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Really need some advice about ds and dp

(82 Posts)
primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 16:31:12

My ds got very upset yesterday, he tends to be a 'bottle it up' type but he opened up to me last night and I am now so torn sad He said that he 'sort of' doesn't want dp to live with us anymore, which I presume is him trying to minimise the fact he doesn't want him here at all?
Dp isn't his df but has been in his life since he was 3, he is now 9. They are very close and my ds is spontaneously cuddly with dp and will often choose to spend time with dp over anyone else. Confusingly he often asks why we aren't married!
Now, my dp has type 1 diabetes and when he is out of balance is very unrecognisable and gets very irrational, angry and at times (for a few hrs) extremely hard to live with. Ds admitted he is scared when he's like this and worries about it happening. Both of us hate the dcs seeing him like this and always talk openly after it happens and try and reassure them. Dp is trying very hard to keep his blood level and has a drs appt tomorrow to ask for extra help. When he is in balance, he is a loving, kind and incredibly supportive dp and step father and he is devastated about the way ds feels.
What on earth do I do? Nothing is more important to me than my dcs happiness but both myself and dd would hate dp to leave and I honestly think ds would be devastated too. Dp is determined to do whatever is best for the dcs and although he is hiding it from the children he is distraught about it all.
Thank-you for getting this far, any advice very very welcome.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 17:13:12

Are you sure these moods are diabetes - maybe they're just him?

RandomMess Thu 02-Jan-14 17:16:14

Any possibility of him getting an insulin pump?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 17:31:27

Definitely related to diabetes, as it is always when he's out of balance. He has tried to get the pump but they wouldn't refer him, the appointment tomorrow is to try again!

RandomMess Thu 02-Jan-14 17:37:58

Ah I see. Is he lax with taking care of his diet etc. or is it just for some reason not very controlled for unknown reasons?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 17:44:26

He tries very hard to control but life can be unpredictable and he often works/ eats at unsociable hrs, sometimes its for no reason, he tries hard all day and just can't keep in balance.

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 17:47:11

if it really is down to diabetes, how does he cope at work or with people outside the family?

If he manages to be civil and control his moods etc in public then I'd be worried that he simply doesn't make an effort at home.

RandomMess Thu 02-Jan-14 17:50:27

What are the criteria for him getting a pump on the NHS? I have friends who paid for one privately but the NHS then did take it on.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 17:55:29

My uncle's type 1 diabetic, he suffers from mood swings, depression, and anger issues - but then he always did. He was angry way before he developed diabetes. And I wonder if diabetes is a useful hook to hang the issue on - rather than actually confronting the anger itself? (I know other diabetics type 1 & 2 who don't have anger issues at all...)

Even if it is purely caused by blood sugar imbalance, if it's causing this much problem in family life, then it's something he needs to address in addition to the diabetes.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:15:06

The pump is normally offered to people with poorly managed diabetes, dp doesn't fit this criteria. He does control his anger away from home but I think its because he never lets his guard down, its actually incredibly hard to stay in balance and I often think he relaxes when he's home. For the last few weeks he has tried extra hard, checking his blood more, being extra careful about injections and he has been very calm and balanced. I am honestly not trying to excuse his behaviour, I just don't know how to move forward with this sad

RandomMess Thu 02-Jan-14 18:20:02

What do the professionals say is badly managed diabtetes? Has he been honest with them at how badly it affects his mood and the impact that is having on his everyday life?

Also is there a possibility of him doing different work so he can eat and sleep at regular times to improve things?

arthriticfingers Thu 02-Jan-14 18:25:04

Sorry - but shouldn't he be making more effort not less with those whose lives he shares rather than 'relaxing' like this confused

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:29:47

He is seeing a different Dr tomorrow and also wants me to come so that we can talk openly about how hard it is at times. Ds seems much happier today and is still talking about it which is good. I guess my question is, is it ok to say to him that we're so sorry he feels like this and we are going to try hard to make things better for him but dp not living with us isn't an option. I just worry that I'm letting him down sad I do tend to over analyse/think things, I work with troubled children and I this is a factor. Thanks everyone.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:39:24

Its like having a hormonal inbalance, I know that for 2 days a month I can put a brave face on things socially and at work but behind closed doors I'm tearful and irrational with dp and while normally very patient I can have a much shorter fuse than normal. I'm not dismissing any advice being given and appreciate it all.

CailinDana Thu 02-Jan-14 18:42:37

I think there needs to be a time limit on things improving.

Has there been any violence or threatening behaviour?

