Type 1 Diabetes Teen Transition to Independence

Type 1 Diabetes Teen Transition to Independence

Will you ever sleep again? As a parent of a son with Type 1 Diabetes, I get asked this question a lot from weary parents. Type 1 Diabetes teen transition to independence can seem incredibly elusive. As much as we want to let go, there is nothing more fearful than doing exactly that.

That day will come though. That should be exactly your goal!

But the parental strings of a Type 1 parent are incredibly strong. I must admit, each time I watch my T1 son drive off to college, I fear I will I never seen him alive again.

There I said it!
This is my biggest fear!!!

Tristan Edgar Type 1 To Go

We have
transitioned
through the
challenging teen
years with T1D.


We are in a
much better
place of
independence
at age 20.

 

So I wave and wave until he is well out of site and try to capture that moment in my brain forever. Praise God!!!  He does keep coming home… despite my fears and the pit in my stomach. Yes.  I do sleep now. He is 500 miles from me. My worry must be placed in his hands with confidence that he can live each day successfully on his own… despite Type 1 Diabetes.

Yes. You will sleep again. You will be absolutely exhausted.

Type 1 Diabetes transition to independence is not about flipping a switch and saying “let it be so!” It happens gradually with lots of coaching in between.

Let’s be real, it will likely be very tumultuous. The parental strings of a Type 1 parent are strong – like “steel” strong! Teens are strong too!  Preparing to break those ties – they will find ways to break them, to leave you, to live independently…with or without Type 1 Diabetes.

As it should be”… get ready!

If you are blessed beyond measure like we have been, some day, your Type 1 child will call and say, “I met someone!”  You will know all your prayers have been answered especially when he adds “and she is a nursing student”.

Hallellujah!! Jackpot!

Now granted, I love this sweet girl that Tristan has brought into our lives but their future is totally in God’s hands. I just know that during this transition into Type 1 Diabetes adulthood, Amanda has been a huge supporter. She has taken a keen interest in his diabetes.

Amanda & Tristan
have been dating
since his Freshman year
of college. She is part of
his new college
T1D Support Team
away from home. 

 

Tristan Edgar and Amanda Hodge T1 Teamwork

The day she attended his endocrinology appointment instead of us, it was a monumental day. My son is creating a care team that still includes us but is not all about us.

This last visit home from college, he showed me his NEW emergency notification identification. He had lost his old one at work and he had to order a brand new tag.

Ever since a hypoglycemic episode in his teens, we have insisted he wear one with our name and cell numbers on the back.

This one was different though. Right above “Mom” was “Amanda”. His first point of contact would be his girlfriend of two years.

My first thought…”As it should be!!!”

Type Diabetes Teen Emergency Support Network

I will still worry because that’s just what I do as a mom. Being 500 miles from home means Tristan needs a local support team. Amanda is invested in his diabetes management like we are. She is not replacing us but she is an integral part of his team.  We work together.

Our son's roommates and friends also have our cell phone numbers. It's nice to know there are others watching out for him.

Despite tumultuous teen years,Tristan has transitioned into a remarkable young man. We are all his T1D Support Team but he has added his own team members now .

“As it should be!!!”

Written by Anne Imber
published on 1/20/2018 on www.Type1ToGo.com 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website www.Type1ToGo.com provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Tristan Edgar has agreed to let his mom share their stories about raising a Type 1 Diabetic Teen. The family hopes their experiences can benefit other families living with diabetes.

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This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
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Giving Birth to an Independent Teen

Giving Birth to an Independent Teen

Giving Birth to an Independent Teen

Parenting a Type 1 Diabetic Teen

Giving birth to an independent teen is very painful. The realization that it’s a lot like giving birth except to a larger human being just hit me. This is the second time I am going through this… this time I am much smarter.  At least I know what it is this time!

Raising a teen with Type 1 Diabetes is one of the most challenging things I have ever faced. But let’s face it, raising a teen is challenging…period. It’s actually supposed to be painful for a reason.

When I was pregnant with my first child, I found it very difficult to sleep through the night that final month. I found it difficult to get comfortable and had to keep getting up to pee during the night. This meant I would start my days quiet exhausted.

