May 24th, 2011 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I hold my morning and afternoon bootcamp classes at a high school campus, which means I’m on a high school campus every day.  The energy radiating off even the buildings has changed through the school year as you can I’m sure imagine. 

Which is to say, SUMMER and GRADUATION is on my mind these days.

I remember graduating from high school: it was, in a word, awesome.  Having had diabetes for seven years at the time and living with giving myself shots in front of everyone at school for the past two years I thought I had it all wrapped up. 

Yeah, at the time my A1c was routinely 12.5-13.4.

(I didn’t say I actually had it all wrapped up; I just thought I did.)

I was concerned about my supplies and prescriptions while at school, but I found where my new pharmacy was close to my college campus, and my doctor was in the same state so there wasn’t any problem with getting my insulin.  (I didn’t go on a pump until mid-way through my freshman year at college so I was still taking shots.)

But you know, I could really have used some actual help learning how to be myself and how to be me with diabetes.

Having had the opportunity last week to chat with a group of teens with diabetes, I heard them echo the same things from my memories.

I admit I felt a little sorry for them; I know that life with diabetes while transitioning from parent-care to self-care is incredibly difficult—especially when as a teen you are trying desperately to not need adults for much of anything!

I don’t want them to have to do it alone.  Ever.  It’s just too much, too complex, and too much is at stake in their lives and in their bodies.

Of course I don’t think there is a lot I can do about some of it: teens are sure nothing will happen to them and far be it from me to ever be the one to shatter that illusion.  Time will take care of that.

But what options can I help out with?  And what can we, as people who have gone through the transition from high school to college and beyond while living with diabetes, offer as help for those walking in our footsteps?

I have a list.  It includes discussing plans for every day regimens, medications and supplies, the financial side of things, dealing with insurance hassles, roommates, and actually leaving for college.

It’s one of the reasons I started Diabetes OutsideI don’t want anyone to feel as scared and alone as I felt, or be in as much denial as I was.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you want some real help with this transition.

It turns out, it isn’t worth it to try and face life with diabetes on your own.

You’re worth way too much for anyone to let you even attempt it.

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