Hassled Thu 02-Jan-14 18:42:59

I read your OP and was going to say "make sure you do with him" so I'm very glad you're already planning to do that. And don't hold back with the GP to spare your DP - make it clear the extent to which the moods are affecting the whole family. Fingers crossed it will work.

I do understand how hard it is for your DP but the responsibility is only with him - if he can control things outside the home then he should absolutely control things in front of a scared child.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 18:43:05

I think you should listen to what your son is saying and consider your partner moving out temporarily until he can get it under control.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:49:31

Absolutely no violence towards us or threatening behavior, I really wouldn't tolerate that. We did talk last night about him moving out temporarily but still being part of our lives, I'm so torn as my dd would be distraught at the prospect sad

CailinDana Thu 02-Jan-14 18:50:53

How long has he had diabetes?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 18:51:29

Since puberty.

CailinDana Thu 02-Jan-14 18:58:56

So has this behaviour been going on for the entire relationship?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:03:44

We didn't witness it before he lived with us as it happens so infrequently it would have been unlikely to occur when the dcs weren't with him for long periods of time, if that makes sense? He is increasingly working longer and irregular hours in an industry that depends on this sort of working pattern and this doesn't seem to help.

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 19:10:02

maybe he seriously needs to think about his choice of job in the same way that other people choose jobs or careers that are 'family friendly', or when they have to make choices because of health issues.

Is this an option?

Short term, has he a bolt hole in the house- so he can take himself off out of the way when he's moody and grumpy?

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 19:13:17

From what you're saying when he made an effort to check his blood sugar more frequently & be more careful about his injections - he was ok. I wonder if during that time he was also more careful about monitoring his anger too - as presumably that was partly why he was doing it?

aaaaaaa Thu 02-Jan-14 19:19:50

Ive never heard of diabetes affecting families like this

why doesn't he just stay out of the way whilst he feels like this, if it is short lived and infrequent?

Aussiemum78 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:20:02

I have a diabetic friend and have seen her irrational moods when her levels aren't right...pp it really is a thing!

She got a pump, and levels are much better. I think it's more responsive, quicker to correct tiny variations in levels.

aaaaaaa Thu 02-Jan-14 19:20:59

Ah ok

Thetallesttower Thu 02-Jan-14 19:23:01

Illness of any time can bring out the worst in people, my husband had a pain related condition a year or two ago and he was horrible, just horrible. I had to tell him to stop it because I couldn't live like that. He has changed his medication and is back to his usual self.

It is such a shame your son is so upset, but very good he can talk with you and that this has turned into an open discussion about how best to manage his condition rather than some hidden resentment. I don't think a 9 year old having a say in whether your partner lives with you is a good idea- one of mine went off their dad for a bit recently, feeling neglected and probably would have said dismissive things, but this stemmed from anger and frustration, and the worst thing would have been for him to move out. A bit different as he is their bio-father, but I think the 9 year old can't make that decision, only you can decide if this is all too much for you as a whole family and perhaps ask your partner to move out for a while til he gets sorted (although I certainly didn't ask my husband to move out).

I agree with going to the drs, and if there is no joy there, go private. I know the NHS should do xyz, but if we had waited for the NHS my husband would still be in pain and grumpy and turning nasty. I would pay to see a consultant, a really excellent one who specialises in diabetes care and if they recommend the pump, go for it. You can also dip in and out of the private/NHS system, that may be an other option.

I would talk more with your son- perhaps he can see the improvement in the last two months? Are there specific incidents in the past that really scared him? Keeping talking is crucial here, even though things may be said which are upsetting.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:23:48

The anger really only comes with being out of balance, so when he's really on top of his diabetes (eg on holidays or lazy days) it really is not a case of him managing his anger. He is generally laid back, patient etc and only grumpy after a bad day but never angry. My 2 dcs are wonderful but trying at times (dd is 13!) and its always me who blows my top with them not dp. He does always take himself off to our bedroom when its really bad.

tethersend Thu 02-Jan-14 19:24:45

Having seen the moods poorly managed diabetes can induce, I think you need to be very clear at the doctors that if the current situation continues, it will break up the family.

His condition is impacting negatively on his mental health, which could mean he meets the criteria for referral for a pump.

I don't think it's as simple as him trying harder to control his moods; diabetes can turn someone into a different person if not correctly managed.

