from your child about their diabetes related events may be masking a larger problem.
This was not easy to write and I’m sure it was even less to read……but it is an issue not discussed often and we must be aware at all times. I hope it is an aspect that lends itself to a solution BEFORE a problem exists.
I am a diabetes dad.
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