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117 Responses

  1. kt
    kt February 25, 2010 at 7:07 am | | Reply

    This was me in high shool, but it extended through college. My college experience was a bad one as a result. In retrospect, I ended up with a math degree from an ivy league school, and have no complcations, but I nonetheless feel like I threw away four years of my life feeling awful, physically and emotionally, and I have no way of getting them back.

    I don’t have any advice though…I knew what to do, I kept trying to make fresh starts, I just couldn’t make myself do it.

  2. Ellen
    Ellen February 25, 2010 at 8:00 am | | Reply

    How honest !- Thank you for opening the door to conversation between parents, between parents and children, and for raising awareness that we must stay aware of and involved in our adolescent’s diabetes care.

  3. Karen
    Karen February 25, 2010 at 8:14 am | | Reply

    Moira, this is an amazing post. And not just for moms and dads of T1s! As a PWD, I can say that – at 31 years old, after 16 years with T1 – I struggle every single day to find that balance between self-care and freedom. It’s the biggest problem I think diabetics face, and is why doctors all cluck their tongues about “compliance.”

    When you never get a break from something like this, when you never get a day off or a moment to think about something else (because the D is always, always, always there), it is hard to maintain the energy and commitment required to take care of yourself. The diabetes wagon is horrifically slippery – I know I’ve spent all these years hopping on it and falling right back off. It’s work. It’s not fun. It can be draining. And I know I can have a lot of resentment about the fact that this is what I have to spend a lot of my time and emotional energy on.

    Thanks for your post – Lauren sounds like a smart, tough cookie, and that’s half the battle.

  4. Joey
    Joey February 25, 2010 at 8:26 am | | Reply

    I’m the father of an 8 year old and I am not sitting here clucking my tongue. On the contrary I feel your pain and am fully aware I have this to look forward to. Today my daughter’s A1C is 6.3 but that will only last as long as my wife and I manager her diabetes.
    Sure I have lots of ideas of how to help her manage as a teen but no clue if any will work.
    I don’t see why you find this embarrassing, it’s natural for teens to rebel and push back where life is most restricting. Unfortunately for our kids this is not what party they can or can’t go to but rather what they have to do at the party and everywhere else due to their diabetes. I just hope and pray we get some good solutions for them soon like the artificial pancreas.
    I hope your daughters struggle goes well

  5. Meri
    Meri February 25, 2010 at 8:28 am | | Reply

    I feel like this was written for me. That all your efforts here were just for me. My son was diagnosed at 8 mo. and like your daughter, he was the model diabetic. Youngest to get a pump in our area…praised by teachers for how responsible he is, a GATE student. And now, out of nowhere, 12 years later, it is like pulling teeth to get him to test ONE TIME during the school day. Yesterday it all came to a head. I told him I couldn’t understand why he didn’t test. I asked him to explain it to me…to make me understand. And he couldn’t. I saw my bright, smart, straight A boy in front of me and I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

    I think I understand more now. I know that this trasition into Jr. High is not going to be easy. But I will support him as much as he will allow. Thank you for your honesty. It was balm to a worried mothers heart.

  6. Sarah
    Sarah February 25, 2010 at 8:30 am | | Reply

    Great, honest post. With a 12 year old daughter and 8 years in the D life, I can really appreciate and relate to everything you shared. Thanks for articulating so much, so well.

  7. Autumn
    Autumn February 25, 2010 at 8:50 am | | Reply

    Thank you for sharing your story. It’s really the emotinal side of diabetes that kills. My experiance was a bit different. I didn’t hit diabetes rock-bottom until my JR year in college. I remember calling my mom the morning after I tried to OD on insulin and asking her if our insurance had any mental health benefits because I needed to go get counceling. No one ever wants to make a call like that to their mom. Luckily our insurance did have mental health benefits and I was able to find a good councelor to help me work through my depression and anger towards diabetes. Now I’m looking forward to being a mom myself. My husband and I are expecting our 1st child in July.

  8. Robyn
    Robyn February 25, 2010 at 9:05 am | | Reply

    I started crying as I read this – my 16 year old T1 niece and I were discussing this just last night.

