Welcome to PBN’s Type 1 Teen Topics!

Introducing TEEN TOPIC TUESDAY, where our Teen Advisory Panel of Teens With Diabetes (TWD), ages 13-19, will address your questions and concerns about Type 1 Diabetes from the viewpoint of a teenager. Each week our TWD Panel will focus on one topic, generated by them or by you, our readers. Some of the upcoming topics will include Nightscout, Trusting your Teen, and Athletics.  If you have a question or a topic to pose to our teens, please email it to us at ProjectBlueNovember@gmail.com.

TEEN TOPIC #61:  If you’ve ever just given up doing bg checks or dosing insulin for a period of time, why?  What were you feeling or thinking?

Annelies (age 15)
I’ve never really given up, because I know that I have a responsibility to take care of myself and I don’t want problems later on. It does get REALLY frustrating, but not to the point where I just gave up.


Andrew (age 15)
I’ve never intentionally given up dosing or checking my blood sugar, but there are times that I’ve wanted to. The times that I’ve wanted to were always driven by the frustration of having diabetes. Nobody wants to take time to test or do shots, and when you have diabetes those are things you constantly do which can be extremely frustrating.

Ashley B. (age 16)
Most of the time that I give up with my care is because I’m frustrated. I might be following all of the rules of diabetes but my sugars could still remain in the 200’s and above. I also can normally feel when I’m low, high, or normal, so I guess that’s why I skip checking my sugar. Though I have a Dexcom, it’s not always accurate. I do test to calibrate the dex though.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I actually do this all the time but, I just don’t feel like doing it anymore so I don’t and then later I’ll start doing it again. I think that everyone with diabetes should have a day or two every once and a while and just not be diabetic that day.


Cameron (age 17)
Not that I can think of. I mean I don’t check my BG as much as I used to because of the CGM, but I’ve never totally abandoned it.

Claire (age 18)
I did give up. And it’s called “burnout” a lot of diabetic teens feel burnout. And it’s basically feeling like you don’t wanna be diabetic anymore, you’re sad, and tired. But here’s the thing, nothing will stop you from being a diabetic. I’ve been in burnout, and it doesn’t feel good. I’m still trying to get out of it, as it started habits for me that I’m trying oh so hard to break. While it might feel like you’re alone, and you just want to be normal, a.) you’re not alone and b.) being normal isn’t something to strive for. Being like everyone else is over rated when you are you. So embrace your pancreas that sucks at life, and don’t get burnout, cause it’s not fun to be in, and even harder to get out of.

Erin (age 17)
I have gone periods with not taking insulin or checking more than twice a day. Usually I was sick, but sometimes it was because I slept most the day. I have not had burnout thoughts or feelings that I know of yet.

Ian (age 14)
No. I have not.

Jessica (age 20)
I am certainly guilty of not checking and bolusing on time. I have never done so out of spite, but simply forgot or was too busy to remember at the time. When I forget to check or bolus it is usually due to stress with school and I am running from place to place, or intently studying. Every once in a while I will veer off the beaten path and feel or notice my lack of care. In these instances, I look to friends and family for reminders and help in maintaining high standards of my diabetes management. And of course, I always feel awful about not taking care of myself because I know it harms me and reflects poorly at doctor visits. Nonetheless, it is a hard thing to remember when you’re the only one who has to check and bolus.

Jordan (age 18)
I have had a period of burnout where I didn’t check or give myself insulin more than once or twice a day.  I was tired of being diabetic and I just wanted to pretend that I wasn’t for a while. But it backfired on me when my bg was very high and I had high ketones that wouldn’t come down.  I’ve never felt so physically horrible. That was a turning point when I realized that no matter how much I don’t want to be diabetic, I am, and if I don’t take care of myself I could really do harm.
Even now I’m not the perfect diabetic – I probably don’t test as much as I should.  But I do give myself insulin because I know that I never want to feel that bad again.

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never not taken care of my diabetes. I just think if I’m forced to live with it I want to live healthily.

Laura (age 17)
I always do my doses when necessary, because that’s the most important and crucial part of diabetes care. When wearing my CGM, I often neglect finger pricks and sometimes I go days without an authentic BG check. Still, I do have the numbers from the CGM so I’m never just going blindly.

Lexi (age 16)
Well there have been a few times I remember my blood sugar would never come down at all no matter how much insulin I’d take. But I’ve never given up on checking and bolusing like that.