Smartiepants79 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:26:54

I quite surprised at how many people think he should move out! He is not violent or threatening. You believe you are aware of why he behaves like this sometimes and he is doing all he can to control it. Your children love him and so do you. Is he the man you expect to spend the rest of your life with? If so then he needs you in sickness and in health. This is part of who he is. Of course he doesn't like seeing him in a state but If this is for life your son is going to have to learn to deal with it.
If you truly believe him to be a good man who is ill he needs your support. If he is not a risk to you or the children then I would expect a 9 yr old to start being able to understand that the illness causes the moods and between you as a family come up with some better coping strategies for your son.

tethersend Thu 02-Jan-14 19:28:21

Good point- OP, does your DS know why your DP gets in such a bad mood?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:29:05

Thank-you all and tower I'm so glad things are better for your family. Diabetes is massively misunderstood, I was guilty of knowing nothing before meeting dp. I think we would consider going private as the more I look into the pump the more hopeful I am.
I do keep talking to ds, he is happy today and much less 'closed' than previously.

wannaBe Thu 02-Jan-14 19:29:47

I think it depends tbh on what form this behaviour takes. If he's not threatening or violent and is simply moody/shouty then you all need to find a strategy to cope with it, even if that means him taking himself off somewhere/you potentially going out and leaving him to it for a couple of hours.

This is someone whose behaviour is as a result of a medical condition, not someone who is habitually aggressive. And while your ds may not like the times when things are difficult, IMO you shouldn't be considering having him move out at the request of a nine year old child. Your dp needs to try to manage his condition better obviously, something which it appears he is trying to do, but your ds also needs to develop a bit of understanding of how your dp's condition can affect him. And saying that you know other diabetics who don't react like this isn't the answer - everyone is different, and everyone's condition is different.

As for those saying he should move out, where do you draw the line at that? If someone suffered bad pmt every month would you think it appropriate that the kids request they move out? or had ceasures (sp?) which were scary? or depression? or another medical condition?

You can't just illuminate the afflicted individual from your lives, you have to work with it and try to have some understanding and reach a compromise if possible, a compromise which doesn't involve isolating someone who is trying their best to control a situation which they didn't seek to be in in the first place.

It is also worth bearing in mind that your ds is nine and approaching an age where his own hormones will be all over the place soon and his own thinking isn't going to be all that rational all of the time.

don't approach this as a troubled child, approach this as a partner with an illness and how you can best manage this in order that everyone can continue to live happily together.

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 19:32:18

if he manages it when on hols or being lazy etc as you say does that mean he is negligent of his health needs when he's at work? Is he disorganised and not managing his food intake as he ought to?

Has he spoken to HR at work and tried to get some support from them- re; hours worked and breaks so he can eat?

This is an occupational health issue in some ways.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 19:33:22

I think it's too much to expect a 7 year old to understand the situation. Listen to what he's telling you, he's playing it down as it is.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 19:34:48

Sorry cross posts with smartie and tether. Dp sister is also diabetic and she is horrendous when out of balance, it really affects sufferers mentally sad
Interestingly, dd is very caring and understanding when it occurs, she doesn't like it but at 13 she is very accepting. We always talk about it and are generally very loving and open as a family.
Yes, I do see him as being with me for life, diabetes aside, he's a lovely man.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 19:34:56

But on holidays or 'lazy days' he's got less stress - so he's likely to be more relaxed anyway.

I've seen blood sugar related irritability and mood swings in diabetics - but not this level of anger - apart from my uncle, who as I said, was angry way before the diabetes.

Even if he controls his condition better - inevitably his blood sugar will sometimes go out of balance - & he has to learn how to control his anger when it does.

I feel for your kids because he's not really their problem. If he was their own dad that would be one thing - but why should their entire childhoods be lived in the shadow of a man who can't control his illness? To whom they're not even related?

In your situation I'd say that he's got to get it under control, or consider living elsewhere and continuing the relationship that way.

Bottom line - your responsibility is to your kids not to him.

Thetallesttower Thu 02-Jan-14 19:42:38

Hopefully if your son understands more about mood swings and diabetes, you do, and your husband does, you can put a plan into action to deal with them. I would not take no for an answer within the healthcare system, get the facts, read the NICE guidelines, go to a decent consultant and take it from there. Simply going to the local GP who has been designated the diabetes expert at that surgery may not be enough or they may not know enough about the guidelines to know when to refer on. Work out what you want and then go and (nicely) ask for it- it may be the pump isn't the best solution but there are other ways to manage it as well.

