Please Help a Clueless Girl Scout Leader

Discussion in 'General Health & Wellness' started by sillyandi, Apr 25, 2010.

  1. sillyandi

    sillyandi New Member

    OK, i'm not totally clueless , I have had gestational diabetes with 3 pregnancies and insulin treatment for 1 short month of that time, but I want to make sure my scout is safe.
    I have a scout who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 2 years ago. She is now 10 and her mom feels she can regulate, administer and care for herself on her own. Previously the mom has accompanied us on our trips, but now she feels it is the girl's responsibility to take care of herself.
    We have asked mom for specific instructions of what to do and when. I was given a list that says: "Correction for snack- Over 200- .5 units of Novolog, Over 300- 1 unit of novolog, over 400- 1.5 units Novolog". No joke, that is all.

    We went on an overnight trip last month and the girl eats whatever she wants and only sticks to her set # of carbs, proteins etc if you ask her "are you supposed to be eating that?". Her answer is usually no, but without a set script I have no idea what portions she is supposed to have and when. We made constant phone calls to mom because at night her blood sugar was 352 before snack, she woke up in the high 400's and within 1 hr of breakfast and morning meds she was 50. According to my first aid training BOTH of those situations were an emergency and we should have gone to the hospital, but both girl and mom say it happens all the time. She continued to be all over the place the whole day (at Disneyland of all places) and everytime we had to call mom and ask for directions. Mom says her pancreas still works sometimes and that is what causes the fluctuations. Watching the girls actions and my own little bit of knowledge about diabetes tells me she really isn't ready to manage this alone and I don't feel comfortable with the current situation.
    Next month we are going to a camp that has no phone service and no RN on staff. Our Council does not have a policy on medical issues like this.
    How (and what) do I need to ask mom in order to be able to take care of her daughter properly?
    I know I need a specific list of her diet (ie how many servings for each meal). I need a much more comprehensive listing of what medications she gets and when she should get them. I have a general idea of what constitutes an emergency and what to look for in her behavior, etc, do I go by mom's rule of thumb or my first aid training?
    Should I insist mom go with us? (she doesn't hover, she usually reads a book or stays at a hotel nearby and only comes to the camp to administer the meds 3 times a day..)
    I really want the girl to have the same experience as the other girls but I also don't want her to die in my care!
  2. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    This actually isn't a diabetes question, so much as a what to do with a diabetic child that is out of control on overnight trips and her parents.

    If the girl will not obey the rules of diabetic eating when on trips and monitor herself, you as the troop leader should probably RIGHT NOW ask directions from a higher level of the Girl Scouts as to what their rules are on her remaining a girl scout--particularly since the parents are letting her loose to monitor herself and the girl is going wild on eating. This is going to blow up bad one day and you better be prepared right now.

    On the overnight trip when the girl first started going out of control with eating, my first thought would be to take the girl to the Emergency Room and then call her parents from the E.R. to come get her and take her home because the girl would not obey and monitor herself--who cares how far away the girl is and they have to catch a plane. The girl was out of control with her diabetes eating and levels and can't take care of herself and you aren't a nurse to take care of her. The most telling is that the parents told you the bad levels happen all the time, so that means the girl does go into eating frenzies at home and they let her--that is a huge warning sign to not have her in the troop and she is way too young to be placed in charge of herself or you to be placed in charge of her.

    The problem is that the parent is tired of going on the overnights and have placed you in the position of being a nurse for this girl--and given you the full liability for the girl. NO WAY. See what the higher counsel wants you to do and refuse to have her on any overnights until the Girl Scout higher level has provided you with their directions. You have to protect yourself from a lawsuit in case this girl ends up in a diabetic coma, and the parents come screaming at you--and they will. Take care and I'm sorry that you have been placed in this position.

    P.S. This is an issue that your Girl Scout Council should address and not just dump on you to handle. Diabetes is an important medical issue and the Council should be required to come up with some type of protocol to protect Girl Scout leaders from liability. In fact, does the Council require the parent sign any waiver of you having responsibility for their diabetic child's eating, glucose levels, etc.???? If they can't come up with a protocol, go over their heads to a higher level because there has to be some protocol for leaders and medical conditions of Scouts. Insist on directions and don't take no for an answer.
    [This Message was Edited on 04/26/2010]
  3. Janalynn

    Janalynn New Member

    TwoCats gave some great advice (ALWAYS does). I actually believe that the Mom has put you in this position. It sounds like you're put in a position of great responsibility and you shouldn't be.

    You're right, the little girl should be allowed to have the same experiences as the other girls, but not at the expense of her health. Her Mom needs to be overseeing this a little better. She sounds like she's pushing this off on you. You aren't medical staff.

    I'd refuse to be in charge of her health on these overnight trips. I personally wouldn't want that liability. I wouldn't trust Mom and how she would react if something did happen.

    Take TwoCats advice.
  4. JLH

    JLH New Member

    From your description, that little girl has very poor control of her sugar!!!!! I know Type 1 is different from what I have, which is the Type 2.

    From what I understand, she could go into comas with her sugar as high as 400!