I kept thinking “if only I could just have this baby so I could sleep through the night!”

Ha! The joke was on me! Sleeping through the night was not in my future for a long time.

 

Anne Imber
shows off her
future independent
teen in 1997.

Tristan Edgar is living now with Type 1 Diabetes

 

The start of
many sleepless
nights with her
son, Tristan. 

But in some ways, the sleepless nights before birth prepared me for the sleepless nights that came after the birth. It’s like my body knew I needed a gradual preparation for this life altering event. Giving birth to an independent teen can be a very similar experience.

As I prepare to send my youngest off to college next Fall, we are continuously butting heads. Normally, my teen daughter is cheerful and very easy going. But lately for some reason she seems to have an opinion on everything.

This makes me a little sad. I had envisioned this last year at home together as one of joyful “mom and daughter” times before she leaves the nest.  Lately, even a simple dress shopping excursion can result in disagreements. Lots of eyes rolling and huffy words of “you just don’t get it!”

Thankfully our relationship is strong…but at the moment I am barred from helping her choose a wedding dress.  Hopefully,  I still have many years to redeem my “dress shopping privileges.”

Giving birth to an independent teen - impatient with mom!
Giving Birth to an Independent Teen - with some eye rolling episodes.

Lots of attitude & eye rolling from my teen at this stage. 

 

Then it hit me. This is exactly what I went through with my Type 1 Diabetic Teen son. Of course, it was so much harder because he kept doing these crazy hypoglycemic & hyperglycemic episodes that were life threatening.

So at the same time, I was trying to keep Tristan alive… I “may” have said (out loud) a few times… “I think I am going to kill you myself!” even despite the fact that my whole life revolved around keeping him alive!

Thankfully, he is alive and well despite his smart a–  teen behavior and we laugh about it now.

Parenting a Type 1 Diabetic Teen actually provides some valuable parenting experience. It is now coming in handy with Tristan's younger sister.

So here I go again… thinking my teen’s Senior year of high school would be full of sweet fond memories and my words of wisdom to embark on the journey of life.

It’s not like that at all…again. I am starting to feel the exhaustion.  I am secretly wanting my teen daughter to start her journey early. Not really, but I am kind of ready to give birth to this full grown teen.

Thankfully, my wiser, older sister warned me about this. She did this THREE times!!! She reminded me, it’s kind of God’s way of making it easy to say goodbye.

Easy to say goodbye?! Yes. These teen “issues” are merely “contractions” as I prepare to release her into the world…because if it wasn’t painful, I would never let her go…

Independent Teens Bring on Pregnancy Like Contractions

Because when it comes down to it, this ornery, sweet, obnoxious, lovely eye rolling young lady is everything I could have dreamed of in a daughter.

She is smart, she knows what she wants and she speaks up for herself. She asks questions, she is not easily swayed and she is confident enough not to be pushed around – even by me.

I have “mothered” her well, after all…

Giving birth to a full grown teen is painful… it’s supposed to be… so you will be ready to let go when the time comes.

Written by Anne Imber
published on 12/5/2017 on www.Type1ToGo.com 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website www.Type1ToGo.com provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Tristan Edgar has agreed to let his mom share their stories about raising a Type 1 Diabetic Teen. The family hopes their experiences can benefit other families living with diabetes.

Double Disclaimer:  My daughter has also agreed to let me share her stories too although she did roll her eyes on this one!

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This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
All Rights Reserved. 

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The 48 Hour Rule – Parenting a Teen with Type 1 Diabetes

The 48 Hour Rule – Parenting a Teen with Type 1 Diabetes

The 48 Hour Rule
Parenting a Type 1 Diabetic Teen

Raising two teens has taught me a little secret rule. It’s simple. 48 hours! The 48 Hour Rule can be a very useful tool when parenting a Type 1 Diabetic teen. How do I know this? Because I have implemented this rule for both my teens, including the one without diabetes.

Parenting a child with diabetes is challenging. Add in teen hormones, independence seeking behavior and self-management trials and any chance of remaining sane is over. You will constantly be asking yourself “Do I parent the teen?” OR “Do I parent the teen with diabetes?”

