Slowly but Surely
Our household diabetes policy (yours may vary) has been for my daughter to take on diabetes responsibilities as she feels ready. The understanding has been that while we do not expect to live in her college dorm with her, she should not feel rushed. Every diabetes task will ultimately be hers, for the foreseeable future. For now, we're here to help.
Slowly but surely over the past sixteen years, one or two things at a time, my daughter has taken over her own care: blood sugar checks, carb counting, then insulin pump site changes, and so many more in between.
The Dexcom was at the center of the two lingering exceptions.
Because of the awkwardness of the G4's insertion device, I continued to assist with putting in a new sensor every 7 or so days. She did it once, to prove to herself that she could in case it failed while she was traveling without me, but it was super-awkward and I was happy to keep helping. The insertion device for the G6 is a much easier to handle one-handed push-button device. My daughter inserted the first and second ones with no problem. It's easy and nearly painless, she reports, though the spring-loaded insertion contraption is alarmingly loud.
The second area of responsibility we've recently relinquished (to some extent) is overnight diabetes care. Until the G6 arrived, the Dexcom receiver remained on a parent's bedside table each night. We got up to deal with its alarms while my daughter slept, or roused herself briefly for juice. That routine, of course, followed years of setting 2 a.m. alarms for fingerstick checks.
The new plan is that my daughter keeps her phone, and the Dexcom receiver, on her bedside so that she can awaken to deal with the alarms. She started with just the phone, but the Dexcom app alarms were not loud enough to consistently wake her (though they woke both of her parents in the next room). She's added the receiver, which she keeps on the bed with her to feel its vibrations, and so that two alarms are blaring at once. She still does not consistently wake to the alarms, while I, of course, still do. But things are improving. She did wake up and treat a low this week without my hearing anything, which was good news. And the alarms are diminishing after the Thanksgiving leftovers are gone, and as we use the Dexcom data to work on keeping numbers more consistently in range...which is the ultimate goal.
It's bittersweet to watch my kid take on these responsibilities. Yes- by all rights they're hers to deal with and it's important for her to practice with the safety net of mom and dad around to help. But how I wish she didn't have to.