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.

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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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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.

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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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Hope when Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Hope when Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Hope when Living with Type 1 Diabtes - a different perspective

Hope when Living with Type 1 Diabetes

Hope. It is so important when living with Type 1 Diabetes. Hope for a cure. Hope for advances in technology. Hope to make it through each day. Hope simply to make it through the night. We almost lost our T1 son one night so we are keenly aware of that hope. That hope is something you can never take for granted when you have a person with diabetes in the family. 

Yet, when I asked my college age son what he hoped for with Type 1 Diabetes, I truly expected he would say ”Hope for a Cure!” Instead I was blown away by his answer…

No, he was not holding out hope for a cure.

Tristan Edgar is living now with Type 1 Diabetes

 

College student,
Tristan Edgar
has been
living with
Type 1 Diabetes
since age 12.

Shocked, I asked “Why???”

His answer was simply, “I have Type 1 Diabetes and I am fine with that. It’s who I am.”

Of course, my first reaction was to be sad. Diagnosed at age 12, he has lived with this chronic condition through his teen years and into adulthood. No, it has not been easy. We have had some really close calls. Yet, his response was that he would not change having Type 1.

When a family is first hit with a T1D diagnosis, it is pretty common for them to immediately start hoping for a cure. Why is it taking so long??? Families dive into fundraising.  They focus on reviewing the latest research and following the newest diabetes management tools. We all need hope. We just can’t imagine living without hope.

“Hope is essential to surviving with a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis.”

Personally, I do have hope. We continue to support any and all efforts despite my son’s “reality based” attitude. We won’t give up on hope because I am incredibly optimistic with the strides that have been made.

I WILL have hope for him.

Saddened initially by his answer, I am now elated regarding his incredible attitude.

Nope, my son is not holding out hope for a cure.

In reality, he is not waiting to start his life when a cure is found.

He is living NOWwith or without diabetes. It is who he is!

And like many with people with diabetes, he is not going to let it slow him down.

Could it be by some miracle, I have raised a well-balanced young adult???

Living with Type 1 Diabetes is just who he is, and he would not change that. So yes, I will rejoice that he lives his life without letting it stop him.

I should be honest though…we, as a family, will continue to hope for a cure. We know that with his diagnosis, Type 1 has invited itself into our family’s future. We can’t give up because there is that “chance” that it could impact his children someday. That’s what motivates me as his mom! I will do this for HIS children.

We have had many T1D Teachable moments raising our son. Those are situations that initially look like diabetes “failures” but ultimately turn out to be great learning opportunities.  Well, this one was mine

He is happy therefore I am happy.

What more could a mom hope for?

Written by Anne Imber
published on 10/17/2017 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

Our family supports JDRF by supporting walk team members and presenting JDRF fundraising walks at local elementary schools. Tristan's dad, Ed Edgar,  will be running the Chevron Houston Marathon on the JDRF team!

We place our Hope in JDRF!
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 

 

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

Finding a Silver Lining from DKA

Finding a Silver Lining from DKA

Finding the Silver Lining from Diabetic Ketoacidosis

Finding a Silver Lining from DKA

Diabetic Ketoacidosis at
Freshman Orientation Camp

In August 2015, our 18 year old Type 1 Diabetic son set off for his college freshman orientation camp.

He almost did not make it home alive.

DKA is a demon. It shows no mercy. It sneaks in on your bad days and is always waiting in the wings to grab you if you let your guard down.

Type 1 Diabetes and Sports

Tristan Edgar is a college student at
Texas Tech University in Texas. 

What is DKA?

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a complication from diabetes that can be serious and life-threatening. DKA is often a common factor when first diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and can often be mistaken for flu symptoms. It also occurs during the management of the disease when the body is not receiving enough insulin to break down glucose. This forces the body to start breaking down fat as fuel and ketones are then released into the body. Elevated ketones in the urine, severe weight loss, extreme thirst, blurry vision, lethargy and disorientation are all signs of DKA. If left untreated, DKA will lead to coma and death. For more information on DKA, please visit Beyond Type 1 DKASource: Beyond Type 1 www.beyondtype1.org

 

Dehydration plays a role

DKA snagged my son within the first day of his camp. A stomach bug and dehydration gave DKA an invite to join his plans. No, his blood sugar was not necessarily high. It is important to note that blood sugars do not always have to be high for diabetic ketoacidosis.