Tristan Edgar is living now with Type 1 Diabetes

 

Tristan & Bella Edgar.
Tristan

has been
living with
Type 1 Diabetes
since age 12.

 

Working alongside Brandon Green, I get to hear his “Coach’s Perspective” often. If you have a child athlete, you have probably heard this by now. “Don’t complain to the coach for 48 hours following a game.. blah blah blah…” Obviously, it’s meant to allow for a cooling off period and 48 hours can give you a completely different perspective.

 

Anne Imber & Brandon Green. 

Anne speaks on parenting 
issues with Type 1 Diabetes. 

As a Type 1, Brandon shares
his experience playing football 
in the NFL. He speaks on 
playing sports with Type 1 Diabetes.

The 48 Hour Rule can apply to
coaching & parenting. 

Anne Imber & Brandon Green from Type 1 To Go

The “Coach’s 48 Hour Rule” can translate effectively for parenting too.  I had a couple of goals raising a son with T1D 1) Keep him alive 2) Coach him towards independence 3) Maintain a “loving” relationship. Goals #1 & #2 could be quite daunting at times but #3 was important to me too!

Why? Because we still needed to be not only a team, but a family even after our son became an adult at 18. He is 500 miles away at college now, and we are still very much a part of his care team. The coaching continues with him just with a lot more independence.

How does the 48 hour rule work when parenting a T1D teen? A good example is when those very emotional high and low BG levels hit. Waiting for 48 hours to discuss the “Why’s?” and “How to prevent it next time”  allows for a more rational and beneficial discussion, away from the emotion and blame period. And that’s what helps you accomplish #3 – Maintaining a loving relationship.

“Safety should always be a priority!”

Of course, it is imperative to resolve immediate issues regarding BG levels. Safety is always the first priority. It’s just better to manage the “coaching” side of things at a later date. My biggest regret looking back on Tristan’s teen years was not recognizing how totally wiped out he would be after an incident. These BG battles would totally exhaust him for a full day after.

The 48 hour rule prevented me from parenting from a “fear perspective” and meant the discussion happened when he felt better too. We both were in a better place to start a dialogue -what we learned to call T1D Teachable moments. After all, our #2 goal was to coach him to independence. Although you don’t wish for this, a DKA or hypoglycemic episode could provide some great teaching moments. You can read more about T1D Teachable moments here.

So there are actually many similarities between parenting a person with diabetes and coaching. Some of the same rules can apply. And they work on non-T1Ds too. Especially if it’s your teen daughter. Yes, I have a boy AND a girl.  

My daughter is the happiest child on earth except when she is 1) hungry 2) tired 3) hormonal.

I can help her fix being hungry and tired but that hormone thing?!

Well the 48 hour rule comes in handy there too. On the surface she may appear to be upset about some inconsequential issue.

If I dive right in, I may inadvertently become part of the “issue”…

Anne Imber blogs about raising teens with Type 1 Diabetes

I actually have this “stoic MOM face” that I use with her when she gets hormonal. She hates it… she tries to engage me…but I hold firm with my 48 hour rule. I smile timidly and back away quietly.

Usually 48 hours later I discover I have saved myself a lot of wasted energy and possibly some hurt feelings. Mission accomplished – maintained the “loving” relationship (and my sanity)!

The 48 hour rule is worth a try with or without diabetes. It just happens to work really well whether you are coaching a teen with diabetes to independence OR raising a teenage daughter!

My older sister always reminds me if we don’t kill our kids when they are teenagers then God gives us grandchildren…who hopefully act just like their parents did!

Written by Anne Imber
published on 10/24/2017 on www.Type1ToGo.com 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website www.Type1ToGo.com provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Tristan Edgar has agreed to let his mom share their stories about raising a Type 1 Diabetic Teen. The family hopes their experiences can benefit other families living with diabetes.

For updates on blogs,
please LIKE our Facebook page
or Follow us on Twitter!

This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
All Rights Reserved. 

