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Diabetes & Talking About the Teen Years

Posted Jun 05 2009 5:06pm

   The teen years are rough. For most everyone, Diabetes or no Diabetes. I remember my teens like it was yesterday (yes, I know, it practically was)...all those horrormones, first boyfriends and makeup and attitude. I walked around with a huge chip on my shoulder for about a year; boys were on the Cool List, my best girls were on the Cool List, skimpy clothes (deceptively worn underneath less skimpy outfits 'till I got to school) were definitely on the Cool List. French kissing was right at the top, and my big sister made it on The List (because let's face it, big sisters are always Cool). My parents were not on the Cool List. They were the ultimate antagonists to everything Cool and my bitter, sworn enemies.
   (Thank God it was only a phase...)

   But growing up in itself is not easy. It's a time of limbo; we want to be adults (well, we want to do whatever we want!) and we're too old to be kids. And the teen years can be doubly difficult for kids with a chronic disease, kids who are trying to deal with the teenage angst on top of the rigid structure that a chronic disease can impose. And finding out how to cope, finding answers and advice and a sympathetic ear can be incredibly difficult at any age.         

    Allison, who manages a teen-oriented site called Teen Talk, took the initiative to interview a group of adult Diabetics (including your's truly) about the teen years, adulthood and Diabetes. Allison is a 20 year old college student, "currently in the process of 'growing up,' learning about insurance, grocery shopping for [herself] and contacting [her] health care team when [her] blood sugars are not in good control. It is a tough process, but it is one that [she] can't avoid."

   The article, called "Transitioning From Teenage to Adulthood with Diabetes: How Others Did It...And What it Can Mean for You", touches on Life, Attitude and even Alchohol. Allison encourages readers to join Diabetes seminars and classes so that "our knowledge of diabetes will grow and it will make it easier to troubleshoot some of the stumbling blocks in managing diabetes." This is invaluable advice that anyone of any age can use to their advantage!

   I had a fun time answering Allison's questions as well as reading what the other participants had to say. So, to coin the Teen Guru, "Now it's your turn!"

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