{Our Story} A Little Diabetes Rebellion

by Leighann on May 29, 2013

Q generally goes along with all she has to do to manage her diabetes.

Does she always want to stop what she’s doing when her CGM alarms?

Does she always want to stand next to me for an extra 30 seconds while I enter the information into her pump to give her a bolus?

Does she always want to run back downstairs or back upstairs to retrieve her pump or CGM?


But she does it.

I once heard Dr. Polonsky speak at a social media event about “diabetes vacations.” Diabetes vacations are safe ways to give yourself a break from the constant attention that diabetes demands. For an adult PWD, it might be having your spouse do all your carb counting for a weekend. For a teen it might be having your parent figure out your boluses and draw up your injections.

I had to laugh when I realized a little bit of diabetes rebellion that Q has been dishing up. Maybe it’s her way of taking a break.

A few times recently when I have asked her to check her blood sugar, Q has yelled back, “I’ll do it, BUT I’M NOT WASHING MY HANDS FIRST!”

And I don’t make her.

I give her that break, even though it’s a tiny break.

I give her that control, even though it’s a minor thing to have control of in the grand scheme of things.

She has an entire lifetime ahead of her to deal with diabetes. Why not let this one slide once in a while?

(But we generally DO wash hands. We’ve had false highs from residue before, so if the reading doesn’t match her CGM, I make her wash her hands and test again. Definitely read the post “Go Wash Those Hands!“)

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pamela Wilson May 29, 2013 at 9:18 am

My son developed T1D in August when he was 7 years old. I did everything I could to help him manage his own diabetes care, although he always had supervision and support. Much sooner than I expected, he showed he was quite capable of taking on greater responsibility.
I was struck by your mention of Dr. Polonsky’s advise about “diabetes vacations.”
For my son, having someone else managing his diabetes care meant that he could follow a dozen other interests in his life. For a person with Down syndrome, this made quite a difference in how he made use of the opportunities he found in mainstream classrooms and neighborhood activities.
If he had been responsible for his own diabetes care, he could have managed as well as his mainstream peers, but it would have taken all his free time, and concentration, every day. That would have made diabetes the center of his life, instead of just a (still very inconvenient) part of his life.
People with diabetes can’t take a true vacation from it. It really is the best we can do to respect a child’s small rebellions and share the load of responsibility teens and adults will carry. In our family, we still negotiate the new normal.


2 K May 29, 2013 at 10:00 am

When we were in the hospital at diagnosis, instead of having her get up each time and wash her hands before checking be, the nurses would get a paper towel and dampen one side of it for us to clean off a finger. That habit has stuck with us…I tear one of those half-size paper towels into 4 folded pieces..so I end up with what is akin to 4 big dry alcohol swabs. When it’s time to check I dampen one edge of it, clean off finger , poke, get blood drop, wipe off with dry edge, then use second blood drop for testing. Works for us!


3 Scott K. Johnson June 10, 2013 at 7:26 pm

I’m hereby admitting that I am guilty of usually not washing my hands, either. 🙂


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: