Sunday, September 8, 2019

Teenager Edition: I want you to know something

I want you to know when your teen doesn’t bolus for a meal, they really can “just forget."  And they can “just forget” a lot.

I want you to know that hormones are satan's sugars. They create havoc, and that isn’t anyone’s fault but nature itself.

I want you to know that rebellion is normal. Chances are you rebelled as a teenager, and your teenagers will too. If your teen has never rebelled, please play the lottery this weekend.

I want you to know that depression in teenagers with diabetes is very common. So much so, it is almost expected.

But I want you to know that it is ok to fight for them. Making our teens go to therapy will be SO VERY hard and maybe for a minute they will hate us for it…

But please know, it will be worth it.

The fight for mental health will always be worth it.

I want you to know that there are reasons they don’t bolus for lunch at school, or answer your texts to correct, or go to the nurse when expected. It’s not something they want to talk about, but their reasons are legitimate. Speak with your Endocrinologist; there is a plan B. 

Also, asking for help, as a teenager, is difficult to say the least.

I want you know that sugars do affect attitude, but at the same time, it isn’t ok to be an asshole. Ever.  Dear parents, it’s ok to give out consequences even when blood sugars are not cooperating. But be kind. Even adults are grumpy when they don’t feel good.

I want you to know teens are often opportunist and if you leave a crack in the window, they’ll squeeze through it like a rat looking for Christmas dinner. They will reuse sets, they will give you false numbers, they will sneak food in their room, they will pretend diabetes away if it gives them just a moment of normalcy… 

And they will do so much more than that.

But they aren’t doing it to you. They are just doing it in front of you.

And I believe that’s the key to surviving the teenager years…

Not to take it personally.

Their Diabetes isn’t about us, even though our lives are all about them.

I want you know the numbers, the forgetting, the rebelling, the attitude…it’s all coping mechanism to get through what isn’t only a trying decade, but a trying lot in life.

Being a teenager is HARD. Being a teenager with Diabetes is unfair. Period. They feel things harder than we do. The anger, the sadness, and the shame…it’s all more intense.  So intense it can become unbearable and the only thing to release the feelings is unconditional love from someone they are close with.

Let that unconditional love come from us.

And lets not withhold it because of a number on a screen.

Let our hugs lighten their load…and if we feel like we are hugging a porcupine? We must toughen up…

For a little while anyway.

Because the teen years don’t last forever.

Puberty ends.

Life and diabetes settle a bit.

Diabetes will always be a pain. It will never be perfect. But it won’t always be complete and utter chaos like the teenage years regrettably are.

Growing hurts.

Learning comes from making mistakes.

Our teenagers are learning so much.

And so are we.

We have to come to terms with the fact that we don’t have all the answers. No one does. So let’s just do our best. Love our best. Try our best.

And as with everything else in life, the rest will work itself out in the wash.


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