Maggie (age 16)
I have never give up doing Bg checks or insulin for a period of time.

Skylyn (age 16)
I have never intentionally not given myself insulin and never would. That would jeopardize my health and be dangerous. It doesn’t make sense to me not to bolus and give myself insulin. I wanna be healthy.

Vanessa (age 16)
There was a point in my life and it went on for about a year/year in a half where I didn’t want to do anything for my diabetes. I didn’t want to take insulin, because I thought insulin made me fat. I didn’t want to check my blood anymore because I wanted to have the no scar or no rough finger tips like the other girls in school. or I just didn’t want to be the different one out of the bunch that got all of the attention. I was fed up with diabetes and I just stopped doing everything. I feel like every teen goes through this at one point in their life and it’s a bad time for them and their parents but it’s kind of like puberty, you’re going to go through it and you can’t stop it. You will get through it and so will your parents. As long as you get the support you need and the good friends that care about you and your health.

Haley (age 14)
I’ve never quit doing checks or dosing. Sometimes I get tired of it all, but I realize if I want to be healthy and stay alive I don’t have a choice.

Maddy (age 14)
I’ve never given up doing bg checks or dosing insulin and I would not encourage it because it affects your long-term health.

McKenna (age 16)
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I hated it and everything around me. I constantly wished I was ‘normal’ again so for about maybe two or three years I refused to check my numbers and to give insulin. At the time I was just angry with the world and always asked myself, “Why me?” and I felt rejected by the other kids in my school. I thought I was the weird girl and I hated it which made me hate my disease. So I tried to be ‘normal’ like the other girls.


Christina (age 15)
I really haven’t gone through a time when I seriously avoided taking care of my diabetes. But, sometimes in public or with people who don’t understand diabetes I feel self-conscious and avoid testing my BG.

TEEN TOPIC #60: What are some of your top tips for carb counting new foods?

Annelies (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods are using Google and GoMeals. When in doubt, you can probably find the answers online.

Andrew (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods that don’t have nutrition labels, for example food ordered at restaurants, are to ask for a carb count and use the carb information you remember from similar foods you’ve eaten. You can always ask for a carb count on the food you order at restaurants to help you count your carbs properly. You can also use the carb count information from similar foods you’ve eaten by using the carb counts from those foods to estimate the carb count in the food you’re eating.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My tips for counting carbs for new foods is comparing the food to another food. If you have a gigantic burger, compare the size of the buns with the store bought kind. If it looks twice the size of the store bought buns, the big burger’s buns would be roughly twice the amount of carbs as the store bought buns.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Guess and hope you guessed right.

Cameron (age 17)
I usually just base it off of foods that are similar that I know how my body reacts to.

Claire (age 18)
Guess-Ti-Mating is a good way to do it, but as you get further into your many years with this disease you can just kinda look at a plate or a cupcake and tell how many carbs it is. Don’t ask me how, it’s just magic. I’ve been at this 11 years and I can do it every time. New foods are weird though, I usually Google it, as the Internet has numerous carb counting websites that are helpful.

Erin (age 17)
I base the new item off something close in size or food group and make a guesstimate from that.

Ian (age 14)
Think about the ingredients. More often than not, if you can sense what the ingredients are and their amounts then you’ll be golden.

Jessica (age 20)
I think the best thing to do when carb counting new foods is the nutrition label or the Calorie King books. I always start there and if I go too high or low, I make a mental note for next time and try to adjust accordingly. After more than 16 years living with T1D, I have come to know how my body works and what carb counts work for me. But most importantly, I have learned that this is different for every single one of us. I have met some diabetics that always spike after eating pizza, no matter how much insulin they take. I, on the other hand, know that no matter what kind or where I get pizza from 35 carbs is enough to cover me. Until you know how different foods affect you (or your child) the nutrition labels and Calorie King book are my top tips to help with carb counting.

Jordan (age 18)
My top tip for counting carbs on new food is to go with the flow, if it looks like 30 carbs to you, give yourself 30 carbs worth of insulin. You can always correct later.  Also, most food is similar carb wise to other foods so just base it off of that.

Julia (age 15)
When trying to figure out the carbs for a new food I usually use the Calorie King app, but if it’s not on there I really just have to rely on guessing based off of other foods like it.

