Looking for opinions on this situation. My 17 year old T1D son’s high school baseball team has their spring training in Florida. The team stays in one hotel and families stay in a hotel next door. Last year was the first year he did this and he would come back to my hotel room too sleep at night, but spend the rest of the day with his teammates. This year, he would like to stay overnight with his teammates. They stay in 2 bedroom condos with 5 boys in each. The coaches stay in rooms nearby. We have been working on having him set his alarm and waking up at 1:30 AM and making whatever adjustments he needs and then texting me. Last night he was low at 12:30 am. He did not wake up for his Dexcom alarm. I am really worried about him staying on his own. He has had some very bad overnight lows(20s) in the past and does not wake up for them. Any opinions?
I know this is worrisome. But at some point it has to happen.
Does it suddenly become less worrisome when he is 18 and in college?
This is a good opportunity to practice, since you said you will be in the hotel next door.
He can share the Dexcom with you, and you will be close by. This is a good opportunity for him to try it.
Make sure you talk through basal adjustments to make it safer at night. And plenty of carbs after games and practices to help his BG throughout the night. I mean a) plenty of carbs, and b) right after activity.
Picture the situation a year from now when he is going off to college. Would you feel better a year from now if he has been alone a few times? Or never alone?
It has to happen sooner or later.
As well, discuss it with your son. Don’t put a spin on it. Don’t tell him what you want. Don’t let him in on any of your concerns.
Just open it up and ask how he wants to handle the spring training as well as the overnights with spring training. Then just listen to what he has to say. He is old enough to take the lead.
How long is their spring training in Florida?
@mlg, my son is 13, also has very bad lows, and does not wake up for alarms.
He actually just had an overnight with his school choir last night a hundred miles from hime. This is how we deal with overnights:
We follow him on the Dexcom follow app
We are all logged into the same MyNetDiary app, and ask him to log what he does, so we can see sugar and insulin
I make sure that I know his room number, and that I have one adult in the party that I can call day or night.
Last night, for instance, he went super low at 1:30am. He did not wake up. I called him when he hit 55 on the Dexcom and woke him up, then he had to stay up for the next 90 minutes. Then he got low again at 5:30, much more progressive low. He did not wake up either. I had to call at least 10 times before he woke up. But in the end he did and took care of it.
Last year, he went very low during a week-long camp once, and we almost could not get to an adult to wake him up, he was in the 20s. So I think it is critical to have an adult backup to get them up, otherwise it is too risky. We could have lost him there.
I discussed waking up to alarms with his pediatrician. She says that 70% of kids at those ages are unable to wake to an alarm. I have no problem having my kid go on overnights, but I need to have guaranteed access to an adult who can wake him up.
I think your example is ideal for an overnight. You can follow his Dexcom, ask for the coach’s phone number, and walk over there if you need to. I would suggest asking for a room key btw. Hopefully none of the backup will be needed.
Thanks for the input! The trip is starting tonight for 5 days. I will let you all know how it goes.
@Michel Thank you for the insight! I do follow him on the Dex Share, but have not heard of MyNetDiary. I will look into that right away. I do have the coaches phone numbers and I think just the threat of calling one of them in the middle of the night will motivate my son to take better care of himself:)
Do not underestimate the will of a teenager.
I know you mean well.
Threats are short term weapons with long term consequences.
Your son is almost 18.
Failure at this point to listen to your son and abide by his wishes has the potential for a much longer term problem. At a certain point, parents of teenagers should seriously consider the practical risks associated with continuing to think of their (almost adult) teenager as simply a child with diabetes.
Your son is almost an adult.
If your son wants you to call his coach if he runs low at night and does not txt msg you then you are being a good Mom and helping him out. He will remember and quite likely ask for help in the future.
The reverse holds true as well.
Maybe it’s worth just planning erring on running a bit high overnight for that evening and times when he’s on his own, at least for now as he’s figuring it out? Not necessarily a long term solution, but target 150, or 180, for overnight and make his high alert at least 200 or even 240 (worst case he wakes up high and needs to pee badly, no longterm harm from one night like that). That way he can likely have a good night’s sleep, and everyone can have some piece of mind. You can continue working on figuring out a system for him to have alerts on his Dex that wake him up (and lower the overnight alone target as you figure that out), and also teach that when in an occasional situation where things are harder or riskier (also an important lesson for when he drinks, which he will), it’s ok to err on the side of safety and balance need for control with risk.
@mlg, my son has gone on quite a few sleepovers, camps, and backpacking trips since his diagnosis. We as parents always worry, and follow him on Dexcom when it works (there isn’t always coverage). Like others with teenagers, my son sleeps through many of the alarms, and doesn’t always remember to set an alarm and get up in the middle of the night.
Honestly, I would have your son create a plan, you can help hold him accountable to his plan. But since you will be nearby it seems like a great opportunity to practice. I think you need to trust that if it is a very serious low your son will wake up.
I did not mean it as a threat I am hesitant to force diabetes regimen on my kid because I want him to buy in, for the time when he will be on his own. I try to make sure he drives everything we do in D: whenever we come up w a solution it is typically after a discussion between my son, my wife and me, when we hack out options together.
As a note, my son is younger that any other kid here whose parents are replying as well.
I did not mean “threat” in that sense. I never threaten my kids. I just meant that if he knows there is a chance that the coach will be inconvenienced in the middle of the night, that he will take it more seriously, and do what he is supposed to do to take care of himself. I realize he is almost an adult. I am a single parent and have managed to raise 4 great kids by myself by working with them, and letting them take the lead, and supporting them. For us, this has worked very well.
I can empathize.
I know if it were me, I would make sure I had a key as a fail-safe with the understanding that no response=surprise nighttime raid.