Why are Grandma's so difficult?

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AMM
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 7/5/2007 5:11 AM (GMT -7)   
My mother is a type 1 diabetic.  (So she should know better.)  My daughter was diagnosed as a type 2 diabetic just about 2 weeks ago.  Tuesday night Amanda wanted to spend the night at my parents' house.  I wrote down her diet, the times she needed to test, the times she needed medication and how much.  I even wrote down the measurements of how much of each foods she could have.  I also included sample menus.  Yesterday when I picked her up my mother said that Amanda sure doesn't eat much.  When I asked her what Amanda ate for lunch she told me chicken noodle soup.  I asked her if she measured how much and what else Amanda ate with that.  She said she gave her a bowlfull of it.  She didn't measure it and she didn't give her anything else.  She told me she didn't have time to measure Amanda's food and she didn't have anything else that she could have fed her.  I looked in her fridge, everything Amanda needed was in the fridge.  My mother also got upset when Amanda refused to eat potato chips at the fireworks the other night.  Am I wrong to be upset by my mother's actions?  I don't think I can leave Amanda in my mother's care without me or my husband present.  Yesterday my mom had a July 4th celebration.  Normally she has lots of low carb veggies and healthy things at her get togethers.  Yesterday it was hamburgers, hot dogs, potato salad, chips and chocolate cake.  Nothing else.  Is my mother just trying to sabotage my efforts to take good care of me and Amanda? 
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Shouldn't I be invincible by now?


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5393
   Posted 7/5/2007 5:37 AM (GMT -7)   
You have my sympathy here.  It's hard to deal with all these issues thrown at you with your own health and your daughter's and then wonder where your mom's head is on top of everything else.  There could be lots of reasons but I'm sure you've considered them all already.  Is your mom elderly and losing some of her good sense, does she think you're "over reacting" to Amanda's diabetes, does she actually think she knows better than you and the doctors, does she already have issues with you from the past and this is one way to "get back" at you, is she just a controlling person or a passive-aggressive type?  Well, the bottom line is how to take care of your daughter the best way and I think you've already said it: you or your husband would have to be present when Amanda is with your mom.  I've seen something similar with an extended family member here.  In this case the two people had major personality clashes since childhood and a new issue that reared its head was alcohol abuse.  This became similar to what you're describing with your mom.  I'm not a psychiatrist by any means, but I would say you're right to gently, firmly and consistently make sure Amanda is in a safe situation, especially when she's with your mom.  I think as Amanda grows older she'll know how to also make sure she continues to be in a safe situation and that maybe Grandma might not "understand" Amanda's needs.  And, avoiding major confrontations and accusations would be important to continue a peaceful coexistence!  Good luck, Amm!
Lanie :-)
"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


4sons
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 406
   Posted 7/5/2007 6:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Lanie, brought up some good points. IS it possible that your mom thinks you're "over reacting" and that because Amanda is just a child it's ok if she has "treats."

You're the mom. Be the mom. In fact, you always seem GREAT in this roll. I know you'll be able to tactfully, and firmly make sure Amanda gets what she needs!
Cheers -

Ruth/4sons

age 52/Type 2 diabetic/"controlled" by diet and exercise


AMM
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 7/5/2007 6:59 AM (GMT -7)   
Lanie hit the nail on the head. My mother is constantly bringing up issues from the past. (like my teenage years) She is also a VERY controlling person. She is not that elderly and has no less of her senses than she ever had. She wants to be in control of everything. She doesn't like that I actually am making Amanda stick to a diet. Amanda is doing very well on the diet
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Shouldn't I be invincible by now?


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 7/5/2007 7:20 AM (GMT -7)   

If your mom is a type 1, she is probably used to injecting the correct amount of insulin to cover her carbs. That's why she could serve up burgers and potato salad with chocolate cake and still eat. You don't say how old she is, or how tightly she controls her own blood sugar levels, but if she is casual about it, she may think that Amanda doesn't need kid glove treatment. She probably doesn't truly understand that Amanda doesn't have the same 'freedom' that she enjoys.

