Teen son newly diagnosed

Hello everyone! My 14 yr old son was just diagnosed a few weeks ago. As I have been reading, I have not been alone in my emotional state. This was unexpected and has been a complete whirlwind! We live 3 1/2 hrs from all family and have very few friends in our area. I am looking to connect with other moms and am always seeking any advice or tips for my kiddo. He starts back to school (9th grade) in a month and I am a nervous wreck about how that will go. My kiddo is very mature and responsible so I’m not as worried about that as much as I am the process and making sure the new school nurse is capable etc. I guess I just don’t know what to expect. Also, we have been carb counting and dosing for meals but he is struggling with not being able to eat whatever he wants. We are using calorie king and that’s been quite helpful. I appreciate any advice and welcome any new friends! Thanks for reading!!:slight_smile:

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Hi Michelle @mchll0504 and let me offer you a Warm Welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! I’m certain you will find here some wonderful support, encouragement and sound tips from others who have experienced what you now face.

I’m not a mom, but I diagnosed at about your son’s age and have lived a very active and full life for over 60 years with diabetes. I was diagnosed on July 4th and successfully returned to school in September - at 14 your son should be learning, right from the beginning, how to effectively manage his diabetes - and YES, it is a long learning curve which he [and you] will pick-up bit by bit. I’m still learning!
Your son is not delicate like a piece of bone-china that must be handled with kid gloves, but rather a teen boy who wants to adventure life to its fullest; let him do just that while he learns how to calculate insulin doses to balance his activity and food and to select foods that will not cause him too much concern. There really isn’t any food that he must totally avoid - but he must learn how much of a particular food he can safely consume. There will be much trial and error dosing with diabetes but over time it will become almost automatic - yes, I still make what my body thinks are errors calculating insulin.

Best wishes for him, and for you. You may want to click on the “Events” tab at the top of this page and then on the “JDRF Near You” and see if there is a JDRF Chapter near you - the Chapter near me has a very active teen group and our meetings are attended by many parents looking for support from others.

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hi @mchll0504 Michelle, welcome to T1N! A though about being nervous: the time is now for a 504/emergency medical plan for your son in school. This will guarantee that he can carry needles and self administer insulin, test, leave class to deal with highs or lows, emergency procedures for the nurse, carry a cell phone/glucose coca-cola or whatever, snack, skip gym or take a walk, adjust pump settings during a test, will make the nurse and designated staff responsible for glucagon and get the resources required by law if they do not exist in the school. I hope you have the support you need.

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Hi Michelle,
My son was diagnosed last October. He is 14 and going to be a freshman. My email address is leannjuckett@gmail.com if you would like to chat.

Dennis thank you for the welcome and for your response!!It is encouraging to see others live full lives and do the things they still enjoy doing. Thanks for the advice:-)

Thank you!! I will message you!

Hi Joe. Thank you for the help! The Dr. gave us a packet of papers that cover all of the items you mentioned. It’s a new school for him this year so I don’t know the nurse and I am going to be calling tomorrow to see if I can meet with him/her. I’m sure it’ll get easier with time as far as “handling” the school and activities… it’s just so much right now. I appreciate you! :slight_smile:

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Oh it is alot, but manageable with discipline and learning. You folks will be just fine. Error on the side of high sugar vs low when learning to dose.

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Hi Michelle. Im also 14 and i have almost been diagnosed for a year. I also start 9tj grade and i understand the struggle when it comes to school work and managing diabetes. It was hard dor me cuz i missed the 2nd week of school and had many hospital stays. The first year will most likely be the worst year(since school starts). But i say that health is more important. If he has social media i can be reached on snap as @daxlovebruh and insta as @ewits_shy .
I would gladly see how they is doing and would love to answer any questions that you may have.
Best regards, Shy.

Hi. Late reply to your post but wanted to offer my help if needed. I have two Type 1 kids one diagnosed in high school the other diagnosed 8 months later after her brother while in middle school. Both were set up with 504 plans which was extremely helpful. We were able to set up specificity for their needs and their schools were very accommodating. Both my kids felt comfortable testing, and even giving injections in class. If necessary they were free to receive/send messages to me. (Now if on CGM they can check BS levels on phone) Additionally they were both very active in sports, and went on school trips/travels - don’t let Type 1 discourage regular activities. As a mom it was very difficult to let them “be normal” I wanted to tether them to my side and shadow them everywhere! My email is adenerson@aol.com. Message me if you would like to “talk”

I’m with everyone on the 504. It also makes it possible for T1 kids to miss more school if needed. Something I did is put together a packet with my son’s name & picture on it with everything he may need to do in class. I also added a page with signs of low & high BS. I email it to the individual teachers before school starts. Sometimes the information from the nurse does not make it to the teachers before school actually starts.