If anyone doubts that insulin dependent diabetes can cause mood swings and depression, just google it.

wouldbemedic Thu 02-Jan-14 19:42:45

I don't think DP should move out. That would be giving a nine year old more control than is fair to him. You are the parents. You decide what's best. So if your nine year old is expressing anxiety and other negative feelings, you take it very very seriously. But you don't start chucking people out when you would otherwise have believed DP to be an important, overwhelmingly positive part of the picture for DS. Your DS will be aware of the way this is making you feel now but he won't be able to imagine the guilt and sadness he'll feel when/if DP goes. Sons often feel protective towards their mums and I suspect he'd feel that he had been very selfish. (If your DP is a great dad almost all the time, I wonder if his suggested solution to the very valid problem is actually rather selfish?)

This is a man who has taken on other people's children, rather heroically by all accounts, is now struggling with a serious illness while working very, very hard - presumably to help look after everyone. What kind of example is it setting to DS if you all refuse to bear with him through this time?

Why can't DP go into the garage and lock the door? Why is he storming around like this? Can't there be an agreement put in place so the family space is protected?

As an aside, how many of us would have thrown our parents out at some point, if we could have done?

wannaBe Thu 02-Jan-14 19:54:45

wow the lack of empathy on this thread is astounding. "Bottom line - your responsibility is to your kids not to him." really? in sickness and in health and all that goes out the window because he's not the kids' biological parent? wtf?

And people saying they've never known this to happen really isn't helpful either. We can all only speak from our own personal perspective, just because someone hasn't known it to happen doesn't mean that it can't. Have people never heard of diabetics being arrested by the authorities in the belief they were drunk, for instance, because they were aggressive and falling around and on the verge of passing out when actually it was an imbalance? Or is it ok to assume that it can't be real because someone hasn't seen it?

Where do we draw the line at the kids being allowed to dictate what impacts negatively on them because the partner isn't their biological parent? In fact shouldn't biology be taken into account anyway? if this was the biological father causing anxiety because of his condition why should biology mean he be treated differently?

but to take it back, if a partner had a stroke and sustained serious disabilities, if they were incontinent/in a wheelchair, had ceasures, sustained a brain injury which made them unpredictable, or a brain tumour, would it be ok to throw them out too?

All those calling for him to move out because his illness appears to be unmanageable at this point should think hard because there but for the grace of god go any of us.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 19:57:48

And where's the empathy for the son?? They're not married, they've only been together 6 years.

I'm not suggesting that his moving out should be considered because the 9 year old asked for it - but because from the OP's posts - this issue is seriously affecting family life in general and her children's lives in particular. Her son says that he is 'scared' of DP's outbursts & 'he worries about it happening'.

That for me is a major issue: first of all for a 9 year old to even say that he 'sort of' didn't want the DP living with them must have taken a lot of guts, & I agree with the OP that he is likely minimising; secondly what her son reports - essentially being afraid of the DP and being anxious about his outbursts - could cause mental health problems in the son, such as anxiety and depression.

Bottom line is - whatever is behind the anger - whether it be diabetes, mental health issues, or being EA for example (I'm not suggesting he is the latter two I'm just using them for comparison) - the effect is the same.

Her children were born first, and this relationship developed later: imo her primary responsibility is for the health and well-being of her kids.
Her partner is unfortunately inflicting his problems on the whole family who are of no relation.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 20:03:44

Completely agree with Twinkle. The OP and her partner's needs are secondary in this.

Your son has asked for your help in the only way a 9 year old can and you've basically ignored him.

No reason you have to split up but living together isn't an option at this point.

Thetallesttower Thu 02-Jan-14 20:11:07

So- his parenting of the child since the age of three doesn't count then basically? If you are not a bio-parent you are never ever to be treated like a member of the family?

I am not saying he for sure should move out, just that the decision should rest with the parents here and not a 9 year old.

Matildathecat Thu 02-Jan-14 20:11:46

M lovely bil can get exactly like this, and it's a sign that his sugars are dangerously low. Unfortunately it takes a long time to settle even when he's been fed.

This will sound a bit of a 'nanny' approach, but primrose, could you actually give him food every couple of hours to try to avoid the lows? I second the pushing for a pump and emphasising how bad it can be. For my bil this moodiness can be the precursor to fitting, which leads to coma and worse so it is serious. Bil now has one and is much improved. He, too always seems to have episodes when at home. It's more complicated than just not trying.

Your dc sound great. They sound mature enough to understand the problem. Hopefully by managing the situation with various strategies things will improve.

tethersend Thu 02-Jan-14 20:16:38

Putting her son's needs first need not mean the end of the OP's relationship, or even her DP moving out at all.

