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.