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 TOPICS – WEEK 84: Do you have a preference between saying you are diabetic vs saying you have diabetes?  If yes, why?

Annelies (age 15)
I don’t have a preference between saying I have diabetes or that I’m diabetic. I don’t really think there is a difference, I don’t mind either way.

Cameron (age 18)
I usually tend to say I have diabetes. I feel like saying “I’m diabetic” is used a lot by older people that have Type 2, so I’ve always said it the other way. I don’t even think there is a big reason for it, it is just what I have always done

Caroline (age 15)
No, I refer to myself as having Type One Diabetes as well as being a diabetic. I don’t honestly have a preference. Type One is a part of me, but it doesn’t define me, no matter how I describe myself.

Christina (age 15)
No, I have no preference between saying I am a diabetic vs saying I have diabetes. Neither term feels very negative to me. I am more concerned with making sure people know I have type 1 diabetes or that they know certain information about type 1 diabetes that is different from type 2 when it is necessary.

Claire (age 18)
I don’t really have a preference if I’m being honest. I refer to myself as both interchangeably, and don’t dislike one or like one more than the other.

Erin (age 18)
I think for me, it depends on the person such as how well I know them. Also for the situation as well. I use them both equally.

Haley (age 14)
I prefer to say I’m diabetic. I’m not exactly sure why, but I just don’t like the word diabetes. Maybe because people always use the word diabetes when they’re joking about getting it because they’re eating too many candy bars.

Ian (age 15)
I prefer saying that I have diabetes because then I do not let the diabetes have any possession of me or place in my personality.

Jordan (age 19)
I have no preference either way, they both entail the same thing and get the point across that you are diabetic/ have diabetes.  Some people may say that the phrase “being diabetic” shows that you are controlling the diabetes, while “having diabetes” may sound like the diabetes has the control, but to me, they are on and the same.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t really have a preference for either of them. To me they mean the same thing so I use them interchangeably

Laura (age 18)
I’ve never really thought of a difference. I flip back and forth from saying both of them all the time. 🙂

Maggie (age 17)
I don’t really have a preference between the two. My friends and I say it either way and sometimes it’s not even diabetic they call me a diabete and I’m fine with it. When I talk to people I usually just say I’m diabetic because it’s easier to say and it isn’t as forced.

Skylyn (age 17)
I do have a preference. I prefer saying I’m a diabetic vs. saying I have diabetes. The word diabetes kind of bothers me; like just the sound of the word. I don’t know why but the word diabetes bugs me so I always say I’m a diabetic.

 

**To see all of the previous topics, please visit our archive at https://pbntype1teens.wordpress.com **

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK #83: A new trend is making pump accessories for dolls and creating super hero characters with diabetes. Would that have helped you as a young kid? Would it have made a difference having a pretend character that you could identify with?

Annelies (age 15)
I think it’s a great idea to create more awareness and characters with diabetes, it gives younger kids someone they can relate to and identify with. I think it would’ve been great to have accessories for my dolls when I was first diagnosed, especially the American Girl dolls that can be just like you. I think it’s important for children to see that diabetes isn’t something to be ashamed of and is something you should embrace, as they are beginning to do in the media with things like these.

Andrew (age 15)
I think that anything that could potentially help younger kids cope with their diabetes is a great idea. I remember being diagnosed at 5 years old and the years to follow as a horrible experience, so anything that can help other children through what I experienced is a great idea.

Cameron (age 18)
It probably wouldn’t have made a difference to me personally, but I guarantee it would have for other kids. I wasn’t that into superheroes as a kid.

Caroline (age 15)
I think if I had been diagnosed at a younger age than I was then I would have totally appreciated a doll or super hero that had Type 1 like me. I think it is super important for younger Type 1 kids today to have that role model/doll/person they can look up to and say, “Wow I’m not the only one like me”. I struggled when I was first diagnosed because I was just bound and determined that I was the only one like me, that I was weird and different and that no one would ever like me again. I think if I had had a doll with diabetes or seen a super hero with diabetes, it would have helped me to realized earlier that I’m not the only one like me , and I can do whatever I put my mind to, even with Type 1.