    I try not to be heavy with her – it gives her a break from Bad Mom (who isn’t, but willingly takes that role to keep her kid alive) and a place where she can “confess” some of the scary and frustrating things about taking care of herself.

    My heart aches for her struggles, and I also get angry (you stupid kid!) but I always just listen.

    And I know she’s lying about testing, blousing, eating – she *is* a teenager after all – and just wants to be “normal”. So if the other girls claim they don’t eat, she won’t. And if they all go wild after school with pizza and sweets, so will she. Although she intellectually knows better, it seems like she can’t help it.

    Her endo told her at her last appointment that she would be dead by 40. She thought he was kidding, but I can tell she is taking it seriously because she is still talking about it. But finding her way is hard, even though 40 seems light years away.

    Thank you for bringing this into the light. The more we talk, the more we understand. The less shame, the easier the correction.

  9. Charlotte
    Charlotte February 25, 2010 at 9:10 am | | Reply

    Thanks for this. We are there now. I know how weary “I” am of this disease…I can’t even imagine how my son feels.

  10. joan
    joan February 25, 2010 at 9:12 am | | Reply

    Your story brought tears to my eyes as we face similar issues with our son 17 diagnosed at 22 months. Freedom as a drug is a great explanation for it and I never thought of it that way. That is why the artificial pancreas is not the cure, because our children will still not be free.

  11. Staci
    Staci February 25, 2010 at 9:14 am | | Reply

    This is MY STORY as a mom. This is MY DAUGHTER’S story with diabetes as well. She’s exactly 13. It’s starting. I’m horrified & at my wit’s end. At our last endo appt. I cried. My daughter has it ALL together in every other aspect… so I thought this lack of care about her diabetes was just laziness or forgetfulness, but after reading this I see I’m using the wrong word. It’s freedom that has a old on her. =) A good thing in some ways, for sure, but how difficult this has been for me. Thanks for sharing your story, and what is the story of so many parents out there. It’s truly nice to know I’m not alone in my frustration.

  12. Cara
    Cara February 25, 2010 at 9:23 am | | Reply

    This was my life as well, only with slightly less diabetes technology involved. I spent a lot of time saying “It was fine” when my mother asked how my blood sugar was. I spent lot of time not testing. I didn’t skip insulin doses until I was in college. But I did it then. And had several bad a1c’s and a doctor who loved me enough to tell me if I didn’t shape up I might as well not bother finishing college. Even after that wake-up call, it took me several years to get in the good control I’m in now, but it set me on the right path.
    Being “free” from diabetes is a fantasy, but a fantasy that I think many of us have gone through in our lives.

  13. k2
    k2 February 25, 2010 at 9:24 am | | Reply

    Moira:
    Thanks for being honest and open about the teen years with diabetes. While I’m not a parent of a child with diabetes, I was a child with diabetes who grew into a teen with diabetes, and I thought I knew EVERYTHING!
    As a teenager I wanted to be like everyone else. I wanted to be normal, and honestly, I wanted to hang with the rest of my friends and not deal with D moments every single day!
    It’s a delicate struggle to be a parent of, and a teen with diabetes.
    Teenagers want and need to learn how to handle their diabetes so they can take control of their lives as an adult. As parents of children wth D, your constantly figuring out when to take a step back and when to stay put and not give in. !uite the balancing act for all parties involved!
    Hope indeed floats, and you and your daughter are doing what needs to be done. Your both learning from the mistakes and the triumphs, and moving forward.
    And you both are quite awesome!
    Kelly K

  14. Kay
    Kay February 25, 2010 at 9:58 am | | Reply

    This is me. 100%. I was diagnosed at 3 years old. As I entered middle school and then high school my parents started giving me more and more responsibility. I realized that I could log readings and insulin doses that really didn’t exist and they would believe me. I’d keep used test strips in my meter case and when my parents would want me to do a blood sugar in front of them I’d go into the memory of the meter and put the used strip in and come up with another wonderful number. After sometime my parents caught on and lost complete trust in me. I think the 16.7 A1C may have clued them in…

    Here’s the thing, I don’t know if I could give any advice to anyone going through this. I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but I didn’t care. I just didn’t want to check my blood sugar or give my insulin.

    Thank you for telling your story.

