TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 73: In regards to school dances (such as prom) or other fancy occasions – how do you handle dressing up with T1?  What do you do with your pump/cgm (if you wear one)?  How do you manage injections? Testing?

Annelies (age 15)

I usually have shorts under my dress, so if I need to bolus I can just get it. It’s usually not a big deal when it comes to testing and blousing.

Andrew (age 15)
As a freshman I’ve never been to prom, although I have been to homecoming, and from my experience managing your diabetes during those occasions doesn’t differentiate much from your normal care. If you test and bolus before the dance, maybe once during, and after you should be fine. When dressing for an occasion I wear my pump proudly on my waist and my cgm is covered by my clothing so I don’t change much for fancy occasions.

Ashley C. (age 16)
When I dress up for dances and have to wear a dress I wear nike pros (shorts) under it, so I’ll just hook my pump on to it. With my meter, I’ll just carry it around in my normal meter bag and if I have to test I’ll just go off to the side and test.

Cameron (age 18)
I just tuck my tubing under my clothes to where it’s comfortable enough to wear without being noticeable. I keep my pump and CGM in my pocket like I usually do. When I test, I just pull my meter out and do it because almost all of my friends know I have diabetes.


Caroline (age 15)
I wear an OmniPod & a Dexcom CGM, both of which are wireless, meaning nothing that has to be constantly clipped to me. I put my PDM for my OmniPod & my receiver for my Dexcom in my bag & I pull them out as needed for dosing decisions or to handle any issues. When I need to test my sugar, I just pull out my testing materials & test. Most people that I am with know I have Type 1 Diabetes & so there is no reason for me to hide my testing or dosing.


Christina (age 15)
Since being diagnosed I have been to a few dances where I have worn dresses. I like to wear my pump without its clip case in a pump pocket that my mom bought me online. The pocket discretely goes around my thigh and it keeps my pump secure and when I’m sitting down I don’t mind lifting my dress up a tiny bit to bolus. When I wear skirts I usually clip my pump to my waist or use the pump pocket. In regards to testing, I don’t like to carry a big “diabetes” bag with me to fancy occasions, so I use a Coach wristlets that fits my glucagon, test kit, low supplies, and a few other essentials. It’s the perfect size and keeps everything I need to test if I feel low from dancing or am about to eat.

Claire (age 18)
When I was in High School, for prom and other dances I would typically put my pens in a small clutch along with some needle tips and my blood checker. It wasn’t a really big deal, and I would just wear what I would normally wear, and when I inject I just pull my dress up a little bit, and when I check my blood I just prick my finger as normal.

Erin (age 17)
High school events it depended on what it was. If it was a game I went to watch I would carry the supplies on me to test and give injections if needed. For dances I would test whenever I felt I needed and grabbed my bag from the bag check in. Typically for prom/homecoming groups are beforehand so I would take insulin according to the meal and upcoming activity. Usually the dances had water and some sort of snack so I never had to worry much if I was high or low. I never had to think much where to put supplies as I always have a bag of some sort. For college now at events and games I just carry a bag like I did in high school.

Haley (age 14)
I don’t wear a pump or cgm, so I haven’t had to be concerned with what to do about them. I just keep my supplies off to the side (preferably where a chaperone can keep an eye on my bag) and if I need to do a check or injection I just find a spot to sit down where I can do it. I don’t have a problem with doing injections or checks in public, but I try to be discreet in case there’s someone who has a needle/blood phobia.

Ian (age 15)
I put my pump in my pocket and hide the tubing beneath my shirt and sports coat. I don’t check by blood, rather I rely on CGM for the night, which I check constantly on my pebble watch.  When it comes time to bolus, I do it through the fabric of my pants, using the audio-bolus feature.

Jordan (age 18)
It’s easy as a guy because we can clip our pumps to our waist the same as always, but with girls maybe try to find a dress with pockets to put your pump in.  I just test like normal, it’s nothing you should be embarrassed about doing.
Julia (age 15)
A friend made me a leg pouch to put my pump in so I can keep in on my leg under my dress. I just test my sugar when I need to like I usually do.

