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Shared parenting

Lilmssquirrel

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
DD aged 10 was diagnosed as T1D this week. She rarely stays with her dad - usually one night a month.

In the past he's tried to send her back when she's had a headache (back in the good old days when all she needed was calpol) but now I'm so worried that he won't cope with carb counting and insulin dosing.

How do I reassure myself he's ready to have her? Our care team have offered him training but there's a huge gap between training and reality (as I know as I'm going through that in our first few days home)

All advice welcome xx
 

Thebearcametoo

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
She’s 10 and if she’s anything like mine she will take enough charge to get through the odd night away. He sounds like he doesn’t like the responsibility of an ill child so is likely to not want to have her overnight to begin with. And you will be on the phone if needed. Or her team will be. He will get there slowly (not in the same way as when you’re dealing with it every day). It’s worth her having a kit that stays at his house with spare needles, strips, insulin etc. Your team will have a lot of experience with this so will be able to give you tips too.

It seems so daunting at the beginning and it’s a lot to expect other adults to take on if they’re parent of friends or whatever but as her parent he needs to bite the bullet and do the work. He will no doubt make mistakes, but you will too. Diabetes is pretty forgiving in that if you make a mistake on one meal you get to correct it on the next. I know hypos are scary to think of but they are a normal part of diabetes care and you really do get into the swing with them pretty quickly.

One of the things I found really difficult to begin with was that knowledge of how fragile your child’s life is but kids just get on with it. It may be something that you want to talk through with the team psychologist, trusting others with her care especially someone who you have history with is difficult and it’s ok to say you hate it and have concerns. You have a whole team to support you though. Please use them.
 

Lilmssquirrel

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
It fell apart quite spectacularly yesterday. Our PDSN rang me and asked for his details to arrange a two hour face to face training for him and his girlfriend. I emailed him to ask permission to pass on his contact details and he rang me to say someone at the hospital (he had no name for me to trace them) had said a 40 minute zoom call would teach him all he needs to know.

We had a "debate" and I tried to explain how much hard work the last week has been with regular lows at around 10pm and how I've been trying to tweak the dosing and how many sleepless nights I've had worrying about her being okay (or kept awake by the dog). He had the cheek to ask why my hubby wasn't helping (erm, he has been and he also works hard to put a roof over your daughter's head and allowing me to take time off from my own job to look after your daughter whilst you pay £30 a month). I then emailed our PDSN, copying him in to ask her to clarify the training requirement and he's now flounced off saying I don't want my daughter to stay with him so I can look after her permanently.

We have no custody order and contact has been sporadic over the last eight years. He's not once called her since she's left hospital to ask how she is. So I'm in for a fun chat with the psychologist shortly having spent last week explaining for her that I was keen to make co-parenting work :rolleyes:

That aside, it does then beg a future question in that if DD wanted to go to a sleepover by herself (in that mythical post-covid world), what expectation should I have of her friends parents caring for her? Clearly they can't be trained too. We are getting a libre and she does most of her own injections but in terms of carb counting what she's eating when she's away, how do I deal with that?
 

Thebearcametoo

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Oh bless you it’s so hard.

I’m glad you have the psychologist to talk to and a supportive current partner.

I think you may need to accept that his style of parenting is not yours. He will never do the work to care for her in the way you have. He’s shown that time and again. If he is not parenting full time then he doesn’t need to do everything you do to care for her diabetes management. If she’s with him for 48 hours and is running a little high then she’ll be fine. If she has hypos then he will dump her at your door or he can pick up a phone and find out what to do.

We’ve not done sleepovers since diagnosis but we have done meals at friends. The parent gives me an idea of what they’re eating and I help work out the carb count and my daughter can do the rest herself. I’m on the end of the phone if there are any queries and if necessary she can come home. We worry more than the kids do!

My tactic would be to leave the team to deal with him. They will knock into him how serious is can be and he’s more likely to listen to them than you.

Use the psychologist to get support for you and vent here about how much of a wassock he’s being. You have enough to do managing your daughter without having to manage him. He will only (at the moment) be a temporary carer for her but as she gets older she may change her relationship with him so keeping the opportunities there is good. Being able to let go and trust him to do an okay job when you have been doing a great job is so hard. Diabetes can be a very serious condition but for the most part we trundle along some days high and some days lows and it keeps changing. He’s never going to be isolated with her. Her team are available if he needs them and for the most part the best way to learn is to do it so he will have to do it and make mistakes and learn how to correct them. It’s hard to trust him when he has proven himself untrustworthy but he’s a grown adult and not your responsibility any more. Let him find his own path. If the worst comes to the worst she’ll stay with you full time and that won’t be a bad result. But if she can maintain a relationship with her dad that will help her in the long run.
 

Lilmssquirrel

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Thanks @Thebearcametoo I just needed to get it off my chest. He's so controlling (hence why he's an ex) and he doesn't like when someone else has to explain to him what to do. I wouldn't mind if he'd let her contact me while she is away but he won't let her have a phone there and for years I've had no contact with her once she's gone - apart from calls to say she's got a headache and would I like to come and collect.

I am sure in time he'll get his head out of his backside (again) and we'll get there. Could just do without his melodramatics on top of everything else right now! x
 

Thebearcametoo

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
It sounds like you’re well shut of him.

I know a few men like that. Keep your team in the loop. They will make sure that if there are any safety issues (I would say her not being allowed to call you raises some red flags...) then they can get people involved and it won’t be you initiating it.
 

Sally71

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
If he can’t cope with a simple headache how is he going to manage a hypo?!
I wouldn’t let her stay with him until you are happy he can cope at least with that. But it sounds like a good idea to let the medical team deal with him, maybe he'll listen to them, at least more than he will to you!
 

stephknits

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 1
Sorry you are having these struggles with your ex. I think the team are going to have to help you establish new rules, like having a phone available and regular contact so you can update each other on her current doses etc. It sounds like currently he is not taking the type 1 seriously enough. Let's hope the training session can change that!
 

Docb

Moderator
Relationship to Diabetes
Type 2
Tricky stuff @Lilmssquirrel. One thing to think about is how DD is coping. I don't have any contact with T1 children but one thing I have noticed from parent posters is just how resilient their offspring can be, sometimes they seem to be coping better than their parents.

It is very difficult to get a cold assessment from the inside so it might be worth asking the diabetes team how they think she is coping and maybe shade your approach depending on what they have to say. I would also suggest getting an opinion on how she is coping from her class teacher but that is not possible under current circumstances.

A final thought for you. I know nothing about you, your circumstances, or the circumstances around you break up with your ex, and I do not want to know. That said you might have to consider the prospect of revisiting whatever arrangements have been made and get something formal in place so that there are good ground rules for your shared parenting idea. If nothing else that would put DD's needs at the centre and after all that is what I suspect you really want.

As I say, tricky stuff.
 

Lilmssquirrel

Well-Known Member
Relationship to Diabetes
Parent
Tricky stuff @Lilmssquirrel.

A final thought for you. I know nothing about you, your circumstances, or the circumstances around you break up with your ex, and I do not want to know. That said you might have to consider the prospect of revisiting whatever arrangements have been made and get something formal in place so that there are good ground rules for your shared parenting idea. If nothing else that would put DD's needs at the centre and after all that is what I suspect you really want.

Very sound advice - thank you :)
 
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