  15. Carrie
    Carrie February 25, 2010 at 10:01 am | | Reply

    As a sister of twin T1s I have seen the struggle with this also. One brother more than the other. Now I have a daughter with T1 who is only 3 (diagnosised at 20 months) but I remember my brothers struggle thru teenage years and keep those thoughts in the back of my mind. Knowing that one day, no matter what I do or don’t do now, this will probably be a reality for us. I will also now remember “Freedom” and maybe will be able to put words to her struggle when the time comes. Thank you!

  16. Vanessa
    Vanessa February 25, 2010 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    This is our story too. Thanks so much for sharing. I had a lump in my throat while reading this post. My son, diagnosed at 2 years is now 15 years old. I always thought that because he was diagnosed at such a young age, he would get through the teen years a little better, but those hormones wreak havoc. It’s just a tough time. I also started giving him more freedoms and sometimes it works..sometimes not. But all in all I give him so much credit.

    I have been so fortunate to find a group of of moms in my area who all have kids with diabetes. There are about 6 of us and we have become such close friends, and meet every other month for dinner or drinks to talk about issues. It is so therapeutic and I have always known that we all go through this. They are my lifeline!

  17. Nici
    Nici February 25, 2010 at 10:12 am | | Reply

    Thank you for being so brave and sharing this story.

    When I was in high school, I felt so “different” from my non-diabetic friends. Unhappy with my stocky, diabetic build, I starved myself and exercised to excess. I knew that if I did these two things that I could take less insulin and, therefore, loose weight. This would work for a month or two until I would binge on junk food and then struggle with the resulting highs (and disappointment in myself) for the next day or so.

    We didn’t know back then about the psychological effects of this disease and I didn’t know that what I was doing was extreme. Even today, I think our medical teams often ignore our psychological health and, instead, focus on the physical. But this is so short-sided. We cannot keep up with the regimen required to maintain our physical selves if our minds are not healthy.

  18. terry
    terry February 25, 2010 at 10:57 am | | Reply

    Thank you, was very inspiring. You are a great writer too.

  19. riva
    riva February 25, 2010 at 11:43 am | | Reply

    Your story is heart-wrenching and seldom told. The psychological element of this just not wanting to perform anymore seems to just take hold as you described like an addiction. It sounds like you guys need more help to turn this around. Like a therapist trained in diabetes if you have access in your area.

    I’ve worked with two diabetes therapists (Joe Solowieczyk and Wendy Satin-Rapaport) and they advise treating not doing diabetes tasks like any other task/responsibility a teen has. When they perform, they get rewarded, when they don’t, they get privileges denied. It might sound harsh but they say it works.

    I couldn’t say it would work for you and your daughter but now’s the time to be looking outside what you’ve done to find a solution. riva

  20. Lorraine
    Lorraine February 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm | | Reply

    Thank you. My son is 7 and has been living with T1D for three years. The teen years are what worry me most for all the reasons you describe. I just sit tight right now, plugging along, taking it one day at a time, hoping that when those years hit, there will be something better out there for PWD that will make it easier and less stressful. But if not, it seems like now is the perfect time to start planning the best strategy to soften this impact. As Kay herself said, she doesn’t know if she could provide any advice even having gone through it, so I expect there are no easy answers. But it’s valuable to be mindful of what likely lies ahead.
    As far as the shame you feel, I understand that, however, clearly, you are an amazing mom and have an amazing daughter and truly have not one thing at all to feel the slightest bit guilty about.
    Thanks to both of you for sharing your story (and for Amy for bringing it to us).

  21. Wendy
    Wendy February 25, 2010 at 12:58 pm | | Reply

    Thank you. Thank you for opening the door and ushering shame out while welcoming reality.

    It’ll be several years before I have a D-Teen. Until then, I’ll be paying close attention to those who have gone before me…hoping to figure out where to turn when it happens to us.

  22. Linda
    Linda February 25, 2010 at 1:25 pm | | Reply

    My daughter was DX’d w/Type1 16.5 years ago at age 2.

    She’s at college now and probably doesn’t test as much as she should, but still she’s testing regularly because she’s always complaining about not having enough test strips and fighting w/our insurance for more.

