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.

TEEN TOPIC #59: What could your parents have done differently with diabetes care that would have made things better?

Annelies (age 15)
I don’t really think there is anything they could’ve done differently that would’ve made things better. I think that they’ve done a pretty great job so far when it comes to supporting and helping me.


Andrew (age 15)
My parents could’ve given me more freedom at a younger age. The sooner you start to become independent, the more independent you will be when you become an adult. If my parents had given me more freedom at a younger age that would’ve made things better.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I think that my parents are doing very well taking care of me. I also think that I’m the slacker and it worries my parents. They still show me what to do and remind me of things to do when I’m sick or changing basal rates, so that’s encouraging.

Ashley C. (age 14)
She didn’t freak out in the beginning I guess.

Cameron (age 17)
Trusting me more with being able to handle myself (such as sleepovers and going places far away and such).

Claire (age 18)
Nothing. My parents help out, just enough and they help me get the supplies I need to stay alive.

Erin (age 17)
I don’t have any examples or things that my parents could have done better.

Ian (age 14)
I can’t say. Things are going quite well right now.

Jessica (age 20)
I don’t think that there is one specific thing that comes to mind with regards to my parents having to do something differently when it comes to my diabetes management and care. Their motto “Child first, Diabetic second” has been one of the greatest ideals and choices that could have made from day one. They have never let diabetes stop me, keep me from my goals, or told me ‘No’ because I am a diabetic. We have always worked as a team to find ways and make plans that have my best interest at heart and mind, as well as making sure they are at ease and as worry free as possible. I am 20 years old and there isn’t a single time that I can recall my parents making a decision that have made my life more difficult living with this disease. I feel that I am successful and where I am in life today because of their ideals and support in my T1D management and care.

Jordan (age 18)
My parents could have gotten me the red pump case instead of the blue pump case.
But seriously, I wish they hadn’t been so scared the first few years. I wasn’t allowed to do a lot of things that were totally do-able, if they had just been more confident. The last 8 years have been a lot better, and now I am going off to college.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t think my parents could’ve done anything differently with diabetes care. They’re both super attentive to what I need and they always have been.

Laura (age 17)
I was way too sheltered, and they also used diabetes as an excuse, I feel like. I remember one year my mom didn’t get a birthday cake and she said the reasoning was because I’m a diabetic. (Which is ridiculous because I’d had cake before.) Diabetes is a terrible disease, but I feel like it’s even harder to manage with someone constantly on your back, and definitely should not be used as an excuse to treat someone differently.

Lexi (age 16)
I’m not sure. But most people know diabetes is a hard thing to learn and comprehend, especially to non-diabetics.

Maggie (age 16)
My parents are great when it comes to diabetes care I don’t think that they really could have done anything differently. I believe I know my limits with my care and that I can be independent and they are the reason I feel that way. I think they did a pretty good job with me.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’m not really sure what could have been done differently. Everything seems to have worked and is working so I don’t know what would have happened if it had been done differently.

Vanessa (age 16)
I don’t think there’s anything they could have done differently, I honestly think my parents are the best at their diabetic-parent jobs.

Haley (age 14)
I can’t think of anything they could’ve done differently to make my care better.

Maddy (age 14)
My parents could have been more determined to find information about the device types and brands and been more encouraging with my decision for a cgm and a pump. My parents were nervous about getting the devices for me and I had to heavily convince them into letting me get the devices.

McKenna (age 16)
My parents, in the beginning, could’ve been less protective or worried when I went to friends’ houses or when I played sports.

Christina (age 15)
Sometimes I wish that my parents would have been a bit more involved in my diabetes care from the beginning. That way my mom could help me test my BG when I needed her to or help more with a site change.

TEEN TOPIC #58: Have you talked with your parents or endo about drinking alcohol and diabetes? What have you learned?

 

Annelies (age 15)
I’ve talked briefly with them about drinking, but they always taught me everything in moderation and that applies to diabetes and drinking too. I’m nowhere near old enough to drink though, so I don’t really worry about it.

Andrew (age 15)
I have spoken with my parents about drinking and diabetes and what I’ve learned is really a life lesson that should be used in all aspects of our lives, be responsible. Drinking has a negative side effects to diabetes and if you’re going to drink you have to be responsible and understand your bodies limitations.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My mom has talked to me about diabetes and drinking, saying that before I move out I should learn how to drink with diabetes. I don’t plan on drinking when I’m older, but my mom said its still something diabetics should learn how to handle.


Ashley C. (age 14)
I haven’t had that come up yet.


Cameron (age 17)
My parents have told me that if I drink, it’s harder to sense when I’m low and that stuff. They said that if I ever do drink, just drink in moderation and be extra careful.

 

Claire (age 18)
I have, and I have learned that it can be more dangerous than normal people drinking. When drinking, as a diabetic, if you were to consume too much alcohol and pass out, your liver is busy processing the alcohol, and in the instance that you were to drop low, your liver should normally secrete glucose and stop you from dying, but in this instance, it wouldn’t. Which is why drinking with diabetes is dangerous.


Erin (age 17)
I have not but in the diabetic groups I’m in I’ve learned a lot about the do’s and do nots of drinking with diabetes.

Ian (age 14)
I have found that when drinking, you must drink with foods, and you mustn’t get drunk.

