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Re: [IPk] Exam Stress/ management

Hi Nanette
I think you make some very good points - as a parent people do typically 
feel very different about diabetes management. And the kind of 
environment you grow up in has a big impact too. I grew up with teachers 
for parents (and grandparents) and a father who's a type 1 diabetic, and 
they'd never have dreamt of asking for any kind of special permission 
for me in exams and so on. I know that if I had children, I wouldn't 
want any special treatment for them either. But I - and my parents - 
have always been of the mentality of letting children find things out 
for themselves, break bones by falling out of trees, find out for 
themselves what happens if you forget your insulin or glucose on a day 
trip rather than be constantly reminded, and so on. My first ever hypo 
was on a Sunday walk about a week after diagnosis. My parents had 
stressed that I should never go anywhere without glucose tablets, but I 
had forgotten. I soon found out what a hypo felt like. Of course being 
diabetic my dad had some on him, but he didn't give them to me until I 
was sufficiently groggy to appreciate my mistake! We were made to leave 
home as soon as we finished school at 18, and find our own feet in the 
world, even if we had no job and no money. Similarly I managed my own 
diabetes from the word go at age 7 - with a bit of help from my mum in 
carb counting for the first few months. So my attitude to diabetes - as 
well as life - is one of standing on your own two feet, and it's how I 
would raise children if I had them. I have lots of friends with similar 
attitudes. But I think it's also very typical to treat your diabetic 
child differently from the way you treat your own diabetes and to ask 
for all the help you can get. Just as everyone has different parenting 
skills and different opinions about how to raise your children (read Amy 
Chua's book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother for a very enlightening 
account of one person's method!). None are necessarily right or wrong. 
But just as it's worth reading Amy Chua's book, even if you don't agree 
with her methods, I think it's worth discussing these issues with 
respect to diabetes.


On 30/04/2011 19:59, Nanette Freedman wrote:
> Hi Di, Karen and others,
> I think this issue raises a lot fo different and very important points
> - and is not about people being critical of others on the list, but of
> the diverse attitudes and stances which people with diabetes or other
> long term health issues and their nearest and dearest may feel - not
> only is each person different, but in the course of years of dealing
> with health issues under different circumstances and at different
> times in one's life, the same individual may take different positions.
> I myself took more than 3 years to finish my PhD long before I had
> type 1 diabetes - my first child was born during the third year of my
> PhD, but in retrospect my slowness was almost certainly related more
> to my having ADD (which was not talked about at all at that time) than
> to pregnancy and childbirth - at the time the extension was requested
> and granted due to the illness and subsequent death of one of my 2
> supervisors (in the fact the one who was only peripherally involved,
> so though very sad, his absence did not really affect things for me).
> And now I try never to ask for any sort of special allowances because
> I have type 1 diabetes. But I am aware that if one of my children had
> type 1 diabetes I would certainly have wanted to ask for special
> allowances for him or her. Is this logical?? probably not - but as a
> caring mother I would have felt it justified and appropriate to ask -
> whether my children would have wanted this is another matter. In
> general I have thought often how much harder and more worrying and
> agonzing it would be to watch one of my children dealing with type 1
> DM than to deal with it myself, and anyone who is a parent of a child
> with type 1 diabetes has my greatest respect.
> Nanette
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