TEEN TOPIC # 63:  Do you feel diabetes has affected your relationships with your parents or with friends?

Each week we ask our panel of Type 1 teens from across the country to answer questions about their diabetes.  Here are their answers to this week’s question.

Maggie (age 16)
I feel like diabetes has allowed my relationship with my friends and parents to become more involved. I think he have a better connection and that they take really good care of me.
Nick (age 19)
My family and friends definitely look out for me more than what I would consider normal. One of my friends on campus has a snack drawer reserved just for me.

Skylyn (age 16)
Yes, I do feel that in a way it has affected my relationship with parents. With my parents, I feel like sometimes that’s all we talk about. With my friends, I feel like it hasn’t really affected our relationship. Like my friends don’t treat me different for having diabetes.

Vanessa (age 16)
Not really, other than I feel like my parents are more worried about what I’m doing and if I’m okay more than they would if they knew I didn’t have a disease that basically controls my every next move. And the friends I make just learn about it and after they learn everything, we don’t really talk about it as much.

Annelies (age 15)
I think that diabetes has affected my relationship with my parents, but I think that it has affected it positively.  It shows them that I can be responsible and they can trust me to take care of myself and be independent.

Andrew (age 15)
I believe that my diabetes has affected my relationships with my parents and friends because they give me more respect as a result of having to care for my diabetes day in and day out.

Jessica (age 20)
I think that diabetes has an effect on every relationship I have, however, this by no means means it’s a negative one. In terms of my parents, they have become an integral part of my T1D management, which has helped us remain close, even when I am far away at college. I can’t say I think we would not be as close if I did not have diabetes, but it has certainly made the connection stronger. They understand how I act as a result of “bad diabetes days/moments” and help me through these various situations, as well as non-diabetic ones. It is nice to be able to count on them to vent and gather opinions because we are so close. When it comes to friends, I have made some that I never would have if not for having T1D. On the other hand, I have an extremely close-knit group of friends that I can depend on as a result of having diabetes. When I meet people I always explain my condition. This has helped me narrow down those who truly care and are here to help me whenever and how ever necessary, versus those that are friends I can call to hangout or do homework with but don’t necessarily understand my daily situation.

Ashley B. (age 16)
Diabetes has affected my relationships with my parents in the way that they watch out for me and offer advice on diabetes whenever I’m burnt out. My parents and my friends are my biggest supporters when it comes to dealing with diabetes. I also have a lot of diabetic friends, and I usually end up messaging them to check up on them or when I just need to rant about diabetes.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Not really. The only thing that I think has changed is they’re more worried about me now and my friends act like my mom when it comes to diabetes.

Cameron (age 17)
Not really. If anything it’s improved some relationships because they think “it’s cool when I prick my finger” in front of them. I’ve never had someone stop talking to me because I’m a diabetic.

Claire (age 18)
Yes, diabetes has affected my relationship with both my parents and my friends. My parents see with my diabetes, that I am independent, and now that I’m 18 and in college, they’ve loosened up a lot more and it’s just me caring for myself. My friends on the other hand, remind me and are quite helpful to me, in order to help me keep my care to myself to the best it can be.

Erin (age 17)
My relationship with parents has always been up and down but in many ways it has gotten stronger. Regarding friends, some are understanding and some are considerate but don’t fully understand. I’ve lost friends but gained many since being diagnosed that are second family to me. 

Ian (age 15)
Yes. Diabetes has caused my friends to hold back certain things for fear that they might be “dangerous” for a T1D. (To which I reply “No, I can eat/do that”) I also sense that the parents of my friends and even my teachers are on a heightened alert when I am with them, or when there is a beep or noise coming from my pump/ CGM. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying this in distaste, for I know that they are worried for my health and that means a great deal to me, but it would be nice to not even have to worry about such things. The only thing that I hate is when people treat me as disabled. Or even call me a diabetic, for I am not one, I just have diabetes.

Jordan (age 18)
I don’t feel like diabetes changed anything, people in your life learn to accept it as who you are.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t think it’s affected my relationships with my friends or family in a negative way. They’ve had to take on more responsibilities like knowing what to do if I have a seizure or something like, that but I don’t think my relationships have changed at all.