Jessica (age 20)
I have never had a diabetes talk regarding alcohol with my parents or my endo. However, I think that this is an extremely important conversation to have with both parties. I have done some of my own research to find out how beer and hard liquor affect diabetics. Nonetheless, we all know that everyone’s body is different and so not all T1Ds will react the same. Although many people frown upon drinking and talking about it with their underage kids, I believe that it is of utmost importance to have this discussion with diabetic children beyond the “it can affect you badly, quickly, and hospitalize you”. Not only is this a vital conversation for parents to have, but I think it is even more important to have with the endo present and continue the conversation at home. I have always been curious and slightly afraid of what can happen because no one has talked to me about it. I encourage all diabetics to reach out to their endo as well as do some research on their own.

Jordan (age 18)
I have learned to drink sugar while drinking and to not bolus when you go high because alcohol makes you blood sugar shoot up then it goes right back down.  I also know that I need to eat something fatty before I go to bed if I have been drinking to help keep me from going low.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t plan on drinking in the future. It’s just not an interest of mine so we haven’t talked about it.

Laura (age 17)
I’ve never talking to my endocrinologist about drinking. However, my parents have consulted me. My mother told me that giving insulin for alcohol isn’t smart because it doesn’t stay in your system, or something. I didn’t pay that much attention.

Lexi (age 16)
If you’re talking about alcohol, it has a weird effect on diabetes. It’ll rise your blood sugar and then drop it too. Most of the time when you drink you need to eat something with it. But with anything like sodas my mom usually helps me do a combo bolus that lasts from 3-6 hours most of the time.

 

Maggie (age 16)
I’ve never spoken to a doctor or parent about it but it is brought up a lot at camp and Friends for Life (diabetes conference). I’ve learned to be safe when it comes to drinking and diabetes; always have a designated person who knows how to take care of you because the signs of a low are the signs of being hung over. If you are having a drink don’t do insulin because you rise, then crash. Always try to eat something before you drink or before going to bed so you don’t crash in the middle of the night.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’ve always known that drinking is not good no matter who you are and I don’t have any interest in drinking. Even if my friends were drinking, I still wouldn’t. I have no problem being the designated driver.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve talked to adults with diabetes about it and they have only told me little about it. Or I’ve talked to other teens that drink already and what they have told me, I don’t see myself being a drinker.

 

Haley (age 14)
My parents have talked with me about drinking. I’ve learned that drinking alcohol can cause dangerously low blood sugar levels. Also, drinking excessively could cause me to not realize if I were experiencing a low.

Maddy (age 14)
I have talked with my parents and my endo about drinking with diabetes. Even though I do not plan to drink when I am older, I have discussed it before. I have learned that many alcohols have carbs and that my blood sugar can be affected by the alcohol that I consume.

 

McKenna (age 16)
I have talked to my parents about drinking and my endo about it. They say it’s very dangerous but especially for diabetics because if we get wasted then we won’t be able to wake ourselves up when we go low and it will cause our blood sugar to do weird things.

Christina (age 15)
I haven’t talked to my parents or endo thoroughly about drinking with diabetes. However, my older cousin who also has type 1 doesn’t drink because of how it affects her BGs, so I have learned a bit from her.

TEEN TOPIC #57:  What’s something that your parents do that you find helpful (diabetes-wise)?

Jordan (age 18)
My mom has OCD and neatly stacks my diabetes supplies so that’s pretty nice.

Julia (age 15)
My parents clean out my kit for me a lot because I forget and that’s super helpful. My mom also usually remembers what day I need to change my site so I don’t run out of insulin.

Laura (age 17)
I get really annoyed easily when it comes to managing my diabetes so when my parents really try to help it makes me frustrated. I think the best thing that my parents can do that is helpful and stand back and trust that I will be able to take care of myself without their supervision.

Lexi (age 16)
My mom texts me when I should test my blood sugar and I set reminders. Sometimes I forget to do it when I’m busy or distracted.

Jessica (age 20)
The most helpful thing my parents do is listen and help only when I ask. I am not a fan of people jumping in, taking control, and telling me what to do. I have always loved to be independent, and I think this is an important quality for all diabetics to have. One day we are going to be adults and on our own, therefore we must learn how to take care of ourselves, by ourselves. As I have gotten older, very occasional reminders to do something or did I do something are helpful, but when they begin to be too cumbersome or “what was your number” that is when I get annoyed and frustrated. I know how to ask for help and reminders when I need them, and I most definitely know how to take care of my blood sugars. When my parents understand that I am capable and if I need something/have an issue that I will come to them, life becomes so much easier and less stressful.

Maggie (age 16)
I find that my Dexcom and my mom texting me emojis when I’m low or high is helpful but the all the time signal losses not so much. Also I find my dad basing meals off of carbs a lot easier for me to calculate and not forget to bolus.

Skylyn (age 16)
Something my mom does that is helpful is she double checks everything before doing a set change. Like she makes sure all the parts fit together properly and work properly. This helps minimize problems such as blocked tubing.

Vanessa (age 16)
My mom has always come into my room in the mornings and checked if I was sleeping in, and if my blood sugar was high she would also give me a shot so that when I finally wake up I don’t feel sick from a high blood sugar. And of course if it’s low she wakes me up and has me drink a juice or eat something. But that’s just a little bit of what she does, if I had to tell you all that she did for me I would be talking for hours.

