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From Canada:

I was diagnosed with Type 1 when I was 10. Up until I was 13, I took care of myself really well. I am now 16, and I'm really sick of doing the day-to-day routine, I feel out of place when I have to eat at a certain time, etc. I want to start doing my blood sugars again but I get really busy and can't do it, or else I just plain don't want to do it. I don't get along with my doctors, and have changed 4 times. I would like to know what I can do to start taking better care of myself, (so I feel like doing my sugars) and taking my injections when I'm supposed to. I want to help myself, and I don't want help from my doctors. I know that what I'm doing is only hurting myself.


You sound very frustrated! Believe me, you are not the only teenager out there who feels the way you do. Hopefully other teenagers will see your e-mail and not feel alone.

The first step is realizing that you are not taking care of you and your diabetes, and that you are hurting yourself. You have already done that: super! Now ask yourself: Who is the most important person? If your answer is you, then you need to do whatever you can to make you, the best possible you. That means taking care of your body because you want to. You have to be able to say to yourself,You are good enough, You are intelligent, and You are worth it.

Next: So, here you are trying to be independent while you are not in control! It's not easy making diabetes a priority in your life. Diabetes can mess things up for you, but if you take the steps to take care of yourself, you can avoid diabetes getting the best of you. Having a positive health attitude is a great way to confront diabetes.

Now you need to find a doctor. That person needs to be someone who you feel comfortable with and you need to give the two of you a chance. Remember: the two of you are in essence, a team.

Your doctor, parents and others have expectations of you and how you should take care of yourself. You may find that it is hard to do all that is asked of you. Besides managing your diabetes there are other things going on in your life, school, home work, after school activities, chores at home, maybe a boyfriend. It's not easy to keep everything going right - even if you want to. You need to work at making things the way you want them to be. Keep in mind you are not perfect, and it is not easy work.

As I wrote before, you and your doctor are a team. You need to work together to go for the win. You are like the quarterback who calls the play and follows your doctor's (coach's) direction. It still takes practice.

Don't give up!

In Control: A guide for Teens with Diabetes by Jean Betschard, M.N., R.N., C.D.E. and Susan Thom, R.D., L.D., C.D.E., is a great book that I think will help you if you take the time to read it. It's a book for teens. When you start to read it, you will begin to see that other teens have gone through what you are going through and they have been able to pull it all together, piece by piece and are now in control of their diabetes.


Original posting 8 May 97


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