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Heading to college for the first time- all tips welcome

Discussion in 'Parents of College Kids and Young Adults with Type' started by s0ccerfreak, Aug 16, 2009.

  1. s0ccerfreak

    s0ccerfreak Approved members

    Mar 17, 2007
    I leave for college in a little over 1.5 weeks! I'll be living about 45 minutes from home. Any thoughts on things I will need other than the every day d stuff? I also need ideas to help calm my mom- her baby girl is moving to college and then there is the whole diabetes thing. She is so worried about a morning low and wants me to call or texts every day, but I said I don't think that is going to happen. I just know that I will forget one day and she will absolutely freak out! So I need some other sort plan that will keep both of us happy. I do all of my own diabetes care, have a cgms, order everything from the pharmacy. I know where the nearest hospital is to school, but still need to find the pharmacy. We've talked to campus safety, the disability service, and have info about the health center. I think it just scares her that she won't be able to check on me. Basically I will take any tips you have about going to college, whether its general stuff or diabetes related. What worked well for you/ your child?
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2009
  2. OSUMom

    OSUMom Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    Hi Rae!

    What an exciting time! :) I think the transition is probably going to be the most difficult for your mom. If you can bear with her the first weeks, months, she'll probably calm down. I really think when diabetes is involved it's harder on the parents. :eek: Try to text her. As time goes by, I think she'll gradually feel better. I think the cell phones are awesome because texting is so unobtrusive and easy to stay in touch. Maybe even talk about an easy short mesage you could send - in the morning... "up". LOL ;)

    Does your college have nutritional information online for the restaurants? Ohio State did so that was cool. Dean would in the beginning call me and if I was near a cpu, I would look up what he was going to have for its carb content. Anyway, you could look at that if you wanted to familiarize yourself with what's available.

    I'm sure you are in good shape with being prepared. Just as much as you're able really try to stay in touch with your mom - it's a really difficult transition for us moms. :eek: You're going to do great!! Pop in, and let us know how it's going - we want to hear!! :D

    P.S. Tell your mom to log in here and chat with us if she wants. We understand what she's going through. :cwds:
  3. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    Hi Rae!

    Congratulations on your exciting time!

    Echoing what Laurie said, as a mom, PLEASE try to stay in touch with your mom. If the morning wake-up time makes her nervous, try to text her at that time (try to program yourself to do it when your alarm goes off). The letting go part is so hard for me, I imagine your mom feels the same. I was a basket case when Tom was at camp last week, and you're right...the times he was a little late checking in, my brain went into overdrive. But he DID check in, and he did a great job with his care, and I know that your mom knows that you will be cool with your care.

    But it's in our job description. We worry. Send her a text! (Or with only 30 minutes separating you she may just show up in your Freshman English lecture to check on you!)
  4. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    Let's see:
    Make sure the fridge is the right temperature in the part of the fridge where you put your insulin- frozen insulin is not a happy sight.
    Check out the tutoring center(s) before you really need them, in the second or third week of class, while they're still pretty open. Get a feel for what services they actually provide, and then later if you need help, you'll know what's available.
    Don't take classes that don't interest you.
    If a class looks like it might be tough, go and meet the professors before signing up (assuming this is a small college). They will be impressed and you will have an idea about the managability of the class.
    If things are getting to be more than you can handle, there is no shame in taking easier or fewer classes.
    Check out performances and speeches. Some of them can be really cool.

    I am student teaching this fall, and will be the owner of a teaching license as well as a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education come December, and I can honestly say that in the last four years, college was not among the top five most important things in my life. This period of getting into adulthood is far more challenging than the academics of college (although being diagnosed with diabetes my sophomore year didn't help matters).
  5. susanH

    susanH Approved members

    Jun 11, 2006
    hi s0ccerfreak!

    good luck with this transition time, it's exciting and overwhelming i'm sure. my son is a senior this year but i can remember that drop off day and following weeks so clearly, they were very difficult for me as i'd been involved in his care since he was 2.

    what really helped me was contacting the foodservice dept who had a registered dietician go thru their entire menu and list the carbohydrates for all of their food items; it was such a great help in the beginning....even if he didn't use it regularly, just having it 'there' helped with peace of mind. another book/website that helped was the calorie king carbohydrate counter. love it!