    She looks at testing differently. Testing gives her the freedom to do what she wants with diabetes. Once she’s tested and has a number, she is in control. She can choose to eat something she’d like or exercise or bolus or do whatever. Without testing, she’s in the dark and held hostage by this disease. With the information she gets by testing, she is free to make her own decisions (or ask us for input, which still happens).

    BTW, there is no such thing as a “bad” number, no matter how high or low. The only bad number is the one you don’t know and can’t react to.

  23. duke roos
    duke roos February 25, 2010 at 1:59 pm | | Reply

    moira:

    Thank you for this outstanding article. As you know, I lost my 32 year
    daughter from the complications of Type 1. This could be her story.
    Thank goodness your ending was and is better than mine

    I am still ordering and giving your book to parents.

    Regards,

    Duke Roos

  24. Penny
    Penny February 25, 2010 at 2:01 pm | | Reply

    Thank you Moira and Lauren for heartfelt words and thoughts. I am the mom of a 7 year old gal with T1. I promise to always admit that I don’t know it all. I don’t even know half of it. I just wanted to thank you for your honesty and giving me a window into the world we will one day enter.
    I think your honesty with Lauren and your willingness to share your journey with all of us out here will only bring you positive things. Thank you.

  25. Wendy
    Wendy February 25, 2010 at 3:08 pm | | Reply

    Thank you for the reality check – I have been complaining about the dLitter and forgot to focus on the fact that my daughter (recently dx T1) is happy and healthy and tends to cooperate. For now.

    With this child, our 4th daughter, I have tried to “choose my battles,” but you are right. This is a sign of Victory! The recent trauma she faced was horrifying to us all and now she feels comfortable enough with the equipment and supplies to casually leave it lying around like dirty socks! (This realization has me choking back tears.)

    It has been scary, sad, and exciting as my older girls tested their own freedoms, but freedom from diabetes as a “drug” terrifies me because of the damage it leaves.

    Moira, I appreciate your candid story. The details will help so many parents!

  26. June S.
    June S. February 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm | | Reply

    I feel lucky right now. I was diagnosed with Type I on my 16th birthday – way back in 1972. At the time, the only Type I diabetic I knew was my cousin’s best friend (we’ll name her “Anne.”) Anne was 5 years older than me, and had been diagnosed at age 1. Her parents measured her urine sugar daily (initially by squeezing out her diapers.) They measured every morsel she put in her mouth. When she hit adolescence, they told her she was on her own now. She’d go to dinner with my cousin (who was on Weight Watchers) and order regular soda when my cousin ordered diet soda. She’d eat anything and everything she pleased (all the while taking a single shot of Lente, I believe, daily.) God only knows what her A1C was back then (the test hadn’t been invented yet – nor had blood glucose meters!)

    Well, I could tell, even then, that Anne was not healthy. I decided to live my life with diabetes differently than she did. The last time I saw Anne was at my cousin’s wedding. She was blind. I understand she passed away, of bedsores, at the age of 30, sometime after her diagnosis with kidney disease. (I was 25 years old when Anne passed away.) I HATE this disease, and I don’t know how it is that I got lucky enough to have made the decision that if I DIDN’T take care of myself, diabetes would win, whereas if I DID, it wouldn’t have power over me. It’s not fair that Anne was not as lucky. Why does this disease not choose its victims more carefully?

    God bless all of you who are raising adolescents. I cannot think of a more difficult job. I keep praying for a cure to this disease. IT IS NOT FAIR THAT CHILDREN SHOULD HAVE TO BE DIAGNOSED WITH TYPE I DIABETES! A cure cannot come soon enough!

