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.