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LisaP

hi! mom of a recently diagnosed 16 yr old son.

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LisaP

hi there. my name is Lisa. i am a mom of a 16 yr old who was just diagnosed type 1 on tuesday.

what a shock! He is pretty stunned still and we are on day two of our new home routine.

 

any advice on keeping the teen-spirit up while learning to cope with diabetes?

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jenb

Hi Lisa. Wow - you all must feel gobsmacked! I can't really help with the teenage spirit thing, as I was diagnosed T1 when I was 53. I do know, however, that when I was his age I was pretty indomitable. I think we're a little like those punching clowns when we're that age - you can keep slamming us down, but we pop back up just about every time.

 

You might pick up Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Scheiner. He was just about your son's age when he was diagnosed T1, and he writes about his experiences in a really conversational tone. He also has super tips for optimizing an insulin program. I can't recommend the book highly enough. My copy is marked up and dogeared!

 

Best of luck. I know you feel like the rug's been pulled out from under you. After you get past that sense that this is all very surreal, you'll find that T1 is really managable, and that your son will live a long and healthy life. We have a number of members here who have been T1's for decades - I'm sure they'll chime in later.

 

Jen

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poodlebone

Hi Lisa,

 

Sorry to hear about your son. I was diagnosed when I was 19 so my mother really had no say in my care although I know she wanted to. I went into denial almost immediately. That's not to say your son will, but he's a teenage boy. I'm thinking about my nephews (non-diabetic) and the amazing amounts of food they could eat without even thinking twice about it. I'd say to try not to restrictt/change his diet too much. None of us like being told "you can't eat that!". With insulin he can pretty much still eat the way he did before as long as he covers it with insulin.

 

You might find that soem foods are harder to deal with because of the high fat content - fast food, pizza, Chinese food etc. If your son eats any of that regularly he might have to do some extra BG testing to find out how the food affects him. Fat can delay the effect of the carbs for many hours so his BG might be fine 2 hours after eating but really high 4+ hours later.

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Richard157

Hello Lisa! Diabetes is a manageable disease, and if your son takes good care of himself, he can have a long, healthy life. I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6. After 65 years of type 1, I am very healthy. All of the goals I have set have been fulfilled, and diabetes did not stop me. Diabetes made some of my goals more difficult, but I met the challenge every time. The struggle has made me stronger and tougher! I hope your son will be tough too, and have a great life!

 

Richard

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Chanson13

Lisa:

 

Sorry to hear about your son's diagnosis. I'm sure it is a shock and it will take a while for all the facts to sink in.

 

i was diagnosed when I was 20 - so i was already out of the house and my parents were very supportive, but smart enough to realize this was something I would have to deal with and they couldn't take care of for me. There is ALOT of information out there, and not all of it is consistent. I think resources like this website are invaluable, and I wish they had existed when I was diagnosed. Making contact with other Type 1's is probably really important for someone that age.

 

The main thing is that this is one challenge that your son has and it is a manageable challenge. He will have to work at it and take care of himself, but it is not a "disability." He can do anything he sets his mind to; diabetes will not change that.

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Steal
hi there. my name is Lisa. i am a mom of a 16 yr old who was just diagnosed type 1 on tuesday.

what a shock! He is pretty stunned still and we are on day two of our new home routine.

 

any advice on keeping the teen-spirit up while learning to cope with diabetes?

 

Lisa,

 

I was diagnosed at age 6, and I am now 31. My sister and I were diagnosed within 3 months of one another and she was diagnosed at age 3. The best advice that I can ever share is that you as his parent help him to know that this doesn't change anything in his life and that he is in control. It may get tough, but it is about getting to know what works for him. For me, it is a part of my life and something that is such a part of me at this point. I have no memory of not having it. The teen years are tough and it was most important to have supportive friends that I could trust. One of the hardest parts as a teen is that hormones are raging, so sometimes it feels like you try and try and nothing works. I would just say that you want your son to be the one that feels in control. Help him to be the driver and this will set the tone for his whole life. I went to Diabetic Camp every summer and then became a counselor. You should see if there is anything in your area. I made wonderful friends and it was amazing to be around others that were like me.