Christina (age 15)
I was diagnosed when I was 13, so I don’t really know what it was like to not have a doll that I could identify with. However, I like that toy companies are now making diabetes supplies kits for their dolls, like American Girl did. I think it can never hurt to have some extra support even in the form of a doll or character. For little kids, I think this is a great way for them to learn how to accept a new diagnosis and not feel ashamed about having T1D.

Claire (age 18)
Considering I was diagnosed at age 7, it wouldn’t have helped me personally, however I can definitely see how it could help a younger child, and could even help comfort them. It definitely sounds like a good idea.

Erin (age 18)
I was diagnosed when I wasn’t really into dolls or other things you would associate with being younger since I was 10 almost 11, so basing of my diagnosis year don’t think it would have benefited me much.

Haley (age 14)
I think it would’ve been cool to have diabetic supplies for my American Girl dolls when I was little. I don’t know that it would’ve helped me, though. Maybe I would’ve felt better about t1 if I saw Captain America casually checking his bg off to the side?

Ian (age 15)
I believe that if it is necessary for a doll to be afflicted as well, there is a bigger problem: your diabetes is controlling you. I believe that if a child needs something to vent to, and that helps, then it could be beneficial, but in general, it is not good in my eyes.

Jon (age 16)
I think it really depends how old you are at diagnosis.  I was 7 when I was diagnosed so I don’t think it would have made a difference for me.  But for younger children, girls with dolls and super heroes for little boys is a great idea to help them relate and identify.

Jordan (age 19)
It wouldn’t have made a difference to me, personally. I don’t think superheroes can have diabetes because the ones with super healing abilities would just heal themselves, and the other ones wouldn’t be able to have prolonged battles without requiring some glucose.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t think it would have made much of a difference to have a doll with diabetes. I don’t feel like it would have been much of an encouragement for me.

Laura (age 18)
At 11, I wasn’t diagnosed that terribly young. I remember that I had a diabetic bear when I first went to the hospital, and I think it helped me feel a little better. I think the trend is a good idea, but I’m not sure it would have impacted me enough to make a huge difference.

Lexi (age 16)
Honestly that would definitely help with kids these days to teach them how their diabetes works. I remember at the hospital getting a Rupert bear with patches on him for where you can take your shots and check your sugar. It’s a great idea.

Maggie (age 17)
I think having pump peels would help me as a kid. I had an American girl doll and I would pretend my bears and dolls had diabetes by putting bracelets on them. I think it gives the child comfort.

McKenna (age 16)
When I was diagnosed I would have loved for a character to have diabetes. It would’ve been so cool for me because then I would have had something to relate to.

Skylyn (age 17)
I actually did have a teddy bear “with diabetes” and it had a medical alert bracelet on. I didn’t play with the teddy bear though. It just sat on a shelf. I think it’s a cute idea but I feel like it doesn’t really help children as being something they can identify with


**To see all of the previous topics, please visit our archive at https://pbntype1teens.wordpress.com **

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 81: Where is the line between living WITH T1D or letting it consume/control you?

Annelies (age 15)
I believe that you have crossed the line between living with diabetes and letting it control you is when you don’t live your life because of diabetes. Although I’m constantly aware of it, I’m still a teenager and I still like to have fun and go out with my friends. I don’t let it control me or hold me back from living my life, and if it does hold you back, then you have let diabetes control you.

Andrew (age 15)
The line between living with T1D and letting it control you is when you decide to not take care of your diabetes. Once you stop caring for yourself you feel sick, angry, and tired. Those side effects take a toll on your body and can lead to diabetes controlling everything you do and how you feel.

Cameron (age 18)
You can’t let diabetes define who you are or limit what you do. It’s just something that we have to deal with, but we can still do whatever we want to do. Once someone starts letting diabetes control what they can and can’t do, that’s when it starts controlling you.

Caroline (age 15)
Living with T1D is having to deal with the everyday stipulations of not having a functioning pancreas. This does pose problems for everyday life, as all diabetics know. But letting T1D control you would be if you’re telling yourself you can’t do things because you have T1D. That’s not true at all. T1D or no T1D, you can do whatever you put your mind to.

