A diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes begins a life sentence of worry for parents, yet teens have other concerns. Teenagers experience much more difficulty adjusting to the news. Peer pressure, eating disorders, depression, drugs and alcohol are just a few of the issues all teens have to address. The diagnosis of this all-consuming disease creates resentment and anger and consequently sets the teen at a disadvantage in the social hierarchy of a middle school or high school. Also, a later diagnosis means older students are acutely aware of how their life used to be.
Korey K. Hood PhD, author of the book Type 1 Teens: A Guide to Managing Your Life With Diabetes, has a chapter devoted to “Fight Diabetes Burnout.”
Hood recognizes that teens can feel frustration, disappointment, anger, irritation, hopelessness and depression as a result of the brutal regimen and ongoing monitoring that is necessary to maintain the disease (p 26). These feelings stem from the unpredictability of the disease. At times it seems no matter what a person does, blood glucose readings will display either too high or too low, requiring constant adjustments, either in the form of a shot of insulin or some form of carbohydrate.
As a result, many teenagers and young adults choose to sidestep the tight regimen, checking their blood glucose only when absolutely necessary. In addition, they do not carry their diabetes supplies with them to reduce the stigma of being “different” from their peers. Battles ensue between parents and teens as independence is set against safety, further angering the child.
School protocol often dictates that students with Type 1 diabetes are to go to the school office to check their blood and administer their insulin. Embarrassment and loss of time with their peers leads to students neglecting to check at all.
Understanding this scenario, I set out to create a diabetes management supply case that is essentially invisible to the prying eyes of peers and can be used discreetly in front of friends without anyone being the wiser. The case has been designed so that all of the items needed to check your blood and make a correction are at your fingertips (pun intended!). The zipper opens at the top, to save time and speed up the process.
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