  27. Renee
    Renee February 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm | | Reply

    Moira:
    It can’t be said enough – NO ONE should ever have to do this ALONE. Diabetes is so capricious, so insidious that just when we think we have it all figured out, it reminds us that we DON’T. So we do the best we can, day after day, battling on against a relentless force, hoping that if our kids “hit that wall”, they’ll still be able to “bounce off” without too much “visible damage”. But the “invisible damage” that your poignant tale underscored so beautifully is a whole other aspect that NEEDS to be acknowledged & addressed, along with the litany of complications. I never realized how my daughter’s perception of MY feelings added to her burdens, until one day I blurted out “I HATE that you have to deal with diabetes”. At that point she had had diabetes for years, but what SHE had always seen was a “cheerleader” mom pushing a “can-do” positive approach- which made her think she wasn’t ALLOWED to say how much she hated it…..It was a liberating & revealing moment for us both. Diabetes was still in the room, but it didn’t have quite the same power over us at that moment.
    warmly
    Renee

  28. T1 in Boston
    T1 in Boston February 25, 2010 at 10:41 pm | | Reply

    Thank you Moira for sharing your story. You are both doing everything right – as much as can be expected of any normal human being dealing with an infinitely complicated and challenging condition.

    When I was first diagnosed T1 at age 15, my mom — whose side of the family has diabetes — would say: “If I could take this illness away from you and put it onto me, I would do that.” “I wish it were me instead of you.” It made me feel angry, because I WANTED it to be someone else instead of me — I didn’t want to have it! It also made me feel overwhelmed and guilty because she felt intense anguish over my illness. But at 15, I was not able to manage my mom’s emotions about my illness, let alone my own. So I stuffed my own emotions. And I rebelled by not taking care of myself.

    It took until I was about 24 years old to start to manage and control my own illness. I needed psychotherapy to disentangle my confusing adolescent years when puberty, sexuality, and breaking free from one’s parents – got merged with needles, insulin, hypoglycemia, testing, etc. 20 years later I am now in great control. But it took outside help to get there. So moms, please remember not to burden your kids with your own feelings about the illness. Get support from other adults like the moms group mentioned above.

    Above all, let your kids know that it’s not fair, it stinks, it’s OK to be angry, and that they are not “bad kids” when they must act out their anger. If my story is any consolation to you, I spent a decade being pretty reckless in my D care, and I haven’t had complications as a result, because I righted myself in due course.

    1. Cheryl
      Cheryl March 12, 2012 at 8:16 pm | | Reply

      Thanks for your post. I forget to let my daughter vent. I am sure I drive her nuts but don’t actually talk about her struggles. I appreciate the heads up.

  29. mollyjade
    mollyjade February 25, 2010 at 11:57 pm | | Reply

    This was me in high school, too. Though I never knowingly skipped a shot. But I made up a lot of log entries. I hated disappointing my parents with a high bg, so magically all my bg numbers were perfect. (I still don’t like drinking water, because it feels like a punishment for high bg.) When I went (far) off to college, I realize there was no one to disappoint but myself, and started being a lot more honest with my endo.

    Just this week I put on a temporary cgms. As I was filling out the food log, I got that old urge to lie about what I just ate. But what good does it do to lie to yourself? I’m paying a lot of money to do this, and it will be worthless information if I can’t be honest with myself?

  30. Lisa
    Lisa February 26, 2010 at 9:01 am | | Reply

    Moira,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. As a parent of a “tween” who has a had diabetes since he was 4 I am definitely finding this new and complex stage challenging enough without diabetes thrown in to the mix! More attention should be paid to the specifics of what tweens and teens with diabetes go through ( and strategies for parenting tweens/teens with diabetes) at that already difficult stage of life. I am routing for Lauren and for you!
    Lisa

  31. June S.
    June S. February 26, 2010 at 10:40 am | | Reply

    Kudos to those of you who are telling your adolescents how much YOU wish they didn’t have Type I diabetes, and how you unfair it is that they do. I’ll never forget hearing my Mom break into tears when she got word that my brother (2 years my junior) had been diagnosed with Type I, just two months after I did. Neither of my parents has Type I (or Type II) diabetes. They were shocked and horrified, and very, very sad for their children.

  32. DAS
    DAS February 26, 2010 at 1:14 pm | | Reply

    I am an Aunt of a 19 year old diabetic who was diagnosed at age 5. He is rebellious. He doesn’t check his blood hardly ever. Has been in the hospital at least 10 times in the last year for off-the-chart high blood sugar levels. He doesn’t want to work, and is currently collecting unemployment from two jobs (lasting less than 6 months at each and quit both.) He bounces around from family member to family member and takes what he can get. His parents pay his medical bills. We’ve shouted, cried, pleaded, begged, talked until we are blue in the face. He was put on depression medication and is supposed to go to counseling, but he only went once and sometimes goes days without his depression medication. He’s a mess. WHAT can a person do to reach him?? I’ve thought getting conservatorship over him and then getting him admitted for help. But, where??? I cannot stand back and watch him do this any longer. The “silent” injuries he is doing to himself will someday reveal themselves. HELP! Anyone?