It's clear that his medical condition needs intervention. This man has been part of the children's lives for six years, and I agree that the children should feel like he is part of the family and not completely dispensable; however, this does need to be balanced with them needing to feel safe, which of course is the bottom line.

It may be possible to allay the son's fears without moving DP out, either through better management of his condition, or family therapy, or both. If this turns out to be impossible, then of course other options, including him moving out, should be considered.

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 20:18:44

Is it really the OP's job though to feed an adult every 2 hours?

It's down to him surely.

If he cannot cope with his work, irregular meals and diabetes then he has to look at making lifestyle changes.

I can't work out if he's not taking his meds correctly, not eating correctly, or what....

wannaBe Thu 02-Jan-14 20:24:30

no, biology is irrelevant. either the illness is adversely affecting the children or it isn't. Or should we only teach our children to have empathy for those who are related to us and the rest can be dispensed with? hmm no wonder so many people would be reluctant to ever get involved with someone with children if this is the prevailing attitude.

There is putting your children first in terms of if the dp is emotionally abusive, for instance, but when it comes to something like an illness I think that the children do need to learn some empathy. And you can have empathy with a child's distress without giving in to their wish for the partner to move out.

And I ask again, where do we draw the line? Woman with pmt who gets moody every month, should she be asked to move out because her kids don't like it? perfectly reasonable to suggest that, no? partner with epilepsy who has serious ceasures which can be very, very scary and distressing to witness, should move out if the kids are scared of it happening, yes? No didn't think so. Get real.

Lweji Thu 02-Jan-14 20:26:32

And the OP can't do it for him at work. But surely he could take some cereal bars or other food to keep him going and being in a better mood at home.

He should be able to manage his mood at home as well as in work, though.
For example, by retreating, after eating and only coming back when he's better.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 20:31:25

As far as I can see, there is plenty of empathy from posters for my son (and rightly so) I do help dp offering food, reminders to blood test and I'm happy to do so, diabetes is a chronic condition and all consuming, tiring and frightening for those who have it.
I will again stress that I have no intention of playing down my ds's feelings and he (and dd) are my no 1 priority.

girliefriend Thu 02-Jan-14 20:32:44

I wonder whether some family counselling would help?

I'm guessing you would have to pay privately for this but it might help understanding on all sides.

Does your son have contact with his bio dad?

This would worry me but I don't see asking your dp to move out would help the situation really.

BaldricksTurnip Thu 02-Jan-14 20:33:10

Biologically related or not, kids come first no matter what. My DH is our kids bio father and we all love him dearly, but if a situation arose where something was happening with him that resulted in any of the DC's being afraid of him, I know that he would move out of his own accord. We would find a way of making it work but BOTH of us would be putting the kids first. If your DP knows how your son is feeling he should be putting him first as that is what good parents real or step do.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 20:34:07

Jean, where have I suggested I'm ignoring my ds? I am taking this very seriously (as is dp) I just came on here for some input from others, thank-you to everyone who has responded.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 20:34:15

So what are you going to do to put your son first then?

Matildathecat Thu 02-Jan-14 20:36:19

The reason I suggested the OP trying out regular snacks is because as soon as the glucose levels dip the diabetic person loses the ability to recognise what's going on so easily. If it was a simple matter of him being more careful, I imagine he would. He sounds a nice chap with a very nasty disease. Some diabetics do have much more unstable and fluctuating glucose levels.

However, I know I'd get flamed for the suggestion!

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 20:43:08

Well firstly, there is also my dd to consider, she would be devastated if dp moved out temporarily or permanently. I suggested at dinner that me and the dc's stayed with Grandma this weekend, ds's response? Can dp come too. He has also asked all day when he's coming home (this is entirely normal so not related to yesterdays events) I am just trying to work out what to do for the best.

Twinklestein Thu 02-Jan-14 20:46:43

I agree that the son's needs coming first does not necessarily mean the end of the relationship, and indeed my suggestion that moving out should be on the table wasn't to end the relationship - but to continue it with him living elsewhere.

I think the OP needs to be firm that he a) manages his diabetes better, b) manages his anger better, and that if a) & b) are not met then living arrangements will have to be reconsidered.

It may be that an ultimatum is the impetus he needs to get on top of his condition.

MatryoshkaDoll Thu 02-Jan-14 21:02:38

How does his anger manifest itself? Is he violent or just verbally aggressive?

Does he do it with other people, or just within the family?

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 21:03:28

But if he was the Op's DH and the bio father would you then suggest he moved out? I doubt it.

