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 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 #22:  Do you advocate for diabetes, like do walks, give speeches, or other advocacy?  If so, why do you feel it is important to do so?

Skylyn (age 15)
Yes. I do the JDRF walk at Mall Of America every year. It is important because the money raised all goes to research.  Not only that, but the walk is also very fun!!!

Mercedes (age 16)
I do advocate all the time, like mud runs, charity work, etc… I think it’s important because people need to know the truth about type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Lots of people out there don’t know the difference between type 1 and type 2 and doing these things help people to learn. It also lets them now that we are out there, that we do exist as a charity, and as a wonderful group of people.

Claire (age 16)
I have yet to do a diabetes walk, but very often I write poems and essays about what I have to deal with. It’s important to bring attention to diabetes, because it’s important to educate those who don’t know what it is.

Ian (age 13)
I haven’t been given the opportunity to do so yet, but if I hear a wrong fact, I correct it. If people ask me about it, I tell them. And If I hear an offensive joke, I shame those who made it. I would like to advocate very much though.

Jessica (age 19)
Of course! I volunteer and walk every year at the Walk to Cure Diabetes. I have also given 4 speeches at various events (including the Dream Gala and Walk Kick-off), been interviewed by Dr. Max Gomez with CBS, and been in a video for the Bag of Hope; all with JDRF. I also am a mentor to newly diagnosed families and babysit several kids with T1D, as well. Being an advocate is something I adore and empowers me every day.

Ashley C. (age 14)
We participate in the local JDRF walk to raise money and promote awareness.

Jordan (age 17)
I do because it helps raise awareness, and also raise money for JDRF, which helps to better my life.  I have done the JDRF walk, and I mentor a family with a young diabetic son and babysit for them.  I also started the Diabetes Awareness Club at my high school.  We do the JDRF walk, and held a Spaghetti Dinner Fundraiser to benefit JDRF.

Cameron (age 16)
I usually don’t do that, but when I do, I feel it’s important so that people can understand how serious it is and that diabetes is different from just being “overweight” (most people have type 1 and type 2 confused).

Luke (age 15)
I have participated in some local fundraisers for diabetes because I feel people don’t understand what we go through.  I also want to raise money so a cure can be discovered.  I know my mom knew what the symptoms were which helped me get diagnosed before something really bad happened.  Education is important.

Philip (age 16)
No, I do not.

Ashley B. (age 15)
I have done a 5k for diabetes awareness.  The only other time I advocate for diabetes is when a waiter at a restaurant gives me regular coke instead of diet. They’re usually pretty nice about it, but now and then there’s that one who thinks, “They don’t need diet, they’re skinny,” and don’t think of it as a big deal when they mess up the order.

Cole (age 15)
I do walks, go to camp, go to support groups, and babysit for diabetic kids. It’s important to do these because it sets an example. People will always be ignorant of what diabetes, especially type 1, really entails, but by being an older kid that younger kids can look up to, you can show them that there is a future for them, and it could be a pretty good one. I prefer advocating by being a role model and spending time with younger kids. They’re the future of this disease and the ones we should focus on showing it isn’t the end.

Garrett (age 16)
Yes. I walk every year with a group and raise money for research. I also try to help and encourage others that I know are diabetic too. It’s important to have people around that really understand what you’re going through.

Cody (age 14)
I have never done anything.

Josh (age 18)
I do the Diabetes walks. I love to talk with families of newly diagnosed children, and speaking to service clubs to get their support in funding diabetes research.

Zyler (age 15)
I do I feel it’s important because a lot of people have no idea how to manage it or even what it is, so it’s good to meet others with diabetes and show more people what it is.

Laura  (age 16)
I do not. I’m sure it is important though, to raise awareness. Also it could be motivational to other T1D people.