Laura (age 17)
I feel like my mom and I have grown closer due to me having diabetes. Other than that, I don’t feel like it has affected any of my relationships with friends or family.

Lexi (age 16)
No not at all. Especially with my family. I can still eat what I want. My diabetes doesn’t keep me from doing a lot of the things I love to do.

Haley (age 14)
I don’t think diabetes has affected my relationships. But, since I was a baby at diagnosis I can’t compare my relationships before and after.

Maddy (age 14)
I feel that diabetes has affected my relationships with my parents and friends because my friends are sometimes scared of my diabetes so I am not always included in activities with friends. My parents have dealt with me and my diabetes entirely, but my relationship has gotten stronger with my parents because of it.

Christina (age 15)
I think diabetes hasn’t really affected my relationship with my parents all that much. They still treat me the same as they did before I was diagnosed. However, with my friends, after I was diagnosed, I became very private with what I told them about my diabetes. I tend to feel uncomfortable telling them about diabetes because I think they might be bored by it or find it uncomfortable. Currently, I have been able to mention my diabetes and care for it more freely with my friends, especially with my track team because I trust them.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK #66 – What does it feel like to you to have a low? What are your symptoms? A high?

Each week we ask our panel of Type 1 teens from across the country to answer questions about their diabetes. Here are their answers to this week’s question.

 

Annelies (age 15)
When my blood sugar is low, I can’t concentrate and I feel light headed. I get really shaky and my whole body just feels taken over. I also feel kind of sad or upset.
When my blood sugar is high, my stomach hurts and I get a headache, and I tend to be a little moody.

Andrew (age 15)
When I feel low I get extremely hot and sweaty, I am very hungry, I feel weak in the legs, and overall I just feel tired.
When I’m high I get angry, I lose my attention span, and feel sick to the stomach.

Ashley C. (age 14)
A typical low for me is sleepy, sweating, and hungry.
High is being angry, drinking and not being able to focus.

Cameron (age 17)
When I’m low, I feel shaky and just out of it. Also my vision is blurred.
When I’m high, I feel sluggish as if I don’t want to do anything.

Caroline (age 15)
For me, I don’t feel lows until I am in the 40s & 50s. So unless I am really low I don’t feel the lows. I will be disoriented, but I won’t get shaky, dizzy, or feel like I am going to throw up until I am in the 40s & 50s. I also get extremely thirsty & don’t want to eat as well as I feel like I am floating.
For a high, I am mostly cranky & typically more sassy accompanied by an attitude. My mom says she can definitely tell before I can when I am high. I’m typically not thirsty but I still go to the bathroom a good bit.

Christina (age 15)
When I go low I usually feel shaky, sometimes very shaky if I my blood sugar is dropping fast. Another symptom I get if I go low is that my chest will feel almost fluttery and I will feel almost anxious, it is hard to really describe.
When I have a high blood sugar I feel very tired, extremely thirsty, my head feels foggy, and it can become hard to think.

Claire (age 18)
When I go low I feel shaky, while also feeling cold and hot at the same time. Basically take your worst flu symptoms and combine them with a low blood sugar.
A high usually makes me feel super grumpy and emotional, like I’m mad at the world. I usually am super thirsty when I’m high, and extra tired.

Erin (age 17)
With a low I feel shaky and spaced out and feel cold.
With a high I get really thirsty, tired and sometimes dizzy.

Haley (age 14)
When I’m low I basically feel like jello. I feel lightheaded, see spots, sometimes I feel disoriented and I’m really shaky.
Highs make me feel irritable, nauseous, and I get headaches.

Ian (age 15)
When I am low I get really sweaty and shaky, and I apparently enter a drunken-like state. Speech slurs, and I have trouble seeing.
As for a high, mainly dry mouth and increased need to urinate.

Jordan (age 18)
I can feel a low much more significantly than I can feel a high. When I am low I am shaky and sweaty, along with being extremely weak. I kind of feel like the room is spinning when I get severely low and I can’t really walk if I am very low.
When I am high I feel sticky and slow, and it is almost as if there is a fog over me.

