Thursday, January 21, 2016

Teens with Diabetes

I have three teenage boys with Type 1 Diabetes. I haven’t blogged much because I’m trying to respect their privacy and don’t want to throw them under the bus, so to speak.

But I feel as though it’s important to write a little bit about it. It’s been a confusing and frustrating process watching my once diligent, conscientious children turn into what seem to be careless zombies who have no idea that they have diabetes, much less a disease that demands any amount of attention.

How does one go from always remembering to literally overnight, never remembering.

Did someone sneak in during the night and take away all their common sense?

Should I call the police?

The only thing I can count on these days is routine set changes, and only because insulin is gone and they don’t like throwing up from ketones. Everything else is a crapshoot.

It’s frustrating.

Frustrating also is the fact that they all have good A1C’s.

Yes, I wrote those words. Sure, I’m thankful, but it’s luck. One day a consequence will rear it’s ugly head and I’ll have to watch. As a parent, worry breeds at an alarming rate in the depths of my chest cavity. I wonder what happens when there is no more room for the worry to grow. Will I explode?

I’m pretty sure my swelly brain has already exploded, as most days I feel like I’m herding cats.

Every day I ask myself: Why am I herding these cats? Can’t these cats herd themselves? Why am I even trying to herd these very capable cats?

More importantly, cats don’t want to be herded. You herd them and then they run away seconds after you get them in line. Do these cats have brain injuries? I’ve trained them since they were kittens and they used to herd themselves in perfect formation. They did it for years, now it’s like they have amnesia and don’t remember ever have herded.

It absolutely feels like a losing battle.

And I absolutely feel like a failure every night when I lie down to sleep.

And then I read an article about teenage brain development and suddenly it all makes sense.

No, they don’t have brain damage…but close:

“The brains of teenagers literally aren’t physically fully connected. In an adult brain, there are a number of neural connections that allow the different parts of the brain to all work together. In the teenage brain, these connections aren’t fully formed yet, and it, unsurprisingly, impacts the brain’s ability to process information in a way that looks at the entire picture. It’s been found that the last part of the brain to finish developing its connections is the frontal lobe, which is also the part of the brain that governs attention span, impulses, and motivation.”

Thank you science for helping me realize I’m not a complete failure.

I’ll continue herding and they’ll continue growing connections until one day, my zombie cats will turn into responsible adults.

In the mean time, solidarity to all the parents of teens with Diabetes. There’s hope for us yet.