Christina (age 15)
The line is drawn when your T1D care always comes before your desires. For example, I really shouldn’t eat pizza, pancakes, or French fries because they are hard for me to bolus for, but everyone once in a while it is okay to treat yourself to these foods because you have to enjoy life. Another example is to not let your diabetes stop you from doing the activities you love. If you really love to run, you will find a way to make it work with your diabetes. In my experience, living with T1D is learning to be flexible in order to do the things you love and not letting your diabetes make you a rigid person who is scared to make any sudden moves.

Claire (age 18)
Diabetes, in my opinion, should never EVER consume your life our fully control you, because even though you may have superb diabetes care, that’s when you’ve lost.

Erin (age 18)
Gosh that is a hard question. Obviously, it varies for each person and some people in my life associate me being diabetic over the other of being a person with diabetes. I’m not exactly sure how to answer this question.

Haley (age 14)
To some degree, I feel like there’s no way around letting Diabetes control me. But, I think by making decisions based on what I would want to do whether or not I have t1d, and then figuring out how to handle my diabetes while I’m doing whatever it is, I’m not letting it have total control over me.

Ian (age 15)
The line is as follows: if at any time you plan events around your diabetes (such as gatherings or parties), or associate with people solely because of their disease, then it controls you. You have diabetes when you just deal with the disease, not embrace it.

Jon (age 16)
As long as I am staying on top of my diabetes and doing all I need to do everyday type 1 can just be a part of my life that’s with me each day.  It’s always there but it’s like on the sidelines not my main focus.  I stay in control of it as best as I can.

Jordan (age 19)
If you let it stop you from doing anything, then you are letting your diabetes control you, so do everything.  My parents said from the beginning, when I was 9, that I could do anything I wanted to.  No matter how challenging, we’d find a way to make it work.  I played basketball and volleyball in high school.  I snowboard.  And my favorite thing to do is to scuba dive.  At first people told us that I couldn’t get certified because of my diabetes, but my mom went online and found a way to make it happen.  I definitely don’t let my diabetes control me!

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never really let diabetes control or consume me and I think a major reason for that is my parents never really let it consume me.

Laura (age 18)
There is a fine line, and sometimes I think I cross it and I sink into my self-pity. I don’t mean to. I guess the line would be taking care of yourself and not letting it define you, or hold you back to your dreams and aspirations. It’s just hard to stay on the positive side sometimes.

Lexi (age 16)
I feel like letting it control and consume you can cause some negative effects towards you emotionally. That’s why you have to push yourself and make sure you’re healthy and awesome.

Maggie (age 17)
The line is pretty big actually. T1D isn’t your whole life it’s just a part of it. If you let it control you it becomes you being obsessed with it and letting it affect everything you do. I just live my life like a normal kid but I just take breaks to take care of myself.

McKenna (age 16)
I don’t let it consume me or control me because it’s a part of me and at some point it has to become a part of your everyday life. You can’t sit around and dwell about it happening, you have to live with it and have it be a part of everything. You can’t have diabetes hold you back from good experiences.

Skylyn (age 17)
I think a line would need to be drawn between living with T1 and letting it consume you when you are not letting yourself do certain things or eat certain foods because of your diabetes. For example, not allowing yourself to have a sugary dessert because it will make your blood sugar go high. Just remember to give more insulin for it. If you’re unsure on how many carbs it is, look it up on your phone quick, get a rough estimate and see how it works, monitoring it. Never let diabetes stop you from doing what you want to do.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK #79: When did you start becoming interested in taking care of your own diabetes needs?  Which things did you take over first?  How much do you do now?

Annelies (age 15)
I think I’ve been fairly independent from the beginning. When I was diagnosed at age 6, my school didn’t have a school nurse and so I learned how to take care of myself more at an early age.

Andrew (age 15)
I became interested in taking care of my own diabetes needs after I started to realize the long-term implications diabetes will have on my life. After making that realization, around age 9, I started to take over simple things such as: testing my blood sugar, bolusing and making sure I have my supplies with me at all times. Starting my own care at a young age now lets me manage my diabetes individually (with the help of my parents and doctors when needed); I now test, bolus, do sets, reservoirs, lead doctor’s appointments, and do any other task you can think, of on my own.

