The taste of freedom

What does freedom in general mean to you as a young adult?  How does this transition into living with T1D?  What are some reasonable agreements that you can make with your parents to help you gain some freedom with managing your T1D?  How do you build trust with your parents about managing your T1D?  What role do your parents play in managing your T1D?  How do you know when you are ready to self-manage?                

I was diagnosed at 14 and so the minute I walked into the Diabetes Education Centre I was told that this was my disease to manage and while mom, dad, my doctor, nurse and dietician were there to help me, only I could really control and live with my diabetes. At the beginning my dad, who is a doctor, was constantly on my case about what my blood sugar was and, especially while on vacation in the summer. We fought in the beginning over him letting me deal with it on my own and in the beginning we compromised that I just told my parents what my blood sugar was and how much insulin I was taking. I went to the Diabetes Education Centre a lot more in the first few months and once it became obvious that I could control it and deal with any highs or lows my parents stopped nagging me as much and let me manage my diabetes alone. There was a long time where they looked over my shoulder when I checked my blood sugar, but I think as I became more comfortable with  living with T1D and showed them that they could trust me, they gave me the room to do it myself. I am really lucky that they gave me the opportunities I had to travel alone, go to University away from home and to manage my T1D by myself even though I know at times it was scary for them. It is hard sometimes to remember that they are trying to protect me when they are being overprotective but as I get older I try to keep that in mind.


~~ ​Anonymous ~~

My parents never took control of my management, even though I was diagnosed when I was 12. I always counted my own carbs, gave myself insulin, and when I turned 14 I started going to my endocrinologist appointments alone. My parents did help explain my situation to my teachers and principal, and would attend insulin pump appointments so they could work my insulin pump if I needed help. But I think learning to self-manage early is so beneficial. My parents acted as my guide and helped me if I needed, but other than that let me figure it out as I went along. I know that the way my parents did it might not work for everyone, but with self-management comes more freedom, and I was always adamant that my diabetes wouldn’t stifle me.


~~ ​Anonymous ~~

Since I was diagnosed really young, I was doing my own blood glucose tests once I was about 6 or 7. I started drawing up my own doses by about 9 or 10 and doing my own shots at about that same time, or maybe even earlier. I was able to figure out my own insulin dosages by the time I started high school (13 years old) but I’d still sometimes double check with my parents just in case. By about 15-16 years old, I was doing everything on my own and I knew more about what dose I should have than my parents did.  As I got older the biggest role my parents played was as moral and mental support.  They are good at coming up with hypotheses about highs that seemed to occur for no reason, or just to reassure me that sometimes I’ll just be high and there won’t be any same reason for it. 


~~ ​Anonymous ~~

My parents would constantly remind me about filling in my logbook and to review my sugars. I got so annoyed by it, it made me rebel (which just made them crack down even harder). When I finally got over my rebellion, I proved to my parents I could manage my own diabetes by achieving two of my lowest A1C’s back to back. Not only did I prove something to them, but I also proved to myself that I was ready to self-manage. 


~~ ​Anonymous ~~
Lets turn type one into type none