So it comes back to him not being the real father? Or the length of the relationship? or what?

If ,god forbid, he had cancer and mood changes or sickness, would some of you then suggest he moved out because his behaviour was upsetting?

OP you have to make sure he is doing everything he can- 100%- to keep his condition under control.

I'm not sure he is from what you say.

I've asked about his work and lifestyle and support from HR etc with his hours and you have not mentioned this.

It does sound a tiny bit as if you are defending him and his actions- or non-action.

If his illness is so unstable then he needs to find a way of not inflicting his moods and anger on the family. The ball is in his court- what's he doing?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 21:28:19

Lifestyle wise he does everything right, exercises, doesn't smoke, rarely drinks eats well etc. He has changed drs as last one was very un supportive, our appt tomorrow is with the new one. Work is trickier, its a small company that rely on him quite heavily, he'd love to work elsewhere but obviously the job market isn't brilliant at the moment, especially where we are. I'm not sure how work could help really, he was made redundant a few years ago and does really worry about providing for us all.
Ds does see his bio dad, about every 6 wks for a few nights. He has a good relationship with him but he's not particularly close to him and doesn't really remember him living with us.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 21:29:19

As I said up thread he has never been violent.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 21:43:31

You're making excuses OP.

wannaBe Thu 02-Jan-14 21:44:12

and still no-one will answer the question. If this was cancer causing mood swings, or epilepsy, or any other kind of disability, would it be ok to put all the onus on to the individual who was having the mood swings (which were beyond their control sometimes) to do something about it?

It strikes me from op's posts that on the whole the ds has a good relationship with the dp, and that this issue arises when he has had an episode, which while understandable does not, IMO, mean he shouldn't be living in the family home, given his moods etc are stable the majority of the time.

And anyone who thinks that asking your patner to move out wouldn't impact on the relationship is delusional. So you would all be accepting if your partners asked you to move out if you had an illness/disability which could frighten their kids? riiiight.

If this was a mental illness for instance and diagnosed as such, would people be saying that the onus is on him to manage his condition? no didn't think so, in fact people would be slated on here for being non understanding of mh conditions. Yet diabetes can cause mh issues, and all sorts of other issues for that matter, kidney failure, blindness, death, to name just a few, but presumably as with the mood swings if these things happen then it's all down to the individual because they didn't manage their condition properly.

How fortunate that so many on here seem to be experts in the management of diabetes, when it seems that even the medical professionals here are struggling. hmm

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 21:49:01

I'll answer the question - my children come first. Happy with that?

Turkeywurkey Thu 02-Jan-14 21:59:46

My father had episodes of psychosis when I was growing up. When unwell he was a far greater problem and threat than your DP sounds. He was verbally, emotionally and physically abusive to my mother, I remember physical fights with neighbours and he was unpredictable and a risk to us all in terms of driving erratically and setting fires in the house. I remember having to move out of the family home sometimes until he was detained to hospital.

When well he is a kind, patient, gentle, shy man who has been a great father and grandfather. I have a good relationship with both him and my mother. I am happy for him to spend lots of time with his grandchildren.

There is no question it was hard on my mother and they still have issues as my mother feels he should have more care to prevent further episodes. He also has some of the longer term disabilities associated with his illness that make him hard to live with. I would not blame her if they split up, nor him either in fact. However from the point of view the impact on me as a child, I don't believe it had a negative impact on my health or success and happiness in life.

The things that helped:

I was protected from serious danger by my mother.
It was always explained to me clearly in child friendly terms what was happening. In particular, that my Dad was ill and he wouldn't have done those things if he had been in his right mind. I knew his diagnosis, symptoms and treatment which were all simply explained.
He got better in between episodes so I knew what he was really like as a person when well. I imagine it might have been different if he had been ill continuously simply because he wasn't able to function as a parent when ill if nothing else.

There is a risk to children at the time and for their future health in situations such as mine but I strongly feel the way my mother handled it in a very clear, open and practical fashion minimised the risks to me. I really feel that the difference in intent between someone who is ill and someone who is just being abusive makes a difference to the longer term impact on those around them, though it can be quite as unpleasant at the time! I don't want to minimise how the situation is affecting you and I fully agree with those saying you need to be very clear to health professionals exactly how much impact this is having. Your DP does have responsibility for keeping himself well too. However if you talk openly and clearly I don't think your DPs behaviour sounds as if it is of the duration or severity that would be likely to cause your DC long term harm and it sounds like there would be other far less drastic solutions than him moving out.