    If I were you, before I took her on any more outings, I would be reading everything that you can from reputable medical sites on the internet regarding Type 1 in Children. You might also check you local health departments and hospitals to see if they do any "free" diabetic education classes, and take one!

    Call your own doctor's office and ask for literature on Type 1 in children, as well as a local Endocrinologist's office--if your city has one.

    For one thing, it does not sound like your little scout is eating properly, especially when she answers that "no" she should not be eating that, etc. You need to have food available for her to eat which is within her diet, like only give her Diet Pop, Low-Fat milk, no pizza, nothing with a lot of carbs in it, etc. Maybe a Pediatrician's office would have a food list of what children with Type 1 would be able to eat.

    You should also purchase a roll of glucose tablets at your local drug store or Wal-Mart and carry with you. Or you can also buy the instant glucose in a gel. If her sugar falls down to 60 or below, she should be given some. If it gets down to 30 or so, her breath with smell fruity, or like she is drunk, and could fall into a coma.

    In my opinion, her mother is being awfully ignorant towards her daughter's illness and not giving her the attention that she needs. I wonder if she knows the dangers of these high glucose readings--what they will do. In a short time, this poor girl's eyesight, kidneys, etc. could be damaged. She will developed neuropathy in her legs and feet.

    My father died in less than 10 years after he was diagnosed with diabetes because he did not take care of himself. However, before he died, he suffered tremendously for two years, with amputations, and being on kidney dialysis for 18 months. He died a horribly painful death. I don't think that mother knows what will happen to her child if she doesn't try to keep her sugar levels better. This disease is NOT one of those "oh well, that happens all the time" ha, ha, ha, diseases!

    I don't ever know the little scout, but I am now worried to death about her.

    Please take it upon yourself to get educated about juvenile diabetes so you can help her. Maybe what you teach her might educate her to take better care of herself. Juvenile diabetes used to be referred to a just that in children, now, it is anybody who has Type 1, regardless of age, so make sure your reading material does refer to children.

    Good luck, and God Bless You for wanting to take proper care of your little scout!

  5. TwoCatDoctors

    TwoCatDoctors New Member

    If you take on the role of nurse or doctor without actually being one, it's very dangerous and you'll risk hurting the girl or being sued in the end. I'm sure the parents will stick it to you if the girl ends up in a diabetic coma or worse--they'll say you weren't trained to be a nurse or doctor and shouldn't have tried to play one. It's okay to the parents that they disregard her condition, but if you get involved, you will be sorry. These parents are not good with a diabetic child and you would make a good person to blame if something goes wrong. And they would sue you and the Girl Scouts too and you might lose your house and everything you own. All because you tried to help.

    Remember in some states if you stop to help in an accident and are not a doctor or nurse and cause additional injury, you are liable to that injured person---shouldn't be that way, but good samaritans get sued. Sorry, but years in a law office taught me that good intentions do get punished. And people who are not nurses and doctors and act like one, get punished.

    You cannot treat this girl for her diabetes as you are not her parent, nor a doctor or nurse. If there is a situation, the girl goes immediately to the E.R. for proper, legal and licensed diabetic treatment and licensed doctors will make the decisions, not you. You made the mistake before of not getting her to the E.R. when she needed it on an overnight trip and that was a huge mistake by you that could have turned deadly, so that was strike one against you and should show you that you are not ready to take on all this.

    The only person who should train this little girl about her diabetic care is her parents, her doctor, her doctor's nurse, a diabetic program through her doctor or a person her doctor selects who is properly accredited and trained to do so--and none of them is you. You cannot take over for her parents involving diabetes and that is not your call. You can feel sorry for this little girl, but don't let that cloud your judgment as you have many other scouts in your troop.

    I think you have had plenty of time to think it all over. You posted it on both boards, and I believe by now you have already made your decision and you'll live with that decision. Good luck and hugs.

    [This Message was Edited on 05/03/2010]
  6. rockgor

    rockgor Well-Known Member

    is right on the money! Potential lawsuit against you and the Girl Scouts.

    Do you have liability insurance that will pay for your defense in a legal action?

    This is not a time to be nice. This is a time to be firm. No, no, no. This girl cannot
    come on scouting trips with you.

  7. butterflydream

    butterflydream New Member

    someone takes this 10 year old to juvenile diabetes classes so she can learn how to manage her diabetes. Having 300 and 400 blood sugars is totally uncalled for. Possibly her doctor will introduce the Insulin Pump to her and encourage her to check her blood sugars much more often. Shame on the mother. This 10 year old girl needs educated since it seems her mother has not shown what needs to be learned. Diet is very important along with exercise and learning to manage diabetes. This mother needs to attend classes as well.

  8. stick2013

    stick2013 Member

    That the mother should be brought up on Child Endangerment charges. Diabetes type 1 is a serious serious health threat.....Blindness, loss of limbs from Gangrene, heart issues, kidney failure,....My god...... what is it that this mother doesn't understand??????

    Yes, you can control your numbers through insulin, BUT the damage that is being done internally is STILL THERE and still GOING on....Keeping your numbers steady helps, but the damage is still being produced in the body.....It's a life style change that has to take place, even with children.....To promote good life habits that will last a life time.....JMO!!!!!