Julia (age 15)
When I’m low I usually just get really shaky and dizzy and hot.
I don’t usually notice when I’m high I just get really grumpy.

Laura (age 17)
When I have a low I often feel like I’m on fire. That’s a weird way of explaining, but my whole body feels like I’m burning along with a terrible, shaky/unstable feeling. (I hate lows more than anything.)
When my blood sugar is high I feel really tired and emotional. I also get extremely thirsty.

Lexi (age 16)
When I have a low it’s like I get hot and shaky. I start getting paranoid and have anxiety attacks. Then I eat everything in the kitchen. Then when my sugar is back up it’s like all the energy has been taken out of me and I sleep.

Maddy (age 14)
When I am low, I can feel my blood sugar dropping. I am also very confused (cannot pay attention) and I have blurry vision. If I am really low (like 40 and under) I start sweating profusely and have trouble responding to questions.
When I am high, I am also confused, very thirsty, I have to go to the bathroom a lot (from the water), and I am having trouble with my vision.

Maggie (age 16)
When I am low I get extremely weak and shaky I also start to sweat and get really hungry. When I’m high I’m always thirsty and I feel like I’m in another reality like I’m spaced out. Also I have to use the restroom constantly.

McKenna (age 16)
When I have a low blood sugar I experience a number of symptoms such as having a hard time breathing, shakiness, dizziness, I feel weak and so very tired and I cannot focus on anything. Most of my friends or family say I go really pale as well.
When I have a high blood sugar I drink lots of water and my body feels like it weighs a million pounds so I don’t want to move or do anything of the sort. My mouth also becomes super dry.

Skylyn (age 16)
For a low, it really depends on how low I am. The lower I am the more symptoms I get and they become worse. The most common symptom I get is stomach ache but it’s like a special kind of stomach ache, like it feels a little different than if I was sick. Other common symptoms are a headache, dizziness, blurry vision, and getting very warm and sometimes sweaty when I shouldn’t be.
For a high, some symptoms are getting really thirsty for water, blurry vision, sometimes getting a headache or feel nauseated.

Vanessa (age 16)
When I am low I feel really weak. I feel weak, tired, sweaty, and hungry.
When I am high I feel really thirsty, angry, headaches, nauseous.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 67 – What is the one diabetes item you are most thankful for?

Each week we ask our panel of Type 1 teens from across the country to answer questions about their diabetes. Here are their answers to this week’s question.

 

Annelies (age 15)
I am most thankful for my pump because it does everything for me. I can go throughout my day and I know that my pump is already figuring out my basal and figures out how many units of insulin I need, and it makes me feel like I don’t have to think of it as much.

Andrew (age 15)
I’m most thankful for my meter and my glucose tabs because they always come in clutch whenever I’m low or have conflicting feelings about my blood sugar and need to check.

Ashley C. (age 16)
My pump is what I’m most thankful for because It gives me my insulin without having to take a shot. Also if I need to stop insulin for a while I can just unhook.

Cameron (age 18)
I am most thankful for my insulin pump, because I can eat more food and easily bolus for it. It also helps with control with temp basals and extended boluses.

Caroline (age 15)
My CGM, for sure. I would give my pump up before I gave my CGM up. I love that my CGM can alert me that I am low so that I am not hitting the 40s & 50s. I also love that I can attempt to treat highs before they get out of control.

Christina (age 15)
One diabetes item I am most thankful for is my insulin pump. This is because my pump has made managing my diabetes so much easier in my busy day to day life. I am grateful that because of it I no longer have to give myself multiple shots a day, can eat a bit more flexibly, and have a tighter blood sugar control with the pump’s temporary basal and extended bolus features.

Claire (age 18)
I’m most thankful for the insulin I take, as I love food and would be strictly forced to eat proteins without it, which would more than likely cause me to lose my sanity, as I love bread and pasta.

Erin (age 17)
I am most thankful for having access to insulin because not everyone has access to it.

