Mother vs. Daughter

I'm a junior in high school and I've gotten hundreds of offers to colleges all around. I have always had my heart set on going to the University of Alabama. There has never been a question about it, until now. My mother has basically told me that I'm not going anywhere except the local university and living at home. She says she can't trust anyone else to watch out for me while i'm gone. She says I won't find a roommate responsible enough to help me if something were to happen. What I don't understand is that I will be 18 in a few months.. and nothing has ever happened to me to the point of needing someone. If I've ever had a low.. I've taken care of it.. I've never passed out from highs or lows.. I've always been responsible and relatively normal when it comes to diabetes. She's just being paranoid.. but thanks to her..I will be living at home while in college at the university 10 miles from my house. Anyone else have paranoid parents?

I'm very surprised my mom didn't feel this way. I went off to college only 3.5 months after being diagnosed. I was the one who was more paranoid!


Look into the health and disabilities clinics at the University of Alabama. Trust me they can help with a lot of stuff.

Also reassure you mom that you will notify your roommate about your diabetes as well as other people on the floor in your dorm and your CAs (community advisors) and even your hall director. That way people you will be surrounded by on a daily basis will know.

Explain to your mom that you don't want diabetes preventing you from having a normal college experience. Tell her you will check in and keep her up to date (even if you don't want to, it will help ease her a little bit). Perhaps even get your doctor involved and he/she can keep in contact with you via email on a weekly basis.

It might be hard, but you will be 18 so it is really up to you where you go and what you do. Don't let your parents stop you.

I too am surprised by that. I actually got diagnosed my freshman year of college, so having your mom want you to be at home while you've obviously been taking good care of yourself (with highs/lows) is different. I just explained to my room mate about what the basic deal is and showed him how to use my glucagon in the unlikely event that he would come back from class and I'd be passed out somewhere.

Maybe you can transfer somewhere to UA a little later after your mom is a little less protective?

That's exactly how my mom is right now. I'm a junior, and the college that I really want to go to is in Florida but she seems to think that if I go something horrible will happen just because I'm not around her, or the house. I think it's a little crazy, because my diabetes really hasn't made anything that different in my life than it was before. And when it comes to finding someone that would be around just in case I ever did need them, I've always had someone that, even if I had to teach them, knew at least how to take care of me if I got too low or too high. Obviously it's a bit of their job as parents, but really, I think it'd be nice to get some credit for how well I take care of myself, and the trust to know that I can do it, and eventually will have to do it on my own.

I would be happy that my mom was so involved and worried about myself. However, your mom needs to realize that she is unable to keep watching you your entire life. She needs to cut the strings at some point. I wonder though if being a diabetic is your mom's own fears of you just going off and no longer needing her. Are you an only child? Do you have younger siblings?

I went off to school two and a half hours from my house and I think when I left I was the one who was more terrified thn my parents. You need to get your mom to realize you can handle yourself, you will let people know, and also show her you are prepared for leaving her.

Here is some info that could be helpful:

I'm a sophomore in college and was just diagnosed two months ago. My mom had no problem with me living on campus. My roommate knows exactly what to do in case anything ever happened to me. You just need to explain to her that you are not going to let diabetes get in the way of what you want to do.

Sounds like you have a future cut out for you, you have some great wants and hopefully they will only become greater in the future!

But lets plan for the future shall we! Try looking at it this way.

First off, going to a local/community university for your first year of college is a great way to start! College is different then high school in a lot of way and going someplace local is a great way to start. You get to get your feet wet and be slowly submersed into the college culture, it will also be a lot cheaper.

Second you'll find out more about were you see yourself heading in the future, learn about where you really want to go and what is important to you, you can still discover these things close to home...

Third, you should form a support group. Make as many contacts with the professors and professionals there at school as possible. If you make your desires known these people can help propel you into your future- like transferring you to the best school for your dreams and future needs for a professional life, making the need to go away from home more vital.

These 3 things will be important leverage for going way to the place that is best for you. Your mother's excuse that she wants to care for you won't hold up once you can take care of your self in these ways.

Sure nothing has never happened with your diabetes, but life will happen! In a year you may be closer to living then you haver have been in the past and you will have more needs and more tools to live it! These things may not make sense yet, but in a little while they will if you keep them in mind.

When I went to college, what alleviated my mother's fears was that I found a doctor ahead of time, and it turned out he was a friend of my parents' doctor in their home town.  So, step #1: Find a doctor, a good endocrinologist.

Step #2: (And someone else said this, I think) Make sure to find a diabetes support group or diabetes clinic. You'll find one--college towns always have these sorts of things. I work full-time now at a university, and there are a lot of support groups on campus for diabetics.


Step #3: No matter what roommate you'll have, you're going to have to teach that person. And really, that person can and will learn. Another thing I did when I was in school was make friends with the lunch lady (who was in charge of checking our ids before we went in). We called her the soup nazi because she wouldn't let people out with extra food...Well, I made friends with her, and it turned out SHE was type II diabetic, and she let me take food out, "In case I went low." 