Haley (age 14)
They always do my early morning Lantus dose and I don’t have to wake up for it. My Mom always gets me cases for my daily supplies that are cute and easy to carry around. They’re always trying to find ways to help make things easier for me.

Maddy (age 14)
Something my parents and I find helpful is creating meal plans with carb counts so we can eat healthy and also plan ahead for me so I don’t have to scramble as much before eating figuring out carbs.

McKenna (age 16)
I find it very helpful when my parents don’t hover over me with checking my blood sugar or giving insulin. I also find it helpful when they’re understanding with the small problems I have with diabetes and when my mom is on top of ordering supplies when I’m running low.

Christina (age 15)
Both of my parents will gladly put my infusion set in when it seems like an impossible, scary task. Also, they will listen to my occasional rant about the unfairness of diabetes when my blood sugar is high or a low stops me from jogging.

Annelies (age 15)
Some things that my parents do that are helpful are reminding me to test, and helping me with carb counting. But most importantly, they’re always there as a support system and understand that I’m human, and I might forget things sometimes. They also understand that I’m still technically a kid and I want to be able to do fun things and they’ll help me figure out what to do with my devices and blood sugar.

Andrew (age 15)
My parents do a great job of communicating with my teachers and other adults in my community about my diabetes and how to help me manage my diabetes. Personally I’m very independent in my diabetes care and as a result I have an extreme dislike of adults constantly checking in on me and my numbers, whether or not I’ve bloused, etc. My parents do a great job of preemptively telling my teachers and other adults they run into about my dislike of their protective behavior and as a result I don’t have to tell them myself.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I find it helpful when I’m calculating how much insulin I need for a meal and they help me by looking up the carbs. 

Ashley C. (age 14)
She refills my diabetes bag as needed keeps my supplies organized, and she allows me and my endo to make my own plan.


Cameron (age 17)
Keeping my CGM in their room at nighttime so they can wake up to the alarm and I can sleep.

Claire (age 18)
They remind me to dose and do blood checks pretty often. But since I just turned 18 and am about to move into a college dorm, they’re sort of taking a step back and letting me fend for myself.

Erin (age 17)
I mostly do everything myself, and if I could do endo appts myself I would, but tried to once and they canceled it. Since I do everything myself, my parents just listen if I get frustrated, or with a lot this past school year call in because you have to be over 18 to call yourself out of high school. So I guess it would be being supportive and listening.

Ian (age 14)
My parents are willing to get up in the middle of the night to give me a correction for my blood sugar. The CGM doesn’t wake me up. But they wake up and help me. I love that.

 

TEEN TOPIC # 56: What do you want to be when you grow up, and how do you see diabetes fitting in to that career?

Annelies (age 15)
I want to be a psychiatrist, preferably in my own private practice. That means I can determine my own hours and if I need to take time off for an Endo appointment, I can. I won’t let diabetes rule my dreams and what I want to do, it’ll fit into my life and choices. I’m not conforming to anything just because I have diabetes.


Andrew (age 15)
When I grow up I’d like to be either a lawyer or a stock broker. In both of those scenarios I’d see my diabetes care as a crucial part of my job because in both cases I need to be healthy and mentally prepared for what I’m doing. Whether it be managing someone’s portfolio or defending someone in a case, I need to be healthy in order to do that properly.

Ashley B. (age 16)
When I grow up, I plan on going to college to be a biomedical engineer. Biomedical engineers actually manufacture diabetes supplies, prosthetic limbs, artificial tissue, and stuff like that. 

Ashley C. (age 14)
I want to be an occupational therapist when I grow up. I don’t really think it will have that much of an impact on my future career.


Cameron (age 17)
I still have no idea what I want to be, but I don’t think diabetes will effect it at all

Claire (age 18)
I hope to be an Equine Assisted Therapist after college. This is a Therapist that puts disabled kids/adults up on horses, as a part of their rehabilitation. I don’t really see diabetes holding me back from that, as I never have let a little disease hold me back. As far as it fitting into this life I plan to lead, I would hope it would fit the same way it does today; It fits, but can fall out of place and need refitting every now and then.

Erin (age 17)
This fall I’m off to college to hopefully major in nursing and minor in theatre. Depending what field of nursing, there may be certain things I can’t do at certain times if my sugars aren’t doing the best. I haven’t thought much on that, so I should.

Ian (age 14)
I would love to go into writing. If I had that career diabetes wouldn’t be a worry. My backup is veterinary medicine. Diabetes wouldn’t fit in to that well.  Imagine that you are preforming surgery and all of a sudden your blood sugar starts dropping. You can’t just leave.

Jessica (age 20)
 I am currently on track to become a doctor. I will be finishing my last year of undergrad before I take a year off, followed by medical school. Diabetes has been a huge proponent in setting my goals and helping me to achieve them. I have decided that I want to specialize in pediatrics and possibly something further. However, I know that I most likely do not want to do surgery (specifically brain and heart) because diabetes seems too unpredictable for the job. What happens if I go low in the middle of surgery? Or I am having a rough patch yet surgery is scheduled and peoples’ lives are on the line? To me, being a surgeon with T1D just doesn’t seem like the best path; luckily there are several other specialties I can go into! I think having diabetes will have a significant impact on my bed-side manner and personal skills when dealing with patients. I have been seeing countless doctors from such a young age, that my firsthand experience has shaped several of my ideals and goals as a medical professional. Therefore, I hope to give back to a community that has helped me grow in more ways than I can count, while make others’ lives easier.

