Welcome to the teen years

If you were diagnosed as a teen, how did you cope with the change in your lifestyle? What have your friends, family, peers said to you about your diabetes? How have you handled the potential negative reaction or ignorant comments? How can you help people understand what you are going through? How can you set realistic expectations of what others think or know about diabetes?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) between elementary school and high school, a few weeks after I graduated from Grade 8. I had two months to get a better understanding of what I needed to do to be comfortable with having T1D and going to a different school in the fall. During that summer break we went on a family vacation. Within a month of being diagnosed, I had switched from needles to an insulin pen. The insulin pen opened the door for me to be more mobile as a person living with T1D. We hiked a lot during the trip and ate a variety of different foods giving me time to figure out carb counting and insulin ratios during exercise. It also gave my parents time to see that I was able to deal with my diabetes in various situations and ask for help when I needed it. By the time I began high school I was comfortable with the new addition to my life and talking to others about it. I’ve found that although people do not know much about T1D they have been very accepting. On my first day of class, I stayed behind for a minute and spoke to each of my teachers and explained that I had been just diagnosed with diabetes and would need to have a snack at certain times and if my blood sugar was low, I may have to leave class to deal with that.


~~ ​Anonymous ~~

 

In regards to the ignorant and negative comments or questions, they used to irritate me a lot. But since my diagnosis I realized that the people that were making the ignorant comments didn’t know much about T1D. There have been few instances where my diabetes has been seen as an inconvenience to others, or has been used as the punch line of a joke. I’ve learned to just calmly explain the situation, because typically these jokes are made because of misunderstanding or lack of information.


~~ ​Anonymous ~~

 

As a self-conscious person, I was scared to tell people that I have diabetes. I was afraid that they would see it as a disability or would look at me differently. When I was a teenager I was lucky enough to have a friend who told me she didn’t look down on me for having diabetes, but rather she found it amazing that I could still do everything I did. Since she told me this I’ve learned to view things in a more positive light. To help people understand what I’m going through I tell them to think of diabetes as a 24/7 job, where there are no vacations; where some days everything goes perfectly and other days everything goes horribly.


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