College, control...a lonely disaster


(ihlem) #1

This is the hardest thing I've ever attempted to do...Preparing for college, juggling a boyfriend that I no longer feel anything toward, parents pushing me in every direction...and my diabetes is slipping out of my control.   I am typing through tears, I just had a sit-down where my parents basically told me they won't pay for my schooling because why waste their money if I'm going to die wthin ten years due to complications from high blood sugars. I am at a loss for how to think or feel or act at this point. I don't plan on giving up, but I feel like a disaster, a lonely disaster. Advice?


(Kelsey12) #2

well it sounds like your going through a lot and to be honest...i probably can't be much help. I've never really gone through any of the things your experiencing so I certainly can't give you any advice from experience. But i do know what its like to feel overwhelmed with school and parents and friends and just life in general. Add diabetes to the mix? Its just too much. My suggestion, (for what its worth) would be to tackle each problem one at a time. Pick the biggest issue and focus on that alone....forget everything else for a while. It might keep you from being overwhelmed because everythings happening all at once.

"Everythings all right in the end. if its not alright, its not the end." (unknown)

Good Luck,

Kelsey


(Rosemary5) #3

The transition from high school to college and dealing with relationships coming to an end are very tough. Try and stay strong a postive! You can work to keep you blood sugars under control (if for nothing else than to prove your parents wrong). It's hard when people dont believe in you but I hope that you can believe in yourself and your ability to succeed. I would also reccommend a good day hanging out with your best friend(s) to help cheer you up. I hope that everything works out for you.


(CHLjoe) #4

I can understand where you are coming from especially dealing with overwhelming feelings of foreboding.  First, if you aren't feeling strongly towards your boyfriend anymore, alleviate yourself of that unnecessary stress.  You have to be fair to yourself.  Counter your parents ridiculous argument by telling them that you can pay it yourself through grants and loans.  I could be wrong and correct me if I am but this might be your parents dealing with the stress of your situation in a very bad manner.  A long conversation could help where they do most of the listening.  I agree with spending time with a best friend.  Mine has been there for me in some very tough times and I can't thank them enough for it.  Just having someone there to listen is a wonderful feeling.  High amounts of stress can rage on your BS but finding good coping techniques will help with that.


(tombeatson) #5

In spite of all the other problems you have, I think you should focus on getting your diabetes under control. That's a big problem, and it's unlikely that it will ever go away, BUT, if you can get reasonably good control you should be able to live a lot longer than ten years. I offer myself as an example: I have survived T1 for 66 years. The ones who only survive ten years are the ones who didn't take care of themselves.


(Adventist) #6

Okay, you need to pray.

I'm already in college and my mom told me that if I don't get my A1C to seven in a month I won't be going (I go to school in Ala and my home is in LA, A1C is at 8.6 or something like that).

1. If your boyfriend is not going to the school you are going to then you better be nice and drop him.

2. Apply for scholarships (fastweb.com,FAFSA)

3. Look for scholarships that your school offers.(GPA, Etc, try anything you can do to make your diabetes get you discounts)

4. Tell your parents that you will try everything in your power to bring your BS down.(if you overreacted say sorry [Always works])

5. If all else fails, consider community college (then transfer, the first 2 years are basically the same)

And you are never alone, because Jesus is always there, so read the psalms and things like that.

 


(system) #7

I've definitely been there. Giving up is sometimes the easiest thing to do... don't. I had a similar conversation with my parents a few years ago. They told me to shape up or get out. For me, it was the wake-up I needed to get things back on track, or at least begin making an attempt to get things back on track. It doesn't happen all at once and it will be a long road ahead of you. The amazing thing about your situation is that you have 6,000 people on Juvenation willing to support you and help you along the way. I wish I had that a few years ago when I needed it most :o)

Loneliness is a hard feeling to shake. My ex and I were together for quite a few years, but the last year or so wasn't a good relationship. It took both of us to realize it wasn't good for either of us. We were able to retain a strong friendship out of it, and I still feel like I can talk to him if I need to. Even though it will be painful and possibly the hardest thing to do, your relationship together may need to end. What you decide is completely up to you; we are here to help you through it. (c:

To help me through my rough times, I chose to go to therapy and an out-patient rehab program, on top of some strong drug therapy. The people there were able to give me the coping mechanisms I needed to not have a meltdown every time something went wrong. I also made friends with people who truly understood the hard times. My life isn't bad, and it helped to have others talk me through my feelings and share their own experiences. Sometimes just having someone pat you on the head and say "I understand" is what it takes to have the strength to move another step forward.