It sounds to me that Amanda made the best of a difficult situation- my hat's off to her. It sounds like you are doing a great job of educating her and she is accepting the responsibility to take care of herself when mom and dad aren't there. Next time she wants to spend time with Grandma- trust her to take care of herself, send her with supplies she can fall back on when grandma brings out the goodies, and make sure she has a cell phone so she can call you if she needs an ally. Teach her to say, "No thanks, I'm not hungry right now" Rather than, " I can't eat that" - Choosing not to eat a food that is not in your best interest is far more empowering than being denied.

Once she gets more settled into her new situation- maybe you could help her test out some foods like chips that she really wants to be able to eat so she can feel like a normal kid, or at least not paint a bullseye on her back for the other kids to aim at. You might send her with a dish that she likes- I'm sure grandma would be willing to warm it up!

I went through this with my own kids- we are vegetarians - and kids that eat yogurt and tofu are bully bait. One of my daughters traveled extensively with musical organizations- she learned early how to request the foods she needed and to reject the foods she would not eat with grace. Both remain vegetarians - my music daughter is married- and her M-I-L recently told me that other relatives were surprised to find out that Kristen doesn't eat meat- she never makes demands at family get togethers, and always finds enough food to eat from what's available. She always brings a dish or two that she can eat ( and makes her husband save her some because those dishes go fast), and has a protein bar in the car to snack on if need be.

BTW: If you ever figure out your mother- please let us know- I'm still scratching my head over what makes mine tick- lol

sandy yeah


I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


AMM
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 7/5/2007 7:47 AM (GMT -7)   
LOL I don't think I will ever figure out my mother. Amanda does well for what she understands. Amanda has a 17 year old body but perhaps a seven year old mind. She is also deaf. Amanda doesn't really have the ability to understand things much farther than she already is. So, it is really important that her caregivers understand how to care for her properly and do it. Also my dad is a type 2 and so is my brother. She knows what effect the diet part has on them. She does not want to learn to count carbs. She says she doesn't have time to do that. Well, if she doesn't have time or doesn't want to know then Amanda can't stay with her unattended at meal times. Amanda does fine with chips and such in small amounts. (about 15 grams of carb worth) I let her have some but keep it to that amount. We aren't really worried about Amanda being picked on about her diabetes. Since she has other problems she isn't in a mainstream situation. She goes to a specialized school. All the kids there have disabilities and some of them also have diabetes. So, the diabetes diet isn't a big deal around her friends.
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Shouldn't I be invincible by now?


tangerine bear
Veteran Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 941
   Posted 7/5/2007 8:53 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi AMM,

I'm sorry you are having such a difficult time with your mom. Is this the same grandparents that took her to the ballgame and gave her too many treats???? If so, I would think they would already feel bad that she got so sick. I'm a grandma to 3 girls ages 2, 3, and 6, and I love being with them so much. When my little 2 year old gd is over she stands by my pantry and says "cookie?".... it's hard to resist but I always ask my daughter what she can have. My daughter has some similar issues with her MIL, who will stuff the babies with so much food that they throw up when they get home. My 3 year old gd is disabled and can only eat soft foods and liquids, so I feed her only what mom approves, but the MIL has done the same with her.

As for your mom's menu on the 4th... I don't understand how you can have 4 diabetics in the family and not have some alternate choices. I suppose she thinks one day of cheating won't matter.... as for the adults, that's their own decision to make, but your daughter is just a child and needs support and empathy from her extended family. Next time, I would definitely take a couple of healthy dishes from home for the family get-togethers.

You are doing a great job! ((((Hugs))),

Bear
"It's a jungle out there....." 
Theme song from "Monk" by Randy Newman
 
OCD: Obsessive...Compulsive...Diabetic
 
                       VIEW IMAGE
 

                           


gelchick
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 477
   Posted 7/5/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
AMM
 
Please accept my apologies- I did not realize that your Amanda is disabled- my brother-in-law has Down syndrome and is a diabetic- I'm not sure where he lies on the developmental scale, but I'm guessing it's lower than your daughter. He understands enough to say no to things that have been emphasized, but no way could he navigate the situation that your daughter was in. 
 
