Growing up & letting go.. a transition to independence

My daughter was diagnosed at a very young age (7 years ago today), so pretty much all she has known is a life with Type 1 Diabetes. For the first few years, we as parents were solely responsible for everything: how many carbs are going into her body, long acting and short acting insulin injections, choosing an insulin pump, ensuring proper care at school, church etc.. EVERYTHING!

As she continues to grow and mature, she has begun to take on some more responsibilities bit by bit, to take care of her own health. Little things from testing herself, to putting her carb counts into her pump, communicating with us or other caregivers how she is feeling. We also involved her in the decision-making process to upgrade her pump once her first one was up for replacement. I’m so proud of how much she has continued to grow and take responsibility for her T1D.

This transition still requires that I as a parent still monitor, guide, and remind her of the things she is responsible for and help her make good decisions as it relates to her care. 

Having the Dexcom CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitoring system) for the last few years has been invaluable for us as part of this transition. By us monitoring from a little further away, my daughter is able to enjoy more independence and experience the things other kids her age experience too. Plus – I get peace of mind and a little extra sleep at night knowing that I am aware of where her sugars are headed and can be alerted if they’re out of range.

Her First Sleepover

Recently, my daughter went for her first sleepover at a friend’s house. She’s been over to family members’ homes before but not friends. Admittedly, I was quite stressed, but I knew she was only a few blocks away and I could monitor her sugars from my phone with the Follow app. It was a blessing that her friend’s mom was so responsive and quick to reply to text messages at 9pm, 11pm, 1am and 3am. Her sugars fluctuated that night probably because of a few extra snacks, then dropped a little low from correcting, so it was comforting to be in close communication with an adult there. It was so good to hear from everyone the next morning how much fun she had and that she was able to enjoy time with her friends without diabetes getting in the way.

Change is never easy, but it’s inevitable..

(I’m sure that’s a quote from someone much smarter than myself). I’ve learned to be flexible and embrace the changes that continue to come with my daughter’s diabetes. Having amazing tools like Dexcom G6 helps me to respond and prepare for these changes in a much better way, and will allow her to do so as well as she continues to take on more responsibilities.

Speaking of changes… we recently upgraded from the Dexcom G5 Mobile to the Dexcom G6. With that upgrade also came an upgrade on her Tandem T:Slim pump to the latest “Basal-IQ” technology. It’s such a huge improvement and another thing for all of us to learn together. Trusting a piece of equipment (not much bigger than a pager) to make adjustments on the fly, to reduce insulin to prevent low blood sugars is HUGE. This technology will continue to help her as she navigates new stages of life with hormone changes and just ‘growing up’ with this disease.

It’s amazing how far technology has come in the almost 8 years since she was diagnosed and it’s exciting to see where it continues to go. We continue to pray for a cure, but in the meantime it’s awesome to have the tools and support to help kids live a more ‘normal’ life with less interruptions (and still be there to monitor from afar for at least a few more years).

While this post is sponsored by Dexcom, the experiences and opinions mentioned here are my own. To be sure this product is suitable for you, always read and follow the instructions on the label. You can find out more about the Dexcom G6 CGM system here

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