Your parents can push you in every direction--because they care about you, they are going to try. In the end, you have to live with the choices you make and the path you create for yourself. Don't make choices for someone else, make them for yourself. You know what is best for you. I agree with others who have suggested tackling one problem at a time. Set tiny goals for yourself you know you can acheive. If your A1C is 9, shoot for 8.8 next time. Any improvement is a welcome one. You can do this. You are stronger than the problems you are faced with. Take a step back, take a deep breath, and take the plunge into the life ahead of you. Everyone here, as well as your family and friends surrounding you, will keep you afloat. Good luck. We are here to help you through good times and bad. Let us know what we can do for you.


(system) #8

Hi Ihlem,

 I want to add a parents point of view. It sounds like you have some VERY caring and LOVING parents!!! They only care about you and want you around as long as possible. Tom said it very well take care of your diabetes 1st. I think your parents feel the same way. Trust me people will come and go in your life. Take care of your health you are worth it.

 


(sarahslp) #9

I agree with Keith. I suspect your parents are under as much stress as you are and decided to take a hardline approach to scare you into better control. Obviously, they could have gone about it in a better way that didn't increase your stress. But, from their point of view, they are about to send you off on your on and probably feel totally helpless in helping you get your D under control.

In my opinion, getting them to pay for college is your most important task right now. You WILL get your D under control when you're ready, but having a college education sets you up for the rest of your life. Can you go talk to your parents and say something like, "I think we're all under a lot of stress right now. I can see where you are coming from ... you love me and worry that I am hurting myself by not taking care of my D. But, when I am under a lot of stress, blood sugar management is harder. Can you please promise to pay my first year of college and then take it from there? In exchange, I promise to visit an endo every 3 months, get my A1c tested before each visit, and test my BS x times a day. Once I settle into college, my goal is to lower my A2c to x (something reasonable but lower) but spring semester. In exchange for paying for college, even if I am having trouble lowering my A1c, I will keep you informed about my progress so you don't feel like you are totally uninvolved." I bet you feel like YOU shouldn't have to go apologize to THEM, but it will be worth it if you get what you want. (:

Good luck! Having a college education means the opportunity to have a better job with health insurance so you can support yourself and keep yourself healthy in the future.


(ihlem) #10

thank you everyone, i was definitely having a meltdown last night...like you said i really need to prioritize and managing my T1 has to be on top...i made a deal with my parents that i can stay at my college as long as my A1C continues to drop...i also decided to contact my program director at my school to see if i can generate a jdrf fundraiser, not only will this aid research, this will also make my new peers aware of the condition and how to help me stay on top of things

ill keep you posted, my BG is 93 right now =)


(stilledlife) #11

Ihlem, that is the most mature and beautiful thing I have ever read!

Keep it up! You are a real winner!


(tombeatson) #12

[quote user="ihlem"]i made a deal with my parents that i can stay at my college as long as my A1C continues to drop[/quote]

There's one potential flaw in this deal: Suppose you get your A1c as low as you want it to be. You won't want it to drop further. So will your parents cut off your funding? I hope not, but the deal says they can.


(omgbre) #13

I am in your exact same situation, although I am blessed with a very supportive and loving family. But I was recently admitted into a hospital due to out of control blood sugars. They'd said if I don't somehow grab hold of my glucose levels within ten years I'll have massive complications or death as well. You aren't alone.

Also the stress and struggles due to escalating into "adult hood," college studies, and a relationship really do make it all that much more difficult to sustain control. My best advice to give you would to be drop all that is around you that makes you feel and bring negativity into your life. Focus on who is there for you and what makes you happy. Especially if you are only in this world for a short while.


Love. Laugh. Live.


(JDRF_SGG) #14

I have been there, done that, so I completely understand what you are feeling. And sometimes the pressure can be overwhelming at your stage of life. I went away from home to college and remember how easy it was to live in complete denial of being diabetic. I did not test as often as I should have and did not watch my diet closely enough -- being in college was a big distraction. But I survived it, and you will, too. It sounds as if your parents are trying to challenge you to prioritize your glucose control. And frankly, having been a college student with type 1 and now a parent myself, I agree with them that dispite all of the other things that tend to push the glucose control to the back burner, you absolutely need to take a deep breath every now and then and renew your commitment to prioritize your health.

As a positive suggestion for you, just focus on the very next test and after doing it, focus on what you need to do right now to normalize that glucose level. Somehow, for me anyway, it is much less of a burden if I focus on the next few minutes rather than the distant future. And, surprise! When you do this constantly, taking those "baby steps" of focusing on correcting each number and checking fairly often, your a1c automatically comes down. And it does not seem nearly as overwhelming.

So don't think of yourself as a disaster. Maybe this was all about a wakeup call to protect yourself. And if so, even if the discussion was not very pleasant, the result will be a good thing: you will feel good as your control gets better and your brain will be able to function better to handle the stresses of college studies, too. You sound like you already have been able to take charge of your emotions, and I applaud you. We all sometimes feel like we need to have a meltdown. I think we come through those situations stronger for it. Your suggestions to your parents sound wonderful about seeing if you can generate a jdrf fundraiser -- I hope that works for you. You are smart enough to see the social benefits of doing something like that, and I am impressed by your take-charge suggestion.  I am glad you were able to negotiate a workable solution. I would bet that your parents are glad, too.