JeanSeberg Thu 02-Jan-14 22:03:16

Difference being he was your father.

Turkeywurkey Thu 02-Jan-14 22:07:53

I don't think so Jean.

wannaBe Thu 02-Jan-14 22:08:20

so presumably you're happy with the fact that should you ever be incapasitated for any reason which might upset your children, your partner should ditch you asap.

nothing like teaching children empathy and understanding is there? hmm

If my partner was an alcoholic, a drug addict, emotionally or physically abusive then putting the children "first" is entirely appropriate because these are all things that they can do something about. They are all choices.

The op's partner has a medical condition. He did not choose to be diabetic. He doesn't choose to have mood swings. He wants to control them better but is struggling. If it was as simple as just managing the condition then everything would be ok then the thousands of diabetics in the country would do just that, don't you think? Things like insulin pumps exist for a reason - to help those whose condition is less easy to manage to do that better. except in this instance the dp has been turned down for one, oh, that's probably his fault as well. hmm

And sometimes children do need to learn that they can't always come first. Sometimes children need to learn that they have to develop an understanding of the people around them. You can't just remove the people from their lives that make them uncomfortable, especially those who have no control of the situation they're in. Otherwise how do they ever develop a sense of empathy, or tolerance of those around them?

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 22:25:50

I'm still here, just busy preparing for the morning and watching gangsta granny smile Jean, please don't underestimate the value and importance of step families. You seem very focused on the fact dp isn't ds bio father, would you feel the same if either of us were adoptive parents?
Thank-you again for all the input, I'm hopeful tomorrows appt will be a turning point and will keep talking to ds and more importantly listening to him.

primrose22 Thu 02-Jan-14 22:26:46

Thank-you wanna, have only just seen your post.

almapudden Thu 02-Jan-14 22:30:42

Good luck with tomorrow's appointment. It sounds as though you're taking your son's concerns seriously but also doing a good job of balancing that with your daughter's needs and maintaining your relationship with your dp. Families are complicated! Hopefully the new doctor will be able to help.

Jaffacakesallround Thu 02-Jan-14 22:53:03

Jean do put a sock in it. You're way off the mark with your comments and prejudices.

JeanSeberg Fri 03-Jan-14 00:08:41

If you say so!

lunar1 Fri 03-Jan-14 00:49:22

I find this thread really black and white with people's opinions. It is not a step family issue.

I lost my first husband, he was diabetic and had very unstable blood sugars. This wasn't his fault. Maintaining sugar levels is not an exact science, so many more things in the body can affect it than just food and amount of insulin.

Towards the end of his life, I'd say the last year he would not have been able to live with or take care of a child. It wouldn't have mattered if the child was his or if they were a step child.

As sad and heart wrenching as it sounds if we had children we would have had to find a different living arrangement.

Diabetes is so misunderstood, it is not always possible for someone with diabetes to be in control, and once the blood sugar has dropped it is not possible to just try a bit harder to control your actions.

I don't know what the answer is for you op, but you have to listen to what your son is saying, you may have some hard decisions ahead of you.

OctaviusAce Fri 03-Jan-14 01:13:20

The OP's post is interesting to me. I've been a T1 diabetic since the age of 19 (20 years ago now). I'm painfully aware how hard it can be to maintain decent blood glucose levels.

If I go hypo, I usually act a bit giddy or drunk. Once or twice, during a more severe hypo, I've been a bit snappy at my wife (suggesting I take sugar), but that was only because I was confused about what was happening. I always take the sugar though smile

After 5 mins - once the blood glucose levels are up a bit, I'm fine. I have no symptoms of high blood glucose other than a metallic taste in my mouth.

Could you elaborate OP...? When you say his levels are "out of balance", what do you mean? Are they low, or high, at the point of the mood swing?

If low, does eating some carbs not being his moods back to normal, or is your DP refusing to treat his hypo?

glastocat Fri 03-Jan-14 01:14:53

Diabetes can be terribly hard to manage. my step dad was diagnosed type one aged thirty, so has had it for over thirty years. He is extremely diligent about taking his bloods and controlling his diet but can still go low without any seeming cause or warning, and it can be quite frightening for those around him. Luckily my mum is with him most of the time and is very good at spotting signs of a hypo, the doctor says she is probably the reason he is still alive. When not having a hypo my step dad is the mildest mannered person you could hope to meet. He did actually have to give up work in his 30s partly due to this, it can be an extremely debilitating illness and affect some people much worse than others. So you have my sympathies OP, but your husband must manage his illness strictly, my stepdad has been told by his doc that it is only his diligence keeping him alive.

