Having diabetes is a burden, but it can also bring maturity.
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
May 2010 — I am writing this column the night before my son's 14th birthday. In the past two weeks, it seems that both he and I have grown significantly. A couple of weeks ago, I met with his diabetes doctor to talk about the kinds of things we need to consider as he begins to think about college. We wanted to know what we need to keep mind when approaching colleges, what to look for in a particular school, what we will need to have in place for him medically, what kinds of services he will need, and what supports he should have in place.
The same day, he told me that he has a girlfriend, his first. It meant a lot that he came to me and told me on his own. He was honest about his feelings, and the conversation eventually led back to a talk about diabetes. He said he had been wondering about what it would be like when he started dating, how a girlfriend would feel about and react to him having diabetes, and whether or not it would be an issue in a relationship.
These seemingly unrelated events have had a huge impact on the topic of this column-how having diabetes as a young child can impact the rest of your development and maturity. I realized during the conversations about both topics how wise and mature he is for a kid his age, how many things he has managed to figure out at such a young age (like not wanting to date someone whose friendship you can't afford to lose if things don't work out), and how much he has learned about how strong he is. He knows how to be his own advocate, how to anticipate things that might happen, and how to make educated decisions about his health and safety.
There are so many things to hate about your child having diabetes, and I am never shy about voicing them. I guess it is just as important to comment on when it has given your child skills they may not have without having had this disease as a child. As many times as we have wished he didn't have diabetes, we can't ignore the strengths that having the disease has brought him. The knowledge, awareness and maturity that are required to manage so much responsibility affect other areas of his life and their impact cannot be ignored.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
One in Ten AMI Patients Have Unrecognized Incident Diabetes
Two New LDL Cholesterol Drugs May Have Big Impact on Heart Disease
COBA Conference Steers Forward in the Fight Against Childhood Obesity
Google Secures Patent for Glucose-Sensing Contact Lens
Medtronic to Use GlucoSitter Artificial Pancreas Software in Future Insulin Pumps - A Big Deal!
Garlic Bean Spread Elbow Macaroni Salad Curried Papaya Salsa over Flounder Sauteed Endive Picante Salsa Sour Cream Onion-Pepper Chicken Country-Fried Steak Enlitened Kosher Cooking - Light Waldorf Salad Apricot Glazed Vegetables Crispy Chicken Salad
My diabetes is changing. Until a few years ago, my morning readings were reasonable and within the desired range of under 100 mg/dl. About two years ago, they started slipping upwards into the less-desirable but apparently not-worrisome range of 100-110 mg/dl. Now, this was what was recorded by my Abbott Freestyle Lite meter, which is known to record at the lower end of the home-glucometer variability range, but with my A1c firmly in the high 5s and low 6s, the meter's tendency to...