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 **

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