    i agree with what OSUMom:cwds: said, try to keep in close contact with your mom for the first few weeks at least....who knows? you both may really need the support from one another. texting was really a good way to stay connected but not tied completely --- his texts are short and to the point...but any word from him was comforting for some reason. one thing i'd try to avoid is not answering her text in a timely fashion..as in "oh, i'll get to that one later'. just send her a smiley or one word to let her know you're "listening".

    truly, you sound very independent and in control of things right now. you have taken every necessary step healthwise to make a smooth transition--your responsible nature should be a comfort to your mom but it's the letting go, D or no D that is so very difficult.

    wishing you the best freshman year ever!!! go s0ccerfreak!!
  6. Brynn

    Brynn Approved members

    Jan 17, 2009
    Hi Rae,
    Oh have I been where you're at. I just graduated, and my mom would make me call her every morning (she even got creative and made friends with my roomate and got her cell phone, before she started texting her to check on me.) I don't think there is much you are going to be able to do in the way of being able to stop the worrying at first. It's just not going to happen, but it does get better!
    Are you in the dorms? If you are, the RA should probably know that you have D. That is what helped me a lot, my RA always made sure I had juice (and on a few times, let campus police know that I was not intoxicated, but low.)
    You'll do great, have fun!
  7. s0ccerfreak

    s0ccerfreak Approved members

    Mar 17, 2007
    I just wanted to thank you all for everything. My school doesn't have carb counts for the food, but said the cook would probably sit down with me and tell me what is in everything so I can try to figure it out. I think I will just have to find my Calorie King book and do some guestimating. I'll have to record what I dosed for and how it turned out and eventually I'll have my own carb counts for the food. I will be living in the dorms- I am moving in on Friday :eek: I started packing today. I have a nice long list of things that I need. I've met some of the public safety and informed them of my diabetes so if they ever find me they may recognize me and know what to do and I wear a medic alert. I plan on letting my roommates, RA, and other friends know about my diabetes. My pedi also reminded me how important that is (she threw in a nice story about a T1 doc in her residency). I'm excited and nervous at the same time. I'm sure I'll be back here when I need some help :cwds:
    Thanks Again
  8. wdhinn89

    wdhinn89 Approved members

    Mar 31, 2007
    Good Luck and enjoy your time in college!

    Remember to trust your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right and your hair sticks up on the back of your neck or your gut gets a funny feeling, listen to your self and remove yourself from the situation. ;)

    Your mom is going to worry and you know it so just try your hardest to do what you can to put her mind at ease.

    You sound like a great person with a good head on your shoulders. Enjoy your time. College years hold some of your best memories.

    Don't forget us a CWD. I love your point of views from the younger crowd ;)
  9. s0ccerfreak

    s0ccerfreak Approved members

    Mar 17, 2007
    Hey guys, just wanted to let you know that I've survived a week and a half. In that time I've already had a pump need to be replaced (it will be here tomorrow). My insulin needs have dropped significantly. I have gone from 55-60 units a day to 40-45 and still need work. I have been talking to my mom every day. Currently I'm worried about getting the flu because one of my suitemates had it over the weekend. I have worked out accomodations with the disability support services. I told all of my profs that I have t1 d and guess what- one of them has t1 too! I met a kid in my class with t1 and I know a girl who has a lil brother with t1. I think my mom is feeling a little more comfortable :)
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  10. OSUMom

    OSUMom Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    Rae - sounds like you are very adaptable. :) Isn't that interesting how the insulin needs can change like that? I don't remember freshman year, but I know coming home from finals last spring ds's insulin needs decreased so it can go either way.

    Replacement pump - what timing! Sounds like you've kept your cool, and it's all working out. I'm glad you've taken the time to talk with mom. :) You're an awesome daughter! :cwds:

    That's a lot of connections to people with type 1. The synchronicity of life never ceases to amaze me! Sending you thoughts of protection over keeping the stickin' flu away.

