17 year old just diagnosed

My 17yo daughter was just diagnosed in 12-16 - the only true struggle we seem to have so far is going to a restaurant and figuring out carbs. These would not be your chain restaurants but more local restaurants that don’t have nutrition info on website. Another place we struggle is a juice bar/nutrional smoothies - and tips would be great since next year she will be off to college and i won’t be there to help “figure it out”

hi @kcarleonard - there is no science to restaurants. I’ve (on more than one occasion) had a plain simple meal at a restaurant expecting about 40 grams of carbs followed by a 4 hour high and a total amount of insulin equivalent to 150 grams of carbs. Restaurants pack in the carbs and fats because they taste good. gravy, sauces, & etc. are typically packed with fat and sugar.

If you go to the same restaurants, then trial-and-error. After some experience you should be able to anticipate how many carbs are in your favorite items. Testing right before and then at 2 hours after a meal can be a great help. If you took enough insulin, your bs at + 2 hours should be about 50 mg/dl higher than right before.

Your daughter is “just diagnosed” to me that means she probably go through a time when her body begins making a little insulin. This is called “The Honeymoon”, and it can be a time where blood sugar control might be a bit easier (and insulin doses might be a little lower) then if she was making zero insulin. This can last 0-6 months and even longer. The big trick is to not get discouraged when control begins to get difficult. good luck. make good friends with the CDE and endo and learn all you can. the first year can be tough and support can make a big difference.

Thank you - yes we are in the honeymoon stage now. Numbers are actually doing very well from the day of diagnosis- when we went to the hospital with a BG of 600 - hoping she will test more than she does - finally convinced her to get the dexcom as she doesn’t like the finger pricking at all. At 17 - its not “pretty” no one else can see the marks but she can and it bothers her. once we get the dexcom it will be even better to track her numbers. Especially since she will be independent and off to college next fall. Thanks again for the help.

hi @kcarleonard,

I was diagnosed as a teen, and I get why she doesn’t want to test. The dexcom requires at least as many finger sticks because you have to calibrate the dexcom with a finger stick and you really need to consider a finger stick before you add insulin. Having a CGM like dexcom does not mean the end of finger sticks, the CGM is not accurate enough to replace finger sticks. For some people, the CGM is so inaccurate they can’t even trust the readings. sorry but it’s the reality of CGM. I really hope a CGM sales person did not give you false security.

If I had to guess, she is in for some tough soul-searching about the future, because we all go through this when we get diagnosed. At the end of this grieving process she will realize that the finger sticks are not the end of the world. I did and I know she’ll eventually get there with support from you and her doctors and peers. It really helps if she can talk openly and honestly about her anger and disappointment with this diagnosis. good luck.

Thanks for the info - yes i do know we have to still calibrate the CGM each day - but hoping this will lessen her anxiety - we were told they are not alway accurate - hope it works for us and that will help. She has had some ups and downs - not willing to join support groups or truly talk about it yet - i am not going to push her and just let her feel this out on her own…Thanks again -

I’ve had T1D for about 9 years now, and I used the CGM for about 8 months. I actually stopped using the Dexcom CGM because of the amount of anxiety it actually gave me. I was constantly checking what my blood sugar was, and constantly taking sugar or giving myself insulin. This resulted in a constant up and down pattern in the blood sugars. So I would suggest that you don’t look at the CGM during the day too often, or maybe not even at all. The meter is much more reliable. The only thing that I missed about the CGM was looking at the trends of the graphs. I had many occasions in which I saw 2 arrows downwards at 60, took tons of juice, and checked a few minutes later to find I was in the high 400’s.

I know your original question was about restaurants, but the conversation has wandered to Dexcoms so I hope you don’t mind… My daughter (who is 19) was diagnosed at 16 and quickly became quite independent in counting her carbs and managing her diabetes. I’ve always seen my job as more of a coach or monitor. When she went off to college we were extremely grateful for the Dexcom! She occasionally gets nighttime lows and doesn’t wake up, even when her CGM alarm goes off. Since the Dexcom syncs with our phones, both my husband and I get a notification too, we send her a text or call her to make sure everything is okay, and on a couple of occasions had to call her roommates to help her wake up and take care of her low. It is truly a life-saver! As far as having to continue with finger pricks, the good news is the Dexcom G5 is so accurate it has now been FDA approved for only two finger pricks a day under normal circumstances. Here’s the link to the article on that. Now we’re just looking forward to the day that the Dexcom communicates with her T-slim insulin pump (slated to happen in 2018)! Best wishes! (Oh, and feel free to check out my blog. I wrote a post on “Diabetes goes to college” that you might find helpful.)

Hang in there. I consider the CGM as a great tool bit like most are saying, not on its own. As a patent of a T1D, it’s great to see what she is trending while at school or a friend’s house. While I know you should be doing finger sticks before food intake, I am guilty of not doing it always with her. However I will only give carbs in small dose when I do. It is way too easy to over compensate.