Ask the Diabetes Educator Archive


I have a non compliant 19 year old who has taken a totally opposite approach to his disease. He was diagnosed at 15, did great thru high school but this past year it's been horrible. He lives at home and since I pay his health insurance and meds, I know when and how much he buys. He has not taken his lantus this summer, for at least 3 mos, now he takes only humalog. He has not TESTED since March. Now he is drinking and smoking and has lost at least 25 pounds in 6 mos.

Yes we have discussed, had family meetings. He is educated so he knows what he is doing. I am worried beyond measure. I keep thinking we will find him dead in his bed. How do I help him?

Since I am also the parent of a 19 year old, I know that this can be a most tough, in-between age of youth and "grown-up". As hard as it is, "tough love" may be your next measure, and I'm sure you have heard some of this. He is adult enough to be deciding his fate; you cannot control this for him. Sometimes, just saying nothing more (a huge challenge for you) is the best way. I've seen it take one or 2 DKA admissions to the hospital before one even wants to begin changing. What about making him go out completely on his own if things don't shift? Do you give him money, or just room and board? Is he working, in school? Draw some definite boundaries, and stick to them. You don't want the energy sucked out of you trying to save him. Get whatever support you need for this. We can help our kids, but we can't live their lives for them. I wish you good support in this.

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