Hi Michelle,

Wow, this sounds exactly like us last year. My son was diagnosed in July 7th 2018 and at the age of 14. He was going into 9th grade and I was a nervous wreck.
At orientation, I spoke with each teacher and informed them of his diagnosis and that this was a new to us. I would update them via email as treatment changed, he was able to start on a CGM and get on pump after Christmas break.
I developed a good relationship with the school clinic tech and we had a good year. I would get nervous about field trips but Ethan is responsible and mature as well and I just made sure he had all that he would need while away.
I know it’s a whirlwind right now and there is so much to learn and figure out about how things affect his blood sugar but you will get better, I mean it’s always there but it will become more routine. If that makes sense, it’s hard to describe but by next year you’ll know what I mean.
Once Ethan got a Dexcom, I was able to follow on my phone and that helps me while he is at school, at little reassurance.
Keep open communication with the school and yes, talk with them regarding a 504. Ethan is able to carry his supplies and we have a plan in place for testing so that his phone is near by to pick up his dexcom.

Hi… welcome to the world of Type 1 Diabetes! If you haven’t realized it by now…it sucks :grin:. My son was diagnosed in July the summer before freshman year…this was two years ago. There is nothing worse than watching your child deal with something that you can’t control. The good news is that together you will figure it out! There will be times when even though he has done everything perfectly, his numbers will not reflect that. My son finds this most frustrating. At this age puberty plays a part in his numbers as well and if he plays sports,that will have to be handled differently as well. Please know I am not trying to depress you or upset you…I just want to be completely honest with you. Everyone is different when it comes to diabetes and it is very frustrating. There were a lot of little things that I wish I was told ahead of time…tricks, heads up to things etc
My son in the beginning was not eating really. His three basic meals was really it. He hated doing injections and hated doing things in public. Eventually we got him Dexcom and a pump. Made a world of a difference! He now eats like a pig lol. There is so much more I can tell you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out
Good luck

Hi Michelle,
My name is Sophie! I was diagnosed with T1D just 3 years ago on July 29th when I was 14. Although I can’t quite understand what your going through I for sure can understand the idea and what your son may be feeling! I am very happy to talk with him although when I was diagnosed I was not quite into the idea of sharing my feelings and I understand if he feels the same. The only advice I can give is to be there for him. As much as it is a struggle and very hard for you, he’s struggling just as much. I hated seeing my mom break down in tears every time I did a injection and her always saying she wished I never had it. Take it in as small victory’s! Be happy you understand why he has been feeling sick, and be proud when he does his first injection by himself. School will be hard for him, but he can do it, I have. It will get easier and become more natural. and remember, THERE IS NO SUCH THINGS AS BAD NUMBERS!!! There are just goals. He should never feel ashamed for a high or low!

Thank you. He does not have social media, but I appreciate you reaching out! I hope things are better for you this school year!

Hi Sophie,
Thanks for responding. He is the kind of kid that usually lets things just roll off of his shoulders, and he always says he is “fine.” I am sure he has concerns and worries and just won’t tell me because he doesn’t want ME to worry any more than I already do. I know kids don’t always want to talk to their parents, I get it. I am always offering myself and anything that I can do to help. He started doing his own injections two days after he came home from the hospital, so I think he is being pretty brave and mature about everything. I feel better than I did at first, I was an emotional mess. It is a little hard right now because we are trying to get his ratio lined out and even though he eats well, his numbers are still all over the place. He does get frustrated with that, and I don’t want him to focus on a number 24/7 (even though you kind of have to) and just want him to be himself. But, again, thank you so much!!:slight_smile:

Hi Tina!
THanks for reaching out! Yes, the fact that I cannot control this for him, or make it “go away” is very difficult. I cannot wait until he is able to get a pump or a CGM, for a little peace of mind. Right now we are doing blood sugar checks before meals, 2 hr after meals, bedtime, midnight and 3 am. I work and I am also a student in nursing school so to say that I am exhausted would be an understatement. I understand the importance and thankfully because of my job and school, I understand diabetes all too well… that does not make it any easier when it is my own child though. How is your son doing now??

Hi Valorie!
Wow, our situations are very similar, just on a different timeline! He has registration this week, so I plan to tell every teacher and hope to meet with the nurse. I don’t know how they handle this stuff, so I am just going to tell everyone. lol! You are right, it is definitely a whirlwind. I am a student myself, and during clinicals at the hospitals, I am not allowed to have my cell phone on me, and I am going to be a NERVOUS WRECK!! His school district seems to be big on communication, so I hope that will be a continued thing going forward, because they will be hearing from me a lot I am sure. I hope he can get a CGM soon, I don’t know how that works or what the stipulations are. Anyways, thanks for reaching out. I appreciate all of the support we can get. It definitely helps to know that we are not alone. :slight_smile:

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Hi Veronica,
I emailed you!!:slight_smile:

Hey Dana!
Thanks for the response. Wow, it sounds like you have everything as prepared as you can. Were your sons teachers accepting of all of your info? He is at a new school this year, so I don’t know how any of these teachers will be. Hopefully it will all go well. Adding a photo, that is not something I had thought of… what a great idea! Thanks!! :slight_smile: