My 18-year old daughter is a freshman at Emory University in Georgia and was diagnosed with Type 1 back on Sep 7 just about 2 weeks ago. Our home is in the Los Angeles area, so, she's some 2500 miles away. I'm at a crossroads and don't know what to do and need some help, suggestions, etc. Perhaps a little background first...
The first couple of weeks of school was particularly tough for her as she was struggling big time with homesickness. After a week I instituted a nightly conference call for her with me and my parents, brothers, sister, etc, and it really helped her as she was starting to find her stride. Then... wham!! she's diagnosed with Type 1. I was on a business trip when she called from the health center at school where they told her she needed to be hospitalized to get her blood sugar down from 538 as she was likely diabetic. I was in Phoenix at the time and immediately flew to Atlanta and was in her hospital room at 9:45PM that same evening. I've been here ever since helping her get adjusted to her new life as a Type 1 diabetic and am planning to head home tomorrow afternoon after almost 2 weeks being here. She's scared and so am I........
My daughter and I have a phenomenal relationship. She knows that I will be there for her in any way whenever she needs me. Our bond is exactly as I imagined it would be even when I told her mom all those years ago when she was only 2 that although her mom and I were divorcing there was no way that I was ever divorcing my daughter!! I've always encouraged her to face the difficulties in her life head on and to tackle things as they come. She's extremely capable in just about every way in life - even when she doubts herself she gets surprised at what she accomplishes. Maybe this is too much all at one time?!
Freshman year is hard enough for young adults as they head out on their own trying to make their way in a sea of strangers, responsibilities and freedoms they've never before had. Adding a new diagnosis and trying to manage her insulin, carb counting, prescriptions, supplies, snacks, BG testing, ketones, lows, highs, 2AM tests, calling in her levels, doctors appointments, etc, along with classes, studying and all the other freshman-year-stresses just seems waaaaay too overwhelming!!
A lot of you on this discussion have been dealing with all of this for years... knowing what you know now, if you were in my shoes then what would you do? Would you encourage her to take a semester or a year off to learn all of this Type 1 stuff first and then go back to tackle school? Would you tell her not to change her life on account of this disease and simply keep moving forward and tackle this day-by-day? Would you take a leave of absence from work to go live near her for a few months while she attends school so you can help her tackle the diabetes simultaneously?
I am completely lost and have no idea which way to turn!! And, I haven't even yet mentioned my irrational fear of her slipping into a low while sleeping and I'm not there to test her in the middle of the night!!
Thanks for any encouragement... guidance... or anything else you can give!!
-Schmaps (aka Rob).
I'm chiming in years late on this and in a potentially spammy manner, but there is an app for this.
Diabesties was released in Nov 2012 through the College Diabetes Network as a way for people at college to track and share BG readings (and comments!) with each other to get support while away from home.
It's completely free and I personally find it very helpful for parents of kids at any age where the kid can operate, or even just take to school, a smart phone.
In the spirit of full-disclosure, I work for the company (Ayogo Health) that made the app. But, it is completely free. There isn't even a way to give us, or the CDN, money through the app! :oD
My brother and I share our BG readings, and taunt each other mercilessly, with Diabesties. And, once my youngest has a device he can take to school, I'll stay in touch with him and his BG readings through it too. Yes, we ALL have T1D - it runs screaming naked in the family I like to say.
My best to everybody with all the challenges you face.
The best move I ever made was getting a college education. It eventually led me to a great position at a decent paying job, and when I became too blind to drive and started getting wounds on my feet that wouldn't heal from standing all day, that higher income paid off. Your disability payments are based on your former income. Aside from that, the college years were some of the most enjoyable of my life. Definitely encourage her to go.