A Guide to Parents, Written by a Teenage Diabetic

Eric Herschler (DOB 5/26/94)'s father writes:

Our son, Eric, was diagnosed on Dec. 18, 2006 {His D Day, as we call it.}. He was taken to the ER room by us since he appeared very lethargic and was vomiting. Neither my wife nor I had any idea what was wrong with him. We thought he had the flu we had both had the week earlier. In fact, he was in severe ketoacidosis and we were told later on he had been near death. He was immediately transferred by ambulance to CHOC where he spent two days in the ICU and two days in recovery.

He wrote this article several months ago and now completely manages his diabetes care using a pump.

Eric Herschler, a 13-year-old type 1 diabetic, has tips for older folks on how to deal with diabetic kids.

May 8, 2008

When I was diagnosed with diabetes a year and a half ago, my life changed enormously. My parents became obsessed with diabetes but they have always helped me. Here are a few tips on how to help your child with diabetes:

  1. Never, never, NEVER groan when your child has a high number. Yes, we know it's high. It's usually not our fault. When it is our fault, though, do remind us gently not to eat that last cake slice.
  2. Don't go crazy when we have low numbers. Ok? Yes, we sometimes have 40s and lower. Just hand us a juice. Don't go crazy.
  3. Don't pressure us 24/7 to do exercise when we are high. Being high and exercising is the last thing we want to do. Instead, suggest walking in place for about 15 minutes to half an hour. It works great with me! If it doesn't work, don't just boot your child out the door. Do everything with him/her, so (s)he doesn’t feel lonely.
  4. Don't complain about us having diabetes. It's not our fault.
  5. Be patient when younger kids cry about shots. It's scary.
  6. A pump is probably the scariest thing about diabetes in the world.  At 13 years of age, I still get the chills, even though I've had the pump since last August. Be extremely patient with the pump.
  7. Participate in the [fundraiser] walks. They will make you feel good and you get great stuff, like free testers and test strips too!
  8. Prepare your kid, but not excessively. Only pack us up with  a tester, a juice, and a quick 15 carb snack. That's it.
  9. Don't cry in front of us. That just makes us more depressed;  knowing that we caused this for you.
  10. Finally, support us in everything we do. If we want to go jet packing off the Niagara Falls, don't stop us by saying, "You can't do  that. How will you do your shots?" Instead, take about 20 minutes discussing how you are going to manage your diabetes and still have fun. It will pay off in the end, trust me.
I hope you took the time to read this guide. If you follow the rules, it should make life easier. Also, buy the Calorie King books. They’re like the diabetic Bible! Click Here To View Or Post Comments

Categories: Diabetes, Diabetes, Kids & Teens, Type 1 Issues

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May 8, 2008

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