Laura (age 17)
I use omnipod which doesn’t have any tubing, so it’s very easy to dress up. I’m not really embarrassed of my pod or cgm or so I don’t go to any extra means to try to hide them. I usually have a side hand bag or something to carry my testing equipment in, and I just test as/bolus as needed.
Lexi (age 16)
I wear shorts like spandex under my dress, although I have to go into a bathroom stall or something because it’d be weird lifting up my dress to get to it in the middle of a dance. But that’s also why I love having a meter that syncs with my pump.

Maggie (age 16)
With school dances I’ll either try and find a dress with pockets and cut a hole in the pocket for my pump wire or I’ll wear a belly band. I usually don’t wear a cgm at dances but I do wear my pump. I’ll go into the bathroom to do insulin and I’ll test where ever I am.

McKenna (age 16)
For school dances I do not wear my cgm that night, I check my blood sugar before I eat, after I eat and in the middle of the dance when I need to get anything I go check my number really quickly. For injections, I always go to the bathroom, calculate my carbs and do my shot in my thigh because it’s easiest to access.

Skylyn (age 16)
I normally wear my pump in a pack that goes around my waist and at school dances, that doesn’t change. I don’t wear super tight dresses so you can’t really see my pump. I wear little shorts under my dresses so I’m all good when I have to bolus. And then for testing, I just keep my meter in my purse.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 71: If you had an issue related to your diabetes, would you feel comfortable enough to ask your diabetes team?  

Annelies (age 15)
Yes, I’d be comfortable. Your diabetes team should be a support system for you, and you shouldn’t be afraid to tell them if you’re having issues related to diabetes.

Andrew (age 15)
I would feel comfortable asking my diabetes team about an issue I have with my diabetes because I have an amazing team. I’ve had that same team since a young age and they’ve supported me through the entire diabetic experience with great advice and leadership. If I could give one piece of advice to parents about finding outside sources to help your child’s diabetes care, it’d be to find the right medical team.

Ashley C. (age 16)
Yes that’s the people I would ask because no one else would understand it.

Cameron (age 18)
Yes because they’ve always been here for me and supportive of me.

Caroline (age 15)
Yes, I would feel comfortable discussing it with my diabetes team. They are amazing & super supportive.

Christina (age 15)
If I had an issue with my diabetes I would feel most comfortable talking to my doctor rather than my educators. I have a great connection to my endocrinologist and she doesn’t yell at me because of how I take care of my diabetes. But, in an emergency I would talk to anyone from my team. I know I would feel a bit awkward asking for help. However, I have talked to my doctor over the phone during emergency calls when I needed my insulin adjusted because my parents thought it would be easier for me to change my pump settings if I was talking directly to the doctor.

Claire (age 18)
I would 100% feel comfortable because I know that the majority of them have gone through, if not the same thing as me, then similar things to me. And I’m always willing to hear others points of view in order to problem solve and find a solution that maybe I hadn’t previously thought of.

Erin (age 17)
Yes; I’ve had issues before and was not afraid to bring them up with my team.

Haley (age 14)
 Yes. I have an awesome and very supportive team, so I feel like I would be comfortable discussing any issues I might have.

Ian (age 15)
 Yes, however, I would only ask if I could find no answer that seemed purely legitimate and thoughtful elsewhere.

Jordan (age 18)
Yes, you should never feel embarrassed about your diabetes, it is literally a matter of life and death, so if there is an issue you should speak to your team.  Your team should make it a point to create a comfortable environment where all questions are okay to be asked.

Julia (age 15)
Yes, I would feel comfortable asking them for help.

Laura (age 17)
If there was ever a problem I wouldn’t be afraid to ask. I might be a little embarrassed afterwards but I always put my health first.

Lexi (age 16)
Yeah probably. Diabetes is a serious thing.

Maddy (age 15)
I would be very comfortable talking with my diabetes team if there was an issue. The job of my diabetes team is to help me when there are problems or miscommunications. I love my endo and she is always helping me with any problems I have, and helps me stay positive when something not so good happens.

Maggie (age 16)
I do feel comfortable asking my diabetes team if there ever was an issue. I have my doctor’s offices email in my phone just in case of emergency.

McKenna (age 16)
Yes, I would feel comfortable asking because the know more about it than I do. They’ve studied diabetes so, yes, I would feel comfortable.

Skylyn (age 16)
Yeah I think I would probably be comfortable asking my endocrinologist about an issue with my diabetes. If I wasn’t comfortable asking her, then I would probably ask other diabetics in one of the Facebook diabetes groups I am a part of and see if anyone on there has experienced the same thing and could offer advice.

