Thursday, July 20, 2017

Not Letting T1D Mess Up HER Goals

Our oldest daughter is now driving.  

I'll continue to type while you adjust and let the information sink in.  If you are like me, that may take a moment....driving IS one of the scariest parenting moments. 

Several years ago, another blogger parent shared her own personal driving stories as one by one, her teens living with T1D made the plunge into the world of driving.  I was actually horrified, while also feeling awe and a slight bit of  jealousy - because truthfully - having another driver was definitely needed within our household.  For the record, her young drivers did just fine.  The worst seemed to be the need to stretch out curfew for 'just a few minutes more'.  That seemed very typical of most teenagers and so reading about their experience helped me to relax. Well, mostly.  

And to give you that same gift of relaxation, I want to share this story with you. 

Over the past 1.5 years, thanks to a graduated license, our daughter has learned to navigate her vehicle and her T1D care with ease.  The reality is that as parents, we often focus on the imagined 'worst case scenarios' and fail to see how proficient our young people have become.  It becomes even trickier when you couple in the 'what ifs' of T1D.  Believe me when I tell you, those first few months, we worked hard at ensuring that our daughter had a protocol for caring for T1D.  There is fast-acting glucose in her center console, there is an ID on her seatbelt and her wrist and we heavily discussed the need for testing - not guessing at BG numbers - before she drives.  

But this strategy was not our sole focus.  We also had to teach her how to handle freeways, roundabouts and parallel parking.  My husband, whose own father was a school teacher and driving instructor, was fixated on giving his own child the best defensive driving education that any child could need.  I tease but he had her working my own minivan like it was a tiny sports car.  I can't even do that. 

Yesterday, our daughter drove to one of her final orthodontist appointments.  The visit required a drive of about 20 minutes each way.  In leaving our house, she felt slightly rushed as she was running behind to begin with.  Hopping into the car, she forgot to check her CGM or check her blood glucose through a fingerstick.  I sat in the passenger side, unaware as well.  My mind was more on the impending visit than what she had forgotten.  

Seconds into our drive, she suddenly pulled into a parking lot.  Surprised, I questioned her.  

"Mom, I almost forgot to check my BG.  I want to make sure that I am safe."

With fingers in action at lightening speed, within moments, there was the all-too familiar click, wirrrrrrrrrrrr and Beep!

"205 mg/dl", she happily revealed.  

Back on the road we went and as she drove further she shared, "I don't want to have problems with driving and T1D.  This is too important right now.  I have things that I want to do and I don't want to mess any of it up."  

I bit my lip to keep from further parenting her and just nodded in agreement.  My advice or scolding wasn't needed and if I had shared any of my favorite lectures or opinions, it might have changed the course of what she is planning to do.  

Sometimes, our teens are their own best guide.  We just have to give them the freedom to figure it out. 

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