Haley (age 14)
I’m most thankful for Insulin.

Ian (age 15)
The pump. It helps me conceal my T1D without sacrificing care.

Jordan (age 18)
The item I am most thankful for is my tester. Without a pump I could just give myself shots to stay alive. Without my tester I would be dead, so it is an easy choice.

Julia (age 15)
I’m most thankful for my pump because I don’t have to use an injection whenever I eat.

Laura (age 17)
I’m definitely most thankful my my Dexcom. (CGM) I always feel afraid to go to sleep at night because of lows but it helps me feel more secure.

Lexi (age 16)
The candy bags I have when I have a low I eat a bunch of them.

Maddy (age 15)
One diabetes thing that I am the most thankful for is my pump. Being switched from shots to a pump is one of the best things ever! My pump is so much easier than shots because it can calculate my doses and links with my meter so I just press buttons to give insulin.

Maggie (age 16)
One diabetes item I am most thankful for is my pump. It makes delivering insulin so much easier and you don’t have to worry about constant shots.

McKenna (age 16)
One diabetic item I am most thankful for is the CGM (continuous glucose monitor) because 1) it keeps me on track for my numbers and 2) I don’t have to prick my finger as often.

Skylyn (age 16)
One diabetes Item I am thankful for is my pump. For me, I can’t imagine life without it. I have been on the pump for like 8 years and I just love how the pump makes it so easy and quick to give myself insulin. I understand some people prefer giving insulin injections and it works for them but not me. I much prefer using the pump.

Vanessa (age 16)
Insulin

TEEN TOPIC #64:  Some parents report feelings of sadness when they look at the “before diabetes” pictures. Do you feel the same way or do you see things differently?

Each week we ask our panel of Type 1 teens from across the country to answer questions about their diabetes.  Here are their answers to this week’s question.

Annelies (age 15)
I was diagnosed at age 6, so I don’t remember that much from before I was diagnosed. I just think of diabetes as a part of me, and although it gets frustrating to deal with at times, I don’t really feel sad about it because I don’t really remember my life before diabetes.

Andrew (age 15)
I look at images and photos of myself “before diabetes” with a look of wonder because I can’t think of a time that I haven’t had diabetes and I am also in wonder when I realize all the great lessons diabetes has taught me. Without diabetes I’d be living a completely different life and those photos of me without diabetes remind me of that different life.

Ashley B. (age 16)
When I look back at my pre-diagnosis photos, it honestly is a bit unsettling. When other people see the photos, they always mention how unhealthy I looked and are pretty shocked that me and my family didn’t catch my rapid weight loss. It’s also bittersweet because I’m glad that I now know how to manage my diabetes so I won’t end up back in the hospital.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Not really. I’m still the same girl I was then, except now I have something attached to me at all times. Sometimes I look at pictures and wonder, “Why am I diabetic?” but, I get over it because I can’t do anything about it.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t really have a feeling towards the before diabetes pictures. I mean, I guess it’s kind of weird how when you look at a picture from beforehand, you realize how you would’ve never guessed you’d be diagnosed with diabetes shortly thereafter.

Claire (age 18)
I view my diagnosis as a great thing. While it was sad at the time, and quite a bit after it, looking back on it now I see that I wouldn’t have turned out to be the person I am today without diabetes. And so I will be forever grateful to my pancreas for leaving me high and dry without insulin. There’s no need to feel sad about what once was, because there’s so much to look forward to for the future.

Erin (age 17)
I’m not sure on my parents, but for me, sometimes yes depending what the picture was from what I consider it my pre- diabetes life.

Ian (age 15)
Yes, for I know that I might never be able to go back to not worrying about carbohydrate counts, or BS or having to carry around a bag filled with any and every necessity whenever I leave the house.

