Dealing with independence/ dependence

Hello. I'm Jessica, and I've had my type 1 for 9 years. I've always been fiercely independent and I DESPISE that my life hinges on my ability to properly administer something that my body is SUPPOSED to make for itself. It makes me feel like a broken-down car, always needing maintenance.

I think one way my diabetes has really affected my relationship is the role reversal with my parents and realizing how self-absorbed even those with best intentions can be. The number of times my friends offer me a snack, and when I say 'no, I can't. I'd have to take a shot', they say 'oh yeah, I forgot!' And early on in my diagnoses I had a sick day where to cure I low, I needed 15 grams of carb and my dad handed me an entire bottle of gatorade, which had 14 grams of carb PER SERVING! I know that saying 'you have no idea how hard it is to be me' is a typical teen-angst thing, but realizing at 15 that I had to be more knowledgeable than even my dad made me, and still makes me feel like I am so alone in taking care of myself because even those closest to me forget what I have to do, or forget how to read nutrition labels or count carbs. I hate that I rely on a liquid in a bottle and a syringe, and feel completely isolated from my friends and family.

Does anyone else ever feel these things? Just wondering.

I completely understand what you are saying. When my blood sugars drop around friends they try to tell me what I should have. I know they are trying to be helpful but it is coming off as being very annoying. I feel as if I dont want to hang out with them if they continue to make this comments. It amazes me how  people think they know everything about diabetes if they have a close friend or loved one that is a diabetic.

I tend to get frustrated with my parents at times too. My mom will get mad at me because I don't write down my number when I'm at a friends house. I feel often alone because they do not understand that friends may not always wait or that you just want to fit in.

I understand all of your feelings; I want you to know that you aren't alone.


Hi Jessica, I know excatly how u feel about having D and I understand as well. I have been D since I was 19, which was a pretty hard age and time to find out that I had D. Now I'm 32 and dealing with so much not just from D but from having thyroid cancer to. Because of both of these things this yr has been very hard to the point I can no longer work, can't drive, can't shop, can't workout or even go for a walk with my dog without having someone with me. And right now because of all of it I'm pretty filled with anger about it. I know how it feels to be like a broken down car that needs so much maintenance it's not funny anymore. Something else u should know I was in denial about my diabetes for at least the 1st 10 yrs of me having D but the thing that kinda made me look at what I was doing to myself was the fact that I lost my little brother to D almost 10yrs ago now because he didn't want to live with D either and just wanted to be normal and D took him 4 mo's before his 21st bday. And then 2 yrs ago D took my uncle to because he was never the type to take care of his D either. 

I'm sorry that at your tender age of 15 that you have to learn that many ppl don't understand and it makes it really hard to live with D and still try to live a "normal" life. It may get easier with your friends as alot of them won't think about D unless ur around but as time goes by more friends will get used to u and ur snacks and be more understanding.

About your dad when u had ur low and he gave u the bottle of gatorade, it can be very hard for parents to adjust to having a child now with D. But still they are the parent and should be ready for any situation with regards to you and your D now. A tip to help ur parents and u when ur having a low is sugar packets -- they are easy to throw in a bag, easy to hide and easy to take when needed I have found and they don't draw attention to u when ur just trying to fight the low.

And u saying "you have no idea how hard it is to be me" is a typical teen thing but it is also even more true for u now and alot of ppl won't understand how u really feel. Have u thought of contacting ur local jdrf or cda/ada to see if they have a teen support group for t1's just to give u someone to talk to that will understand how ur feel and the reasons why u r feeling that way? It may help

The last thing I will say is that you are not alone in your fight against ur Diabetes and we are all here to help, give advise or share our own experiences if that helps.

As a parent (though not of a teen yet), I'd suggest getting some counseling. It is not healthy to hate and despise the very things that keep you alive. You will get stuck in an emotional rut until you deal with those feelings and figure out how to accept that D and it's treatments are a part of you.

As far as dealing with your friends, do you keep track of which ones have peanut, wheat or seafood allergies? Maybe with the one or 2 closest to you, but not every single one. So are you offending them when you offer certain snacks or suggest where to go out and don't remember?  Most people are raised to offer food, drinks to guests in their homes, and you could take it as a good thing that they aren't treating you differently (Would it be better or worse if they said "Well, I would offer you all a snack, but since Jess has D and won't eat it, we can all starve along with her.") And you are able to (CAN) have a snack, you are just deciding not to because you don't want to take a shot for it. That's your choice and it is fine, but you could be polite and say, "No thanks."

As for your dad, D is a hard disease for some people to handle! It is not a do one thing and fix it, it a constant barrage of if this happens, then do this; if that happens, then do that. Some people deal with it well, and some don't. Yes, he's your dad and he should be more interested and knowledgeable about your care, but you will find more than one teen on this site that wishes their parent(s) would back off some. On the other side, it is devastating to learn that your child has D, and some parents (probably dads more often than moms) just handle it by denying it and don't allow themselves to grieve it and move on. So instead of just denying that they feel sad about the diagnosis, they deny everything they should be learning about caring for it. You need to talk with your dad (and mom) more about what you are feeling. If you don't open up about it, then you are contributing to isolating yourself.

