When my son was dx’d with T1D, my wife and I heard that he should never live alone. I’ve since heard many a story about diabetics (mainly insulin dependent) who have had acute hypo and hyper incidents that could have been big trouble if roommates, coworkers, etc. did not come to the rescue. Does anyone know of actual office guidance or recommendations (any source) that focuses on this idea of not living alone? Thanks.
I have been alone now for twelve years and I have not had that much trouble. I think the main reason for this is that if I have a reaction I “bounce” (my liver dumps a load of sugar into my system) so my blood sugar will spike to five hundred (makes me feel horrible)
I have been on my own for over thirty years. I never expected to live this long so I must be doing something right. Up until a short time ago I was riding my bicycle up to two hundred miles a week. Its a good idea to get your kid to find some sort of exercise that will bring his hart rate up for at least fifteen minutes a day. Not only will it bring his blood sugar down, but it naturally causes the blood vessels and arteries to be free of plaque.
As far as I know there are only two ways to drop your blood sugar. One is Insulin, The other is exercise.
I’ve had T1 diabetes for over 27 years, so I’ve heard lots of stories about people that have been saved by roommates or coworkers too. (People always feel the need to tell you horror stories.) In fact, I work with a woman who ends up in the ER about once a month. However, in 27 years I have never been to the ER, nor have I ever had to be “saved”. I’ve had blood sugars that are quite low, but never been unable to handle them myself. I don’t live alone, but because I’m married, not because I feel I “have” to live with someone. My husband has never had to do anything for my care. I think the difference is really just the difference between people in general. I was raised to be self-sufficient and to take care of myself, so when I feel my blood sugar is low, I know that it is MY responsibility to check it, and correct it, not anyone else’s. Even though low blood sugar can make me confused, that innate self-preservation kicks in. Once in a while, it’s not much more than a tiny voice deep inside that says “eat” over and over. If I was convinced that I “couldn’t” take care of myself, maybe that little voice wouldn’t push me when I needed it most. I guess my greatest advice to give you is to encourage your child to become as self-sufficient as possible as early as possible, with his diabetes care as with other aspects of his life. This will help him build the confidence to care for himself as well as have a fulfilling life. Diabetes should never, ever control a person’s life; the person should control the diabetes. Good luck!
I don’t want to seem to make light of it, but really? I lived alone plenty. I also mountain bike sometimes miles into the woods and hills by myself. I used to drive to Florida by myself once a year… this isn’t risky behavior if you are taking care of yourself. I have also had Type 1 since the 1970’s. I think “should not live alone” is an over-generalization (IE, the very young, the very old and the infirm should not live alone) , but i guess it’s just my opinion. As far as I know there is no official standard of care that recommends t1d’s do not live alone.
He’ll be fine with all the new technology.Get the dexcom share so you can watch his blood sugars.Set up a check in system with him that will work for the two of you. He will probably want roommates if it’s his first time on his own. SHow him what the others have written about living alone. Don’t make your fear his. He knows you love him so tell him that and shpport him in being independent.
Support was the word I wanted to use above.
Diabetes does not need to limit anything in our lives, including and especially our living situation. I have a roommate, but he has always been gone during the ‘scary lows’ that I’ve had. The most important thing is to be prepared. Highs and lows can happen anywhere, not just in the home. As MysticShadow said, look into getting a dexcom. It truly can be a lifesaver! Giving your soon the tools and support he needs to learn how to manage his sugar will be the best way to prepare him to live in any kind of situation. The more independent he is with management, the less you’ll all have to worry
This is a question I considered, too. I lived alone through my diagnosis and the rocky adjustment period that followed, and still live alone. I think it’s perfectly OK, he just needs to make sure he’s on top of things. I stash glucose tablets everywhere - my nightstand, end tables.
Also, if he’s having a tough blood glucose time (lots of lows especially), definitely consider something like Dexcom Share. My doc mentioned it as an option to me since I live alone. Apparently you can set some systems so that if you go low, it will alert other people via text. This would be a great way to set your mind at ease that he’s doing good and avoid any scary low situations, particularly overnight.
Your son should live life as he sees fit, do what he wants to do while properly manage diabetes - he has many tools at his disposal. I have “lived alone” while traveling on business in the 1060’s - long before the invention of blood glucose meters and all the other diabetes management tools other than a glass syringe, stainless steel needle that needed sterilization between uses,a vial of insulin and a kit for testing for urine sugar. In those days, before The ADA, I couldn’t tell coworkers about my diabetes because of blatant discrimination - I was terminated on my first day working for Prudential in 1960 when I put “Diabetes” on my employee health insurance application.
If he hasn’t already done so, your son MUST become his own primary caregiver and Manager of his diabetes. A number of the respondents here have, especially Cindy [ @rterek ] and @Joe have summarized the attitude that tour sin should adopt. One addendum I will make is that right now your son must get to know his own body, how it feels when he is high and more importantly for him to be able to know, without testing, the feeling of a falling or low BG and be able to properly treat it by himself. CGM are probably very good, but he may not always have use of one - so, before he moves away, he should learn how to recognize and treat a low blood sugar without technological assistance.
I was diagnosed with T1D at the age of 2, 42 years ago.
When I was in college, I had roommates, but they weren’t reliable, usually not even there. I learned what I needed to do pretty quickly to be self sufficient, and this was at time before insulin pumps, CGMs, and even cell phones. I remember setting alarm clocks for during the night when I wasn’t sure what was happening with my glucose levels. After college I lived with roommates in apartments, without them, etc. As diabetes management technology advanced, it made it that much easier.
I’ve been using MiniMed insulin pumps since 2000, which has helped me manage my diabetes better than I did on daily injections. The incorporation of the CGM with the pump has also helped me a lot. The MiniMed 530G with Enlite CGM, which is what I use, has features when set up with your health care provider, than can stop the delivery of insulin (Threshold Suspend) at certain low glucose values. The CGm also has alerts for high levels as well - it beeps, vibrates, and definitely gets my attention for both highs and lows.
I’m happy to share more experiences with you!
I don’t believe that living alone is an absolute must for someone with Type 1. That being said, it can help to ease some of the burdens that are faced. I was recently diagnosed in March when I had just moved into my own apartment for the first time. Fast forward six months and I am now having to move back in with my parents because of poor health. For me, it was a combination of expensive meds, expensive food and having to pay rent/buy basic necessities as well. I wasn’t eating right or following a healthy diet for myself. So I really think that while living alone is perfectly achievable for someone with Type 1, living with someone for safety/other reasons should be viewed as fine as well. It’s a rough course we travel and sometimes it helps to have someone right there in case you may need them.