Teen Topic 45:  For those of you of driving age: What types of rules do you have to follow for driving? Do you have a contract with your parents? What do you think your personal responsibility should be for driving with D? Are you aware of the potential risks?

Claire (age 17)
My parents and I do have a contract, and it requires me to do a check before I drive, unless I’d done one in the past hour or so, and send a picture of my meter to either my mom or dad. Diabetics need to held to a higher standard in terms of driving, since it is more dangerous if we suddenly drop low, or are even too high. We should be responsible enough to check before we drive to keep not only ourselves safe, but our passengers and other drivers on the road. I do know the risks of driving and falling low, and that’s why I check before I drive, and all T1D drivers should.

Jessica (age 21)
Before I drive I check my blood sugar to make sure I am in range, not too high or too low (although I am usually more concerned with a low since my cognitive function is effected most when I am low). I always have juice and a snack in the car in case I feel like I am dropping. I also let my parents know when I arrive at my destination, especially if I experience a low during my trip or before. I think driving with diabetes is something that is often taken too lightly, but the majority of the time is completely manageable. The risks of driving are high on a daily basis, car accidents can happen for any number of reasons and being a diabetic just adds to that list. Driving with a high or low blood puts you life and the lives of others at risk and that shouldn’t be taken with a grain of salt. If I am low or even feel like I am trending low I stop and take a juice before I continue driving, similarly I correct as soon as I feel high or my sensor indicates a high blood sugar. I think it is up to us, the drivers, to make sure we are safe so that others can remain safe too.

Erin (age 17)
My endo said I shouldn’t drive below 100 and I should check before I drive. However, depending on the time of day, I know a typical pattern of how I run so unless I feel low or feel like I’m dropping I typically don’t check. I have driven while low before and I don’t recommend it, but both times it was to driving to get food as I didn’t have anything in my car. I am aware of the risks of driving while too high or too low and, with two exceptions, I have not driven while low and never have driven while high. I don’t have a contract with my parents, they say just to keep some money in my car in case I need to buy food because I’m low. My personal responsibility driving with T1D is to keep my sugars above 100 and otherwise to just drive under the laws of my state.

Mercedes (age 16)
Before I drive I will test my blood sugar, ideally 15 minutes before I drive. If I ever feel slightly low I will pull over wherever I can and test my blood sugar.

Laura (age 17)
I am of driving age, but haven’t had the opportunity to drive yet. If I could drive though, I’d definitely check my sugar before each time I hit the road. I am aware of the potential risks, but you all should also be aware that every driver has numerous risks whenever they’re behind the wheel, diabetic or not.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I always check my blood sugar before driving. This means before leaving the house, and leaving the place that I drove to. I also keep snacks in the car, along with some sugar pills.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t have a contract with my parents. All I need to know is to check my sugar every time before I start driving, and if I go low while driving to pull over and treat the low.

Lexi (age 16)
I don’t drive (yet) but I would always have a bag of candies that are easy to reach without distraction or buy a non-diet soda and take one little sip every now and then to help.

Jordan (age 18)
It is important to make sure that your number is not one that would inhibit you from driving well.  You are not just putting yourself at risk, you are putting the lives of others on the line.  Though you didn’t choose to have diabetes, it is still your fault if someone gets hurt, and you have to bear that responsibility for the rest of your life.  I have a driving contract with my parents, and if I don’t test before I drive, I lost my car keys for a month.  Then when I do drive I will have to take a picture of my meter (to show I tested) and text it to my parents before I am allowed to start the car.

Cole (age 16)
Before I start the car my blood sugar needs to be over 120. I also need to have some sort of sugar readily available near me, my Dexcom needs to be recalibrated, and I need to text/tell my mom.

Nick (age 20)
If it’s going to be a long drive (my school is an hour away from home, so most drives are) I always test before I head out. I have my bag with me, which is always stocked with snacks just in case. Other than “don’t wreck,” my parents are pretty lenient with rules regarding my driving. I suppose my responsibilities are to know how diabetes could affect my behavior on the road, and take it into account before I go anywhere.

