Letting go

My son will be heading to college next year and I'm already worried about letting him go.   He manages his T1 well but my biggest fear is him going low at night and not waking up.    I just don't know how reliable a room mate will be in assisting him if he gets into trouble.    For one thing, the room mate might not actually be in their room everynight especially weekends.   Also, room mates may have early classes and be gone and not notice if he's not getting up.

So I'm wondering if other parents out there have asked the floor RA's to verify each morning that their T1 college kid is up?   I'm probably obsessing over it but this is going to be very difficult for me and I think I'm going to need an affirming text message every morning.

Has it happened before? Does your son have a pump? Have you considered a pump if he does not? Considered getting a CGM? I was diagnosed in May 2008, entered college in September 2008. I went through the entire school year with no problems. I starting pumping in Feb. of this year. So I had good experience with both shots and the pump. 

I'm wondering what is driving the concern? Obviously all parents are nervous about children going off to college (my mom being one!) however, like I asked ... has this happened before or are you just concerned it will happen now that you aren't there.

My roommate was very helpful and so were all my friends. My roommate even told me once that she was about to wake me up because it was almost noon and i wasn't up. (however, I planned this and I knew that my blood sugar was fine).

You could have your son find one person in his first class each day that would make sure he's up and awake (even if he did decide not to attend class). As far as the weekends, he could make sure to wake up at a certain time to check his blood sugar, then go back to sleep or get up based on the sugar.

I would also talk to your son's doctor to see if s/he has any suggestions.

 Hi Carol ,I will be doing the same thing with the texr message.I think cell phones sure help the parents out ! College years,we worry while they grow up !

I'm sure the RAs could verify he was up everyday, but your son would probabaly be embarassed or annoyed with that. I have lived away from home for like 6ish years now and I have always told my roommates what to watch for, how to use my glucagon, and all that good stuff (luckily never had any problems). However, I recently have been living alone and started the pump so my mom was having me call her every morning to let her know I had waken up, so I think that is definitely acceptable, just make sure there is a semi set time he should call before you worry incase one day he just wants to sleep in you dont have to worry.

i just graduated from my undergrad university and i'm just starting graduate school, and i've had T1 for about 8 years. you'd be surprised how helpful roomates are - and usually curious about diabetes as well. mine have been wonderful over the past four years, especially on nights that i might go a little overboard with partying and need help testing or being fed some food before bedtime. I'm not sure if your son is a "partier" (and that might change when he gets to school) but either way, i can't express how important it is for him to still go out, regardless of whether he chooses to drink or not with diabetes. choosing not to go out because partying with diabetes is a bad idea will only limit the number of great college friends he can meet, and making friends who will be a support net in other parts of life is so important. so tell him to have fun and don't let his diabetes limit his social life!

my RA did know i had diabetes but i never asked him to check on me. if your son has a roomate, i'm sure he'll notice if your son doesn't wake up one morning. maybe trying to get a class schedule where they're both waking up at the same time would be helpful in the future, so they know they have to wake eachother up every day. a lot of times when i'm switching dosages i'll set an alarm for halfway through the night for the first few nights of the new dose of insulin just to check how i'm doing - i'd rather wake up to an alarm, test, eat a snack if i test and i'm 90 rather than wake up an hour later low and feeling crappy and then eating.

college is definitely a challenge - stress was a big issue for me because when i had an exam coming that i was stressing about for several days sometimes i'd literally double my typical daily dose and still be 400 all day long. stress causes insulin resistance for me, so its worth it to try to do activities that reduce stress during exam times, like taking a walk or going to the gym. now that i'm starting grad school there's going to be a whole new level of stress in my life, and i've learned to take it a day at a time.

so, i'd say maybe a discreet text each day until he's comfortably moved in would be ok - calling is a little obsessive, and i'm sure the last thing a freshman boy wants (on top of standing out a little cause he has a disease that a lot of people aren't familiar with, and sometimes a bit freaked out by) is to have a mother who can't let go! good luck with everything - college was the best part of my life and i didn't let diabetes interfere with that, and i know your son will be able to do the same thing.

Hi, I'm an Australian and I was a college student at the University of Sydney for 2 and half years, i now live by myself in an apartment whilst I finish off the rest of my degree and enjoy the lifestyle I have created.

I can probably never understand the difficulties my parents must have faced sending me off to a notoriously bad place like the institute I attended. I was a freshman and I must say that I coped with few, if any hiccups. At this stage I have had no repercussions regarding the obsessive drinking and party culture I took place in. However, at the end of my stint I am reminiscing over the fact that I probably just spent nearly 3 years, with diabetes, in a routine of drinking about twice a week in a fun, but heavy manner. I have no regretts whatsoever and I don't mean to create a level of fear that you might brew over...and I dont know the exact nature of your son's college.

The very first night I was there, I got quite inebriated (as they say) and ended up rollign around on the ground outside the pub we were all drinking at. I can see how this would have looked for an RA on duty, and he did happen to telephone an ambulance. I ended up telling the paramedic to 'piss off' I think and later went to sleep in my room. There are different levels of severity when it comes to hypo's and hyper's which you would already know. I have never passed out or had a fit because the symptoms before I have a hypo are quite massive and I have told certain people that I sometimes enjoy them when I'm hungry. haha.

I don't think you need to worry about your son. I think it just took my a little longer than most people to realise that I was a nutjob regarding the drink. But hey, it is a quality of life that I will never regret taking part in. After my stupid rant I'd just like to say how important it is for you to encourage your son to take up a sport. Exercise is the key (in my opinion) to good control and it definately helped me with the lifestyle i chose. I think my parents used the guise of 'sports' as a way to contact me and keep an eye on my condition. They would badger me about when I was next going to go for a swim etc...quite clever in hindsight.

I hope I haven't increased your stress levels, but I do think one needs to sometimes chill on the whole diabetes and alcohol thing...just make sure your son doesn't smoke haha

I used to live in Maine!!! But I am in DC for the time being.  I play flute, so if I ever move back home (which is the plan hopefully soon), I'll let you know!!

Lol ... I was born in Portland and am heading up to ME next month for vacation, but I'm totally tone-deaf. (:

[quote user="Sarah"]

Lol ... I was born in Portland and am heading up to ME next month for vacation, but I'm totally tone-deaf. (:


I don't think you have to worry about being tone-deaf.  If you were truly tone-deaf, you wouldn't be able to tell the differences between people's voices or notice the doppler effect when ambulances and cars pass by, etc.  If you are tone-deaf, I'm really sorry, but I have a feeling you aren't :)

Anyway, I play bassoon (probably not ideal for the kind of band you want to form, lol), and I live in MA, but music is a great thing, especially when it heals and empowers us.  And a diabetic band is such an awesome idea!  I think there was a group called the Pump Girls or something in California...all diabetic teenagers!


Ha, ha Katie. You know what I mean. (: Let's just say if I joined a band, no one would pay to hear me sing!

Sarah, a fellow Portlander!!!  Yay!  I never knew a single fellow diabetic when I lived there -- of course, I have since moved to DC and still don't personally know another other Type Ones!