Cameron (age 18)
When I was diagnosed in the second grade, my parents did everything for me. Throughout elementary school, I gradually started to count my carbs, inject myself with my insulin, and check my blood sugar by myself. Now, as a senior in high school, I pretty much do everything by myself. My parents will help with pre-filling my cartridge for my pump. Also, my mom handles all the insurance stuff of course. But other than that, I mostly do everything by myself.

Caroline (age 15)
I was diagnosed at 12 years old and I gave my first shot in the doctor’s office by myself. I wanted to do it all by myself and I wanted to be independent. The doctor had to force me to let my parents give me some shots so that they could have some practice in case I was ever not able to give them to myself, or I needed help. My parents and I always carb-counted together, ever since the beginning and even now, I have them check after me when I am not 100% sure of something.

Christina (age 15)
Since I was diagnosed at 13, my parents gave me a lot of the responsibility of taking care of my diabetes from the beginning. At first it was just testing and then giving my shots with their supervision. But now I test and change my sites and take care of everything on my own. I still go to them for guidance and moral support because this disease is a lot and you need support.

Claire (age 18)
I was diagnosed at age 7.  I’ve been completely independent for about 7 years now, ever since I got on pens, and now that I’m 18 and  I’m on my own, and have little to no input from my parents. It’s usually closer to none, though.

Erin (age 18)
I became interested when I was diagnosed at age 10, and have been independent since then in all of my cares. I have done everything since then on my own.

Haley (age 14)
I’ve always wanted to take care of myself. I was diagnosed as a baby.  I started checking my blood sugar on my own when I was around six years old, and I started giving my own shots around nine years old. I pretty much handle everything on my own now. But, I run my decisions by my parents and they do night time checks and give my morning Lantus.

Ian (age 15)
I started about a month after I was released from the hospital when I was 11, beginning with testing and then to shots etc. I do most of it now, but am still taking advice from my parents.

Jon (age 16)
I was diagnosed at age 7.  By age 8 I was more interested in doing my own finger checks and trying to learn about carb counting.  But when I was 11 was the time I really felt comfortable giving myself my own shots in 5th grade. The summer of 5th grade I went to Joslin Diabetes Camp and that is when I really started taking more of an interest in my self-management.  By middle school I was still going to the nurse during lunch and for treatments, but I was doing all of that by myself in the office.  When I went on a pump and a CGM in 7th grade, I took on a lot more responsibility. By high school I was no longer going to the nurse and no longer relaying numbers to my mom during lunch.  Today, in 10th grade, I do all of my self-management, with my mom checking in with me to review the CGM and Pump information to make any adjustments together on the weekends.

Jordan (age 19)
I’ve always been interested in doing my own stuff for diabetes. I first started with testing myself when I was diagnosed at age 9, then I moved to counting carbs. I’ve always been good at guessing carbs. I started doing my own shots (and then the pen) within a few weeks.  By 7th grade I only had to visit the nurse if I was having a stubborn low or high.  After that I started changing my own sites, but I liked it when my mom helped me.  In high school when I was 15 I had a lot of burn out, so my parents helped me a lot for a while. Now I am away at college and do everything for myself besides dealing with insurance.

Julia (age 15)
I started taking care of all my diabetes when I got home from the hospital at diagnosis at age 11. My mom and dad gave me one shot at the hospital and since then I’ve done everything else. My parents monitor me but I am independent when it comes to physically dealing with diabetes.

Laura (age 18)
I was interested in taking care of myself from the beginning when I was diagnosed at age 11. I did my own shots, checked my blood sugar, etc. My mom helped me for a while when I first started on the pump and also with the Dexcom. Another thing she helped me with was counting carbs. Now I do everything on my own. She does check in with me time to time, though.

Lexi (age 16)
I was diagnosed when I was  11.  Well, when you get older you start wanting to do things on your own. Diabetes is one of them.