Laura (age 17)
I never use an exact carb counting method. When I was first diagnosed I was forced to, so I learned the carb content on a lot of basic food. Really all I do is take that prior knowledge and incorporate it in when I’m eating something unfamiliar.

Lexi (age 16)
Most of the time you can guess based on how big the proportion size is. If you’ve had diabetes for a while like 3+ years you’d get in the hang of guessing really well.

Maggie (age 16)
For new foods I will either look them up online or basically just take an educated guess and correct later on if I did to little or too much.

Skylyn (age 16)
My number one tip would be to use common sense and look up the carb count online if it doesn’t say on the package. Otherwise just take an educated guess.

Vanessa (age 16)
If I’ve never seen or had the food before I think of what’s in it and count it by that or I just Google it on my phone which is very easy.

Haley (age 14)
Google! Whenever I try new foods, I usually just Google the nutrition and serving size info and figure my bolus from there.

Maddy (age 14)
Some of my top tips for counting carbs with new foods is to break down recipes and count the carbs in the individual ingredients and then calculating the total carbs for each serving of the food and to also stick with meals with low carbs and a lot of flavor.

McKenna (age 16)
Carb counting new food? Well if it’s pure sugar, like candy or soda, cut the carbs in half. You may be a little high after but you just have to mess with it, experiment a little. But if it’s with a pasta sort of food count the full amount of carbs and add it to whatever other carbs you’re eating or drinking.

Christina (age 15)
When I was first diagnosed, I would carb count new foods by searching for it by name in the app MyFitnessPal’s food registry. This helped me to know what a pretty accurate carb amount would be for any food. Now, I tend to estimate, on the safe side, based on my BG, activity, and similar foods I know the carb count for.

TEEN TOPIC #59: What could your parents have done differently with diabetes care that would have made things better?

Annelies (age 15)
I don’t really think there is anything they could’ve done differently that would’ve made things better. I think that they’ve done a pretty great job so far when it comes to supporting and helping me.


Andrew (age 15)
My parents could’ve given me more freedom at a younger age. The sooner you start to become independent, the more independent you will be when you become an adult. If my parents had given me more freedom at a younger age that would’ve made things better.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I think that my parents are doing very well taking care of me. I also think that I’m the slacker and it worries my parents. They still show me what to do and remind me of things to do when I’m sick or changing basal rates, so that’s encouraging.

Ashley C. (age 14)
She didn’t freak out in the beginning I guess.

Cameron (age 17)
Trusting me more with being able to handle myself (such as sleepovers and going places far away and such).

Claire (age 18)
Nothing. My parents help out, just enough and they help me get the supplies I need to stay alive.

Erin (age 17)
I don’t have any examples or things that my parents could have done better.

Ian (age 14)
I can’t say. Things are going quite well right now.

Jessica (age 20)
I don’t think that there is one specific thing that comes to mind with regards to my parents having to do something differently when it comes to my diabetes management and care. Their motto “Child first, Diabetic second” has been one of the greatest ideals and choices that could have made from day one. They have never let diabetes stop me, keep me from my goals, or told me ‘No’ because I am a diabetic. We have always worked as a team to find ways and make plans that have my best interest at heart and mind, as well as making sure they are at ease and as worry free as possible. I am 20 years old and there isn’t a single time that I can recall my parents making a decision that have made my life more difficult living with this disease. I feel that I am successful and where I am in life today because of their ideals and support in my T1D management and care.

Jordan (age 18)
My parents could have gotten me the red pump case instead of the blue pump case.
But seriously, I wish they hadn’t been so scared the first few years. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things that were totally do-able, if they had just been more confident. The last 8 years have been a lot better, and now I am going off to college.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t think my parents could’ve done anything differently with diabetes care. They’re both super attentive to what I need and they always have been.

Laura (age 17)
I was way too sheltered, and they also used diabetes as an excuse, I feel like. I remember one year my mom didn’t get a birthday cake and she said the reasoning was because I’m a diabetic. (Which is ridiculous because I’d had cake before.) Diabetes is a terrible disease, but I feel like it’s even harder to manage with someone constantly on your back, and definitely should not be used as an excuse to treat someone differently.

Lexi (age 16)
I’m not sure. But most people know diabetes is a hard thing to learn and comprehend, especially to non-diabetics.