  33. Adriana
    Adriana February 26, 2010 at 2:46 pm | | Reply

    Moira, I’m not sure you remember me but I’m Margery P.’s daughter. I’m sure you and my mom have talked about this but I have done everything your daughter has/does do. I think this blog post is so important for parents to read. Thank you for writing this. Thank you for all the work you and my mom do in trying to find a cure for this disease.

  34. Michael V
    Michael V February 26, 2010 at 7:06 pm | | Reply

    Like Lauren, I am 18 years old and have had diabetes for 13 years. I know exactly what it is like to have diabetes and be a teenager. I totally agree that as a teenager, I have looked to gain more and more freedom. I enjoy just as much as anyone else “sticking it to the man.” There is one thing, however, that I will never be free of… diabetes. As much as I want it to, diabetes will never go away. Simply forgetting about it will not negate the effects that it has on my body. If my blood sugar is high, it will be still be high whether I test or not. There are plenty of ways to be free in life, but not taking of care of yourself is not a logical one. In no way does making yourself feel awful, and putting your life in danger, prove a point to anyone. You are only punishing yourself by not testing. I have never even considered lying about my blood sugar, and can’t understand why anyone would. There are definitely times when I just don’t feel like testing, or changing my set, but it’s not really something I have a choice about. You need to take care of yourself, bottom line.

  35. Michelle Page-Alswager
    Michelle Page-Alswager February 27, 2010 at 8:56 am | | Reply

    It’s taken me a few days to read this (thank you dear friend Moira for sending me the link). After all, I’m not here to scare any of you. Most of you know that my 13 year old son, Jesse, died unexpectedly due to complications of his diabetes on 2/3. It is still raw and I’m guessing it will stay that way. He would have “celebrated” his 10 year anniversary of diabetes on 3/3. Instead, all of his friends will be wearing hats with his name on them and diabetes tshirts in his honor that day – and every year after that.

    I don’t have to spend time here explaining the amount of advocacy my family has done since he was diagnosed. He, himself, outlined it to me in his very last essay written at school entitled, “My mom is courageous.” I received that letter two weeks after he died. Imagine the bittersweet pain of reading my son’s version of what an amazing mom I am, when I feel like I failed.

    I was never a tongue-clucker. But we had 9 years of ZERO issues. Puberty hit and my son took advantage of my trust when he would yell “172″ when he was really 400. I can’t turn back time.

    There is a reality here: Jesse was more mature than most adults I know. He knew what he was doing.

    I’ve spent 10 years telling newly diagnosed families that diabetes is not a death sentence. Heck, I created a documentary about that topic! And for me it is a death sentence.

    I invite you to read a poem written by Joe Brady – a man who has lived his life with type 1 and recently completed Ironman Wisconsin as part of our documentary. He says Jesse lived out a LIFE sentence, not a death sentence. He chose to live it.

    Our kids – your kids – are amazing. I’ve spent a couple weeks wondering where I fit and what message I hope to carry forward. I will continue the fight because I refuse to let my other children develop type 1 diabetes. And I continue to fight so that we once again remind ourselves that high blood sugar is not BAD – it just IS. My type 1 adult friends have told me that they keep separate meters – one they take to the doc for downloading, and their “bad blood sugar” meters. WHAT? I was floored. They bring the “good” one to the doctor. And I don’t blame them. They don’t want to feel bad.

    If you would like to read more, http://www.triabetesdocumentary.blogspot.com

    best,
    Michelle

  36. Disease Awareness for kids
    Disease Awareness for kids March 1, 2010 at 11:54 pm | | Reply

    The late onset Diabetes is a slow moving Diabetes and is usually misdiagnosed as Type 2. This Type is considered slow onset because the pancreas still produces some insulin and has not yet reached the Type 1 stage. Typically, at the time of diagnosis, insulin therapy is not yet required. This type usually occurs in adults past the age of 30.