Maggie (age 17)
I think I was about 7 when I was diagnosed, and around  8 I did my shots for a while and then I did my pump. I am almost completely independent except for when I’m in a rush or too lazy to fill my pump.

McKenna (age 16)
Well since the day I was diagnosed I’ve always been interested in doing it myself. I do everything myself unless my blood sugar is too low for me to function.

Skylyn (age 17)
I would say that I have always been at least a little interested in taking care of my own diabetes needs since I was diagnosed at age 8. I first learned how to count carbs and test my blood sugar. Now, I can do most of my diabetes needs. I still get help with set changes and temp basals, but otherwise I try to do it myself.

Vanessa (age 16)
I became interested in it just about the same time I was diagnosed when I was 5. I wanted to know why I needed to check my blood all the time and why I needed a shot every time I would eat anything.   I started doing my own shots before anything. I liked feeling independent.   I do it all now, but of course mom still reminds me to check or ask if I’ve done my shots when she sees me eating something. lol I don’t think I’ll ever deal with my diabetes alone, it’ll always be my mom & I.

**To see all of the previous topics, please visit our archive at https://pbntype1teens.wordpress.com **

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK #78: Is it better to be open about, or hide your diabetes?

Annelies (age 15)

I think that it’s better to be open about your diabetes. It’s a part of you, and it’s not going away, so why hide it?

Andrew (age 15)
I find it better to be open about your diabetes, that’s how I am personally, and that’s because it allows you to be more open in general. If you are constantly worrying about hiding your diabetes it can take a toll on you emotionally. In addition to the negative effects of hiding your diabetes, being open about your diabetes also makes people around you more comfortable with your diabetes which can make you feel more confident.

Cameron (age 18)
I think it depends on how you feel about it personally. It’s not a bad thing to be open or quiet about your diabetes. It all depends on how you view it. Personally, I’m open about it, but I think that’s mostly because I’m an extrovert (which means I’m outgoing).


Caroline (age 15)
I think it is much better to be open about your diabetes. For a long time, I didn’t want anyone to know that I had Type 1 and that made it really hard for me, looking back on it. I was always having to go to the bathroom to check my sugar or going behind something in the nurse’s office to give myself a shot because I didn’t want anyone else to know. I feel like it is harder on you to hide your diabetes, and I think you shouldn’t care what other people think about you because everybody is different, special and unique in their own way. Sometime, diabetes happens to be the way that you are different than others.


Christina (age 15)
From my diabetic journey, I have come to realize it is so much better to be open about your diabetes. It took me a long time to learn this, but it feels so much better when you feel you don’t have to hide a part of yourself from people at school. Now, I can nonchalantly share that I have diabetes without being embarrassed and freaked out that I will be judged. Instead I take a second to educate someone and feel better that I can do what I have to do to take care of myself and not have to hide it.

Claire (age 18)
It’s ALWAYS better to be open. Yes, it can be embarrassing to talk about, and even frustrating when you get the repetitive, “Oh, so you can’t have sugar?” Or the, “Wow, you must’ve eaten too much sugar as a kid.” Or from the really gutsy people who say, “Oh, well you’re not THAT fat.” Yes, it can be annoying to even bring it up, but as far as your overall health goes, it’s better if as many people around you know what’s going on and what to do in case of an emergency.

Erin (age 18)
I think it depends on the situation but I think overall, it’s better to be open in case something happens such as super low/high blood sugars.

Haley (age 14)
It’s probably best to be open about diabetes. I think if I started trying to hide it, I would just create more stress for myself. Also, if people know about it I have more opportunities to educate them about the disease and if I ever needed help they would know what to do.

Ian (age 15)
It is best to stay private. You eliminate the possibility of discrimination, and you can truly say “I don’t want sympathy” without being hypocritical.

Jon (age 16)
In my opinion it is better to always be open about having type 1.  There is really no reason to hide that you experience life in a unique way where you have to monitor your blood sugars.  It is also good for others to know in case of an emergency.  I have found most people to be very understanding and nice about the fact I explained what I’m doing when I stop to check my number or treat and the reason I need to.