Maggie (age 16)
My parents are great when it comes to diabetes care I don’t think that they really could have done anything differently. I believe I know my limits with my care and that I can be independent and they are the reason I feel that way. I think they did a pretty good job with me.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’m not really sure what could have been done differently. Everything seems to have worked and is working so I don’t know what would have happened if it had been done differently.

Vanessa (age 16)
I don’t think there’s anything they could have done differently, I honestly think my parents are the best at their diabetic-parent jobs.

Haley (age 14)
I can’t think of anything they could’ve done differently to make my care better.

Maddy (age 14)
My parents could have been more determined to find information about the device types and brands and been more encouraging with my decision for a cgm and a pump. My parents were nervous about getting the devices for me and I had to heavily convince them into letting me get the devices.

McKenna (age 16)
My parents, in the beginning, could’ve been less protective or worried when I went to friends’ houses or when I played sports.

Christina (age 15)
Sometimes I wish that my parents would have been a bit more involved in my diabetes care from the beginning. That way my mom could help me test my BG when I needed her to or help more with a site change.

TEEN TOPIC #58: Have you talked with your parents or endo about drinking alcohol and diabetes? What have you learned?

 

Annelies (age 15)
I’ve talked briefly with them about drinking, but they always taught me everything in moderation and that applies to diabetes and drinking too. I’m nowhere near old enough to drink though, so I don’t really worry about it.

Andrew (age 15)
I have spoken with my parents about drinking and diabetes and what I’ve learned is really a life lesson that should be used in all aspects of our lives, be responsible. Drinking has a negative side effects to diabetes and if you’re going to drink you have to be responsible and understand your bodies limitations.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My mom has talked to me about diabetes and drinking, saying that before I move out I should learn how to drink with diabetes. I don’t plan on drinking when I’m older, but my mom said its still something diabetics should learn how to handle.


Ashley C. (age 14)
I haven’t had that come up yet.


Cameron (age 17)
My parents have told me that if I drink, it’s harder to sense when I’m low and that stuff. They said that if I ever do drink, just drink in moderation and be extra careful.

 

Claire (age 18)
I have, and I have learned that it can be more dangerous than normal people drinking. When drinking, as a diabetic, if you were to consume too much alcohol and pass out, your liver is busy processing the alcohol, and in the instance that you were to drop low, your liver should normally secrete glucose and stop you from dying, but in this instance, it wouldn’t. Which is why drinking with diabetes is dangerous.


Erin (age 17)
I have not but in the diabetic groups I’m in I’ve learned a lot about the do’s and do nots of drinking with diabetes.

Ian (age 14)
I have found that when drinking, you must drink with foods, and you mustn’t get drunk.

Jessica (age 20)
I have never had a diabetes talk regarding alcohol with my parents or my endo. However, I think that this is an extremely important conversation to have with both parties. I have done some of my own research to find out how beer and hard liquor affect diabetics. Nonetheless, we all know that everyone’s body is different and so not all T1Ds will react the same. Although many people frown upon drinking and talking about it with their underage kids, I believe that it is of utmost importance to have this discussion with diabetic children beyond the “it can affect you badly, quickly, and hospitalize you”. Not only is this a vital conversation for parents to have, but I think it is even more important to have with the endo present and continue the conversation at home. I have always been curious and slightly afraid of what can happen because no one has talked to me about it. I encourage all diabetics to reach out to their endo as well as do some research on their own.

Jordan (age 18)
I have learned to drink sugar while drinking and to not bolus when you go high because alcohol makes you blood sugar shoot up then it goes right back down.  I also know that I need to eat something fatty before I go to bed if I have been drinking to help keep me from going low.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t plan on drinking in the future. It’s just not an interest of mine so we haven’t talked about it.

Laura (age 17)
I’ve never talking to my endocrinologist about drinking. However, my parents have consulted me. My mother told me that giving insulin for alcohol isn’t smart because it doesn’t stay in your system, or something. I didn’t pay that much attention.

Lexi (age 16)
If you’re talking about alcohol, it has a weird effect on diabetes. It’ll rise your blood sugar and then drop it too. Most of the time when you drink you need to eat something with it. But with anything like sodas my mom usually helps me do a combo bolus that lasts from 3-6 hours most of the time.

 

Maggie (age 16)
I’ve never spoken to a doctor or parent about it but it is brought up a lot at camp and Friends for Life (diabetes conference). I’ve learned to be safe when it comes to drinking and diabetes; always have a designated person who knows how to take care of you because the signs of a low are the signs of being hung over. If you are having a drink don’t do insulin because you rise, then crash. Always try to eat something before you drink or before going to bed so you don’t crash in the middle of the night.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’ve always known that drinking is not good no matter who you are and I don’t have any interest in drinking. Even if my friends were drinking, I still wouldn’t. I have no problem being the designated driver.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve talked to adults with diabetes about it and they have only told me little about it. Or I’ve talked to other teens that drink already and what they have told me, I don’t see myself being a drinker.

 

Haley (age 14)
My parents have talked with me about drinking. I’ve learned that drinking alcohol can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Also, drinking excessively could cause me to not realize if I were experiencing a low.

Maddy (age 14)
I have talked with my parents and my endo about drinking with diabetes. Even though I do not plan to drink when I am older, I have discussed it before. I have learned that many alcohols have carbs and that my blood sugar can be affected by the alcohol that I consume.

 

McKenna (age 16)
I have talked to my parents about drinking and my endo about it. They say it’s very dangerous but especially for diabetics because if we get wasted then we won’t be able to wake ourselves up when we go low and it will cause our blood sugar to do weird things.

Christina (age 15)
I haven’t talked to my parents or endo thoroughly about drinking with diabetes. However, my older cousin who also has type 1 doesn’t drink because of how it affects her BGs, so I have learned a bit from her.

TEEN TOPIC #57:  What’s something that your parents do that you find helpful (diabetes-wise)?

Jordan (age 18)
My mom has OCD and neatly stacks my diabetes supplies so that’s pretty nice.

Julia (age 15)
My parents clean out my kit for me a lot because I forget and that’s super helpful. My mom also usually remembers what day I need to change my site so I don’t run out of insulin.

Laura (age 17)
I get really annoyed easily when it comes to managing my diabetes so when my parents really try to help it makes me frustrated. I think the best thing that my parents can do that is helpful and stand back and trust that I will be able to take care of myself without their supervision.

Lexi (age 16)
My mom texts me when I should test my blood sugar and I set reminders. Sometimes I forget to do it when I’m busy or distracted.

Jessica (age 20)
The most helpful thing my parents do is listen and help only when I ask. I am not a fan of people jumping in, taking control, and telling me what to do. I have always loved to be independent, and I think this is an important quality for all diabetics to have. One day we are going to be adults and on our own, therefore we must learn how to take care of ourselves, by ourselves. As I have gotten older, very occasional reminders to do something or did I do something are helpful, but when they begin to be too cumbersome or “what was your number” that is when I get annoyed and frustrated. I know how to ask for help and reminders when I need them, and I most definitely know how to take care of my blood sugars. When my parents understand that I am capable and if I need something/have an issue that I will come to them, life becomes so much easier and less stressful.

Maggie (age 16)
I find that my Dexcom and my mom texting me emojis when I’m low or high is helpful but the all the time signal losses not so much. Also I find my dad basing meals off of carbs a lot easier for me to calculate and not forget to bolus.

Skylyn (age 16)
Something my mom does that is helpful is she double checks everything before doing a set change. Like she makes sure all the parts fit together properly and work properly. This helps minimize problems such as blocked tubing.

Vanessa (age 16)
My mom has always come into my room in the mornings and checked if I was sleeping in, and if my blood sugar was high she would also give me a shot so that when I finally wake up I don’t feel sick from a high blood sugar. And of course if it’s low she wakes me up and has me drink a juice or eat something. But that’s just a little bit of what she does, if I had to tell you all that she did for me I would be talking for hours.

Haley (age 14)
They always do my early morning Lantus dose and I don’t have to wake up for it. My Mom always gets me cases for my daily supplies that are cute and easy to carry around. They’re always trying to find ways to help make things easier for me.

Maddy (age 14)
Something my parents and I find helpful is creating meal plans with carb counts so we can eat healthy and also plan ahead for me so I don’t have to scramble as much before eating figuring out carbs.

McKenna (age 16)
I find it very helpful when my parents don’t hover over me with checking my blood sugar or giving insulin. I also find it helpful when they’re understanding with the small problems I have with diabetes and when my mom is on top of ordering supplies when I’m running low.

Christina (age 15)
Both of my parents will gladly put my infusion set in when it seems like an impossible, scary task. Also, they will listen to my occasional rant about the unfairness of diabetes when my blood sugar is high or a low stops me from jogging.