I hope you don't feel like I'm coming down on you, I am only trying to help. D is a hard disease, hard to care for, hard to deal with emotionally, hard because it never ends. I hope thinkinga bout different perspectives gives you some insights into other people and makes you more willing to open up and let them back into this part of your lfe. 

Jessica,

From a Mom's point of view.  My daughter is 15.  She was diagnosed six years ago.  I can certainly understand where you are coming from.  All these feelings are completely normal.  You are never alone.  It sounds like dad and family are  trying to help but maybe they need to go through the process with you.  I know that you are independent but always remember it is ok to scream and cry and vent the frustration.  Just know that your friends and family do love you.  I hope that I helped.

 

 

[quote user="Jessica"]

Hello. I'm Jessica, and I've had my type 1 for 9 years. I've always been fiercely independent and I DESPISE that my life hinges on my ability to properly administer something that my body is SUPPOSED to make for itself. It makes me feel like a broken-down car, always needing maintenance.

Does anyone else ever feel these things? Just wondering.

[/quote]

hiya jessica, well, yes and no.  I have experienced these things, but I have a different outlook for myself today.  I truly believe that no one cares that I need insulin with my carbs.  That little fact is for me and me only.  Even if I tell everyone that I need 1:7 1:9 and 1:10 I find that there isn't anybody alive that could care less... or that can even remember for that matter.

I guess for me it's like this:  If how I feel is equal to the way the world is, plus my reaction to it... then the only thing I can possibly change is my reaction to it.   Sounds stupid, but it really works for me.

the other thing that works is to not bother with the people who don't understand.  that's why juvenation is great, sooooo welcome to the forums.

cheers

Another parent here and while yes I might mess up from time to time I would never hand Ri a bottle of Gatorade to treat a low. We would measure it out. She cant learn how to count crabs without me or my husband we both take her health seriously and we both educate ourselves as much as we can. So we can teach her what she needs to know to take care of herself. I will say one thing my husband is really good at is offering Ri food when she cant or shouldnt have it. He handed her a raw jalapeno the other day and she is munching on it. I asked him how many carbs it had he replied with it cant be that many. He might be right but still HELLO! It just slips his mind that she cant eat whatever whenever without insulin. She is still just Riley to him not Riley the T-1. Granted I deal with her stuff way more than he does but he can figure out how much she needs and how to weigh out things in a meal for her. Also it has not been a year yet 8 months 2 days ago to be exact.  We have forgotten insulin before meals a time or two and we have forgotten to test before meals here or there. Over all tho we are on top of things.

[quote user="Jessica "]

She cant learn how to count crabs

[/quote]

Sorry to be off-topic, but this typo always cracks me up.  :D  I do it, too.

I was diagnosed when I was 6 and did not have to make an adjustment. It seems like my whole life has been centered around my diabetes, but it is my routine and I am comfortable with it. I cannot compare with what it was like before being a diabetis, because I cannot remember that far back. Sometimes I consider myself lucky that I was diagnosed so early in life.

Nonacceptance is very normal and can last many years. Some diabetics have needed counciling to be able to accept their diabetes.

I am going to have lunch at the Red Lobster today, but I am allergic to shell fish, so I won't be countimg any crabs. Lol!

[quote user="Kim"]

[quote user="Jessica "]

She cant learn how to count crabs

[/quote]

Sorry to be off-topic, but this typo always cracks me up.  :D  I do it, too.

[/quote]

lmbo I didnt even notice it. Thanks for pointing that out I needed a laugh this morning! lol

Hey Jessica ! I just turned 16 and in sept i will have had diabetes for 9 yrs , I know exactly how you feel  and it sucks having to be responsible and

having to say no I can't have that .And the dad thing trust me my dad is the same he has no clue what I need when im low the other dad when I was

really low he gave me some cheese and said it would bring me up  Dad's just don't understand .   For the friends thing I went off my pump in dec. and

all my friends kept offering me food all the time and I had  to say o because I didnt want to give myself a shot or it wasent my planned out snack time

and it really sucked and all my  friends just said oh I forgott .  I also hate the fact that I need  the tube off my side (pump ) and my jucie boxes to

survie it sucks .I hate the fact that i always have to be prepared I can't just go out I need a bag with all my supplies .  If your feeling alone contact

your local JDRF and find out who the teens are your age and try to meet up with them or prob have to be next summer but go to Diabetes  Camp 

thats what i do and its the best thing in the world because no feels alone because EVERONE knows and has been through many of the same

experinces my best friends i met through camp .One of them even lives in my town