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Re:[IP] daughter in college

>>>>>>  But I know she has other concerns 
because she 
is younger and also wears tighter clothes than I do so she is also 
about it showing.  We talked about options for where to wear it. <<<<<

tell melinda that having it show isn't really a problem at all. i'm 21 and i just wear it right
out there on my belt or waistband. when anyone actually DOES notice it (which is rare) they
respond with mild curiosity and the general consensus is, "cool." i like cargo pants and low rise
jeans and tank tops or baby tees, and it's so much easier to just not try to hide it. it's a part
of me, why pretend that it's not? and most of the ones out there look more like a beeper or an mp3
player than a medical device, which will not look out of place at college at all. if she does want
to hide it for more formal wear, that's easy enough to do as well. i wore a slinky dress to my
last sorority formal, and my roommate couldn't begin to guess where the pump was. 

>>>>>> She 
was home 
for the weekend and had a mental block against giving her shot.  She 
skipped some of the Humalog shots without her BS going high so maybe 
she is 
headed for the honeymoon period.  She knows the shots don't hurt and 
was doing 
fine for about a week but then her hand just wouldn't do it.  It took 
about 1 
hr on Saturday.  I almost did it but we both thought that wouldn't 
solve the 
problem because I'm not with her all the time.  Last night it took her 
about 3 
hours back at the dorm.  I was talking to her on her cell much of the 
time and 
she had decided to go to the hospital across the street from her dorm 
to see 
if someone could help her at about 1:00 a.m.  She tried one more time 
and was 
able to do it but she is so frustrated with herself and her friends 
don't know 
how to help her.  I struggle too.<<<<<<<

this takes time to overcome. something that all diabetics have to do is mentally distance
themselves from their own bodies when they stick themselves; it's difficult to overcome that
natural instinct to protect oneself from injury. i got diabetes when i was ten, and eventually
overcame the mental block just by playing with the diabetic equipment in various unorthodox ways--
syringes as water guns, giving injections to my teddy bear, taking apart every piece of
paraphernalia i could get my hands on, poking every blessed thing in sight with my finger lancer.
not that i officially recommend any of these ;) but it helps overcome the latent fear to get
really familiar with the toys.  try taking a needle and just sticking various things-- pillows,
pieces of notebook paper, those crappy dorm room mattresses-- just to see how it feels to stick
something that is not her own leg. it takes mental reconditioning to be able to do shots with
impunity; tell her not to get angry at herself, it's not her fault.

i agree with your not having done the shot for her, but with this, having a friend around to do
shots when you just don't feel like it any more can be a great comfort. my freshman year i made a
lot of friends just by pulling out the toys at dinner, drawing up and asking if anyone wanted to
have a jab at me =) sounds strange, but when i really got sick of it it was easier and almost less
painful to let any one of my needle-happy buddies stick me instead. 

>>>>>>>>>But, even worse than that, a girl with diabetes who lives in the dorm 
next to 
her died last night.  From what Melinda heard, she was unconscious and 
and her roommate called 911 but she died before they got there.  She's 
freaked out by it (naturally). <snip> Of course we don't know why 
she died 
and it could be non-diabetes related.  I know all too well what it 
feels like 
to hear about bad things happening to diabetics but it's so much worse 
to have 
Melinda have to worry about it especially now.  I had just warned her 
things she might read in the paper (like the Nov. 15-17 article in USA 
where they make it sound like blindness, nerve damage, impotence, 
failure, etc. are almost for certain).  I also hope this doesn't scare 
roommate.  Melinda has Glucagon but I'm pretty sure her friends would 
drag her 
across the street to the ER before they would give her a shot.
I told her to call the nurse educator and see if she could talk to her 
or a 
social worker to help her deal with her fears.  I'm glad she is talking 
to be 
about it because at 1st she told her Dad she felt bad complaining to me 
I've gone thru 29 years of this but he convinced her that I was the one 
should talk to about it because I would understand it.<<<<<<<<

I'm so sorry to hear that-- how awful-- and such an awful time for her to hear about it! you don't
know yet how she died, so it would be better to not focus on the deceased as "the girl with
diabetes who died" until you know that it was something diabetes-related that killed her. there
are so many people without diabetes who die unexpectedly, but when one of us passes away, the
diabetes for some reason is always the central thing.

the university should have counseling services for students who need to talk anytime something
like that happens; i know because here at WM, we just lost a student in a traffic accident a week
ago, and the office of student affairs was right there at the ready for anyone that needed
support. encourage her to talk to these people, and to her endo (she has one now, right?).

 as for the roommates and terrified friends, the only solution to that is to educate them about
diabetes, what it is, what it is NOT, and what they can do to support her. more importantly, there
has GOT to be a plan of action that she and her roommate work out in case of an emergency. my
roommate knows exactly where i keep my glucose tablets, peanut butter crackers, insulin, glucagon,
and syringes, and exactly how to use them, though (thank goodness) she's never had to. especially
since this incident, people need to know that diabetics are *not* people made of glass ready to
kick the bucket at the slightest provocation. i think the best thing (if there is one) about
having diabetes is that everyone i know can say, "i know a diabetic"-- and have a real life
picture of what a diabetic is and what we diabetics can accomplish. i have had this much longer
than your daughter, and so understand that the point i've reached may be years in the making for
her; if she wants to email me privately to talk about life in college with diabetes, i'd be happy
to respond.

>>>>>Sorry to ramble, it's been a rough couple of days with trying to 
Melinda.  I appreciate everyone's support and advice.<<<<<<

i can't even fathom the things she is going through right now, but she's obviously got a great mom
for support. i imagine it must be hard going from seeing diabetes as "what my mom has" to "what
*I* have." it sounds like you are doing a great job under a tremendous amount of pressure, and i
salute you both; God bless =)

becky =) (dx'd 1/24/92 at age 10, pumping since 11/21/01

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