  37. Lyndall Hauver
    Lyndall Hauver March 3, 2010 at 2:40 pm | | Reply

    I too have an amazing son – his values, his character, and his humor are admired and noted by all. He is a junior in high school, a multi sport varsity athlete, smart, hard working, and he has never given us any trouble. Until he was diagnosed at age 15. He was GREAT for a year, then puberty, etc hit, and there are times when he just wants to forget he is different, in fact, he won’t wear the CGM while in – season, he does not want the boys in the locker room to see it…We do not nag, but we do check in regularly, and we have, in fact, punished him if he is not diligent for an entire week. I know he will outgrow it, it takes a good parent to stay on top of it all without being too crazy and making it the only thing we talk about. He has too much other great things going on to spend all out time talking about diabetes. thanks for the article, LOVED it!!

  38. John Schmalbach
    John Schmalbach March 5, 2010 at 10:34 am | | Reply

    I am the father of a soon to be 17 year old daughter that is going through the same things that Lauren’s mom is. My Emily is a super bright girl ( 5 GPA for 1st half of Junior year ) and also is a terrific athlete. We have been dealing with her D since she was 2 1/2.
    I would say if our U.S. Health Department would spend the money on developing a non evasive blood glucose meter instead of wasting billions of dollars on so many useless ventures we would solve a lot the problems our children have dealing with the ordeal of checking their blood sugar.
    By now I am sure the meter would be very small in size, but no – they are too many drug companies lobbying against something that would take money out of their pockets that they make selling the strips that cost about a dollar apiece.
    It is LONG overdue time that our Government starts taking care of their most important assest – our children!!

  39. xim1970
    xim1970 March 6, 2010 at 11:11 am | | Reply

    While I found this article a bit uplifting, it was disturbing also…here’s why:
    Mom is taking her daughter’s diabetes too personally. Her article sounds like “I’m trying to do everything for my daughter’s health”. Mom, you can’t. I’m a T1 diabetic, and I try my best to make sure that my parents don’t worry about me. I don’t tell them that my BG isn’t so good, but I would if it would put me in the hospital (again). No need to worry about my occasional 210…worry about the 470!
    The other thing that bothers me about this article is this: “Her A1C came up high and her endo told her, in no uncertain terms, something that had been in the back of my head: if she does not change her ways and prove herself, she will not be heading off to the amazing college so far away that we’ve put a deposit on for her.”
    What was her A1C? 20? I carried 13.5 for my early teen years (diabetic for 29 years now). You will NOT die by carrying a 13.5 for 5 years (as I did). Not healthy, but not a death sentence either. Sounds like Mom is a bit overconcerned, as are some doctors. Not a good practice to “shame” a diabetic into better control.

  40. LSS
    LSS March 10, 2010 at 3:28 pm | | Reply

    It was really hard for my mom to come to terms with my sister’s diagnosis. She was diagnosed at three years old… It was so hard for our family to get used to an insulin regime and counting sugars.. but we’re adjusting. You can make it! It’s definitely not the end of the world.
    -Sylvia

  41. Max
    Max March 15, 2010 at 12:55 pm | | Reply

    What an amazing and heart felt story, your blog is very touching, thank you so much for opening up about parenting a child with diabetes, it was really incredible to read.

  42. slky
    slky March 18, 2010 at 9:11 pm | | Reply

    As a mother of a diabetic teen, I can relate to this story. It helps to know my daughter is not the only one who struggles with control and is not honest about blood sugar levels. It has been 10 years. Thank you for your honesty. I needed to know I am not alone.

  43. paula
    paula March 23, 2010 at 6:40 am | | Reply

    Yet another incredible writing from you Moira. Your words echo the very thoughts and feelings I, and thousands of other parents of T1s experience. You are an amazing writer, an amazing D mom, and such an inspiration to me!