Jessica (age 20)
I personally don’t view looking in the past as pre-diabetic years as sad. For one, I don’t really remember life prior to diabetes. Secondly, I don’t believe this to be a good philosophy and way to live. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Therefore, there is a reason I was diagnosed. There is a reason I face these daily struggles. And I am strong enough to overcome each and every one of them. Looking in the past and feeling sad or bad about what your child/life was like pre-diabetes doesn’t change the present and future. What it does do is put you in a place to struggle more with acceptance and cause yourself (or your child) to not look at the positives. Look at the great community you are now a part of. That strong support system you have. The medical professionals striving to make you or your kid as healthy and happy as possible. I am not sad when looking at the past because diabetes wasn’t a part of my life, but I look at the past as a part of who I am and how it has shaped me into who I am today. I reflect on the happy times, regardless if I had T1D or not.

Jordan (age 18)
No, because most of what I remember has been with diabetes.

Julia (age 15)
My “before diabetes” pictures and my “after” pictures aren’t all that different. I’m still the same person I was before I got diabetes so it doesn’t make me sad to look at pictures or to think about what it was like before diabetes, because I can’t change the fact that I have diabetes so neither my parents or I should dwell on what life was like before.

Laura (age 17)
Not really. I’m just as happy with diabetes. That was me then and I’m still me now, same goofy smile just a different chapter in life.

Lexi (age 16)
Before I even had symptoms I had a great metabolism and I had so much energy. During the symptoms and in the hospital was probably the worst part about my diabetes. But after, now that I’m healthy, it’s great. I don’t feel sad or anything looking at old pictures. I don’t even think about it.

Maggie (age 16)
I don’t see before diabetes pictures as sad because I don’t have very many of them. I’ve been diabetic for 10 years so the it’s just kind of a part of me now.

Nick (age 19)
It’s been so long since I was diagnosed, I don’t really remember the “before.” I’m not sad about what could have been or anything like that; I’m myself, and diabetes doesn’t really affect that.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t feel sad when I look at pictures of before I was diagnosed. Being that I was diagnosed in 2nd grade which was almost 9 years ago, I don’t really remember a time not having diabetes. I guess I just kinda joke like that’s when life was easier.

Vanessa (age 16)
I don’t. And I guess that’s because I don’t really remember what it was like living without diabetes so my personally I think my childhood was the same as any other child I just had to check my blood and do a shot and other than that I was a happy kid.

Haley (age 14)
I was only 16 months old when I was diagnosed. I don’t remember life before diabetes. So, when I see baby pictures of myself, I don’t even think about it being before diagnosis.

Maddy (age 14)
I personally haven’t looked at pictures of me before my diagnosis because I don’t really remember my life before I was diagnosed. Looking at pictures of me as a little kid give positive memories but I don’t have any sadness with looking.

Christina (age 15)
I think feeling sad at looking at “before” pictures is completely normal. I sometimes am upset by the small things of my life before diabetes, like eating without bolusing and no pricks, however for the most part I am not upset by my “before” life. I think this has to do with the fact that I went for 6 months undiagnosed with my diabetes, feeling very sick. So, now I am grateful to feel healthy and happy, even if that means my life was drastically changed.

TEEN TOPICS – WEEK 62: Do you think kids should be able to decide if they use shots or pumps or is that up to the parents?

Each week we ask our panel of Type 1 teens from across the country to answer questions about their diabetes.  Here are their answers to this week’s question.

Annelies (age 15)
I think that ultimately it should be what the child is more comfortable with. I think that kids should give pumps a chance if they have the opportunity, but they shouldn’t feel pressured to start it or stay with it.

Andrew (age 15)
The decision as to whether or not a diabetic should use shots or pumps is a conversation that occurs between both the parents and the diabetic, but the final decision should be up to the child because the child is the one being affected by the decision.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I think it depends on the age if the kid because they have to be old enough to understand how it works and everything, but I think they should have a big say so in if they want the pump or shots.

Cameron (age 17)
I think the kids should be the ones that determine his decisions because they’re the ones that are going to have to either wear the pump or give themselves the shots. 

Claire (age 18)
I do believe that it should be the kid’s choice what they use. It’s the kid’s body not the parents, therefore the kids get the ultimate say. Now I counter that with if the kid wants the pump but the parents can’t afford it, the obviously the answer is not to get the pump. However, if both options are open, and the parents favor the one the child despises, then the child’s say is the one that matters most as it is their body. 

Ian (age 15)
I believe that it is up to the child, unless they: (A) are too young to do boluses themselves/ monitor their numbers. (B) Have a physical or mental disability that could be adversely affected by one or the other. Or (C) Are for the option that would cause a great deal of worry or trouble to their parent(s)/ guardian(s).

Jordan (age 18)
I feel like it’s up to the kids because it’s their body so they should decide what to do with it.

Julia (age 15)
I think that kids should be able to pick whether or not they’re on pumps or injections because they have to live with whatever they choose for several years so they should feel as comfortable as possible. 

Lexi (age 16)
Unless the kid is too young to understand, it should be up to them. In my opinion shots are so complicated especially for the parent. But the kid should be allowed to choose.

Maggie (age 16)
Kids should have a say in if the use shots or a pump. It is the kid’s body not the parents. The kid should be able to choose.
Nick (age 19)
As long as the kid has been responsible with their insulin in the past, they should be able to manage their diabetes in whatever way they feel comfortable.

Skylyn (age 16)
I think depends on how old the kid is and how much the kid will be doing when it comes to their management. If they are older, then I feel like they should have more of a say when deciding with their parents. I also feel like it kinda depends on the lifestyle of the child. If they play sports, then it may be better to have the pump. 

Vanessa (age 16)
Depending on the kid’s age, I think the kid should choose what they feel comfortable with and what they want to do as an everyday routine. But of course if they’re a lot younger then whatever their parents feel that works for the kid and their routines then they should choose. 

Haley (age 14)
I would definitely listen to my parents’ opinion and consider what they think is best for me, but ultimately I think it should be up to me. Although, I feel like there could be some situations where the parents might need to make the decision.

Maddy (age 14)
I feel that kids should be able to decide if they use shots or a pump. The parents definitely get an input, but I feel that the kid needs to use whatever they feel more comfortable and confident with so they can manage their diabetes better.

Christina (age 15)
I think that this decision ultimately depends on how old the child is. If a child is younger than 12, I really think that the parents should be the ones to make the ultimate decision, of course with some input from the child. However, teens should be the one to decide what method is better for their life because they are gaining independence and responsibility. An insulin pump gives you tighter control, but if the lifestyle of set changes and always being connected doesn’t work for you, then pens are a better choice. 

TEEN TOPIC #61:  If you’ve ever just given up doing bg checks or dosing insulin for a period of time, why?  What were you feeling or thinking?

Annelies (age 15)
I’ve never really given up, because I know that I have a responsibility to take care of myself and I don’t want problems later on. It does get REALLY frustrating, but not to the point where I just gave up.


Andrew (age 15)
I’ve never intentionally given up dosing or checking my blood sugar, but there are times that I’ve wanted to. The times that I’ve wanted to were always driven by the frustration of having diabetes. Nobody wants to take time to test or do shots, and when you have diabetes those are things you constantly do which can be extremely frustrating.

Ashley B. (age 16)
Most of the time that I give up with my care is because I’m frustrated. I might be following all of the rules of diabetes but my sugars could still remain in the 200’s and above. I also can normally feel when I’m low, high, or normal, so I guess that’s why I skip checking my sugar. Though I have a Dexcom, it’s not always accurate. I do test to calibrate the dex though.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I actually do this all the time but, I just don’t feel like doing it anymore so I don’t and then later I’ll start doing it again. I think that everyone with diabetes should have a day or two every once and a while and just not be diabetic that day.


Cameron (age 17)
Not that I can think of. I mean I don’t check my BG as much as I used to because of the CGM, but I’ve never totally abandoned it.

Claire (age 18)
I did give up. And it’s called “burnout” a lot of diabetic teens feel burnout. And it’s basically feeling like you don’t wanna be diabetic anymore, you’re sad, and tired. But here’s the thing, nothing will stop you from being a diabetic. I’ve been in burnout, and it doesn’t feel good. I’m still trying to get out of it, as it started habits for me that I’m trying oh so hard to break. While it might feel like you’re alone, and you just want to be normal, a.) you’re not alone and b.) being normal isn’t something to strive for. Being like everyone else is over rated when you are you. So embrace your pancreas that sucks at life, and don’t get burnout, cause it’s not fun to be in, and even harder to get out of.

Erin (age 17)
I have gone periods with not taking insulin or checking more than twice a day. Usually I was sick, but sometimes it was because I slept most the day. I have not had burnout thoughts or feelings that I know of yet.

Ian (age 14)
No. I have not.

Jessica (age 20)
I am certainly guilty of not checking and bolusing on time. I have never done so out of spite, but simply forgot or was too busy to remember at the time. When I forget to check or bolus it is usually due to stress with school and I am running from place to place, or intently studying. Every once in a while I will veer off the beaten path and feel or notice my lack of care. In these instances, I look to friends and family for reminders and help in maintaining high standards of my diabetes management. And of course, I always feel awful about not taking care of myself because I know it harms me and reflects poorly at doctor visits. Nonetheless, it is a hard thing to remember when you’re the only one who has to check and bolus.

Jordan (age 18)
I have had a period of burnout where I didn’t check or give myself insulin more than once or twice a day.  I was tired of being diabetic and I just wanted to pretend that I wasn’t for a while. But it backfired on me when my bg was very high and I had high ketones that wouldn’t come down.  I’ve never felt so physically horrible. That was a turning point when I realized that no matter how much I don’t want to be diabetic, I am, and if I don’t take care of myself I could really do harm.
Even now I’m not the perfect diabetic – I probably don’t test as much as I should.  But I do give myself insulin because I know that I never want to feel that bad again.

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never not taken care of my diabetes. I just think if I’m forced to live with it I want to live healthily.

Laura (age 17)
I always do my doses when necessary, because that’s the most important and crucial part of diabetes care. When wearing my CGM, I often neglect finger pricks and sometimes I go days without an authentic BG check. Still, I do have the numbers from the CGM so I’m never just going blindly.

Lexi (age 16)
Well there have been a few times I remember my blood sugar would never come down at all no matter how much insulin I’d take. But I’ve never given up on checking and bolusing like that.

Maggie (age 16)
I have never give up doing Bg checks or insulin for a period of time.

Skylyn (age 16)
I have never intentionally not given myself insulin and never would. That would jeopardize my health and be dangerous. It doesn’t make sense to me not to bolus and give myself insulin. I wanna be healthy.

Vanessa (age 16)
There was a point in my life and it went on for about a year/year in a half where I didn’t want to do anything for my diabetes. I didn’t want to take insulin, because I thought insulin made me fat. I didn’t want to check my blood anymore because I wanted to have the no scar or no rough finger tips like the other girls in school. or I just didn’t want to be the different one out of the bunch that got all of the attention. I was fed up with diabetes and I just stopped doing everything. I feel like every teen goes through this at one point in their life and it’s a bad time for them and their parents but it’s kind of like puberty, you’re going to go through it and you can’t stop it. You will get through it and so will your parents. As long as you get the support you need and the good friends that care about you and your health.

Haley (age 14)
I’ve never quit doing checks or dosing. Sometimes I get tired of it all, but I realize if I want to be healthy and stay alive I don’t have a choice.

Maddy (age 14)
I’ve never given up doing bg checks or dosing insulin and I would not encourage it because it affects your long-term health.

McKenna (age 16)
When I was first diagnosed with diabetes I hated it and everything around me. I constantly wished I was ‘normal’ again so for about maybe two or three years I refused to check my numbers and to give insulin. At the time I was just angry with the world and always asked myself, “Why me?” and I felt rejected by the other kids in my school. I thought I was the weird girl and I hated it which made me hate my disease. So I tried to be ‘normal’ like the other girls.


Christina (age 15)
I really haven’t gone through a time when I seriously avoided taking care of my diabetes. But, sometimes in public or with people who don’t understand diabetes I feel self-conscious and avoid testing my BG.

TEEN TOPIC #60: What are some of your top tips for carb counting new foods?

Annelies (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods are using Google and GoMeals. When in doubt, you can probably find the answers online.

