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[IP] Kids and diabetes -- rather long
I was diagnosed at 12 (in 1965), and have parents who did a good job of
raising me and helping me cope. My mother is an RN, and so started out with
more than the average knowledge of diabetes and where to go for more
information. My parents were also committed to letting me be a 'normal'
kid, and went to bat for me when people like gym teachers wanted to make me
slide by because they were freaked out by my condition (e.g. didn't want to
let me climb the rope all the way to the top in case I had a 'fit' up there
and fell, when climbing to the top was the requirement for passing that part
of the class). Dispite their own worries, they did their best to let me do
things 'on my own' (like participate in overnight camping in Girl Scouts),
at a time when urine testing and lab blood sugars were the tools available
to try to manage diabetes.
The biggest problem I encountered growing up and in my life since has been
that management of diabetes has an aura of 'scientific' exactitude -- you
can draw graphs of normal insulin effects, you can come up with formulas of
what one unit of insulin 'should' do to a person's blood sugar levels, and
eventually it comes to seem like everyone in the world has an explanation
for fluctuations in blood sugar except you. When I was younger, the worst
was the fairly clear attitude on the part of health care workers that
'naturally' teenagers will lie about having insulin reactions in order to
get otherwise forbidden candy. No one ever worded it that way, but it was
easy to infer from my doctor telling my mother that I 'couldn't' be having
insulin reactions when my fasting blood sugar was whatever horrible (high)
number it was. She took me into the lab in the midst of an insulin
reaction, and that stopped that (fairly insulting to my character) attitude.
Or taking years to establish that I had a high renal threshold for glucose,
so that I really _could_ be testing negative with a BG of > 200, and then 4+
if it was around 250.
My point is, that the pump requires so much more record keeping, and fine
adjustments to contol are possible based on blood sugars practically hour by
hour, that people buy into the belief that there is a logical (and
immediately findable and assignable) reason for every fluctuation in blood
sugar, and that if we are just 'good enough' at it, we can be 'normal' all
the time. It seems to me that if people (including myself in my less
rational moments) could come to a happy medium between 'everything is
explicable' and 'nothing is controllable', we would have considerably less
This group is very good about saying YMMV. It's difficult living with a
condition that is affected by every sniffle, minor infection, hormone swing,
and growth spurt (and hasn't read the book about how it is supposed to act!
:) I guess what I'm trying to say is to try to cut yourselves (and/or your
kids) some slack and try to accept that sometimes, stuff just happens. Easy
to say, hard to live, I know.
Thanks for listening.
Pumping 3 weeks and _still_ not 'normal' :)
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