Advice newly diagnosed teen

(Marcia) #1

My son (14) was recently diagnosed. He’s being great about following his routine. I’d love to connect with other parents for support and advice. Today he is down in the dumps over sore fingertips. His levels are within an acceptable range per our endo but they seem to be all over the place.

(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #2

Hi Marcia @marciacue, at age 14, and newly diagnosed, it can be expected that your son;'s glucose levels will be all over the place. Of course I don’t have any idea what “all over the place” is in your eyes - but as long as MOST BGL are within the range set by a good endocrinologist, I wouldn’t be too concerned. Hormones at any age, and especially during adolescent years, [and insulin is a hormone] can greatly affect our body glucose levels - couple that with what is sometimes called “honeymoon period” when his body may resume producing [more] insulin at unannounced times.
I’ve had diabetes for 60+ years and I now try to keep my glucose levels above 90 and below 180 - before and after eating.

May I offer you some suggestions? [OK! ] Try to keep yourself fully informed about diabetes and encourage him to do likewise, watch him closely without apparently doing so and be available and open to listen to him. Let him live life just as any other 14+++ year old and don’t try to hold him back “because of diabetes”; encourage him to live his dream and live a long, full and active life.

I see you have just joined us, so a Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation! Visit here often, encourage your son to join too - there are many people here in all stages of living with diabetes who like me [non-medical doctors, but experienced] will share with you many bits of advice and suggestions. Look under the “Events TAB” at the top of this page for meetings and activities near you and if possible, attend a TypeOneNation Summit. Message me at any time.

(Marcia) #3

Thank you so much for your response and your suggestions are exactly what we are trying to do. We’ve gone on a family outing been to his favorite restaurant (as we normally would) and continued with life as usual with adjustments around his schedule. His numbers are for the most part within his given range and we have a great pediatric endocrinologist. Thanks again for the reassurance.


Marcia Cuellar

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(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #4

Enjoy the day Marcia - I enjoy restaurant food even though it is often laced with hidden carbs. So don’t be too surprised if you notice he has a higher than usual BG later today - just let him use the correction factor the his endo recommended.
By-the-way, The annual TypeOneNation Summit in Tampa is Saturday December 2, 2018 - really worthwhile for both teens and their families; breakout sessions for teens where parents are not admitted. Hope to see you there.

(Marcia) #5

Thanks again.


Marcia Cuellar

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(joe) #6

@marciacue Hi Marcia,

I was 12 when I was diagnosed and so I have a very good recollection about life before diabetes. along with what @Dennis alrady said, and the technical bit about diabetes and blood sugar, please be aware that your son may have difficulty with his recent diagnosis.

A diagnosis of diabetes to a young person, actually saying “you have an incurable disease” could be traumatic, and he may need as much help with the mental part of this as the physical part. For me, the isolation was that hardest part. No one can understand how lonely it can be when you are the guy with the needle in your hand.

The best way to fight isolation is to be a part of something bigger. Please check out the JDRF website because there may be a local chapter near you. You can click here for the chapter search area of the JDRF site page.

Being around others is a big help, so are self-help and support sites like this one. It can make a big difference in his perspective that he’s not alone.

Hope you are also well and are taking care of yourself - caregivers tend to get exhausted and frustrated as well.

I spent many years depressed about having diabetes, but to end on a higher note; today diabetes is a background and routine part of my life, which thankfully has very little to do with diabetes.

Please check back in and tell us how you are doing.

(Marcia) #7

My son seems to be taking it all in stride at this point. My biggest concern for his emotional well-being is how standoffish his friends seem. I know they’re kids and don’t understand but I wish they could see he’s the same kid. He’s starting high school this year and truly needs his social circle. I pray they move past it with a little time.


Marcia Cuellar

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(joe) #8

@marciacue hi Marcia… in my opinion, they are waiting to see what he does. it’s is a very strange thing - if he’s in pain and becomes withdrawn, most of them will back further away. It isn’t something you can control, and it is going to be whatever it is going to be. I stopped talking to my best friend over this - maybe he wasn’t actually my best friend, but at the time I was devastated. There will probably not be many people at school that he’ll be able to identify with - it’s just that type 1 isn’t all that common - that’s why the JDRF suggestion. the fundraisers are usually filled with people affected by T1D. it’s a good place to make friends and contacts. There may be summer camps (you’ll have to search) where the campers all have T1, and it’s another way to make contacts.

good luck to you both!

(Jennifer) #9

I’m new here too! When was your son diagnosed? My 13yo son was diagnosed 4 weeks ago (tomorrow). His numbers took a while to come down, but we are finally seeing them in range most of the time just in the last week.

My son hates the glucose testing, and is very anxious about having lows overnight (so far only has lows during the day when being more active than normal). We have our first followup tomorrow, and I’m really hoping we will be able to get him onto a CGM soon.

(Marcia) #10

Hi Jennifer,

Our sons are around the same age and diagnosed close to the same time. Christopher hates the bs testing too. His finger tips were very sore but we changed to the Geentel lancet and that has improved. We’ve learned to save his higher carb loaded meal for dinner and it keeps him from going low at night. His numbers are starting to become more regular but we’re still in the honeymoon phase.

I know this is a hard journey. I saw my mom’s fight with type 1 and I know my son must be diligent in his management of this disease.

Please stay in touch.




Marcia Cuellar

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(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #11

Hello Marcia @marciacue & Jennifer @ghbjcmom, just a thought to possibly help your sons with their BG Checking finger-sticks. And note that I dont say “testing” because that connotes a pass / fail; but rather I say checking because what you / they are doing is looking for a point of information - I could expand on this later.

When checking BG, do not use the central are of the fingertip, but rather use the sides of the finger and rotate between fingers and try not to use the same fingers consecutively. I’ve been finger-sticking from the days of using reagent papers long before there was such a thing as a BG Meter. I regularly check BG eight times a day and don’t use the same spot more than once every two days. Upper side of the finger on odd number days and lower side of the finger on even number days - 16 different locations. The side of the finger is less sensitive - fewer nerve endings.

(Marcia) #12

Thank you, the endo advised the same. It is much better with the Geentel lancet.


Marcia Cuellar

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(Tina) #13

Encourage the friends to be a part of it. Tell them about the juice boxes, the crackers and the glucagon for when they are all out together without adult supervision. Encourage open conversations without scaring them off. They will come around.