    Great to hear from you - thanks for checking in!!!!!!! :cwds::cwds:
  11. Aimee729

    Aimee729 Approved members

    Aug 9, 2009
    Best of Luck


    Thank you so much for your posts about going away to college and to all of the other college student and parents suggestions. Our daughter is a junior in HS with T1D and we are beginning to seriously look at colleges. This is so helpful to so many people!

    Best of luck- be healthy and happy and enjoy your freshman year!
  12. rebesser

    rebesser Approved members

    Oct 17, 2009
    Dear Rae

    i know I am a little late in replying, but I have only just seen your post....I was diagnosed aged 9 and am 33 now, spent 6 years studying at uni (2 degrees), travelling around, working etc....so from my perspective:

    For you:
    1. This is a special time. So long as you don't neglect your diabetes, and do your best, nothing disasterous will happen. But also don't give yourself too hard a time - this is a time for new discovery- have fun.
    2. If you are on lantus, remember that if you change the time you give your shot every day a lot, your blood sugars may swing all over the place, so try and decide the most reliable time for you to take it - for some that is evenings, others lunchtime - most people at college like to lie in at weekends!
    3. Ask someone to drive you to a shop at the beginning of term to store up on hypo treatment - I used glucose tabs. Try and stock up for the whole term - it seems a lot but then its all there and no need to make the extra time or to worry!
    4. Negotiate with your mum - you both have needs, but this is YOUR diabetes, not hers. She wants you to ring her every day - what do you want? then create some boundaries and negotiate with something you are both comfortable with.
    5. Don't be afraid.
    6. Some people use their diabetes to avoid situations they don't really want to be in anyway - like starting to smoke and taking drugs - it's a great line to escape peer pressure (a bit controversial, but useful as a back up).
    7. Be wise about alcohol effects (there are websites...)

    For your mum:
    1.When Rae rings you, don't ask about diabetes straight away. Rae wants to tell you about her new friends, courses...
    2. It's your anxiety that makes you want Rae to call you every day - is that fair on Rae? Rae may not want to contact you daily, will others at college be doing the same to their mums? Why not decide a fixed time to call, like sunday evenings at 5pm and tell Rae to call any time at all, you are always there, no matter what
    3. Reaching 18 - did you ever - what was on your mind? (are you grinning)

    ...i could go on but now I am going on!

    i hope that helps..have lots of fun and enjoy!

    best wishes,

    Rachel from the UK
  13. actualreality86

    actualreality86 Approved members

    Nov 9, 2009
    What worked for me because I was always quick and on the go because I had scheduled my classes within 5mins of a walking distances with only 2 mins to spare to get to each class was take a snack and if it was in a large package I measured it out, then I labeled the bag '15 grams of carb' and then go ahead and write it down on my log book in pencil and then I would know if I was going to have it or not have it. Then I would have a two hour break where I would go to lunch, and then back to my dorm to study and regroup for the day.

    I would keep hard candy on me as well in case I went low I always carried life savers, crackers, and juice boxes from class to class. My first semester of college I was on the Insulin Pen so I made sure I had http://www.walgreens.com/store/cata...prod4123414&navCount=7&navAction=push-product with me all the time. I can't find the specific one I had, but it was insulated to where I could put it in the freezer over night and it would harden, and then in the morning I would take it out and put my Insulin Pen inside and carry around with me throughout the day.

    Always remember to count out your hard candies in carb count, then have some soft chewies for immediate fast acting sugar in case I was out of glucose tabs.

    Make sure your roommate and CA, know that your a Diabetic, but that you control everything on your own. It helps if you allow your room mate to know as well.

    Don't be afraid to let your professors know, that if one day your not in class because your feeling ill and it's Diabetes related that you need to get the work you missed and will have it at the next class period. Get two or three people's contact information in your classes to contact them if you miss anything. My room mate from 04 and I are still close in friendship and she would always make sure if we were going out to eat whenever her parents came to take us to dinner that there were places that were friendly on the carbs for me so I could join in a dinner.

    - I agree to this, let your mum know that you will email her every week with your blood sugars instead of everyday txting her.

    To this day we're still close and last weekend was her birthday her parents bought me sugar free syrup for the cheese cake and let me know all the carb count for everything I ate at their house so that I could properly program the boluses in my pump.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009

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