I always try to give my mother the benefit of the doubt (she is old and from the old country - her ideas are 80+ years old and set in stone), but yours should know better and she should be serving up food that helps your dad and brother, and now your daughter. Why would anybody get mad at a child for not being hungry- it's beyond me.
 
My mother would refuse to have my kids over because making that weird vegetarian food was too much bother, until one of my daughters shamed her by saying that she'd even eat nothing  at her house, bec she loved her grandma and wanted to stay over with the other kids (I think she was about 4 then- I was out of town for a wedding and my brother's wife took them over for a visit). 
 
She still doesn't approve of the way we eat, and takes every opportunity to tell me that I am a diabetic because I eat too much, don't eat meat, am way too fat, drink too much water, work too much.... When I tell her that it's probably in my genes, she insists that she did not give that to me, that our family is perfect - hmm let's see now high blood pressure, thyroid, breast cancer, stomach cancer, strokes, ulcers, colitis, alcoholism- 6 foot tall women and 500 pound men...
 
I will keep you and your daughter in my thoughts and prayers.
sandy
 
 
I just want to live happily ever after-every now and then. Jimmy Buffett


AMM
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 234
   Posted 7/5/2007 9:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Yep, same parents. If Amanda didn't have a problem with her metabolism what she ate at the ballgame wouldn't have been completely terrible. It was 2 hotdogs and cheese fries. It wouldn't have been what I like seeing her eat, but it wouldn't have given her a blood sugar of over 300. But, you would think after that happening they would want to be very careful it didn't happen again. As for what my mother served, I was completely shocked. My mother has always served things that were diabetes friendly. I called to see if there was anything I could bring. She told me that she had everything covered. There was not even one single veggie there. I could have at least put together a salad or a veggie tray. I do relax the rules for us a little on holidays, but just a little. The fact that everything there was high carb totally floored me. I think she did it just to prove that she could.

Sandy, you got diabetes because you stepped on ants as a child. Didn't you know that? LOL
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.  Shouldn't I be invincible by now?


LanieG
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5393
   Posted 7/5/2007 12:07 PM (GMT -7)   

AMM, then, it's your mom's problem.  And my guess is that she sees the light switch but won't turn on the light.  It really is shocking that she served that food, so it's all about control as you wrote.  Amanda is still your daughter and you'll continue to make sure she eats what she should.  It's wonderful that she is cooperative and doesn't fight what she needs to do.  You're doing the right thing, seriously.

Lanie


"pre-diabetic" controlled so far by diet and exercise
following low/no carb diet, no meds


Jeannie143
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2004
Total Posts : 6056
   Posted 7/6/2007 6:26 AM (GMT -7)   
The answer is simple. If your mother doesn't care enough about Amanda's eyesight and kidneys to follow a simple food plan then she certainly doesn't really care about Amanda. She only wants the gratification that she receives from giving her delicious and tasty but bad foods. No more visits that span a meal time. "Sorry, Mom. Amanda has enough issues to deal with without going blind as well. Until you can learn to follow some simple food rules for her she can only visit between meals."

You are the parent and you hold all of the trump cards in your hand. Tell mom to comply or loose visitation rights. Ask her if she will be around to take care of Amanda when the fruits of her bad choices come into being. All she is really doing is adding to your burden, when, with her diabetic education and knowledge of glucose control, she should be a helper. I say, "Shame on you, Grandma!"
~ Jeannie, Forum Moderator/Diabetes & Fibromyalgia
~Please remember that 50% of all doctors graduated in the bottom half of their class! Yours may be one of them...
==================
"People are like stained glass windows: They sparkle and shine when the sun's out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light within."
- Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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