  44. Heather
    Heather March 24, 2010 at 8:39 am | | Reply

    OMG!!! I am typing this through my tears, I can’t believe how much I can relate not only to your posting but to all the people who have responded to your blog. I have a 16 year old daughter, dx’d 2/17/2000. She too was a model patient up until she hit middle school. We went through skipping blood sugar checks or yelling out fake numbers to me, a trusting mom, she started skipping corrections, she even skipped long lasting injections (always telling me, trusting mom, she had taken them). She was ended up in ICU 5 times her 8th grade year with DKA!!! I am the only one that cares for my daughter and inevitably hear from others about having to “tighten up”, check her meter daily, have her write her numbers down…things that happen for a little while and then stop, over and over again.
    I thank you for writing this blog and thank everyone for their honest responses!! I’ve been told by doctors and nurses that this rebelling is common but had yet to “meet” anyone else going through the same experience that I have been dealing with. My daughter will be 18 in 2 years and I am terrified!! She has talked at times as though death would be an acceptable trade off to not having diabetes anymore. How do you as a parent make your child understand that it isn’t acceptable and life doesn’t have to be so miserable?
    Any T1P please feel free to friend me on facebook!!

  45. Francesca
    Francesca March 25, 2010 at 12:30 pm | | Reply

    Dear Parents,

    You need to get your kids’ friends involved in their diabetes care.

    I was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 20, in college. From the first day, I was responsible for my own care. Fortunately, I had already passed through the difficult teen years. But I was greatly helped by meeting other women in college who also had diabetes.

    If you can find a college-age mentor for your teenage child, this is a great gift to their health. They need friends (in addition their parents and/or doctors) who think that checking blood sugar and staying healthy is important.

    As they grow older, they will share the burden of caring for diabetes with their peers, friends, girlfriends, boyfriends, and, one day, their spouses. It’s best to foster these supportive peer relationships now.

  46. Regina Locken
    Regina Locken March 30, 2010 at 2:31 am | | Reply

    This story is so my Cassie-Nae and me. I just wish she made it out of the icu last time. she had only been 3 times. Once when diagnosed, second sick at gma’s, and last when she died from cerebral edema due to dka. My message to the world….To all diabetics…test yourself often and don’t pretend…take care of yourselves Be an organ donor Cassie-Mae’s last heorics was saving lives with her own. Wish her friends mom just called me cause maybe she’d be home.

  47. Suzanne
    Suzanne March 30, 2010 at 8:35 pm | | Reply

    Thanks so much for sharing your story. My son is 9, diagnosed almost a year ago. I applaud you!

  48. donna
    donna April 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm | | Reply

    I have a 14 year old son who is doing the same thing. and i am not sure what to do it is a battle. He thinks i am smothering him but if leave it in his control he does it on purpose so they will send him home from school. He lies n cheats i am still crying from the story i feel like some one else does understand becouse everone i know makes me feel like i am not careing for him. some even say well r u new at this. He was diagnosed 5 yrs ago we have had r ups n downs with it he is now on an antidepresion. high a1c, hospital vists n i am lost. they even talking of half day school r home bounding him becouse of the way he is doing he is on a pump n my husband thinks we should put him back on shots. should i take all back all cotrol. i am afraid

  49. Kerry Cracknell
    Kerry Cracknell April 7, 2010 at 9:22 am | | Reply

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s very, very scary – my T1 daughter is only 3, diagnosed a year ago. So I guess we have all this to come. I hope we will manage to deal with it when it hits….reading this sort of thing can only help prepare us for it better and help us learn from others’ experiences. Thank you!

  50. Michelle
    Michelle April 7, 2010 at 11:13 am | | Reply

    This is not something that only teenagers deal with. i will be 29 in july and i have had type 1 for 9 years now. i struggle with these same feelings everyday. it is a control issue with me. i like to be in control and i hate going to check my sugars and knowing that i have NO idea what number is going to pop up on that screen. i like your daughter have my good weeks and bad weeks and i tell myself the same thing everyday…tomorrow…tomorrow will be the day that i will get it right. unfortunatley i have been in the ER more time that i can count my A1C is crazy and i have recently been diagnosed with diabetic gastroperesis, which is a stomach disease. please pass this on to your daughter, there are tons of diabetics that feel the same way she does and all we can do is realize we are human and that we make mistakes and take it ONE day, one finger stick, one shot or bolus at a time. Thank you for sharing you story it gives me hope and i think i will go check my blood sugar! Thank you!

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