Jordan (age 19)
I think it’s better to be open, because it’s better for your safety, and it lets people know the responsibility they have to help you if you are having a problem. I also don’t think it’s anything to be ashamed of, so why would I hide?

Julia (age 15)
I think it’s better to be open about diabetes. That way if I need help with something people will know what to do.

Laura (age 18)
I guess it just depends on the person. I’m mostly open about it, if need be, but if I’m in a situation in where it’s not needed information, I just keep it to myself. The best option of the two, of course, would to be open. That way if there happened to be an emergency people would be prepared.

Lexi (age 16)
I feel it’s best to be open about it. I like explaining it to people and getting their reactions.

Maggie (age 17)
I am open with my diabetes. I don’t hide it at all and I teach everyone how to take care of me in case there is an emergency.

McKenna (age 16)
It is always best to be open about your diabetes.

Skylyn (age 17)
Having diabetes for over 9 years, I can say that I have done both. When I was younger, in elementary school, I mostly hid my diabetes. I didn’t want people to know and thought they would treat me different if they knew about my diabetes. Now, I don’t really care and I let people know soon after meeting them that I have diabetes. I have learned that most people don’t really care either. I haven’t ever been treated badly or anything because of my diabetes.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve always been really open about it. I would tell my friends and everyone around me that I had diabetes, and if they had questions I was more than happy to answer them and educate them. I hate how so many people are uneducated about the disease and think they know what it is off of the same “if you eat too much sugar you’ll be a diabetic” saying that people have always said. I feel like the more I open up about it and tell people, the more people learn. That makes me feel good knowing I’m educating people about it.

 

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 76:  Have you ever done any babysitting?  If so, did you tell the parents that you have T1?  If you haven’t done any babysitting, do you think that parents need to know if their babysitter has T1?

Annelies (age 15)
I believe the parents have a right to know, so they know just in case something happens. It’s important for someone of authority to know so if an emergency happens, they know why or what to do.

Andrew (age 15)
Personally, I have never babysat, but I do think it is important to ensure the parents of the child be fully aware of what your diabetes means and how capable you are of handling your diabetes. As long as you tell the parents you’re diabetic, the possible complications of diabetes (so they know what they’re getting into), and you ensure them you’re capable of taking care of your diabetes, you should be fine.


Cameron (age 18)
I have never babysat, but I do think it is important to tell someone if you have T1. They need to know who they are leaving their kids in the hands of. I mean if I had my kids with a babysitter and came home to find a syringe in the trash can, I wouldn’t be too happy. This is why they should know if you have T1 if you’re babysitting.


Caroline (age 15)
I babysit a lot. It took me some time to work up some courage to be comfortable with watching other children that weren’t my siblings and making sure that my blood sugar was in range so that I had the maximum ability to make the best decisions possible for the care of the children. I try to make sure my blood sugar is as stable as possible when I’m babysitting so I can make the best decisions. I always talk to the parents before they leave and let them know that I have Type 1 diabetes. I explain what that is, what it means for me, and what my methods of care are while I am babysitting. If the children are old enough, I always show them where my low supplies are so that they know if something were to happen.


Christina (age 15)
No, I haven’t done any babysitting yet. I do believe that the parents you are babysitting for need to know you have diabetes just so they are aware in case of emergency. However, it doesn’t need to be a big deal; you can just say, “I just want to let you know I have T1D. But I am fully capable of taking care of myself and should have no problems. But I just would like to be upfront with you about it.” It’s better for them to know in case you have a hypo and you pass out and they walk in.

Claire (age 18)
I have done a lot of babysitting, and it’s courtesy to let the parents know of your, possibly, life threatening illness, because they need to know and be able to decide whether they want to take you on as a babysitter. However, most parents aren’t rude and won’t hire a diabetic, they ask questions, and get to understand your situation better, at least from my experience. The great part though is when you get to babysit other diabetic kids, which I’ve done, and being able to help them with their stuff is so cool, and educational, because every kid has a different set up, system, and way to get insulin.

Erin (age 18)
I have babysat and the parents knew because I used to hang out/ play with the kids.

