Growing up too Fast

Does anyone else feel that they grew up to fast? For me, this comes from being diagnosed at 11. And because I had to take such an enormous responsibility on at such a young age, I feel I haven't been able to actually act 11, 12, 13, 14, or 15. I simply don't have time.

I tried to explain this to my friend last night, and my friend got quiet... very, very quiet. I don't believe this friend understands feeling like you grew up to fast.

 

So I'm curious if anyone else has ever felt like this, and why.

I feel like that all the time

 

And yes, i agree with you that its because we were forced to be so mature and grow beyond our years when diagnosed with T1. Just the knowledge and responsibility that comes with being diabetic definately makes us mentally older then some (or most) of our friends.

And I've tried to explain this to one of my friends as well... I just don't think unless they actually had a chance to live in our shoes (the comfy padded diabetic shoes, of course!) for a day, they'd know exactly what you meant.

Thats why its always nice to come on Juvenation and talk to other kids (and kids at heart) that know what we're going through (:

I definitely think any child who is diagnosed with type 1 is forced to grow up too fast.  We have way more responsibility (even if parents are concious of it and try not to let it) and the constant threat of going "low" or "high".     I often wonder how much type 1 molded my personality.  I'm often told I'm very serious, very direct and have been since a very young age (I was diagnosed at two).  

As for why I feel this... gosh, friends growing up without type 1 have no idea what it's like to sit on the side watching life pass by.  Whether it's because of a high or a low, a site change, an injection or a BG check:  there are times when type 1 causes a child to stop what they want to be doing to be a PWD (patient with diabetes).   And there is the whole laying in bed awake at night wondering when those complications are going to start showing up instead of thinking about whether "Bobby" will ask you to the dance on Friday.

I'll also tell you my husband and I struggle daily with giving our daughter, Ellie, freedom to be a kid, but also trying to teach her the things she needs to know to survive (what insulin does, what carbs do, how to count carbs, how to bolus).  She'll be nine in three weeks, and was diagnosed in August 2004.  I see diabetes chipping away at her childhood.  It's heartbreaking.    I hate having the conversation about how she can't just help herself to a popsicle like all her friends - she can have one, but she has to bolus too.  It just stinks.

I have to agree with you all. I was diagnosed at the age of nine, plus I was the oldest in my family. Learning to monitor your blood sugar, taking insulin, and just facing the fact that you are going to have this disease for the rest of your life, or until a cure is found, definitely speeds up childhood.  

Yea i noticed im a little more mature than my friends but i don't really pay attention and i wouldn't get stuck on that idea. or you might have even more awkrard moments

I don't know about that.  Maybe it's different for a guy.  I was back playing soccer 2 weeks after my dx and then baseball after that.  I was having fun doing it and was playing some sort of sport all the time, never skipping a beat.  I definitely had more responsibilities but my parents never let me limit myself.  In some way, I was kinda glad about it because I never got in the trouble with drugs or alcohol that others did - always feeling I already take my own 'drugs' I don't need any more. 

As I'm talking about it now, I do realize it might be even more difficult for this younger generation like you Alyssa.  We didn't have home blood testing monitors and the pump wasn't as wide spread as it is now.  The big thing for me was trying out the MediJect (which sucked for me).  I'd go once a month and wait to get my blood drawn to get a fasting bs!  That was it - oh, and no carb counting - it was the exchange - 2 bread, 2 meat etc. Heck, we didn't even have the internet! (yes, I'm proud to say that - life was more simple lol)  Now you have all these tools and we know so much more.  I think if I had to carb count, test 6-8 times a day and my parents knew so much about it, the pressure would have been greater.  I do feel for you.

I so feel like that. My parents even notice it too. It has only been 2 years for me it wil be 3 in April. It's like I've been feeling more grownup too. I feel like I never got to experience being a 12 and 11 year old. It's just like that period of time was never there. It seems like school just started this year and now it's over! Now it's like everything in my life is going so much faster. Everytime I go to my doctor he says wow you have really changed since I last saw you (it has always been 3 months though). I grow at least an inch or more every time I go to the doctor. My friends to me act pretty inmature. They started to get onto me about how much I've changed and grown up. I guess it's kind of like being a famous person but as a kid. They never have time to do stuff like play with your friends. My doctor tells me that I'm more mature mentally because he thinks it has something to do with the responsibility of taking care of myself earlier.

Whenever I was forced to compare myself with others my age I always did feel that I had to be more mature...but that doesn't mean you never have any moments to act like a kid!  I think you are right, even now everyone  my age thinks I'm much older than I really am.

