How do you get friends and family to overcome their fear when it comes to the “D”. I mean, how do you FIND friends or family members that can take care of your d-kid (dkids). My wife and I have had little luck, we have a couple friends, one is a nurse, the others are long time friends. We are blessed to have 2 great baby sitters, one in college, the other in high school, and both are great. However, we can’t leave them overnight with either of them, we haven’t left them overnight with our friends. We have ask a few friends if they want to be a sitters, and the reply is they are just not comfortable with it. My family lives over an hour away (one brother on the side of the state), so its hard to have them come down so we can go out for an evening. I’m wondering this because burnout is possible without break, or maybe we will just have to deal with burnout! I think many other d-parents have! What are somethings you guys have done, what are some idea we can share with others. Once again, I’m thinking out loud. LOL
Here is the sunset over East Bay, our last vacation alone. 4/2008
I'm really hoping that others will comment on this post! I am a T1 with a T1 4-year old. No family is able to sit for an overnight and I feel like it would be too much of a burden to ask a friend… (and probably only 1 friend would even be a possibility). We are also fortunate to have a couple of excellent babysitters but neither are possible for overnight. I feel like I'm at risk for burnout with my own diabetes and my daughter's. So, those of you out there who have found a way to successfully break the overnight barrier, let us know how you did it!
Two of our three daughters are T1. The youngest was dx’d over nine years ago at age six. There are two struggles in play here. The first can be the most difficult to overcome which is to allow your child to stay overnight somewhere else. We faced this less than a week after diagnosis when I told my daughter she couldn’t go to her friend’s sleepover birthday party anymore. After enduring the inevitable tantrum that followed my wife & I decided that we would never again tell her no because of diabetes. If she could do it without diabetes then we vowed to find a way to make it work with diabetes. The second struggle is more to the point of your question – finding willing participants. What works for us is to keep it from getting to a matter of fear on their part. Make it as simple as possible and don’t go overboard on the bad things that can happen. Most fears are overcome when they realize they’re not going to hurt your child and the basic level of care isn’t overwhelming. Show them how the lancet & meter works by using it on yourself. Then have them try it on you. Insulin pens are great because there isn’t any insulin to draw and they’re simple to use. If you’re pumping show them the most basic buttons they’ll use. Then have them call you the first couple of times so you can walk them through it. The phone is great because you can instantly provide guidance. Be careful not to overuse it because you don’t want them to feel like you don’t trust them plus part of the objective is it’s supposed to be a break for you. For the first sleepover, keep it close and simple. My wife & I took turns driving over to do BG checks and injections. Eventually you’ll be ready for the night out on the town and then before you know it you’ll be spending a weekend apart. I realize what works for us will not work for everyone else. Remember the long-term goal all parents have for their children is to prepare them for the inevitable day when they move out. Diabetes shouldn’t change that. There’s just a little bit more preparation required. Keep searching and find a way that works for you.
We need an online resource where we can search for T1D-knowledgeable babysitters in our areas…or start co-op groups where we help out other T1D families. I agree this is a HUGE need for us T1D parents and I believe there are people out there, we just need a way to find them!
I realize I never said thanks for the comment. I hope things are going better. Seems like this post is starting to get some views and a few ideas. Godspeed to you and your family.
Thanks for the comment, some good ideas to chew on.