Jordan (age 18)
I want to be a business man and go into International Business. I don’t really see how diabetes connects to that in any way, but I guess the tubing on a pump gets annoying when you have to tuck in your shirt for a suit.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t have any idea what I want to be but I know I won’t let diabetes get in the way.

Laura (age 17)
I actually am still not sure what I want to be when I grow up. For a while I was thinking psychologist, but my mind changes all the time. Regardless, no matter what career I pick, diabetes shouldn’t and won’t be a problem.

Lexi (age 16)
I most likely want to be a scientist or something along the lines of that. Of course I’d start out my working career as a simple cashier or something, but there’s no job I can think of that’s in my interest that would ever get in my way of working.

Maggie (age 16)
I want to be either a park ranger or a psychologist when I grow up. I can see either one fitting into my career based on education. If anyone asks what’s that or what are you doing I’ll simply tell them. Becoming my dream job would require more control and I would just have to make sure I was in my target range before I did anything with another person or went on a hiking tour. I’d just have to watch out for how I feel more often.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t know what I want to do as my future career. When I do, I know I’ll just make it work into my schedule like I do every day. I have to with school so it wouldn’t be much different.

Vanessa (age 16)
I’ve always been worried about my diabetes getting in the way of my life but when it does then I just deal with it at that moment. I want to be a cosmetologist and of course if my blood sugar is low I know I have to stop and go to the side to get some carbs in me but I won’t let it stop me from getting the job done.

Haley (age 14)
I would like to pursue a career in the field of pediatric endocrinology. Maybe a diabetes educator or nutritionist. I’ve been living with T1D since I was 16 months old, so I feel like that will have prepared me to be able to help T1D children. I think having a career in that field would have a good effect on my diabetes because I would be constantly learning about new treatments and ways to improve my own health.

Maddy (age 14)
When I grow up, I want to become a chef. I see diabetes fitting into that career in a helpful way. With being a chef, you are involved with food and preparations of the food. I will be able to experiment and can also figure out carb counts and the nutritional info for customers with a variety of health needs.

McKenna (age 16)
When I’m older I would love to play in the WNBA. Diabetes fits into this career. I would have to care for myself better and show other children that diabetes is a struggle but yet manageable and controllable.

Christina (age 15)
As of now, when I grow up I want to be a dietician. I foresee my diabetes aiding me if I become a dietician because it will not only help me deal with patients who have diabetes, or other disorders, but allow me to expand upon my knowledge about food. My diabetes showed me how my body reacts to proper nutrition and that could aid in my job.

TEEN TOPIC #55: Have your parents ever punished you for not testing or for forgetting to bolus?  Do you feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps you or makes it worse?

 

Annelies (age 15)
My parents never punished me, but they did explain to me the importance of being responsible with my diabetes and the long term effects of not taking care of myself. I feel like that works better than punishing, as punishing makes taking care of your health seem more like a chore than it is.
Andrew (age 15)
My parents have never punished me for not testing, nor have they ever punished me for forgetting to bolus. Personally I find the idea of punishing anybody for a mistake harmful. In my mind the harmful impact of punishing someone for making a mistake managing something as difficult as diabetes is even worse because it just puts more stress on the diabetic then they already have.

Ashley B. (age 16)
My parents have punished me for forgetting to check or bolus. If I do really well with my testing/blousing and I miss one or two, they’re fine. However, if I start slacking on my care they’ll take me off the pump and put me on shots, or my mom will take over completely. That usually means that I have to tell her my blood sugar and how many carbs I plan on eating and she’ll enter everything into my pump to make sure I’m getting the insulin that I need.

Ashley C. (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me because that would just make me not do it. I feel if you punish someone because they forgot to do something with their disease, it will just make the person not want to do it even more.

Cameron (age 17)
My parents never have, and I feel that it’s a bad idea to punish someone for forgetting to do something. Diabetes isn’t always the first thing on our minds and sometimes we forget stuff. It’s not the end of the world.

Claire (age 18)
 My parents do punish me for diabetes errors. For example, there was a short period of time when I was forgetting to do a BG before driving, which is a BIG no-no, so as punishment they took away my truck for 2 weeks. Which, at the peak of my senior year, both inconvenienced me as well as embarrassed me. However, it did get the point very much across that doing a blood check before driving is imperative. And I believe that the punishment didn’t make it worse, as to this day I continue my good habit of doing a BG before driving.

Erin (age 17)
No, they just say there’s always an experience to learn from. There were a few times this school year I forgot to give lantus and had to leave school. I don’t think punishing for error is a good idea with a disease, because we all make mistakes and can always learn from them. Sometimes punishing can lead to more mistakes.

McKenna (age 16)
In the past my parents constantly punished me for testing and for not giving insulin. When the disciplined me I became more rebellious and started evening doing it less which put my health in danger.

Christina (age 15)
My parents have a relaxed approach to my diabetes care, and I am pretty independent in my care. Thus being said I take very good care of my diabetes, but when I do slip up they do not punish me. I personally do not see punishments as a good way to help your child take care of their diabetes because it makes it seem like more of a chore, especially for teens.