Haley (age 14)
The only babysitting I’ve done so far is for my siblings and cousins. If I were to babysit for someone outside of my family, I think they should be aware that I’m diabetic. I don’t think being T1D should prevent me from babysitting, but I would want them to at least know why I’m carrying syringes with me and doing injections or bg checks.

Ian (age 15)
I have only done cat sitting. However, I believe that the parents should only know if the babysitter would be unable to fulfill his/her duties.

Jordan (age 19)
I have babysat for the boy down the street, because he also has T1.  That is why his parents asked me to babysit.  If I babysat for someone else, I would definitely tell them that I have diabetes.  I think they have a right to know if the person charged with caring for the child has a medical condition that could affect their care.
Julia (age 15)
I haven’t done any babysitting but I would absolutely let the parents know about my diabetes.

Laura (age 18)

I have never babysat before, other than my nephews, but my whole family is aware that I have T1. I don’t think it’s the utmost importance that the parents know about T1. Unless the person babysitting feels as if they aren’t under stable control of their diabetes, I don’t really think it’s a big deal because they can just take care of themselves. It doesn’t hurt to let them know, though.

Lexi (age 16)
Most babysitting I’ve done is with my mom’s friend who knows I have diabetes and the kid was definitely able to understand this type of stuff so they both knew my issue and all that comes with it.

Maggie (age 17)
I have babysat before. The parents knew I was a diabetic and I babysit for a diabetic so I take care of him and myself. You should let the parent know that you’re t1d just in case of emergency.

Vanessa (age 16)
I have never, and if I have it’s been with another friend there and it wasn’t my job I was just helping my friend. I definitely think the parents should know, and I think they should also know if the person takes care of them self just so that they know there’s not a big chance of something bad happening to their babysitter while they’re gone and that the attention is on their kids.


**To see all of the previous topics, please visit our archive at https://pbntype1teens.wordpress.com **

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 75:  How do you handle your diabetes and D supplies when doing active things, such as sports, beach days, skiing, etc…? 

Annelies (age 15)
With my blood sugar, I usually try to find out how to manage my IOB so I don’t drop during games or practice. I usually have someone watch my stuff or keep it close enough to be able to access it quickly. With treating, I think it depends. If I’m low I usually try to have juice nearby especially on hot days, and if I’m high, I have to be really careful with how much insulin I dose.

Andrew (age 15)
When playing sports, I always have a kit in both my sports bag and in the medical bag that our team takes to every game and practice. I also keep low supplies in my bag and the medical bag in case I need them. Whenever I’m doing an activity, I always test before the activity, at least once during the activity, and after to make sure my numbers stay in line. I do give myself a higher basal during sports to address my adrenaline rush and I drop the rates after to accompany the drop in blood sugar due to my activity.

Ashley (age 16)
I’ll check my blood sugar before I do an activity and see what I’m at and go from there. With my supplies I’ll normally take my pump off and keep my other things in a cooler.

Cameron (age 18)
I always put my supplies in a sling bag and brng that bag with me everywhere. I play tennis, so I keep my pump in my pocket like it usually is, and I keep my CGM in my tennis bag and will look at it occasionally.


Caroline (age 15)
When I am doing my activities such as marching band and beach days, I have an “Otter Box” that I put my CGM & PDM in. The “Otter Box” is sand proof, wind proof, water proof, etc & keeps my devices dry & cool. I keep these devices in the “Otter Box” & my low supplies, snacks, etc as well as my insulin in a cooler to keep it cool. I keep them safe by combining the “Otter Box” & the cooler in a specific bag that is labeled just for diabetes. When I need to test or treat I use the hand sanitizer that I have in my diabetes bag when I don’t have access to soap and water to wash my hands.


Christina (age 15)
As a cross country and track runner, taking care of my diabetes is super important. I rarely drop while I’m running but before practice, or a cross country race, I always put a little fruit snack pack in my sports bra, so I can grab them if I feel like I am dropping during a run. I do not carry any other supplies with me while I’m running, but for indoor season I carry my test kit with me to the sidelines in my spike bag. I usually test right before I start to warm up and if I’m too low for my liking I will have something small but if my sugar is fine I don’t test again until after my race. I’ve found that this works for me, but everyone is different, especially with how their sugars react to exercise.