Dehydration can have a huge impact as well. Combined with a stomach virus, that was a cocktail that could not be beat.

College freshmen are adults

Yes. The camp knew he was diabetic. Yes. They had a full clinic onsite. But a clinic that does not recognize the signs of DKA can’t help. A teen who does not realize how quickly things can go seriously wrong creates a perfect storm.

It is also important to remember, teens going off to college are adults. Due to HIPAA, a clinic will not take the initiative to call the parents.

Too sick to be here…at the hospital!

Between 6-7 hours after he stepped into the camp clinic, they sent a camp counselor to drive him to the hospital. He was so sick at this point, he needed to be in ICU!

The hospital took one look at him and said “He is too sick to be here!” So they shipped him  five hours by ambulance to the medical center in Houston. Two full time attendants on him – a moving Intensive Care Unit on wheels.

Very lucky

Everybody got very lucky on this one. Our son, our family and the university. We dodged the DKA bullet. And we ALL learned something very valuable.

With the development of new technology such as CGMs and close parental management, it is possible to go many years without a DKA incident.

That is fantastic for our T1s. But… that also means we forget.

DKA can be deadly

Unless your teen has had a recent diabetic ketoacidosis incident, it is easy for a teen to head off to college not realizing how serious and deadly it can be. And it’s fast. Immediate response to DKA is critical.

DKA likes to loom behind simple illnesses. Knowing how to handle a sick day is important for teens.

You can learn more about a College Sick Day plan here. 

Teach your Teen the Signs of DKA!

Headaches – Extreme Thirst – Frequent Urination
Fatigue & Weakness – Blurry Vision – Fruity Breath Odor
Rapid Deep Breathing –  Nausea & Vomiting
Pain in the abdomen – High Ketone Levels (blood/urine)
High Blood Glucose* – Dry/Flushed Skin

*BG does not always have to be high to develop ketones.
Dehydration and illness can impact DKA symptoms.

Remind your teen that these symptoms can also be mistaken for:
flu, virus, a stomach bug or strep throat.

Finding a silver lining

Our family tries to find the silver lining in the dark cloud of diabetes. We created Type 1 To Go Teen so we could share some of the challenges of T1D Teen years.

There are so many things to address before a teen leaves for college. DKA Awareness should be one of them.

Over the last year, I have spoken at many events. Parents and teens ask me what I think is the MOST important thing they should do to prepare to leave for college with diabetes.

My answer: Know the signs of DKA and have a Sick Day Plan.

DKA Awareness at the University

In addition to Type 1 To Go Teen, we have asked our son’s university to participate in the Beyond Type 1 DKA Campaign. University health services teams need to know the symptoms and seriousness of DKA.  They also need to be able to share that with their Type 1 students who are away from home for the first time.

We are losing too many young adults to DKA. That was almost us and we will never forget that. It was a great teachable opportunity for everyone involved.

Texas Tech University kicks off the Beyond Type 1 Type 1 Diabetes/DKA Campaign.

Texas Tech Health Services Team is “Guns Up” to promote
Type 1 Diabetes Awareness on their campuses!

A silver lining from my son’s DKA – Texas Tech University became the third Texas college to commit to the Beyond Type 1 DKA Awareness campaign. The Student Health Science center is a vital team player for our son’s well-being while he is at school.

I am super proud of Texas Tech University for increasing awareness for Type 1 Diabetes and DKA with their students.

Making friends at camp

Our son did not get to enjoy his college freshman orientation experience. Being in DKA prevented him from making new friends at the camp.

However, his friends made friends.  His friends introduced him to a sweet young girl from the camp the first week on campus.

They introduced him as “That kid who was in the hospital at camp”. She said “Oh, you’re that guy!” and he said “Yep, I’m THAT guy!”

And they have been together ever since!!!