Ian (age 14)
I haven’t been “punished”. I get more of a guilt trip. I don’t prefer this, because if I forget a bolus, I feel the onset of high numbers. It doesn’t feel good, and there is no way that I’d do it on purpose.

Jessica (age 20)
I was “punished” once in all 16 years of being diagnosed for not taking care of my diabetes. I was neglecting taking care of myself whenever I was hanging out with my former boyfriend. It was not out of spite or carelessness, I just always seemed to forget when we were out with friends. So, my parents warned me that if I didn’t fix it I would be grounded. Unfortunately, that time came and I was told that I wasn’t allowed to see him or hangout with him for a week. I think that in this instance it helped me get back on track. However, I strongly feel that grounding and punishing for diabetic errors does much more harm than good. T1D is something that no one likes or asked for, so why would punishing help make it better? In my opinion, I feel that this would only make the child hate the disease (and their life) even more. I believe that it is important to try to talk and connect with your child in hopes of figuring out a way to help and remind them to take care of themselves. Diabetes isn’t something your child chose to have or to do, like disobeying rules or breaking curfew, so punishing them seems unwarranted.

Jordan (age 18)
I feel like it is fair to be punished in certain instances because it is extremely dangerous to be messing up with diabetes.  I have been punished for not testing before driving, and my car has been taken away from me several times.  But I think that if I got punished for forgetting to test or bolus in general, I would just resent my diabetes even more.

Julia (age 15)
I’ve never been punished for forgetting a bolus or forgetting to test, but my parents have reminded me about it. Sometimes they get upset about it and I don’t think that necessarily helps me remember.

Laura (age 17)
Not really, but I do remember one time where I needed a help with a site change in the early hours of the morning and I had to wake my mom up, which was followed with a lot of intense yelling. The only way this situation helped me was to become more independent. Soon after this event I learned how to do everything by myself

Lexi (age 16)
Not that I can remember. I feel as if it should be a good idea maybe but most of the time my mom and I figure out better ways for me to remember to test, correct, and/or bolusing for my food.

Maggie (age 16)
My parents never have punished me for not testing or forgetting to bolus because mistakes happen and no one is perfect. I believe that punishing a kid for a simple mistake makes the situation a lot worse. The child will feel as though they have no independence and I think the real question is to step in our shoes. Do you really think if you had diabetes you would NEVER forget to bolus or check? If you think that then you need to look into how busy our lives are and step into our shoes.

Skylyn (age 16)
I haven’t ever really been punished for not bolusing or testing and I don’t think you should be. No one is perfect and sometimes you know when you’re really busy and in a rush, bolusing for what you ate may be forgotten. I don’t think you should be punished for something that wasn’t intentional like forgetting to bolus.

Vanessa (age 16)
I have been punished before for letting my blood sugar get way too high, but only a handful of times. I also feel like punishing a kid for mistakes with their diabetes just makes it worse because they already have to deal with this disease 24/7. If they get punished for forgetting a shot or forgetting to check then it makes it even worse on the kid. Now if the kid is doing it on purpose to themselves and lying a lot of times about their diabetes, then I do think some punishment is acceptable.

Haley (age 14)
My parents have never punished me for anything diabetes related. They have lectured me a few times, though! I think it’s helpful for me to be reminded how important being responsible with my care is.

Maddy (age 14)
My parents haven’t punished me but they have definitely been upset if I don’t test or forget to bolus. I do feel that punishing for diabetes errors helps me because if the punishment is something I don’t like, then I will do everything I can to not get the punishment again.

TEEN TOPIC #54:  In the summer do you mind having your D-tech more visible? Do you switch off from a cgm or pump if you can’t hide it under clothes or at the beach?  If not, do you mind explaining when people ask about it?

Annelies (age 15)
In the summer, I don’t mind having my devices visible. It’s a part of me, and I can’t really hide that. Although it can get annoying, I don’t mind explaining because not many people know about what the devices are, or what diabetes really is in general and it ends up sparking a new conversation.

Ashley B. (age 16)
During the summer, I don’t mind if any of my insulin sites or my CGM site is visible. It just makes for easier access in case something goes wrong.

Ashley C. (age 14)
In the summer I try and have it in my leg so I can give my arms a break. I also don’t really care if people see it; I’m not self-conscious about my diabetes. I don’t have a problem explaining my disease to other people, I actually love telling people about it.

Cameron (age 17)
I don’t really mind having my stuff being visible because most people that see it already know I have diabetes. I don’t mind explaining it when people ask me either.

Claire (age 18)
I don’t have any of those things. However, when people see me dosing or checking my blood, they often ask what I’m doing and I more than happily explain to them.

Erin (age 17)
I am not on a pump or CGM, however in general I am pretty open with checking and giving injections. Unless a friend or person has asked me to not check or give insulin in front of them I do.

Ian (age 14)
I don’t really like having my diabetes supplies visible, period. I don’t care either way, pump or pens, I can manage to hide them quite well either way.

Jessica (age 20)
I have never been the biggest fan of having my pump and CGM showing while at the pool or beach, or even when wearing a dress, but I don’t really have any other option. I could return to shots, but I don’t. I simply live with it and accept who I am. It is a part of me and if people judge or don’t accept that, then I shouldn’t be surrounded by them. I do occasionally go on a hiatus from my sensors for a couple of weeks at a time in order to give my body a break. I never mind explaining my pump and what it is for, however, I will admit that I can get annoyed if I’m with friends at the beach and people ask me tons of questions when I just want to have fun. Nonetheless, I don’t mind answering some questions or talking with a fellow T1D when in public.

