Parent of T1D teenager

Hi all,

My son has been TID for about 5 years, he’s almost 17 now. Had our latest appointment today, and I’m just struggling with the emotions of the whole thing. He’s doing ok, a1c is 7.7, but I worry constantly about his long-term health, especially because he’s lost some weight and his appetite is a bit down. He lives with his mom full-time now, so I’m kind of parenting from a distance, which is very painful for me. He’s getting some blood work done this weekend to make sure everything is ok, but I’m not going to feel ok until I get the results back.

I’ve just been feeling terrible lately that my child has to deal with this disease. I’m kind of predisposed to fear about diabetes because I lost two cousins to T1D, one blood cousin, one cousin by marriage. They were both young women when they passed, and I’m terrified for my son. He tries his best to control his blood sugar levels, but it’s a constant struggle. I wish I could make things easier on him, he’s had a lot of bad luck in his young life.

Hi Michael @mtlnhv, I’ve been told how much parents worry when their children; in retrospect I can see that and my siblings have told me about the worry I caused - I was your son’s age more than 60 years ago.

You and your son did the right thing in bringing your [joint] concerns to the doctor’s attention and asking her/him to try to find answers and explain to you what may be happening. I can attest that diabetes is difficult to manage during teen years owing to the many changes going on - physical and emotional. In time your son will get a good hand balancing his food, activity and insulin, the three most important pieces of managing [autoimmune diabetes CAN NOT be controlled] his diabetes and in recognizing when stress and emotions cause his BG / BGL readings to appear out of balance.

As far as longevity for people living with diabetes - at 62 years for me, I’m a newbie compared with many other members active on this site. And just today I received an invitation to an assembly in Boston, sent to several hundred people who have been living with diabetes for more than 50 years, to celebrate awards to be given to people who have lived for 75 and for 80 years with T1D. Your son can live a long, very healthy, active and productive life.

It sounds like he is doing fairly well. I know you probably want a lower A1C, and docs probably do too, but that is definitely not a terrible number considering how difficult it is to be a teen with diabetes.

You found a good community to voice your concerns and get some support - so many people here “get it.” I am on 33 years with diabetes - diagnosed when I was two. And trust me when I say my mom and dad still worry about me and think some of the same things you do to this day - I don’t think they will stop until the day they die to be honest. It’s just a parent’s job.