Ashley C. (age 14)
When I am old enough, I know I will have to check my b/g before I drive to make sure I can drive. My personal responsibility is to make sure I’m not too low or too high to drive because I could be a danger to myself and others.

Ian(age 14)
I am not yet of driving age, but I do know that I need to have EXCELLENT control of my numbers, and need to know what out of range feels like. I feel that it would be of utmost importance for me to wear a medical I.D. more strictly than I currently do. I am fully aware of the potential risks.

Skylyn (age 16)
I currently have my permit but I will be taking my driver test hopefully soon. When I am driving with my mom, before I get behind the wheel, I always make sure to test my blood sugar. I also like to have a drink in the car that has carbs, such as Gatorade, so in case I feel low I can just drink some of it and feel better.

 

 

Teen Topic 44:  Are you given guidelines for amount and type of food you may eat daily? How would you feel if you were restricted in your diet? (for example:  limited snacks, or low carb)

Cole (age 16)
I’m really not that restricted in my diet, unless I’m actually on a diet. I think it would be pretty awful if I was forced to be on any sort of restricted diet though. Not only would that make me hate myself and my illness, I would probably resent whoever made me do it. By not being allowed to eat what I want, when I want, it would be like my family was telling me that I couldn’t be a normal, real person ever again, just because it’s a little more difficult to handle it at times.

Claire (age 17)
I have no restrictions on my diet or food I can eat, as long as I dose for it I can eat it. If I did have food restrictions I might lose my mind, because food is my favorite.

Jessica (age 20)
My parents have always lived by the philosophy “Child first, diabetic second” and so I have never been limited in my diet and never told I couldn’t eat a certain food I wanted because of my diabetes. Additionally, I was given options so if I wanted cake I needed a shot or I could have an apple and no shot. So I always had the choice of what I wanted to eat and I think this helped shape the way I live today as well as being in good control. Because if not for this lifestyle and method I feel I would have “rebelled” more in terms of sneaking food or not bolusing. I don’t think anyone should be restricted in their diet because we are people with diabetes, not a diabetic person and we can easily correct for whatever carbs we consume.

Erin (age 17)
I am given guidelines on the amount of caloric intake I should have and exchanges daily. However how closely I follow that depends on the day. I was stricter about following dietary guidelines when I was first diagnosed, but then I felt, “Why can’t I eat when I’m hungry? Why do I have wait till next scheduled time I can eat?”

Mercedes (age 16)
I personally don’t have any eating restrictions, and I would definitely not want any. If I did I would feel like I’m not “normal”.

Laura (age 17)
When I was first diagnosed I was restricted, but now I just sort of eat what I want, when I want. I don’t think I would mind a restriction too much, because it’d be healthy for me. I have really no self control when it comes to managing my diet by myself.

Ashley B. (age 15)
The only restrictions I have when it comes to eating is that if I’ve been high for a long time, I can’t have anything with carbs to eat.

Andrew (age 14)
My parents don’t limit the amount of food I’m allowed to eat because I’m growing and need that food, the only thing I have to remember in order to eat as much as I do is to manage my blood sugar well. As for a limit to my diet, personally I wouldn’t like that. If someone came up to me and said that I couldn’t eat a hot dog for example I think it would just add to the feelings of restriction around being a diabetic.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t really have any guidelines to the foods that I eat every day. Just gotta bolus for anything I eat. I wouldn’t like having restrictions to what I can and can’t eat. I don’t eat all the time or anything but if I was only allowed to eat low carb foods, I don’t think I could do it. Because you know – Ice Cream!

Jordan (age 18)
When I was first diagnosed the doctor wanted me to eat a specific number of carbs at specific times during the day.  This was terrible. I was never hungry for the right amount of carbs at the right time, and I’d always be starving at a time when they said only 15 carbs, so my mom talked to the doctor and we started carb counting so that I could eat whatever I wanted and then bolus for that.   That’s all I have done for 9 years now.  I would not want to be limited, because I play a lot of sports and I am always hungry.  I think if my parents tried to tell me I could only eat a small amount of carbs I’d be really angry and would probably go buy my own food when they weren’t around.  Having diabetes is bad enough, don’t make me hate something else about it.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t have any guidelines. The only thing my parents tell me is to bolus whenever I eat something. I wouldn’t like my diet being restricted because I really enjoy eating food

Lexi (age 16)
 I would hate being restricted on my diet unless I wanted to eat only certain things. If someone tries telling me I can’t eat a cupcake because of my diabetes, they will be given the death stare!

Nick (age 20)
I don’t really have any hard rules when it comes to food, other than no regular soda, but that’s self imposed. Diet soda just tastes better after all the years of drinking it. If I was given rules about my food, I probably wouldn’t be too happy. I know how different foods affect my body and how to handle it.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I don’t really have any restrictions to the amount of food I eat. If I was restricted to a diet it would make me feel like I was on a weight loss plan and like I was letting diabetes control my life.

Julia (age 14)
I’ve never been limited on what I can or can’t eat because of diabetes. I’ve always said I can eat whatever I want and it doesn’t matter if I’m diabetic or not. If I were put on I diet because of diabetes I wouldn’t like it at all. It would feel like a restriction and diabetes isn’t a restriction

 

Teen Topic #43:  How do you deal with overnight situations, such as sleepovers?  What type of plan do you follow with your parents?

Cole (age 15)
My mom works night shift so generally it’s the same as when I’m home without her. I text her my sugar before bed, tell her when I took my lantus, text her about where I am if I leave the house and go anywhere. Sometimes she’ll also call me around 10 to check in and make sure I remembered lantus, ask about my sugar, etc.

Claire (age 17)
I just make sure I have rescue sugar if I need it. I’m pretty independent, so I don’t really need my parents help with that kind of thing.

Jessica (age 20)
For overnights and sleepovers my parents had a word document that they made with basic instructions on how to treat high and low blood sugars as well as how to work my test kit, pump, and their phone numbers. My mom would drop me off and have a brief conversation with the other parent, going through the word document until they felt comfortable and understood what to do. They also knew how to speed dial my parents from my cell phone just in case. Nowadays, I check in with my parents occasionally with blood sugars but especially let them know when I am off to bed and if I was high or low prior. The older I got, the more independent I became and the less I communicated, however bedtime numbers have always remained the most important.

Erin (age 17)
I have my phone, glucagons, and fast acting sugars on me and check middle of the night. If my sugar goes low I let the host know, but if it is high I try to handle it myself. My parents let me be pretty independent.

Mercedes (age 16)
For overnight situations I do the same thing I do when I’m home. I test before I go to bed, but if I’m low I will text my parents  what my BG is and let them know I’m treating it. I also do the same for a really high blood sugar.

Laura (age 17)
Whenever I spend the night with friends I just make sure I’m I have my dexcom and some emergency snacks for lows. My mom likes me to check in every once in a while but we don’t have any sort of special plan.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I usually feel confident that I can take care of myself when I’m at a sleepover. I also have a DEXCOM to help me see what my blood sugars are doing.

Jordan (age 18)
My parents would basically give the host parents a quick diabetes 101 – enough information to get through the night, not so much as to scare them.  Then I would just text my blood sugar at bedtime, and make sure I ate a snack before going to sleep.  I would also text them when I woke up.

Andrew (age 14)
Personally my parents have the utmost confidence in me, and because of that confidence we have a very open-ended plan. I test as usual, and communicate that information to my parents via a text or call. If I’m going to eat, for example, I’ll test, find how many carbs are in the food I’m eating, and then text my parents that information. A couple of minutes later they’ll respond “yes, go ahead”, or “maybe back off one unit.”.  I know my parents also educate my hosts so that everyone knows what to do in case of an emergency. I guess you could say our plan is based on good communication and trust.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t usually have sleepovers because my bed is a lot better than someone else’s floor. But I think my parents would be pretty chill about me spending the night somewhere.

Lexi (age 16)
I make sure I have enough insulin to cover for everything and I always have extra supplies like sites, syringes, insulin, skin tack, or candies.

Nick (age 20)
I pack all my necessities, including an extra pump site and insulin if I’m running low. I always double check that I have enough test strips. My parents know I’m responsible, and trust me to take care of my diabetes. They might text me to ask how I’m doing.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I just go there.  I am supposed to text my mom my blood sugar at like 11pm (but it’s mostly at like 1am) and eat a snack/take insulin if needed.

Julia (age 14)
If I spend the night at a friend’s house out of town I usually put on my CGM (continuous glucose monitor) so I can keep  better track of my blood sugar without checking it as often. My parents don’t require me to tell them every time I check my sugar but I do text them what it is in the morning and at night.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t have sleepovers at friends’ houses very often but when I do, I make sure to test my blood sugar and eat something before I go to bed. If I’m low when I test, I don’t count the snack, if I’m around a BG of 120, I may only count half of my snack and if I’m high, then I will count it as normal. I want to make sure I don’t go low during the night. I also will text my parents if anything comes up that I need help with.

 

Teen Topic #42: What is the biggest “ooops” moment you’ve had with your T1?

Mercedes (age 16)
My biggest  oops with my diabetes is also a funny one. I accidentally filled my omnipod up with air instead of insulin. I even wore that pod around for a while wondering why my blood glucose was running so high. Come to find out, I didn’t have any insulin in me but air.

Laura (age 16)
One time I checked my sugar because I thought it was low and it turned out to be 400 but I didn’t think to check twice so I gave the whole bolus. Then, 10 minutes later I felt worse so I checked it again and it was 46. I felt so sick after eating tons of Reese’s cups and drinking orange juice so I could cover for the low and the amount of insulin I had given myself.

Claire (age 17)
My biggest “ooops” moment has to be the time I accidentally dosed my full long acting regime of 27 units, except on my short acting insulin, so I ended up staying up late eating carbs and sugar to not go low.

Erin (age 17)
My biggest mistake is either taking too much insulin and going low and having a hard time coming back up , or forgetting to take lantus or regular insulin at a meal and then being sky high.

Cameron (age 17)
Probably when I left my CGM on my bed and left for school, or when I left my CGM in one of my classes at school.

Ashley C  (age 14)
My biggest oops moment is a story we continually tell to this day. It was a couple of months after I got type 1 and my friend’s mom (who is like my second mom) took us to the movies and at movies you eat candy. Soooo… I ate a box of sour skittles and didn’t take any insulin cause we forgot. Then at the end of the movie my friends mom asked me, “Ashley did you take any insulin?” Obviously no, so we were all scared to call my mom and tell her but we did and she told us to just let me run it off and that’s what we did 🙂

Vanessa (age 15)
Probably forgetting to do my shot and then forgetting if I actually ended up doing it or not at all, because then I have to keep a close eye on my bloodsugar and see what direction it’s going and decide whether or not I actually did the insulin or if I didn’t.

Andrew (age 14)
I’m an athlete who plays five different sports; football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, and ultimate frisbee. We often travel one or two hours away from home / school for road games. There was one incident when my team traveled an hour and a half for an away game. I accidently left my testing kit at school.  I didn’t realize this until I went to test just before warm-ups. So, there I was, an hour and a half away from school: no testing kit, no insulin, and with my parents not at the game.  I had no access to my kit, or insulin, for five hours.

Nick (age 19)
I once went an entire 24 hours without doing any insulin. It was super busy that day, and I just completely forgot. My mom asked me how it felt to live without diabetes for a whole day.