Annelies (age 15)
Some things that my parents do that are helpful are reminding me to test, and helping me with carb counting. But most importantly, they’re always there as a support system and understand that I’m human, and I might forget things sometimes. They also understand that I’m still technically a kid and I want to be able to do fun things and they’ll help me figure out what to do with my devices and blood sugar.

Andrew (age 15)
My parents do a great job of communicating with my teachers and other adults in my community about my diabetes and how to help me manage my diabetes. Personally I’m very independent in my diabetes care and as a result I have an extreme dislike of adults constantly checking in on me and my numbers, whether or not I’ve bloused, etc. My parents do a great job of preemptively telling my teachers and other adults they run into about my dislike of their protective behavior and as a result I don’t have to tell them myself.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I find it helpful when I’m calculating how much insulin I need for a meal and they help me by looking up the carbs. 

Ashley C. (age 14)
She refills my diabetes bag as needed keeps my supplies organized, and she allows me and my endo to make my own plan.


Cameron (age 17)
Keeping my CGM in their room at nighttime so they can wake up to the alarm and I can sleep.

Claire (age 18)
They remind me to dose and do blood checks pretty often. But since I just turned 18 and am about to move into a college dorm, they’re sort of taking a step back and letting me fend for myself.

Erin (age 17)
I mostly do everything myself, and if I could do endo appts myself I would, but tried to once and they canceled it. Since I do everything myself, my parents just listen if I get frustrated, or with a lot this past school year call in because you have to be over 18 to call yourself out of high school. So I guess it would be being supportive and listening.

Ian (age 14)
My parents are willing to get up in the middle of the night to give me a correction for my blood sugar. The CGM doesn’t wake me up. But they wake up and help me. I love that.

 

TEEN TOPIC # 56: What do you want to be when you grow up, and how do you see diabetes fitting in to that career?

Annelies (age 15)
I want to be a psychiatrist, preferably in my own private practice. That means I can determine my own hours and if I need to take time off for an Endo appointment, I can. I won’t let diabetes rule my dreams and what I want to do, it’ll fit into my life and choices. I’m not conforming to anything just because I have diabetes.


Andrew (age 15)
When I grow up I’d like to be either a lawyer or a stock broker. In both of those scenarios I’d see my diabetes care as a crucial part of my job because in both cases I need to be healthy and mentally prepared for what I’m doing. Whether it be managing someone’s portfolio or defending someone in a case, I need to be healthy in order to do that properly.

Ashley B. (age 16)
When I grow up, I plan on going to college to be a biomedical engineer. Biomedical engineers actually manufacture diabetes supplies, prosthetic limbs, artificial tissue, and stuff like that. 

Ashley C. (age 14)
I want to be an occupational therapist when I grow up. I don’t really think it will have that much of an impact on my future career.


Cameron (age 17)
I still have no idea what I want to be, but I don’t think diabetes will effect it at all

Claire (age 18)
I hope to be an Equine Assisted Therapist after college. This is a Therapist that puts disabled kids/adults up on horses, as a part of their rehabilitation. I don’t really see diabetes holding me back from that, as I never have let a little disease hold me back. As far as it fitting into this life I plan to lead, I would hope it would fit the same way it does today; It fits, but can fall out of place and need refitting every now and then.

Erin (age 17)
This fall I’m off to college to hopefully major in nursing and minor in theatre. Depending what field of nursing, there may be certain things I can’t do at certain times if my sugars aren’t doing the best. I haven’t thought much on that, so I should.

Ian (age 14)
I would love to go into writing. If I had that career diabetes wouldn’t be a worry. My backup is veterinary medicine. Diabetes wouldn’t fit in to that well.  Imagine that you are preforming surgery and all of a sudden your blood sugar starts dropping. You can’t just leave.

Jessica (age 20)
 I am currently on track to become a doctor. I will be finishing my last year of undergrad before I take a year off, followed by medical school. Diabetes has been a huge proponent in setting my goals and helping me to achieve them. I have decided that I want to specialize in pediatrics and possibly something further. However, I know that I most likely do not want to do surgery (specifically brain and heart) because diabetes seems too unpredictable for the job. What happens if I go low in the middle of surgery? Or I am having a rough patch yet surgery is scheduled and peoples’ lives are on the line? To me, being a surgeon with T1D just doesn’t seem like the best path; luckily there are several other specialties I can go into! I think having diabetes will have a significant impact on my bed-side manner and personal skills when dealing with patients. I have been seeing countless doctors from such a young age, that my firsthand experience has shaped several of my ideals and goals as a medical professional. Therefore, I hope to give back to a community that has helped me grow in more ways than I can count, while make others’ lives easier.