Texas Tech Students support the Beyond Type 1 T1D/DKA Campaign

Tristan Edgar & Amanda Hodge met the first week at Texas Tech University.
They are excited to see Texas Tech increase Type 1 Diabetes awareness. 

That sweet girl has been a blessing to our family. Amanda is studying nursing and she keeps an eye on our Type 1 Diabetic son for us! She has even attended his endocrinology appointments with him. Our son adores her and so do we!

Now that’s truly finding a silver lining from DKA!!!

Written by Anne Imber
published on 7/12/2017 by 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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Turning 18 for High School Seniors Presents a Medical Dilemma

Turning 18 for High School Seniors Presents a Medical Dilemma

Turning 18 for High School Seniors

An Important Reminder for Parents! 

Turning 18 for High School Seniors presents a medical dilemma. This is an important reminder for parents. Once your child turns 18, you no longer have access to their medical records and doctors. That magic number 18 shuts doors for parents still trying to assist their child when making medical decisions.

Managing a child with a chronic illness? Parents, add this to your List of Things To Do Senior Year.

Of course those same issues apply for ANY parent and teen.  If you have a High School Senior, it is important to review this before your teen leaves the nest.

Trust me! Two hospitals and a five hour ambulance ride with our 18 year old taught us how important it is!

Teens are not always ready

Life with Type 1 Diabetes  involves far too many medical appointments and hospital visits. Hundreds of medical decisions and appointments shared together with my kid.

Even when a “child” suddenly turns 18 and qualifies as an “adult”, they are not always ready to take on responsibility of all their medical decisions.

Speaking from experience

Within 24 hours of sending our Type 1 Diabetic son to his College Freshman Camp, we received a call from a college camp counselor that our son was being admitted to a hospital. He was in serious DKA from his diabetes. DKA can be deadly. It is so serious the hospital in that small Texas town could not handle him.

They were going to be shipping him out… anywhere…just some place capable of handling his potentially deadly condition.

Over 250 miles from home and the hospital was preparing to ship him out to another hospital within a 500 mile radius from us.

Scary.  We had not even been able to speak with our son. We just started driving…and hoped they would tell us where he was going.

At 18, he was officially an adult

At 18, he was officially an adult but he was still my child. And he was far too sick to be making any decisions for himself.

There is nothing worse than being in that situation and the hospital won’t let you speak to your child.  They won’t give you any information either. All because of the rules with HIPAA.

For any parent with a High School Senior, I highly recommend you read up on HIPAA. You and your teen are going to need to know this.

We were prepared

Thankfully, we were prepared for just this type of situation. We had a Medical Power of Attorney in place for our son so we could make decisions for him. It also gave the hospital the right to speak with us about his condition.

My son really did not want to get the bills from the hospital either! This also gave us the right to speak with the hospital regarding billing.

Having the appropriate legal documentation in place allowed us to still be involved with our son’s medical care.

HIPAA - LEARN MORE!

Every family needs to know this. 

Are YOU ready?

I know it’s so easy to get caught up with Graduation parties and decorating dorm rooms.  But this is one more thing you need to add to your List of Things To Do.

If you happen to have a child with a chronic health condition like we do, it is an absolute must. Type 1 To Go has a great Turning 18 page you can review for reference.

It applies to ALL teens turning 18, we just happen to have one who is Type 1 Diabetic.  If you know friends with graduating High School seniors, share this with them too.

Check out our Turning 18 Page!

A must read for parents of High School Seniors. 

Five hours by ambulance – a moving ICU

After driving two and a half hours to reach our son, the hospital decided to send our son to The Medical Center in Houston, Texas. It would be a five hour ambulance ride manned by two attendants in addition to a driver. A moving Intensive Care Unit.

By talking with us, the ER doctor decided Houston would be the best place for him. We are thankful for the smart and compassionate doctor who treated him in our absence with our input over the phone.

We were thankful we were able to tell the hospital that we had Medical Power of Attorney for our son so they would speak with us. We also have this documentation in an electronic format so we can easily share it with others in an emergency.

The billing

Since HIPAA impacts billing, my son was grateful that we could pay the two hospital visits and five hour ambulance ride. Without the proper documentation, we would not have been able to negotiate the bill on his behalf.

