Well that is how I feel right now about being a mother to a Type 1 Diabetic teenager! We aren't new to this. Its been 8 years since Macy was diagnosed. The part that is new is giving up the control and letting her do what she needs to. She has 2.5 years left and she will be an adult! She will have to do it all on her own and no one is going to be constantly on her case asking her what her blood sugar is and how many units of insulin she bolused. That in itself scares the hell out of me.
We strive for testing a regular 5 times a day (to you moms with young diabetics, that will seem like way too few), with more if there are problems. So she must test her blood sugar 1-wake up/breakfast, 2-lunch, 3-home from school/snack if necessary, 4-dinner, and 5-bedtime. If there is a high or a low blood sugar then there are more testing times to get it back to where it needs to be. She has an Insulin pump so she needs to dial in her insulin bolus' when she eats. We have an extra injection at meal times of a hormone that helps with her Insulin insensitivity as well (which sucks because it is in the pen shot form even though she has an insulin pump for the insulin). On top of all this she must monitor her supplies: battery life, test strips, lancets, insulin in her pump, and her pump connection. She must always have a test kit with her, a snack of some kind (in case she goes low), and her cell phone must always be charged and with her when she is away from home. And the final steps are refilling her pump and reconnecting her pump to her body every 2-3 days depending upon insulin usage and site maintenance.
Now if you are a non-diabetic family that sounds like a lot doesn't it? But to us Diabetic Moms, its not that bad, really it's not. We are lucky in a lot of ways. Macy is old enough to monitor her own blood sugars and doesn't have to go to the nurses office at her school. She doesn't need the school to supervise her insulin usage and manage her every move. That's how it was when she was younger. I have fought long and hard every step of the way to get her out from under the "school nurses control". My argument being that she needs to be the one in control and learn to manage her own life. In college there is no school nurse to check in on her and control everything. (Believe it or not the schools absolutely hate this. They want to be in control of everything for liability purposes.) We are also so lucky because I have never had to give her shots or attach her pump for her. She has always done it for herself, since the very first shot in the hospital. (It may not sound like much luck but those with very young Type 1 Diabetics have to do all this for their children and I cannot even begin to imagine the emotional pain and toll it must take to jab their little fingers/toes to test sometimes over 10 times a day and give them shots multiple times a day.)
So a couple of emails are sent (cc'ing the principal of course), both emails were very polite but also strategically mentioned the 504 plan my daughter has in place that is protected by the ADA and IDEA. However, the teenager must also talk to her teachers and get the make-up work completed, before Friday. This week is going to suck. I am already at my limit with the daily arguments my daughter and I have over managing her diabetes. I really am not looking forward to dealing with the school work and make-up assignment arguments.
My mom used to have a bumper sticker hanging on her bulletin board when I was a teenager. I remember scoffing at it. It said "The older I get, the smarter my Mom gets". I can't wait for the day when my daughter realizes: I am not a complete moron, I do understand what she is going through as a teenager, that her daily battles being a diabetic child hurt me too, and I am smart (not a dumbass).