Anna (age 15)
I was showing goats for 4H. As I was about to enter the arena, I looked down and saw that my goat had chewed my pump tubing in half. My dad hurried up and got me changed out before the show. It’s true that goats eat everything, including insulin pump tubing!

Joshua (age 18)
I had only been diagnosed a year at most, and my mom and I were visiting family in Oregon.  With 3 days left of our trip the only bottle of Insulin we brought fell out of the box and broke. So for 30 minutes my mom got whatever insulin she could scrounge up into multiple syringes! That was the day we learned one vial isn’t enough! Sometimes two! Lol

Jessica (age 20)
The biggest “oops” moment I have had with T1D is forgetting my pump at my Uncle’s house or jumping in the pool with my pump on. In the first situation I was little and had taken my pump off to go on a hike in the snow with my mother and aunt. After the hike and some food my mom and I began to drive home. Halfway home we got a phone call from my Uncle saying that he had this device that said ‘Minimed’ on it and wondered if it was important. So of course we said yes and he was so kind to meet us halfway and drop it off. As for the second story, one summer I jumped off the diving board into my grandparents pool and I felt something heavy on my hip that I didn’t normally feel when swimming. When I came up to the surface I realized my pump was still on (thankfully it still worked, but yes, we called the company to make sure).

Skylyn (age 16)
I haven’t really had any huge “oops” moment with my T1. I have forgotten to bolus a few times but I feel like that’s normal for every diabetic to have forgotten to bolus at least once in their lifetime.

Julia (age 14)
I ran out of insulin at school but luckily my mom was off work so she was able to get me what I needed.

Jordan (age 18)
My biggest oops moment is the time I accidentally got two shots of fast-acting insulin before dinner.  I was little, and my parents used to give me my shots.  I was playing a video game and my mom came in to give me my dinner shot, and I didn’t notice.  A little while later my dad came in and gave me my dinner shot – again!  (and I still didn’t notice) He then told my mom that he had given me the shot, and she freaked out because she had already done it.  Long story short – ice cream.

Ian (age 14)
Once I had to rush straight from school to dance, but I had forgotten my bag of supplies at home. So when I got there my bs was 435 and I had no insulin or syringes. (Luckily I had a friend who gave me some) 🙂

Ashley B. (age 15)
The biggest oops moment I’ve had is forgetting my meter at home on several different occasions. Usually, it happens when my family takes a trip to a different city, and we end up having to turn around on the way there.

Lexi (age 16)
When I went to my friend’s house forgetting to fill my cartridge and ended up running out of insulin.

 

 

 

Teen Topic #41:  How much input are you comfortable with your parents having at your endo appointments? When should parents back off when speaking to the doctor, and when should they step in?

Jordan (age 18)
I think it’s good to hear the perspective of my parents during the appointments.  It really helps me understand all that they do for me with my diabetes. I don’t think they should be pushy, and they should let me control it a little more each time as it will soon be my job to do it for myself.

Ian (age 14)
I think that my parents don’t really overstep their boundaries at endocrinologist visits. But the #1 thing is to know that you can ask what you want to ask, but don’t correct your child or try to lead the endocrinologist away from saying something, or try to change your child’s mind on something.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I think that as your kid gets older, they should be the ones talking to their endo about their care. If there’s something that the teenager hasn’t been taught (like basals and blood sugar trends), then it would be all right for the parent to step in.

Lexi (age 15)
One thing I hate about going to my endo appointments are the A1Cs, but besides that everything (well mostly everything :P) goes smoothly

Mercedes (age 16)
I think it all depends on each person and each endo doctor. Some families/ kids might want their parents being there for all of it, but some might only want some. Each person is different.

Laura (age 16)
I feel like my mom can give as much input as she wants as long I can, too. I think she has just as many questions and concerns as I do.

Claire (age 17)
I think until the child is 18, then the parent can give as much input as they want. However, that is not an invitation to go overboard considering that this is our disease, and our life.

Erin (age 17)
My parents do most of the talking because I don’t like going to endo appointments.

Cameron (age 17)
The way I see it, I have no problem with them having input. If I had it my way, they’d say everything, because endo appointments are the death of me. I really don’t like them.

Ashley C. (age 14)
My mom does most of the talking at my endo appointments because I shut down when I go to my appointments. I shut down because I get told how wrong I’m doing my diabetes every time I go there. Like recently I went to my appointment and I lowered my A1C a WHOLE point and I was very proud of myself but no one congratulated me, they only told me what I was doing wrong and took me off my pump. So in return I got upset and shut down.
Vanessa (age 15)
I feel as if it’s good to have your parent in the room because there could be some things that you forget, or you want their input in, too. But there are also times where parents kind of need to step out. And as that goes I feel that’s just a personal decision and whatever you prefer.

Andrew (age 14)
Personally, I’m comfortable with my parents adding their input during my Endo appointments, as much as they feel necessary.  If they make a comment I disagree with, I can state my disagreement and we can talk it through. However, in general, parents do need to back off at certain points during our Endo appointments. A key time for them to back off is when we’re talking about our personal experiences or goals. If I were to say that I want to get my numbers between 100 and 120 at least 10 times a week it’s not my parents place to add feedback on that, rather they should work to support that goal. On the other hand, parents are ultimately responsible for our overall well-being. If there is a specific issue affecting my overall health, I think it’s appropriate for my parents to step into the conversation. For example, if your A1C is at an unhealthy range, it’s appropriate for your parents to step into that conversation and work with you and your Endo to create a plan to help correct that.
Nick (age 19)
Honestly, if my parents didn’t bring issues up, I never would have. I’m a bit of an introvert, and nervous about raising complaints. I’d say as long as the questions or comments are legitimate concerns, it should be fine.

Anna (age 15)
I am comfortable with my parents having as much input at my endo appointments as they want. The only thing I ask is when my dr. is talking to me, let me answer for myself first. After that if they want to ask a question or make a comment that’s fine.

Josh (age 18)
I think parents should have a say in their T1 child’s endo appointments most definitely because sometimes parents see things we don’t. I’m almost 19 years old, and my mom still has a big say come endo time! I think parents should start to step back and let us start taking the reins around 16. As long as good Diabetes care is taking place, of course.

Skylyn (age 16)
I would say at endo appointments my parents and I have about equal say and input. I would say that they should probably back off if the doctor asks about my numbers at school or anything else that involves my diabetes at school. My parents are not there at school when I am testing and bolusing so they wouldn’t really know exactly what’s going on. My parents should step in when the doctor is asking about my BG numbers during the night. I am asleep and don’t wake up when my parents test my BG in the middle of the night so I wouldn’t really know how to answer the doctor’s question.

Jessica (age 20)
I personally don’t like my parents having much input at my endo appointments. This is due to the fact that they aren’t living in my day-to-day life (especially since I am in college). I think that as one approaches the teenage years and starts to venture out more on their own, gaining more independence, parents should start to back off at the appointments. This is partly because when reaching adulthood parents aren’t going to be attending every appointment (or they shouldn’t be), but also, they have less knowledge about the feelings and daily hardships their kids face. Therefore, I feel as though my parents can’t communicate or contribute as much. However, this is not to say that I don’t ask them to remind me of things or to mention things. I think one of the most important aspects about T1D and endo appointments is communication – talking with your child (or parents) before the appointment sets up ground rules and boundaries about what needs to be expressed and how to do so. I find that this leaves me less frustrated at the end of the doctor visit, while, for the most part, keeping my parents content.

Julia (age 14)
I’m comfortable with my parents talking to my doctor as much as they feel necessary during my appointments. They have a big part in managing my diabetes so if they have questions they should ask them. But if the doctor asks me a question personally, then I should be able to answer without my parents’ input.