Oh my gosh, Eric, I get that all the time, even from my doctors! They're always I can't believe you're 15...! Half the time I am tempted to say Well, believe it, because you handed me a syringe when I was 11 years old and told me I couldn't go home until I poked myself with it. What do you expect?

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 19, but I still haven't grown up.  At least that's what I hear.  I even have a "Recycled Teenager" coffee cup to prove it.  I look at it more like I gotta manage my diabetes, but within reason.  I can't over obsess over it at the expense of everything else.  All that's promised is today.  Especially with the looming threat of maybe getting complications at some point that could make doing some things in future years less likely.  What's the point of life if you're not going to have fun and do the things you want (within reason of course)?

DDrumminMan,

I have fun, I do some of the stuff I want. But diabetes, because of it's serious importance to my life it has to come before a lot of other things - one of those things, I believe, being acting my age a lot of the time. I mean, other kids got to play at reccess; I had to stay back to finish every bit of lunch (to this day I hate having to eat when you're not hungry if you've already taken insulin) and keep a watch on my bg the days I did get to run around. Does this make sense?

i feel like that too. but i think i was already like that before because i have 3 litttle sisters. when we were little, and have to clean up our toys, halfway through, my sisters would stop and say its clean then go make another mess while i finished cleaning the current mess then on to the new mess. but being diagnosed definately made me more mature.

I know exactly how you feel.  I was diagnosed when I was 9 and just turned 18.  Even though it is a weird feeling and something that your friends may not understand, it is okay.  I have grown up with the same group of friends since I was diagnosed so they understand everything, but I have still felt that way where you think that you haven't experienced anything or gotten to act like a kid.  I have definitely thought of that but ultimately I am glad that I have become the responsible person that I am today and looking back on it I didn't miss out on being a kid, I just thought I did because of the responsibilities I had to deal with.  Being more mature can be a difficult thing to deal with.  My friends respect me more because they know what I deal with and also count on me for a lot of things because I am the responsible one.  Being the "older" one can be hard but you can make the best of it and trust me you can still have a good time and experience everything that your friends do.  Make sure that you always take care of yourself but you are still allowed to have a good time! 

Ha ha, thanks Travia.

I guess I should reword this a bit as I don't miss out on being a child, I just miss out on doing it he "normal" way (don't say what is normal anyway? haha - you all know what I mean)

Even if I was diagnosed at 22, I sometime feel that I'm more... not really "mature" (not at all haha) but... more "conscious" (?) about life than my friends.

So I wouldn't be surprised if this feeling is amplified when diagnosed at 10-15.

I always feel like I'm more mature. In a crowd of crazy teenagers, I've been dubbed "mom" because I know responsibility. I love having fun and being adventurous, but I often feel like I have a different perspective.

People call me mature. I think a lot of it is because I was diagnosed at 10 and soon starting giving all my own shots and taking care of my disease almost entirely on my own. I think that being diabetic has given me this sense of wanting to be in control, but that might just be a personal thing.

I think it is hilarious when my doctor comments on my maturity even though he knows exactly what I've been through.

 

 

Oh and hi everybody. I don't know any of you. ;D

I know exactly how you feel! Its like I grew up and my friends just stayed behind. Its like im out of place somehow. Its like no one else understands how i feel and like im comepletely different from all the other kids my age. I dont understand them at all. They always talk about how im so quiet all the time( usualy from a couple desks behind me. hello just because im quiet dosent mean i cant hear!!!!), but usualy i just dont have anything to say. Know what i mean??????

Ya know Alyssa, I felt that way too.

I'm glad to hear the guys here speaking out. It really points out how boys and girls differ in how we deal with diabetes. and explains why there are always SO MANY more girls at diabetes camp then boys ;)

 "Girls tend to assimilate diabetes into their identities, and take responsibility for managing it. Boys do tend to minimize the role of diabetes in their lives and manage it in private" Dr C Williams, Social Science Research Institute of Education, U of London.

Not to pick on you Isaac,  but you worded the difference between girls and guys in a pretty classic manner =) we really do tend to do it differently, great thing to know!

I totally agree!! In fourth grade I was diagnosed... It was a lot for a forth grader to do... Im actually kindof happy Im more mature then most people.. BUT sometimes I feel like a mother LOL ... no offense to the great mommys out there ;) Im old now ...AHH

xoxo -ally

That's not good news, stilledlife. You mean I'm out of luck on finding a guy at camp? LOL jk