 

I used to do diabetic counseling as a teenager and speak with newly diagnosed teens and parents. For me, this helped me be empowered. I guess it is just a part of my personality. I never let anyone else test my blood or give me insulin. I did it myself since the moment I was diagnosed and would also help my sister. I think that is me, diabetes or not, but it really did help. Sometimes, as teens, we want to pretend like problems don't exist, but it is important that we are honest with ourselves and try to figure out how to make this a part of our lives and not something that in any way limits what we do. The better control he can find now, it will just become easier and eventually second nature.

 

Is he being put on an insulin pump? They didn't exist when I was first diagnosed, but I started mine at 18 and that changed my life. I started it when I went to college and it let me be able to live a typical college life and I wasn't regimented to eat at particular times. Once he and you have learned how he reacts to particular foods, carb amounts and insulin levels, this may be an option that your doctor will discuss.

 

I am happy to help, if you need to chat.

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Subby
hi there. my name is Lisa. i am a mom of a 16 yr old who was just diagnosed type 1 on tuesday.

what a shock! He is pretty stunned still and we are on day two of our new home routine.

 

any advice on keeping the teen-spirit up while learning to cope with diabetes?

 

I got Type 1 when I was 15. I appreciated the usual support, love, consideration, patience, non-judgmentalism that my parents afforded their other kids: I don't think there's anything all that different, except that your son is dealing with a condition that does put demands on him. The biggest issues for him may be dealing with denial and a natural resentment of having to deal with it so constantly: this may not be obvious or happen early, it could be a process occuring over years. Dealing with your mortality, having to be responsible for yourself and your long term health so constantly (or not), learning what is a reasonable effort and expectation to put in and to be at peace with the results, which may not be text book or perfect - these issues can be psychologically pernicious, and also have multiple layers. Encourage them to talk, and share a little of the burden of the management. Encourage them to have a healthy attitude to getting to the doctor regularly and getting blood tests done - even if there are issues with docs (I know I've had them) it's better to just show up and get the basics checked out, even if they are frustrating or not listening properly.

 

One thing that I did find frustrating was that as I learned what really affected my blood sugars, which involved many and most carbs and not just the old idea of "sugar" (for example, potato and bread are far more problematic for me than say, a teaspoon of sugar in a coffee), some of my family just would not update on that and would be frustrating diabetes police at meals and any time around food. (Happy to say they have since listened to me and largely just let me make my own decisions). If you can stay informed and connected on the real dimensions of his individual management, which may in fact not be type 1 101 from a doc or a certain textbook, but all the while fostering his own independence in such things, it would be a boon.

 

I guess that is quite a lot more than might be the case for your typical 16 year old ;) Good luck and remember this is a long game. A healthy proactive attitude and healthy habits are the most important thing to dealing in the long term, not conformity or discipline that is driven by guilt, fear, or anything like that that might lead to unhappiness and more denial. (Such things quite possibly being set off in the diabetic themselves...)

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Sneezer

I echo the purchase of the Think Like a Pancreas book. I would also suggest you encourage him to sign up on this and other diabetes forums and read and learn and ask questions on his own. No question is a dumb question from you, him, or anyone else. Many of the folks here have answered the same questions time and time again and we are happy to continue to do so. I just wish I would have found this forum long ago. I am Type 2 on insulin, so I can not begin to understand what he is going through, but others here do understand and can help. Good luck

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cdngoose

Youtube has lots of videos on Diabetes posted by families; patients and doctors.

I regularly spend time to see what is there.

 

One cute story is of a 9 yo girl whose A1C's were always in the 15 range but her

meter readings fell in the 4.0 to 6.0 range. When observing her, her parents found she was pricking her cat to draw blood.

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James Marron

I am so sorry. But I want to say one thing parents should be take proper care their babies. Due to lack of time many parents neglect this and avoid to do their responsible. As babies are very sensitive, they can easily affect by any disease. Be careful.

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