Vanessa (age 16)
Yes, it’s always great to have others to give you advice about something you haven’t gone through yet but they have and it makes you feel better that someone else understands what you’re going through.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 70: Based on your own T1 experience, what advice would you give to parents of young children with T1?

Annelies (age 15)
Kid first. My parents always said that don’t hold your kid back because of their diabetes, just accommodate to the situation. You shouldn’t have to give up your life or give up fun.
Andrew (age 15)
I would advise parents of young children with T1 to give their child as much freedom and responsibility for their own diabetes care as possible because it will really help your child in the teenage years and later on in life if they’ve been taught this responsibility at a young age.

Ashley C. (age 16)
I would tell them diabetes isn’t as scary as it seems. It has many ups and downs but it’s all worth it. This disease isn’t all the same – each child’s T1D is different.

Cameron (age 18)
To not overreact because things happen sometimes that we can’t control. We all have days where it’s just a bad day no matter what we do.


Caroline (age 15)
Don’t restrict the child’s food. My parents never restricted what I could & could not eat, so I don’t have a problem with food now, whereas some parents have restricted their children’s food because of their Type 1 and now they have an issue with food. If your young one with Type 1 wants to eat something, let them eat it. Just bolus for it and move on. It’s not a huge deal. I’m not saying that they should have a hugely sugary diet, everything in moderation, but if you would say “yes” to your other kids about that food or if you would’ve told your Type 1 “yes” before diabetes, let them have it.
Christina (age 15)
Since I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 13, I don’t really know much about living with it as a young child. However, as general advice for parents of little kids with T1, I would say that they should not be worried that their kids will be limited because of their diabetes. Diabetes can’t stop you from doing the things you love; you just have to account for it.

Claire (age 18)
Let the kids have their childhood while they can. In my experience, I had to grow up a lot faster than all the other kids, and while this was both a good and a bad thing, I definitely wish that I would’ve been able to spend more time as a kid, rather than having to worry about myself. On the other hand, it is important that you don’t do everything for your T1D child, as eventually they won’t have you there 24/7 to help them. That’s why it’s important that you properly prepare them to be independent, both as human beings and as diabetics.

Haley (age 14)
Don’t give them a hard time if they make a mistake like forgetting a bolus or bg check. Living with T1 is difficult enough without having to be lectured or punished for making a mistake.

Ian (age 15)
Don’t freak out. Stuff happens, and you are not always at fault. Not everything can be explained, and ofttimes, attempting to do so will just waste precious time and energy. Additionally, you MUST NOT let your or your child’s life revolve around the disease. Bring up the topic only when necessary, and do not make them do anything they are uncomfortable with unless they must do so or die.  Remember, they are not “diabetic”, they simply have Type one diabetes.

Jordan (age 18)
My advice to parents of young diabetics is to let them do as much as they can themselves, because eventually they’ll have to learn. If you let them do it at a younger age, it will instill good habits into them.

Julia (age 15)
Some advice I would give would be not to be afraid to let your kids do something they want to just because of diabetes. Like sports, hobbies, etc..

Laura (age 17)
Be as understanding as possible and don’t pry. Being a young type one diabetic is sort of awkward and uncomfortable and even embarrassing. (At least for me it was.) Give your kid some to adjust and become more comfortable with diabetes.


Lexi (age 16)
Make sure they always have food and make sure they have a drink with them. Always make sure they check their sugar.


Maddy (age 15)
I would say, it is very important to be involved with the process of dosing, testing blood sugar, calculating carbs, but also teach them how to do it also. Once the kids get a hang of it, they will feel more independent and confident that they can manage their diabetes.

Maggie (age 16)
The advice I would give is to not treat your child like something is wrong with them. Teach them how to manage it and to live a normal life with t1d. Also, let your child go to diabetes summer camps. Making new friends allows them to have the feeling that they are not alone.

 

McKenna (age 16)
The advice I would give is do NOT take away sweets from your children just because they were diagnosed and do NOT take away “high” carb foods because you can give extra insulin for it, that’s what insulin is for. It’s used so your child can still be a child and enjoy the candy and pizza and cupcakes.