Jordan (age 18)
It is not a problem to me whether or not my pump shows because it’s not like an embarrassing thing.  The only problem I see in the summer is that when I take my pump off at the beach I have to make sure that I put it somewhere shady or else it will overheat.

Julia (age 15)
I don’t really try to hide my pump or cgm from people in the summer or anytime really. I don’t usually wear my cgm at the beach but other than that it doesn’t bother me. People often ask me what my cgm is but I don’t mind explaining.

Laura (age 17)
This actually doesn’t bother me at all because I never really think twice about it. I think I used to be a little more self-conscious about it, but eventually accepted that it’s something I need to survive and I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it or try to hide it. As for the questions, they sometimes can get obnoxious. I guess it just depends on the time and day.

Lexi (age 16)
I don’t usually hide my pump from anything. Most of the time when I’m out I just go to a friend’s house who already knows about it. There’s nothing for me to hide and I would never want to switch from my pump back to shots.

Maggie (age 16)
In the summer I don’t really mind if my “D-tech” is showing. It’s a part of who I am. I would never try to hide it because I believe it is a part of my personality, and so what if I have this thing attached to me. If anyone asks what it is I just simply explain, “Oh, I have Type 1 diabetes and it’s my continuous glucose meter or insulin pump”. At Friends For Life (family diabetes conference) I got asked like 3 times what was on my arm so I just explained and spread knowledge about T1d.

Skylyn (age 16)
I don’t change anything. I wear my pump year round. I wear it in a case around my waist almost all the time so it’s never really visible; only when I am bolusing. No one really asks about it but if they do, I just tell them it’s my pump for my diabetes and that’s pretty much the end of explaining it.

Vanessa (age 16)
No, it never bothers me any time during the year for it to be seen. I am completely okay with people asking me questions about it because I like educating people on it.

Haley (age 14)
I’m MDI and I’m not using any D-tech right now, but if I were I wouldn’t mind if people saw it and asked questions. I feel it would provide a great opportunity to educate people about T1D.

Maddy (age 14)
I really don’t have an issue with my D-tech being visible. I don’t switch off from my cgm or my pump if I can’t hide it under my clothes or at the beach because then I can explain my devices and how they help me manage my diabetes better.

McKenna (age 16)
I wear a cgm, (Dexcom), and I don’t switch between a pump because I do not have one. But no, I don’t move it or remove the cgm if it’s visible because I forget it’s there most the time, it’s like it is part of me. I’m perfectly fine with others knowing I have a cgm.

Christina (age 15)
Since I have gotten my pump, I have always continued to wear it during the summer months. I do feel self-conscious about my pump being visible, but I don’t let that stop me from wearing it at places like the beach. On the rare occasion someone asks me about my insulin pump, I take time to inform them on what it is/does and about type 1 diabetes in general.

TEEN TOPIC #53: How do you feel about getting a new adult endocrinologist as you age out of pediatric ones? Are you nervous about it, or excited that you get to choose your own? 

Annelies (age 15)
I’m more sad than nervous. I like my endocrinologist, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to another endo. I’m not looking forward to having to do it by myself as an adult, I like having my parents in the room to answer all the questions I don’t know.

Erin (age 17)
I’m in a trial where every other appt since I was 16 I’ve met with an adult endo and I like them a lot better. Most of the time I don’t need to see anyone but my endo so it’s nice with an adult to not see the other people (social worker, PCA, and nutritionist). So overall I am excited and very much ready after this summer to switch.

Ian (age 14)
I am worried about it, because I fear that they’d be inferior or have entirely conflicting views to/than my current one.

Jessica (age 20)
I am not so much nervous for an adult endocrinologist as I am reluctant. I enjoy the practice and doctor I currently see. Therefore, I don’t want someone new. She knows me, how my body works and what works best for me. I don’t like the idea of having to start all over again with someone who hasn’t known me at all. I’ve lived with this disease for over 15 years so to change is going to be a bigger adjustment in life than most others would think. The one thing I would say that makes me nervous/worrisome is actually finding someone I like and can connect with; someone I can trust and look to for medical advice. I don’t want to be going to 5 new doctors until I find one that I like again. That can be a long, tedious and annoying process. Nonetheless, it has to be done and everything happens for a reason so I am sure I will find one that I enjoy when the time comes.

Jordan (age 18)
I don’t like that I am going to have to switch away from Dr. Daniels.  I am not nervous, but I am also not happy because Dr. Daniels is very supportive and has been a great endocrinologist. I worry that no one else will ever be like him.

Julia (age 15)
I haven’t really thought about getting a new endocrinologist but I’m not too nervous about it.  My parents will help me find a great one so I don’t think it’ll be too hard.

 

Laura (age 17)
I guess I’m sort of neutral about it. Some people get really excited about discovering new things about diabetes or being able to take control of their own illness, but either way I don’t really care and it doesn’t really affect me (as far as I can tell, at least). A doctor is a doctor regardless of what age I am.

