My 19-year-old college son was diagnosed on June 19, 2021, with T1D. We have no experience with diabetes and so it came as a complete shock. He is managing his blood sugar with the help of the Dexcom G6, not on a pump. He is struggling with maintaining his energy, very tired. He is usually very active, snow skier, mt biker, and surfer but is having a hard time with having energy for these activities. He is a non-communicator and stubborn 19-year-old boy. He doesn’t want to reach out to anyone and doesn’t want to talk about it. Any advice from someone that was diagnosed around this age would greatly be appreciated. Thanks!
Hi @CKrazy and welcome to the forum. I was diagnosed at 3 years old and have had diabetes for nearly 60 years. I’m not a parent but there are many here who can give you guidance from that perspective. I would just suggest keeping in mind that it’s a big adjustment and he was only diagnosed a few months ago so it will take time to “settle in.” High numbers tend to make me very tired so that’s something to look into although the stress of the diagnosis may be affecting him.
Having diabetes does not have to stop him from persuing his dreams, particularly if he takes care of himself; and taking care of ourselves is the best way to be able to keep doing the things we love even though it takes some work. There are professional and Olympic athletes, entertainers, a sitting Supreme Court Justice and a former British Prime Minister living with it; as well as everyday heros like parents, teachers, neighbors, fellow classmates - the list goes on and on. He may know people who have it but simply have not shared that they do. There are people who have known me for years who don’t know about my diabetes, not because I consider it a secret but because it hasn’t come up or because I’m selective about who I tell what to.
One last thing to keep in mind: in most if not all places people with diabetes (or any other condition that could cause loss of consciousness) must have their doctor sign a form stating that they believe their patient can safely operate a motor vehicle. The independence of driving may serve as incentive for him to keep on top of things and work closely with his doctor.
Wishing you all the best. Hopefully the prospect of being able to get back into the activities he enjoys will help him come around.
Hi Cameron @CKrazy, I was diagnosed last year and it took me several months to recover from DKA. My blood sugars fell back into a good range within a month, but my energy took a while to return. If his blood sugar numbers are fine, he is probably still recovering. I hope this helps.
Hi! So sorry to hear about your sons diagnosis. while I had diabetes for quite some time by his age, I was diagnosed at 11. I think what’s hard in your preteen and teen years about being diagnosed is this same invincible feeling your friends and everyone around you gets to have it does not apply to you. The emotions around that alone are exhausting. The older you get and the longer you have it, you realize there’s barely anything that diabetes will stop you from doing. DKA as said above does take a lot of energy. I also remember that when I’d go through growth spurts I’d have less energy primarily because my sugars would be a little crazy with what’s going on. I also remember being in my honeymoon period where I barely needed insulin and going low so often was definitely draining. You also learn so much about something you can’t quite wrap your head around yet that I feel like it’s pretty normal to be drained. One other thing I wouldMention but I’m sure his endo is already doing is take a look at thyroid function- it’s very common tor type 1s to have hypothyroidism so not having energy is very common with that too!
Hi. So sorry to hear about your son. I had two children diagnosed 8 months from one another. My eldest was 17 and he was also very athletic playing football and track and field. It did take him a while to learn to control his numbers and with that his strength, especially with large quantity of food he put away being a 6’1 athlete. It does work itself out, both of my kids were very resilient and learned their bodies metabolism for insulin. My daughter had a harder time of it with going through puberty but all is well. They both went to college which was extremely hard on me but having a CGM was definitely a godsend for us! I hope this helps a bit……
Hi @CKrazy, I was newely diagnosed with T1D on June 10 and I am age 28 and the only reason it was found that I had it was becuase I had gone to the hospital becuase I wasnt able to keep anything down and when they took bloodwork to see what type of diabities I had. I may not have been diagnosed at a younger age, but I know how it feels like to come as a complete shock. I know when I found out or came to have some reaction when I was in the hospital I was a complete shock and a mess I was crying almost everyday and with covid going on nobody was really able to stay overnight with me. There are times where I still do not have energy to do anything really I just feel really weak, the only excersise I do would be my morning walks and after that I am lazy my body just does not have the energy to do anything. I am still trying to adjust to everything. I know I had a hard time asking for help in the begging because I did not want to feel like I could not do things anymore, I started feeling hopeless when people around me were helping me because I was used to doing things on my own. I sometimes still feel that way. It is something hard to swallow, I know how your son feels. I do not know how long it takes to accept it but everyone is different. He will gain his energy back it will take some time.There are times where I have energy to move around for awhile and then their is times I do not. I myself am on an insulin pen and I still get frusterated with it becuase it does not balance itself out.