Living with diabetes is hard for everyone.

You may feel it is not fair. You may not want to do the things in this booklet, such as watching what you eat, staying active, checking your blood sugar, and taking insulin. You may be scared or mad or sad.

Some kids ignore it or pretend they do not have diabetes. Teens may feel different from their friends and want to be the same. Some kids don’t want to be seen in public doing their blood sugar checks or taking insulin shots. A lot of kids feel it is too much responsibility, too hard, and get overwhelmed with all the things they are supposed to do. All of these feelings are normal.

When you have diabetes, it is a change for everyone in your household. Your parents need to help you with everything no matter how old you are.

Your diabetes health care team wants to help you and your family learn how to take care of your diabetes. They are here to support you and help you learn how to accept your diabetes and learn how to cope with it.

Parents are the most important people to help you with your diabetes.

  • When your parents help, you will not feel alone with all you need to do to take care of yourself.
  • Parents need to give encouragement.
  • Parents can make sure you eat healthy, get activity, and help you take your insulin.
  • Parents should help you check your blood sugar and keep the blood sugar log up to date.
  • It is not your responsibility to do all of your diabetes care by yourself, even if you are a teen.

Paying attention to your blood sugar levels so changes can be made when needed can help you to feel better about yourself. You will find that living with diabetes can become part of your everyday life. It should not hold you back from doing all the things other kids do.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is active in eastern Iowa. Members of JDRF offer support and fun activities for other families living with type 1 diabetes. In Iowa, there is a chapter in Des Moines and Cedar Rapids. Your diabetes nurses can help put you in touch with them, or you can call the JDRF office at 1-319-393-3850.

Diabetes Camp in the summertime is a great way to meet other kids and families living with type 1 diabetes. The 1-week summer camp safely offers fun activities and positive learning about how to care for diabetes.

With help from parents and others, and believing in yourself, you can grow into a healthy, happy adult!