Related Pages to this Post

Copyright © 2017 Type 1 To Go Resolutions. All Rights Reserved.
Disclosure & Disclaimer Page

Book Review Adam Brown’s Diabetes Guide

Book Review Adam Brown’s Diabetes Guide

Book Review
Adam Brown's Guide to Diabetes
Bright Spots & Landmines

At Type 1 To Go we are always looking for great resources for our families. This past summer, one of the most anticipated books was Adam Brown’s Diabetes Guide. Bright Spots & Landmines is a refreshing and informative book written by a young man with Type 1 Diabetes.

Bright Spots & Landmines The Diabetes Guide

 

Many of you already know Adam from his insightful blog posts for The diaTribe Foundation.

Check out Adam's Corner!

I love Adam’s writing style so I was anxiously looking forward to his book and it did not disappoint.  As expected, I found a book optimistically written with helpful tips on living with diabetes.

From a parent perspective, I found it to be very encouraging and full of motivating quotes. Truly inspirational!

Adam uses the low carb/high fat method of managing his diabetes but this book is about so much more! As a young professional, Adam shares what has worked for him personally. Without endorsing one diet over another, the LCHF method is what helps Adam.

As a mom of a person with diabetes, I have raised a teen with Type 1 so I know that you will have many challenges. A strict form of eating may not work in some families. We encourage you to find what works for you and your child.

I often recall the wise words of Dr. Barbara Anderson, Psychologist from Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. She once asked us in a parenting seminar “Have you ever failed at a diet?” Well of course, I had! That one question reminded me to never judge my son when it came to his eating.

I do believe strongly in empowerment through education. A good book is better than partial pieces of information from the internet! Adam’s dietary suggestions are packed full of information that could be very enlightening to some teens preparing to live on their own.

At T1ToGo, we are all about T1D Teen Transition and providing helpful tools. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to share this book review. Adam’s writing style is so fun and easy to read – this is actually a book a teen would read!

Yes, a book a teen with diabetes would want to read!!! If they are old enough and choose to do the low carb/high fat method then this book offers some sound advice in that area. This book is not just about eating with diabetes – there’s tons of other helpful content!

Most importantly, a teen reading this book would find it inspiring and motivating. The pages are full of encouragement and suggestions on setting goals with diabetes. Anytime I find a book that encourages teens – I am all about that!

Adam’s perspective offers insight into the landmines associated when living with this chronic condition. I fell in love with this book as a parent because it’s realistic and honest! It’s a great read for both teens and parents.

All the proceeds from sales of this book benefit the non-profit The diaTribe Foundation which is all about improving the lives people with diabetes. It’s worth the money and it goes to a great cause.

Amazon offers this book, you can pick up your copy of Adam Brown’s Bright Spots & Landmines right here.

For more information on Adam's Blog, visit www.diatribe.org

Written by Anne Imber
published on 11/5/2017 on www.Type1ToGo.com 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website www.Type1ToGo.com provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

For updates on blogs,
please LIKE our Facebook page
or Follow us on Twitter!

This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
All Rights Reserved. 

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MedAngel A Must Have for Disaster Preparations

MedAngel A Must Have for Disaster Preparations

MedAngel –  A must have for disaster preparations! 

Keeping insulin at safe temperature levels

“Hurricane preparedness” requires extra thought when you have a person with diabetes in the family. Other families don’t have to worry about whether loss of power means ruined vials of life-saving insulin. MedAngel is a must have for disaster preparations.  We proved that after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston recently. Fortunately, we were already using it for our son’s insulin. I never imagined the role this small device would play during the disaster relief efforts of T1 Team Texas.

MedAngel is a must have for disaster preparations

 

 

The MedAngel device
uses Bluetooth
technology & an App
to  monitor temperatures!

 

 

Prior to the arrival of Hurricane Harvey, our Type 1 Diabetes community exchanged the usual advice for keeping insulin cool – freezing extra ice, Frio bags & coolers.  I also personally recommended using MedAngel. This small app driven device monitors temperature levels for medications. If your insulin temperatures dip below safe levels, an alarm on your phone will warn you.