Andrew (age 15)
My top tips for carb counting new foods that don’t have nutrition labels, for example food ordered at restaurants, are to ask for a carb count and use the carb information you remember from similar foods you’ve eaten. You can always ask for a carb count on the food you order at restaurants to help you count your carbs properly. You can also use the carb count information from similar foods you’ve eaten by using the carb counts from those foods to estimate the carb count in the food you’re eating.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My tips for counting carbs for new foods is comparing the food to another food. If you have a gigantic burger, compare the size of the buns with the store bought kind. If it looks twice the size of the store bought buns, the big burger’s buns would be roughly twice the amount of carbs as the store bought buns.

Ashley C. (age 14)
Guess and hope you guessed right.

Cameron (age 17)
I usually just base it off of foods that are similar that I know how my body reacts to.

Claire (age 18)
Guess-Ti-Mating is a good way to do it, but as you get further into your many years with this disease you can just kinda look at a plate or a cupcake and tell how many carbs it is. Don’t ask me how, it’s just magic. I’ve been at this 11 years and I can do it every time. New foods are weird though, I usually Google it, as the Internet has numerous carb counting websites that are helpful.

Erin (age 17)
I base the new item off something close in size or food group and make a guesstimate from that.

Ian (age 14)
Think about the ingredients. More often than not, if you can sense what the ingredients are and their amounts then you’ll be golden.

Jessica (age 20)
I think the best thing to do when carb counting new foods is the nutrition label or the Calorie King books. I always start there and if I go too high or low, I make a mental note for next time and try to adjust accordingly. After more than 16 years living with T1D, I have come to know how my body works and what carb counts work for me. But most importantly, I have learned that this is different for every single one of us. I have met some diabetics that always spike after eating pizza, no matter how much insulin they take. I, on the other hand, know that no matter what kind or where I get pizza from 35 carbs is enough to cover me. Until you know how different foods affect you (or your child) the nutrition labels and Calorie King book are my top tips to help with carb counting.

Jordan (age 18)
My top tip for counting carbs on new food is to go with the flow, if it looks like 30 carbs to you, give yourself 30 carbs worth of insulin. You can always correct later.  Also, most food is similar carb wise to other foods so just base it off of that.

Julia (age 15)
When trying to figure out the carbs for a new food I usually use the Calorie King app, but if it’s not on there I really just have to rely on guessing based off of other foods like it.

Laura (age 17)
I never use an exact carb counting method. When I was first diagnosed I was forced to, so I learned the carb content on a lot of basic food. Really all I do is take that prior knowledge and incorporate it in when I’m eating something unfamiliar.

Lexi (age 16)
Most of the time you can guess based on how big the proportion size is. If you’ve had diabetes for a while like 3+ years you’d get in the hang of guessing really well.

Maggie (age 16)
For new foods I will either look them up online or basically just take an educated guess and correct later on if I did to little or too much.

Skylyn (age 16)
My number one tip would be to use common sense and look up the carb count online if it doesn’t say on the package. Otherwise just take an educated guess.

Vanessa (age 16)
If I’ve never seen or had the food before I think of what’s in it and count it by that or I just Google it on my phone which is very easy.

Haley (age 14)
Google! Whenever I try new foods, I usually just Google the nutrition and serving size info and figure my bolus from there.

Maddy (age 14)
Some of my top tips for counting carbs with new foods is to break down recipes and count the carbs in the individual ingredients and then calculating the total carbs for each serving of the food and to also stick with meals with low carbs and a lot of flavor.

McKenna (age 16)
Carb counting new food? Well if it’s pure sugar, like candy or soda, cut the carbs in half. You may be a little high after but you just have to mess with it, experiment a little. But if it’s with a pasta sort of food count the full amount of carbs and add it to whatever other carbs you’re eating or drinking.

Christina (age 15)
When I was first diagnosed, I would carb count new foods by searching for it by name in the app MyFitnessPal’s food registry. This helped me to know what a pretty accurate carb amount would be for any food. Now, I tend to estimate, on the safe side, based on my BG, activity, and similar foods I know the carb count for.