Jordan (age 18)
I want to be a business man and go into International Business. I don’t really see how diabetes connects to that in any way, but I guess the tubing on a pump gets annoying when you have to tuck in your shirt for a suit.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t have any idea what I want to be but I know I won’t let diabetes get in the way.

Laura (age 17)
I actually am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. For a while I was thinking psychologist, but my mind changes all the time. Regardless, no matter what career I pick, diabetes shouldn’t and won’t be a problem.

Lexi (age 16)
I most likely want to be a scientist or something along the lines of that. Of course I’d start out my working career as a simple cashier or something, but there’s no job I can think of that’s in my interest that would ever get in my way of working.

Maggie (age 16)
I want to be either a park ranger or a psychologist when I grow up. I can see either one fitting into my career based on education. If anyone asks what’s that or what are you doing I’ll simply tell them. Becoming my dream job would require more control and I would just have to make sure I was in my target range before I did anything with another person or went on a hiking tour. I’d just have to watch out for how I feel more often.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t know what I want to do as my future career. When I do, I know I’ll just make it work into my schedule like I do every day. I have to with school so it wouldn’t be much different.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve always been worried about my diabetes getting in the way of my life but when it does then I just deal with it at that moment. I want to be a cosmetologist and of course if my blood sugar is low I know I have to stop and go to the side to get some carbs in me but I won’t let it stop me from getting the job done.

Haley (age 14)
I would like to pursue a career in the field of pediatric endocrinology. Maybe a diabetes educator or nutritionist. I’ve been living with T1D since I was 16 months old, so I feel like that will have prepared me to be able to help T1D children. I think having a career in that field would have a good effect on my diabetes because I would be constantly learning about new treatments and ways to improve my own health.

Maddy (age 14)
When I grow up, I want to become a chef. I see diabetes fitting into that career in a helpful way. With being a chef, you are involved with food and preparations of the food. I will be able to experiment and can also figure out carb counts and the nutritional info for customers with a variety of health needs.

McKenna (age 16)
When I’m older I would love to play in the WNBA. Diabetes fits into this career. I would have to care for myself better and show other children that diabetes is a struggle but yet manageable and controllable.

Christina (age 15)
As of now, when I grow up I want to be a dietician. I foresee my diabetes aiding me if I become a dietician because it will not only help me deal with patients who have diabetes, or other disorders, but allow me to expand upon my knowledge about food. My diabetes showed me how my body reacts to proper nutrition and that could aid in my job.

TEEN TOPIC #55: Have your parents ever punished you for not testing or for forgetting to bolus?  Do you feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps you or makes it worse?

 

Annelies (age 15)
My parents never punished me, but they did explain to me the importance of being responsible with my diabetes and the long term effects of not taking care of myself. I feel like that works better than punishing, as punishing makes taking care of your health seem more like a chore than it is.
Andrew (age 15)
My parents have never punished me for not testing, nor have they ever punished me for forgetting to bolus. Personally I find the idea of punishing anybody for a mistake harmful. In my mind the harmful impact of punishing someone for making a mistake managing something as difficult as diabetes is even worse because it just puts more stress on the diabetic then they already have.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My parents have punished me for forgetting to check or bolus. If I do really well with my testing/blousing and I miss one or two, they’re fine. However, if I start slacking on my care they’ll take me off the pump and put me on shots, or my mom will take over completely. That usually means that I have to tell her my blood sugar and how many carbs I plan on eating and she’ll enter everything into my pump to make sure I’m getting the insulin that I need.

Ashley C. (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me because that would just make me not do it. I feel if you punish someone because they forgot to do something with their disease, it will just make the person not want to do it even more.

Cameron (age 17)
My parents never have, and I feel that it’s a bad idea to punish someone for forgetting to do something. Diabetes isn’t always the first thing on our minds and sometimes we forget stuff. It’s not the end of the world.

