Tips and Stories
Like everyone, diabetes rocked my world in 2004. My daughter was 14 and a freshman in high school when we got the diagnosis. My world was rocked again when she went to college, and I found it very hard to let go. She is now graduating this spring. In retrospect I can think of several factors that make or would have made letting go easier. Even before college, I worked on helping my daughter be completely independent in her diabetes management by the time she left for college. Once she was in college, I learned NOT to make diabetes the center of our phone calls by asking for sugars. For myself, I found that it was important to create my own support system. It helped to have a friend/friends I could vent to, and they were not only parents of children with diabetes. Having this outlet helped me not vent to my daughter, and therefore helped to decrease any conflict between the two of us. For me the CGM (continual glucose monitor) was peace of mind because it helped my daughter be more independent regulating her sugars. I understand that some of the battle was her “age and stage”, so I tried to be open minded about the realities of college so that I could keep our lines of communication open. It would have given me peace of mind to know that there is an online, easily accessible support network available to my college student and to myself. I am so glad that support is now available.
Having a son or daughter going off to college can be nerve-wracking, and adding Type 1 diabetes can make the experience even more stressful. Having a CDN chapter at my daughter’s school definitely gives me greater peace of mind, and I know she appreciates the support and resources available to her.