 

Andrew (age 15)
I’m excited for the opportunity to select my own endocrinologist because it’s another step in becoming more independent and learning to live my life as an adult with diabetes.

 

Ashley B. (age 16)
I’m honestly kind of sad that I’ll have to get a new Endo, because my Endo is so understanding and supportive of me. We’ve known her almost 9 years now, so not being able to see her anymore will be a huge deal. I’m worried about choosing a new Endo because I honestly don’t even know what to look for in an Endo. Hopefully I’ll just get a recommendation from my current Endo or something for future reference.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I don’t think it will be much different because, my mom has allowed me to switch to different endocrinologists until I found one I clicked with.

Cameron (age 17)
I’m not too worried. I think getting to choose my own is pretty cool because it’s something new and I’m not forced to be with certain doctors.

Claire (age 18)
I’m sort of nervous to get a new Endo. My pediatric endocrinologist is, hopefully, going to hold onto me as I transition into adulthood. Fingers crossed he doesn’t get tired of me soon, or else I’ll definitely be anxious about having to “adult” as I go onto college.

Lexi (age 16)
It would be something to get used to, but I wouldn’t mind it. The one I have now is great, she’s fun and understanding.

Maggie (age 16)
I am kind of scared to find a new adult endocrinologist considering I’ve had the same one since diagnosis. I am also very excited to choose my own because I know that if I find one who is just as good as my current then I can continue to stay under control and meet new people and learn more things about myself that I never knew. It’s honestly terrifying to think about but in the long run it will be the best thing for me

Mercedes (age 17)
I am excited to go to an adult endo, mostly because of the change. Where I live there isn’t much of a choice of who I can go, to but it is still exciting to see the difference in people.

Nick (age 19)
If only I got to choose my own. Unfortunately, my insurance is limiting, and only covers one doctor near me. As for moving from a pediatric to an adult endocrinologist, I feel comfortable. I’m confident in my own knowledge as well as that of my doctors.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’m not really nervous or excited about getting a new endocrinologist as I become an adult. I have been going to the same pediatric one for about a year now and I think that she will probably recommend an endocrinologist for me to go to.

Vanessa (age 16)
I am excited because I feel like they will understand better than the pediatric endocrinologist, since they deal with older patients.

 

TEEN TOPIC #53: How do you feel about getting a new adult endocrinologist as you age out of pediatric ones? Are you nervous about it, or excited that you get to choose your own? 

 

Annelies (age 15)
I’m more sad than nervous. I like my endocrinologist, and it’s going to be hard to say goodbye to another endo. I’m not looking forward to having to do it by myself as an adult, I like having my parents in the room to answer all the questions I don’t know.

Erin (age 17)
I’m in a trial where every other appt since I was 16 I’ve met with an adult endo and I like them a lot better. Most of the time I don’t need to see anyone but my endo so it’s nice with an adult to not see the other people (social worker, PCA, and nutritionist). So overall I am excited and very much ready after this summer to switch.

Ian (age 14)
I am worried about it, because I fear that they’d be inferior or have entirely conflicting views to/than my current one.

Jessica (age 20)
I am not so much nervous for an adult endocrinologist as I am reluctant. I enjoy the practice and doctor I currently see. Therefore, I don’t want someone new. She knows me, how my body works and what works best for me. I don’t like the idea of having to start all over again with someone who hasn’t known me at all. I’ve lived with this disease for over 15 years so to change is going to be a bigger adjustment in life than most others would think. The one thing I would say that makes me nervous/worrisome is actually finding someone I like and can connect with; someone I can trust and look to for medical advice. I don’t want to be going to 5 new doctors until I find one that I like again. That can be a long, tedious and annoying process. Nonetheless, it has to be done and everything happens for a reason so I am sure I will find one that I enjoy when the time comes.

Jordan (age 18)
I don’t like that I am going to have to switch away from Dr. Daniels.  I am not nervous, but I am also not happy because Dr. Daniels is very supportive and has been a great endocrinologist. I worry that no one else will ever be like him.

Julia (age 15)
I haven’t really thought about getting a new endocrinologist but I’m not too nervous about it.  My parents will help me find a great one so I don’t think it’ll be too hard.

Laura (age 17)
I guess I’m sort of neutral about it. Some people get really excited about discovering new things about diabetes or being able to take control of their own illness, but either way I don’t really care and it doesn’t really affect me (as far as I can tell, at least). A doctor is a doctor regardless of what age I am.

Andrew (age 15)
I’m excited for the opportunity to select my own endocrinologist because it’s another step in becoming more independent and learning to live my life as an adult with diabetes.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I’m honestly kind of sad that I’ll have to get a new Endo, because my Endo is so understanding and supportive of me. We’ve known her almost 9 years now, so not being able to see her anymore will be a huge deal. I’m worried about choosing a new Endo because I honestly don’t even know what to look for in an Endo. Hopefully I’ll just get a recommendation from my current Endo or something for future reference.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I don’t think it will be much different because, my mom has allowed me to switch to different endocrinologists until I found one I clicked with.

Cameron (age 17)
I’m not too worried. I think getting to choose my own is pretty cool because it’s something new and I’m not forced to be with certain doctors.

Claire (age 18)
I’m sort of nervous to get a new Endo. My pediatric endocrinologist is, hopefully, going to hold onto me as I transition into adulthood. Fingers crossed he doesn’t get tired of me soon, or else I’ll definitely be anxious about having to “adult” as I go onto college.