Oh yea, and if you have not already ordered an extra Health Savings Account card or Flex Spending Account card for your kid, you should get right on that.

We plan for the worst

Type 1 Diabetes teaches you to plan for the worst. We have had a rough ride with this brutal disease during our son’s teen years. Some close calls have taught us to always be prepared for the worst case scenario. Oh the stories we could tell…

We are just sharing what we learned so other parents can be prepared too.

Written by Anne Imber
published on 4/19/2017

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.

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. 

Suggested Type 1 To Go Pages
Turning 18
HIPAA

 

Type 1 To Go Tool
Turning 18 Checklist 

 

 

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T1D Teachable Moments

T1D Teachable Moments

T1D Teachable Moments

Embracing the Positive with a Type 1 Diabetic Teen

T1D Teachable Moments. That’s what we call trying to remain positive during the chaotic years of raising a Type 1 Diabetic teenager. Parenting a teen with Type 1 Diabetes is an emotional roller coaster for both parties.

Is it the hormones?
Is this normal teen behavior? 
Is my teen self-managing well?
Is my teen being truthful?

So many questions, and the constant “fear” of knowing that failure is not an option.

 My son, Tristan, 3 months after
T1D diagnosis. He broke both arms
riding a bike!

Preparing for adulthood with diabetes

We do want them to grow up and ultimately leave the nest. Preparing for an adult life with T1D is the ultimate goal. It’s like taking the training wheels off their bike and letting them ride out of sight.  And if you’re my kid, you come back with two broken arms…

With diabetes, there will be stumbles that will send your heart to your throat and your stomach to the floor. In our case, a couple of serious DKAs and one seriously close call diabetic coma during the night.

We recognize that each and every day is truly a blessing. And yet, we still had to let our teen go out into the real world without us.

Trying to find the positive

Trying to find the positive in the situation is why our family started calling them T1D Teachable Moments. As a parent, it’s so easy to over react out of fear but I found myself saying to people We are so glad this happened while he is still at home.”

You may think  What??? Why would you be glad??…..

Simply answered… so we could learn from it.

We were glad that it gave us an opportunity for a discussion with our son. After the moment of crisis had passed, we would ask a series of questions to prompt our son to THINK. And we would ask him to get back with us at a set time to finish the discussion. Of course, we told him we would THINK about it too but we really wanted to know his perspective.

What’s your plan?

What do you think happened? Do you think you could have prevented this? What would you do differently?

And here is the important one, IF it happens again… what will you do?
Role play a little about options for solutions and seeking help when needed.

The goal was to get our son to realize that a negative diabetes event can (sometimes) be prevented in the future by exploring what happened in the past.

And if it happens again, what is your plan?

Teachable moment for all of us

We also have to recognize that doing a great job of managing our T1s can leave them vulnerable. For instance, my son missed the whole DKA diagnosis stage. Because of our help, he managed to stay out of DKA for over 4 years. His first experience with DKA happened when he was 16.

This time when we asked him “Why didn’t you tell us you were so sick?”  His response was very honest, “I did not know what DKA felt like.” Despite years of talking about it (and preventing it), he did not know what the signs were.

Now that was a T1D Teachable Moment for all of us!

Preparation for college

Since our son was diagnosed at age 12, I always felt “adulthood” with diabetes was looming at us. Empowering Tristan to manage himself was always our goal.

What we did not take into consideration was the burnout, peer pressure and typical “teen” behavior (ie. Independence seeking) that would come into play. As parents, we assumed he could handle it all because he had been doing it so well. But those stumbles were great learning experiences that have prepared him to be off at college on his own.

Tristan will continue to face the day in day out challenges of living with diabetes. We just pray that some of those teen stumbles better prepared him.

Finding the positive

I would not wish any of this on my son.  But we've tried to find the positive from some our experiences with T1.

I encourage your family, when possible, to step back and ask, can we learn from this together?

And you should know that I have already received that dreaded phone call from college.  The one where my T1  said, “I’m sick and I think I need help.”  Thankfully, we had a plan in place and many T1D Teachable moments to help him along the way.

Written by Anne Imber

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.

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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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