(meme) #15

Hi,there is so much good advice above,no need for me to add to it.I do wish you luck,college is a new step.I noticed 10 years mentioned twice in this post --and complications.I have never heard of a certain # of years before complications showing up.I just wondering about that ?


(JDRF_SGG) #16

All studies have to set certain time lengths for their testing of patients, and it usually is some rounded number like 5 years, 10 years, or 15 years, etc. There is nothing magical about the number 10 in years with diabetes. Alas, whether we suffer complications not only depends on how well we control our levels, but also to some extent on our genes. Some folks just seem to be "lucky" while others seem to suffer complications. Doctors are studying to try to find out the whys. We have no control over whether we have the fortunate genetic makeup that seems to protect us or whether we don't. But studies HAVE PROVED that good control seems to make a difference in the onset of complications. The number suggested by older studies is an a1c of 7 or below. But new studies are suggesting that protection from complications happens with an a1c of as close to 6 as possible, even below 6 if this can be done without risk of severe hypos. So the ideal number seems to be dropping lower these days.

I will never forget one young woman who wrote in to the JDRF Online Diabetes Support Team (ODST) who was suffering from diabetic cataracts. She was only 18 and her cataracts happened before she was even diagnosed! So she had not been diabetic all that long (or she would have been sick enough to know that something was wrong) and never even had the chance to take good control of her glucose. The damage happened and this is what sent her to the doctor to discover that she was diabetic. At the time, she was depressed and angry at the world, and I can't say that I could blame her. How unfair!!! The point is that the damages can happen at any age. We don't hear of the teens with complications too often, and so I think most of us don't really think that a teen is in danger.

One other young man, the son of a friend, started having digestive tract problems very early -- gastroparesis. He is in his mid-twenties now and has a feeding tube because solid food just won't digest. He tells his mother that he would give anything to go back to his teen years and to tighten up his control.

And yet, you have someone like me who grew up in the dark ages of diabetic care and who managed to avoid all complications after 40 years on insulin despite poor control in my younger years. One just never knows. So I guess we need to give ourselves the best chance we can by controlling those numbers as best we can.

 


(meme) #17

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer this.Reading this has my attention-I want my daughter to read it too.Just thinking of college years makes a parent concerned -add d to it and the stress level goes up....Thanks again for the answer to my question.


(Eric_Carpenter) #18

I'm glad you are doing better, I went through a similar situation back in the day.  One thing you might consider is trying to get your parents to agree to talk with someone you all trust and respect, be it a therapist, endocrinologist, whoever.  Yes, your parents are probably just concerned about you.  However, outbursts about you dying in 10 years are uncalled for.  You haven't even started college yet and they are threatening you with money...that is uncalled for.  The extra stress from worrying about improving your A1C while handling the transition to college could hurt your control.  It sounds like you are indeed worried about your diabetes, so pat yourself on the back (not everyone cares about consequences).  Your parents need to understand that your education is the key to your future, and keeping you out of college only hurts your chances of taking care of your diabetes in the future.  What you need is support, not ultimatums.  College is new, they should expect a hiccup or two in terms of grades, diabetes, and LIFE. 

While I hope it does not come to this, you might want to get in touch with your school's financial aid office and look into what to do if you do end up having to support yourself.  Student loans aren't that terrible, I've got plenty of them myself :)


(kneazle_lady) #19

There are many things I would like to say to you. I learned something through my own experiences...if you always tell yourself that you will keep looking for a way until one appears, then you will realize that there is always a way. It might not happen right away, but there is a way, always, if it is searched for long enough. You are the person who must look for it. And every time you find an answer, you will become more sure that the next time, you can carry yourself there as well.

Also, be careful about emotional arguments...I would want to know how much your parents really understand about T1. Is there someone who can serve as an advocate, someone they would listen to? The more controlling a person is, generally speaking, the more out of control that person feels.

If you're anything like I was, you take on other people's feelings and live them out. You don't have to do this. Let them have their fears. You have enough of your own, right? You are not a disaster. Take it easy on yourself. Thoughts about complications never were much of a help in choosing better strategies for self care and still fail to motivate me to do anything but imagine myself helpless and already there.

I pulled a slightly lower A1c this time around, and I'd like to do a little better the next time...I have bad days where I feel frozen, but I pick myself up, rearrange my brain a little, realize that I am not my mistakes, and move on.

I'm curious what you, not anyone else, but you, would like to do. What would you do, if you could do anything, and not fail? I'm pretty much saying the same thing as everyone else here.