Jaffacakesallround Fri 03-Jan-14 08:37:07

I hope you all get on ok at the drs today- maybe come back and tell us?

One thing that struck me was...

your DS appears to think that your DP is 'disposable' and this along with his comments about why you aren't married to each other raises some alarm bells with me.

What's your take on it?

Even though they get on well- you said- he doesn't seem to think of your DP as a permanent fixture. I wonder if you were married if he'd still say the same thing?

Has he been given any impression that your DP is not permanent in your life or that your relationship is less than stable?

Yes, you ought to put your children first, but I'm still left wondering why a 9 yr old feels he can call the shots about his mum's relationships . I suppose one lesson he needs to learn is that you/ one doesn't ask people to move out just because times are tough. Giving in to this would, in my view, would not teach him that relationships have to be worked at when times get tough.

And- as an aside- if it were to make him happier for you to be married, and maybe he'd feel more secure, is that something you and DP would consider?

primrose22 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:49:58

Ace, its really interesting to read your post and you sound as though your diabetes is well under control, as someone mentioned previously it affects individuals differently and your symptoms of being low are very different to dps, we actually find the lows easy to manage (although I appreciate being very low is life threatening) Its being high that is the issue and sometimes despite all his best efforts he cannot get his level down quick enough sad
Thanks again, I am overwhelmed by everyone taking the time to offer opinions and advice!
The drs went well, the change of gp was a good move and he will be referred to the diabetic team at our local hospital. The dr agrees that the pump is the way forward, a relief as the previous dr flatly refused to even discuss it.
My ds is fine today, we spoke last night and he said he was sad about dp being diabetic, we had a good chat and I talked about his appt, ds initially was keen to come with us but changed his mind when we told him how early it was! I hate to think he's worried and will continue to talk to him.

primrose22 Fri 03-Jan-14 10:59:36

Luna, I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, it really is a horrible condition sad

Jaffa, its interesting what you say about ds not seeing dp as being permanent. On the face of it dp is very much part of the family, he's very involved with all aspects of dcs lives etc I was slow to introduce him to them and very careful to not get into deep until I was sure about the dcs felt about things. Maybe I let them dictate too much? For example, it was them that suggested dp started living with us (I was more than ready by then but didn't want to rush things!) At the time it seemed really sweet but looking back it does look as though they were in charge, or maybe I'm over thinking things after not enough sleep.

OctaviusAce Fri 03-Jan-14 13:16:29

Primrose - interesting that it's the highs causing the problem. I haven't come across that before. It certainly does effect everyone differently.

A few thoughts:

Good to hear you are being referred to the Diabetes team at your local hospital. They are far and away a better resource for answers/advice than your GP. That isn't meant with disrespect to GPs, but a diabetes specialist nurse at your hospital will be in daily contact with Drug companies, Diabetic consultants, dieticians. They really are fantastic - you will be pleasantly surprised.

One strong recommendation I have, is that your DP looks at courses such as the DAFNE course. All hospitals should run one or two of these a year. Your DP will learn a hell of a lot on one of these. I went on one grudgingly last year, thinking I already knew everything there was to know - I was proved wrong very quickly:

If your DP is struggling to bring his glucose down quickly enough - it might be worth asking the hospital if he could be resistant to insulin. After going on the DAFNE course, I found I had developed a strong resistance to insulin over the years, particularly in the mornings. Am currently hoping to go on Metformin to help with this.

If you're looking at pumps, you could also ask the hospital about a Continuous Monitoring device. These are currently only used on the NHS for young children, so you'd have to pay a portion of the cost. I've looked at this, and it was around £180 per month at my hospital. Maybe not an option, but worth bearing in mind. Pumps have their drawbacks, but are incredibly easy to "install" now. I haven't come across anyone who went to a pump, but then went back to pens.

Will send you a PM about other bits & bobs which aren't currently mainstream in the UK at the moment.

primrose22 Fri 03-Jan-14 14:05:27

Thanks ace, your obviously very knowledgeable. He has done the dafne course, although it was some time ago. The gp who he no longer goes to, was actually very dismissive and critical about dafne which I guess is quite telling. He's supposedly our practices diabetic specialist! Anyway, any other information would be great, thank-you.

RandomMess Fri 03-Jan-14 22:35:55

Really pleased that you've been given a referral, I have no personal experience with diabetes I've certainly read accounts of how everyone can differ very much with their reactions to high and lows, and major mood changes being an issue/indicator that things are not ok sugar/insulin wise.

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