And finally, something your mom is going to have to accept: You're growing up. You _can't_ live in a gilded cage all your life.  She needs to learn to value your responsibility, that you're not a child any longer, and that she has bestowed upon you the good sense and skills to take care of yourself.  (My mom is still learning this, and I turn thirty in a month!)  You'll have to teach her that even though you needed her constantly as a child diabetic, all the good work she put in keeping you alive when you couldn't do it for yourself has paid off now because you're a smart and responsible adult.

It's hard for parents to accept that they aren't needed in quite the same way that they used to be.  Good luck, and go to any college you want--don't let your mom stop you because both of you will regret that in the long run.

I can say as a friend of a person with type I that there are people willing to help you out. I do not have diabetes, my boyfriend who I met in college does. He was basically on his own for the first month or two, and from that point on, I started helping. It would obviously be ideal for you to find a roommate to help you out, and if you go away for college your second year, living on campus would probably help with this situation, too. Sophomore advisors and resident assistants should be glad to get a lesson in how to use a glucagon, for instance, and what foods to get you if you ever have a bad low. Even something as simple as asking your roommate to remind you to do your Lantus (or whatever all-day release insulin you use) would be a simple thing. Forgetting that is obviously a bad thing, yet when you're in the midst of homework, laundry, hanging out with friends and all the responsibilities that come with living "on your own",  you can sometimes forget, or be a little later than you'd hope.


Clearly not everyone thinks the same as I do, but if you find good friends, they should be willing to help as much or as little as you'd like. I actually started helping Scott (boyfriend) out before we were dating, just because it felt right for me to for some reason. And he's not inexperienced with diabetes. He's 19 now and has had it since he was 10.


I guess I would say that a good bet at convincing your mom would be to assure her that the residence hall staff at your school would be very willing to help you out. You can talk to them before school even starts, and if you don't give them specifics then, they should ask about medical stuff at a meeting or something during the beginning of the year. While they're not entirely responsible for your medical well-being, they are there to check in on you, so let them know how to use a glucagon and all that good stuff.


Good luck! =)



My family was not comfortable with me living away from home either, but during one endocrinology appointment they voiced concerns, and the doctor looked at my parents like they were crazy. After that it was hard for them to want me to stay home.  Universities have disability offices you can take advantage of. For example, I got a doctor's note stating that I had to be placed in a dorm with air conditioning (yes, there are still places without AC).  Colleges also have medical centers, and many have nearby hospitals, so access to 24 hour medical attention is usually not an issue.  Concerning roommates, I always told new roommates 1)not to eat my food b/c it is the same thing as medication for diabetes, and 2)if I act drunk or strange have me test myself or call 911.  If you really don't want to go to a small local college, you shouldn't have to.

Wow. Thanks for all of your suggestions. They are some really good ideas about trying to help my mom out with this.

I think what I'm going to end up doing for now is applying for various colleges around.. including the local college she wants and where I want to go..UA. And just see what happens. Who knows if I will even get in? Hah. I have been keeping up with scholarship info. from all of these places so we'll just see.. Maybe she'll feel differently in a year. If not..I might just have to do what I think is best for me and go where I want to go. I just hope she copes with it well and doesn't hate me for it.

I tried to go to a math and science school for my junior and senior years but it is residential so she wouldn't let me apply. That's when I realized we were going to have issues in this area in the future.

I am not an only child..I have a younger sister.. so you'd think she wouldn't be all paranoid about me. But I'm the one with the problem..not my sister.. so her worries are directed to me. She tells everyone that my diabetes isn't under control and that it never has been.. but I've never passed out from a high or low.. I've never been to the hospital because of diabetes other than being diagnosed.. I don't really understand why I'm considered as an uncontrolled diabetic.

But a perk to the going to the local college thing.. there is a great 4yr nursing program here and if I were to get a full scholarship that would be extremely great. I also have a job here so I would still have a steady source of income..vs. going away and having to start over. The only problem would be living at home.. I would love to convince my parents to let me rent an apartment close to campus and also work. I have mentioned that idea a few times but no real response.

I appreciate all of your advice and opinions. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that has dealt with parents like mine before.


I don't think your Mom will hate you for doing what you really want to do.  If you end up going to UA she will probably be overprotective and nervous for the first little while.  She will probably feel better after the first time she comes to visit you and sees how well you are doing and how happy you are.  I was diagnosed last year (in my 2nd year of University).  I was living by myself 5 hours from home in a town of 19 houses for a work term.  My mom came and lived with me for a week because she was so worried, and called me every night after that.  When I moved back to University a couple months later, I moved in with a friend who was awesome about learning everything about my diabetes.  If you can, I would try moving in with a friend who already knows you and a little about diabetes.  That definitely made my mom feel better and she stopped calling all the time.  Good luck with everything:)

I got diagnosed the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of college.  There was no question of me not going back to school for my sophomore year.  My mom set up an appointment for all of us with the diabetes nurse educator at the local hospital.  My mom felt confident that I would have a resource nearby should I need anything.  I also met with some of the physicians at the campus health center.  I gave my roommate two books about diabetes and showed her how to give the glucagon shot (which through college and since I have never needed).  I think you should really talk to your mom because you can't live with her forever.  What happens after college when you want to go out on your own?  What happens if you want to travel? It sounds like you take really good care of yourself so she shouldn't worry.  Good luck!!