Skylyn (age 16)
I think one major tip for parents would be to teach your child how to count carbs very well; to the point where they just know how many carbs in foods without looking at the package. Knowing your basic math is also very important. It just makes it so much easier especially if you’re eating somewhere you haven’t been before. Just naturally knowing roughly how many carbs is in each thing makes it easy to get your total amount.

Vanessa (age 16)
Everything will be okay, and the more you learn how to deal with it and the child understands what they have, it becomes your new normal.

 

 

 

 

TEEN TOPIC # 72:  How do you handle dates or dating? Do you tell your date or boy/girlfriend about your diabetes?  Do your dates/significant others help you with your diabetes at all?

 

Annelies (age 15)
I think it’s important that your date/partner is informed that you have diabetes, as should anyone else that’s important to you. Just be open and honest about it, and answer any questions if there are any.

Andrew (age 15)
When handling dating with diabetes I don’t take anything too seriously. I do tell whoever I’m dating that I am a diabetic, but I also tell them being diabetic is not that big of a deal and I can handle being one. I find that it’s important to reassure them that you’re ok despite having diabetes. When it comes to my date helping me with my diabetes, it’s usually reminding me to bolus or test if I’m eating or going to the movies.

Ashley C. (age 16)
If I’m dating someone I tell them about my diabetes because, they tend to be helpful with it. I’ll tell them what I might look like when I’m low or high and sometimes they’ll realize it before I realize it so it’s very helpful.

Cameron (age 18)
I’ve had a girlfriend for almost a year and a half and she had already known about my diabetes before we started dating. She doesn’t really help me with it at all. The only time she will help is grabbing me something to eat or drink when I’m low. Also, she will drive for me if we are out and about if my blood sugar happens to go low.

Caroline (age 15)
I don’t date.

Christina (age 15)
I’ve never had a boyfriend, so I can’t really answer this question. I do hope that when I do go on a date I will be open about my diabetes because I have gotten a lot more comfortable about not hiding my condition from others (like classmates and such).

Claire (age 18)
I handle dating and things like that like I would with any other normal person who’s curious about my disease. I tell them I have T1D, and then if they have questions, which they usually do, I answer with detailed responses so they don’t get confused. Typically my SO helps as much as they can, but in the end it’s my disease and my problem, and I try not to involve them too much, especially if they’re afraid of needles, which a lot of them tend to be.

Erin (age 17)
I do not have a significant other or how teens say S/o currently. Going off my personality, I’m upfront on my diabetes after I start to get to know someone so if I was dating I would tell them on the 2nd date or 3rd. Handling diabetes on the date would depend what we are doing. As far as a significant other helping with my diabetes, and taking in my personality of being on top of my disease, unless I asked/needed the help I would just appreciate them being a support and understanding the ups/downs that diabetes can present sometime.

Haley (age 14)
I’m not “dating” right now, but I would let guys I’m talking to know about my diabetes at some point and I would hope they would want to do whatever they could to help me out if I needed something. Otherwise, I definitely wouldn’t date them!

Jordan (age 18)
My girlfriend is really good about helping me with my diabetes if I need help, like carrying my tester or glucose in her purse, and driving if I feel low, but other than that, diabetes shouldn’t be something that gets in the way of dates.  If you need to test just tell them what is going on and you’re all set.

Julia (age 15)
I always make sure my date or boyfriend knows about my diabetes. I just do the same things I would always do dealing with diabetes. And yes, they often help or try to do everything they can to help me.

Laura (age 17)
My boyfriend is very supportive of me, and tries his best to help me in any way when it comes to handling my diabetes. Relationships prior to this I would keep my diabetes sort of a secret, or on the down-low. Now I try to teach my significant other as much as possible, including how to make pod changes, give shots, and what to do in case of an emergency.

Maggie (age 16)
I have not dated anyone yet but all my friends know about my diabetes and how to handle it when I go out with them. When I am in a relationship I do plan on telling my boyfriend and teaching him how to take care of me.

Skylyn (age 16)
I have been dating my boyfriend for over 6 months and since the beginning, he has helped me with my diabetes and really just been there for me with it. He’ll ask if I have bolused for my food after dinner. He also asks if I’m feeling alright, not low at all. We were friends before we started dating so he has known about my diabetes pretty much the whole time he’s known me. As far as “handling” my diabetes, everything’s fine; like I’m not afraid to test in front of him or anything.