On Their Own
On Their Own
Im a big fan. My daughter is 14, a freshman in high school and has had diabetes for 5 years. Im gearing up for the day she moves out and goes to college. How did you deal with treating diabetes after moving out on your own after living with your family? I know we have a few years before this happens, but I want to be prepared. Thanks for any advice you can give.
All my best,
Oh my. How DOES one prepare for this? Um ... first of all, I think it's much harder on the parent than on the child moving out. Assuming your daughter will be about 18 when she moves out, she'll have had this disease for 9 years. That's a lot of diabetic miles under her belt. I'm sure she knows a lot about being a diabetic already.
I was 17 when I was diagnosed and 19 when I moved out. My difficulties were very different because at that time diabetes management was a lot of guess-work about blood sugar levels and all that. We didn't have the tools we have today.
I was also very lucky to have a doctor who pushed me to be very independent as soon as I got the disease. He told my mother to " ... put 3 meals a day on the table and stay out of the way, if Jim doesn't figure this out we're going to have LOTS of problems."
He scared my mother into letting me figure it all out. It was hard but I am grateful to him for that.
If I were you I would start letting her (and pushing her) to have lots of sleepovers and weekends away from the family. And DON'T CALL IN TO SEE HOW SHE'S DOING! Tell her she can call you if she needs help but I would try to let her figure it out on her own. I realize every case is different, but I think lots of parents of kids with diabetes take on too much of their kid's management.
Also, my prediction is that the next 4 years of teenage-dom will probably be harder than when she actually moves out.
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Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...