Claire (age 18)
 My parents do punish me for diabetes errors. For example, there was a short period of time when I was forgetting to do a BG before driving, which is a BIG no-no, so as punishment they took away my truck for 2 weeks. Which, at the peak of my senior year, both inconvenienced me as well as embarrassed me. However, it did get the point very much across that doing a blood check before driving is imperative. And I believe that the punishment didn’t make it worse, as to this day I continue my good habit of doing a BG before driving.

Erin (age 17)
No, they just say there’s always an experience to learn from. There were a few times this school year I forgot to give lantus and had to leave school. I don’t think punishing for error is a good idea with a disease, because we all make mistakes and can always learn from them. Sometimes punishing can lead to more mistakes.

McKenna (age 16)
In the past my parents constantly punished me for testing and for not giving insulin. When the disciplined me I became more rebellious and started evening doing it less which put my health in danger.

Christina (age 15)
My parents have a relaxed approach to my diabetes care, and I am pretty independent in my care. Thus being said I take very good care of my diabetes, but when I do slip up they do not punish me. I personally do not see punishments as a good way to help your child take care of their diabetes because it makes it seem like more of a chore, especially for teens.

Ian (age 14)
I haven’t been “punished”. I get more of a guilt trip. I don’t prefer this, because if I forget a bolus, I feel the onset of high numbers. It doesn’t feel good, and there is no way that I’d do it on purpose.

Jessica (age 20)
I was “punished” once in all 16 years of being diagnosed for not taking care of my diabetes. I was neglecting taking care of myself whenever I was hanging out with my former boyfriend. It was not out of spite or carelessness, I just always seemed to forget when we were out with friends. So, my parents warned me that if I didn’t fix it I would be grounded. Unfortunately, that time came and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to see him or hangout with him for a week. I think that in this instance it helped me get back on track. However, I strongly feel that grounding and punishing for diabetic errors does much more harm than good. T1D is something that no one likes or asked for, so why would punishing help make it better? In my opinion, I feel that this would only make the child hate the disease (and their life) even more. I believe that it is important to try to talk and connect with your child in hopes of figuring out a way to help and remind them to take care of themselves. Diabetes isn’t something your child chose to have or to do, like disobeying rules or breaking curfew, so punishing them seems unwarranted.

Jordan (age 18)
I feel like it is fair to be punished in certain instances because it is extremely dangerous to be messing up with diabetes.  I have been punished for not testing before driving, and my car has been taken away from me several times.  But I think that if I got punished for forgetting to test or bolus in general, I would just resent my diabetes even more.

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never been punished for forgetting a bolus or forgetting to test, but my parents have reminded me about it. Sometimes they get upset about it and I don’t think that necessarily helps me remember.

Laura (age 17)
Not really, but I do remember one time where I needed a help with a site change in the early hours of the morning and I had to wake my mom up, which was followed with a lot of intense yelling. The only way this situation helped me was to become more independent. Soon after this event I learned how to do everything by myself

Lexi (age 16)
Not that I can remember. I feel as if it should be a good idea maybe but most of the time my mom and I figure out better ways for me to remember to test, correct, and/or bolusing for my food.

Maggie (age 16)
My parents never have punished me for not testing or forgetting to bolus because mistakes happen and no one is perfect. I believe that punishing a kid for a simple mistake makes the situation a lot worse. The child will feel as though they have no independence and I think the real question is to step in our shoes. Do you really think if you had diabetes you would NEVER forget to bolus or check? If you think that then you need to look into how busy our lives are and step into our shoes.

Skylyn (age 16)
I haven’t ever really been punished for not bolusing or testing and I don’t think you should be. No one is perfect and sometimes you know when you’re really busy and in a rush, bolusing for what you ate may be forgotten. I don’t think you should be punished for something that wasn’t intentional like forgetting to bolus.

Vanessa (age 16)
I have been punished before for letting my blood sugar get way too high, but only a handful of times. I also feel like punishing a kid for mistakes with their diabetes just makes it worse because they already have to deal with this disease 24/7. If they get punished for forgetting a shot or forgetting to check then it makes it even worse on the kid. Now if the kid is doing it on purpose to themselves and lying a lot of times about their diabetes, then I do think some punishment is acceptable.

Haley (age 14)
My parents have never punished me for anything diabetes related. They have lectured me a few times, though! I think it’s helpful for me to be reminded how important being responsible with my care is.

Maddy (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me but they have definitely been upset if I don’t test or forget to bolus. I do feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps me because if the punishment is something I don’t like, then I will do everything I can to not get the punishment again.