Here is an example of the app on my phone in three different modes:

 

I have been a big fan of MedAngel since it first came on the market. When we lived in Italy, we had to keep a year’s worth of insulin in our home fridge for our Type 1 Diabetic son. Italy is a beautiful place to live, but it was not unusual to lose power in our villa  up to seven times a day! Being sure his insulin was always kept at the appropriate temperature was a challenge.

When I first read about MedAngel, I knew immediately how important this device could be during power outages and when we traveled. Now that we are back in the states, we have TWO MedAngel sensors. One for home and one at school for my college age son. (He shares a fridge with other guys and it’s helpful to know his insulin is always safe!)

Harvey brought 43-63 inches of rain!!!

Nothing could have prepared us for the wide spread damage Harvey caused.  The majority of the Gulf Coast of Texas from Corpus Christi to the Louisiana border was devastated by high winds, tornadoes and unprecedented flooding. Due to its slow path in and out of the Gulf of Mexico, rainfall amounts were between 43-63 inches over the course of just a few days!

Flood waters destroyed homes, businesses, pharmacies and the entire infrastructure of cities.  Insulin and diabetes supplies were in high demand for shelters and displaced people.  With the help of some key community diabetes leaders, we formed T1 Team Texas to meet the immediate critical care needs of the diabetes community.

 T1 Team Texas was a grassroots volunteer organization 
established to meet immediate diabetes care needs following
the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Texas.

T1 Team Texas relied strictly on volunteers and donated supplies. We had four hubs, set up in volunteer homes, that received donated insulin throughout the Houston area. We then used volunteer drivers to reach people with diabetes, shelters, hospitals and city emergency service centers.

Throughout the four hubs,
T1 Team Texas volunteers
were storing thousands of
dollars of donated insulin.
Volunteers (left to right)
Anne Imber
Whitney Talbot
Kim Allaire

T1 Team Texas Volunteers

MedAngel was on T1 Team Texas too!

We emptied our fridges to make room for every variation of insulin you could imagine. My house served as one of those hubs. I worried about losing power so I made sure my MedAngel sensor was properly placed with my insulin donations.

And, of course, we did lose power! TWICE! When one of the outages ran longer than we anticipated, I ran to transfer my supply of donated insulin to a friend’s house.

During this process of re-packing insulin, I removed the sensor and set it on the counter. Within three minutes the MedAngel alarm on my phone was screaming that the “insulin” temperature was rising!!! Thankfully the actual insulin had already been placed safely in the fridge, but that alarm reminded me what a great little tool my MedAngel was!

Our experience in Italy taught us the importance of having a convenient temperature measurement tool for my son's insulin. Sending my son away to college emphasized it. Living in an area devastated by a hurricane solidified it!

So now you know why I highly recommend the MedAngel device. And I am delighted to share that, in honor of T1 Team Texas, MedAngel is offering a 15% off discount to our readers! Just use the promotion code “Team Texas” when you order. I hope that all my friends in the Gulf Coast region will add a MedAngel to their diabetes tool chest – and do it now, before the next hurricane arrives!

And thanks to MedAngel for being a part of the “Team Texas” efforts!

Use code “TeamTexas”
for 15% off your order.

Click on the photo to go
directly to
www.MedAngel.co USA Shop

 

 

Written by Anne Imber
published on 10/24/2017 on www.Type1ToGo.com 

Anne Imber is the mom to a Type 1 Diabetic son diagnosed in 2009. As the Founder of Type 1 To Go Teen, Anne shares her experiences with other Type 1 families regarding many of the non-medical issues that Type 1 Diabetic Teens face. The website www.Type1ToGo.com provides support materials from her presentations. Anne is also the Co-Founder of Cy Fair Type One Connection, a T1 School Advocacy & Support Group for one of the largest school districts in Texas.

Tristan Edgar has agreed to let his mom share their stories about raising a Type 1 Diabetic Teen. The family hopes their experiences can benefit other families living with diabetes.

For updates on blogs,
please LIKE our Facebook page
or Follow us on Twitter!

This information provided for general use only.
It is not intended as medical and/or legal advice.
Always consult your doctor for medical advice.
All Rights Reserved. 

Related Pages to this Post

Copyright © 2017 Type 1 To Go Resolutions. All Rights Reserved.
Disclosure & Disclaimer Page