Claire (age 18)
 I handle my diabetes just like I normally do, I keep my supplies as close as I can. However, considering I used to Rodeo and I horseback ride quite often, I can’t really keep all my supplies up on the horse with me, so I keep them either with my parents when I rodeo, or safe in the truck.  It’s typically the truck considering I’m 18 now and they have given me my space to be independent, which I greatly appreciate.

Erin (age 18)
I think it depends on the activity location and intensity of activity. For example, in the winter I keep my supplies inside somewhere out of the cold while sledding but if I feel low I go in to check. Last summer I went to the beach and just kept my supplies in and a bag in the shade because it was cooler than leaving in a car. The only sport I can say what it’s like with is volleyball, and I was allowed to keep my bag near me off the court and wear Med id. I played less than others because I went low a lot during practices. As for where to keep supplies safe,that in the end is just judging the situation you’ll be in ahead of time. Always put your diabetes first and check when you feel unwell and treat with what you have on you or find a way to get food that you need to treat near your activity you are involved in.

Haley (age 14)
Whenever I’m playing sports it’s not that big of a deal for me to handle my diabetes and supplies. I always do a bg check before I get started and determine if I need a snack to keep me from going low. I keep my supplies in my backpack on the sidelines, and there’s always someone who knows where it is in case of an emergency. Going to the beach is a little trickier for me if my parents aren’t around (if they are, they keep up with my stuff). If I’m only going to be on the beach for an hour or two I keep my meter and something for lows in a small insulated bag inside a drawstring backpack. I make sure to do bg checks more frequently when I’m out swimming.

Ian (age 15)
The only thing that I do if that sort is bicycling, and when I do that, I attach it to my luggage rack. When I dance, I keep my bag in the studio and keep my pump on and tucked away. If I need to decrease basal, instead of stopping to adjust, I quickly and discretely unplug my pump from the site, and plug it back in when I no longer don’t need it.

Jordan (age 19)
Before I exercise I make sure my number is not too low – and if it’s close to low I’ll eat a snack uncovered.  I always make sure I have extra juice or Gatorade on hand in case I go low.  I take my pump off and put it in my backpack with my other supplies and try to set it somewhere out of the sun.

Julia (age 15)
I always keep my diabetes supplies on the bench while playing sports and our manager always carries them with her when we move. I wear a pouch around my stomach and keep my pump in that during games.

Laura (age 18)
Whenever I’m out and about doing “active things” I do the same thing as I would any other time. I carry my supplies in a backpack or something, and I keep it with me at all times. Sometimes I change what I carry based off what I’ll be doing. (i.e. extra snacks/juice if I’m doing heavy exertion.) I test/treat as needed.


Lexi (age 16)
If I’m ever on a big trip that lasts longer than 3 days and I’m hours away or something I make sure I pack extras just in case. With sports I bring a poweraid and take sips out of it every so often to keep my sugars from dropping.


Maggie (age 17)
I always carry a bag with me with juice, a meter, and sites. Depending on the activity I may take my pump off and put it in my bag. Sometimes I may go on shots if I know my sites won’t stay in. I usually test every 2 hours if I’m doing large amount of activity like swimming and I’ll correct if I feel like I’m dropping or if I know I’m dropping. I’ll also check to make sure I’m not going too high. If I do take off my pump and I’ll sit out and correct for that if it’s necessary.

McKenna (age 16)
I bring extra supplies when I’m doing active things. I keep my supplies in a little purse so it doesn’t bring a lot of attention. I keep the supplies safe by being careful with everything I do. I test and treat like usual but if it’s during a sporting event such as basketball I check during half time and give a unit if needed. Otherwise everything stays the same.

Skylyn (age 17)
On days when I’m going to be doing something active, I just kinda deal with the circumstances and do what I know. For example, if I’m going swimming at the lake or something, I’ll leave my pump and supplies with someone who isn’t swimming or I’ll leave it in the car in a bag on the floor out of the sun near something cold so it won’t overheat. If I feel low or anything, I’ll just go test and treat myself.