Lexi (age 16)
It would be something to get used to, but I wouldn’t mind it. The one I have now is great, she’s fun and understanding.

Maggie (age 16)
I am kind of scared to find a new adult endocrinologist considering I’ve had the same one since diagnosis. I am also very excited to choose my own because I know that if I find one who is just as good as my current then I can continue to stay under control and meet new people and learn more things about myself that I never knew. It’s honestly terrifying to think about but in the long run it will be the best thing for me

Mercedes (age 17)
I am excited to go to an adult endo, mostly because of the change. Where I live there isn’t much of a choice of who I can go, to but it is still exciting to see the difference in people.

Nick (age 19)
If only I got to choose my own. Unfortunately, my insurance is limiting, and only covers one doctor near me. As for moving from a pediatric to an adult endocrinologist, I feel comfortable. I’m confident in my own knowledge as well as that of my doctors.

Skylyn (age 16)
I’m not really nervous or excited about getting a new endocrinologist as I become an adult. I have been going to the same pediatric one for about a year now and I think that she will probably recommend an endocrinologist for me to go to.

Vanessa (age 16)
I am excited because I feel like they will understand better than the pediatric endocrinologist, since they deal with older patients.

 

TEEN TOPIC #52:  Your parents are usually your support system at home, along with childhood friends.  Are you nervous about setting up a support system of your own when you go away to college, or do you feel it will happen naturally as you meet people?

Lexi (age 16)
It would most likely happen as I meet people, I’m great with making friends and I love talking about my diabetes

Laura (age 17)
I feel like it will happen naturally; I never really had to set up a support system to begin with, and even if it doesn’t happen that way, there’s really nothing to fear. I can always go back to my old support system (even if they won’t be physically there) or I could just manage on my own.

Claire (age 17)
I’m not really nervous about that, as much as I am at the actual task of making new friends at college. Apart from my roommate, whom I’ve been talking to for about 4 months now, I won’t know anyone else in any of my classes. It’s a little nerve wracking, but I’m sure once I get down there it’ll be fine.

Andrew (age 15)
I am an extrovert and finding fun, supportive friends has never been a challenge for me. I view college as a chance to just branch out even more and meet more people that will be supportive of me. So I really feel comfortable finding people that will support me when I go to college.

Jessica (age 20)
Having been at college for 3 years, I have already developed a support system away from home. For me it came naturally. I am open about my diabetes and, not only do I enjoy educating others, but I feel it is important to mention in case of an emergency. I am extremely lucky that I have 2 great friends (and a few others) who look out and care for me whenever I need it. I have always been the person to have a tight, small group of friends. I like to be able to rely on a few good people than a bunch where things can get lost in translation. I am a believer that everything happens for a reason, and so, for me, I didn’t really think or look for friends to count on at college; it happened naturally – they found me just as much as I found them.

Ashley C. (age 14)
I feel it will happen naturally when I meet good friends but, I don’t expect them to support me all the time, only when I need it.

Erin (age 17)
I already have a support system other than family

Nick (age 19)
Knowing that I’m only living an hour and a half from home makes things easier. My parents and friends aren’t too far away, and I can always rely on them. But I also make sure those around me are the responsible sort, who will be able to know what to do if something does happen.

Ian (age 14)
I feel that it’ll happen naturally. I personally choose to keep my t1 to myself, and hate meeting people BECAUSE they’re t1. I prefer meeting people because we share passions and viewpoints.

Cameron (age 17)
I feel like it will probably come naturally as I meet people. Most of my friends I’ve had throughout high school have supported me so I don’t see why it would be any different at college.

Ashley B. (age 16)
I’m not too worried about setting up support networks when I move where I want to, because I’ll have even more family around me than I do now. As for the friends, I’ll meet them when I meet them, and educate them on basic diabetes care.

Mercedes (age 17)
I feel finding a support system will be a natural thing to come across. You never know that person might be a diabetic themselves.

Maggie (age 16)
Honestly I have the best support system here. I am a little nervous about going away to college but it does happen naturally. I am very good at making friends, and the first thing they know about me is I’m funny and a Type 1. All my friends now know how to check my blood sugar and give me insulin, so it will be hard leaving that. But I do know how to train and teach the new friends I meet so I think I’ll be just fine.

Annelies (age 15)
In my experience in high school so far, the new people I have met have either known someone with diabetes, or have adjusted to it. At school, it’s happened naturally and my friends have supported me and helped me. I’m hoping it’s the same once I get to college.

Vanessa (age 16)
I feel like it would happen naturally as I meet new people because no matter where I go I make new friends and keep them so I feel like it would be very easy to have new people come into my support system.

Skylyn (age 16)
I am not that worried about finding a support system away from home. I do think that it will happen naturally as I am meeting new people and becoming friends with them. Through my future jobs and things I do, I’m sure I will meet people who will support me with my diabetes care. Also I can call my parents whenever I need them for help.

Jordan (age 18)
I feel I will naturally meet people who will become my support system this fall at college, and that it isn’t something I should force out. I need to learn to do things on my own.  Trial by fire.

Julia (age 15)
I’m not really nervous about finding a new support system because my parents will still be there for me. And I think the new friends I make, if I educate them about diabetes they can help me through what my parents and childhood friends used to.