Questions about 16 year old son, job, college

Hi all, My son has been doing pretty good with his D lately but a few issues are weighing on my mind. He started his first job at a grocery store yesterday, he's a bit stressed about it as he really is more of a home body introvert type but it is time and it would be helpful if he started making some money! anyway after afew interviews and his first day, he has not disclosed to his boss about his D. Is it a given that this must be disclosed? I would feel better of course if he did, if he was low he would be allowed to take a break, ect. Jacob always has a way around it, I can go to the bathroom, I test and bolus at break..... Being that he is 16 and working towards independence I don't think it is my place to step and talk to his boss.
Also with regard to applying for college, which is my biggest long term stressor! Would it be helpful to disclose his diabetes as a disability with regards to getting more financial aid, or just easier to get in being that he would be considered taking in a disability for the records, not to sound crass but .... just trying to figure it out. He and I have always been of the adage that his diabetes is not a disability and have always kept the school in the loop but never looked for special consideration, as his special consideration in my mind and hopefully his is that he needs to work with his knowledge and awareness and be self motivated and proactive, as he has proven to be in almost all circumstances.
Lastly, he has been having some trouble with sleep, anyone have any success with melatonin??
Thanks for any thoughts! Amy

hi jacob´s mom! i have taken melatonin after finding my blood sugar rose with regular sleeping pills. it worked ok, i was able to get to sleep and stay asleep.

With regards to the job, if i thought my d was going to interrupt my work on a daily basis, then i would find it necessary to tell my boss. when i applied to work at a summer school (about 16 hours a day with varied responsibilities-teaching, sport supervision, dormitory/boarding duties, running around campus, holding meetings, bringing kids to the e.r. and doing admin) i contacted my old and trusted bosses to ask them their opinion. i didnt want to hide something that could come back and bit me in the a**! in the end i decided to tell them, as i was going to be responsible for the well-being/welfare of international students far away from home and the schedule for every day was so changeable.
i didnt tell my bosses when i was hired last year for my new (regular) teaching position. they know now and its not a problem. (they know because in the staff room i test).
dont know about the college thing, but if you can get extra funding for your son, do it! college in the usa is expensive.
i hope he starts feeling less stressed about the job soon-the paycheck will probably help when he has his own money to spend on fun stuff!

thanks for your input! just picked him up some melatonin at the store. I feel bad that he isn't interested nor does he find comfort in the tools in my toolbox for helping with mood and life in general but hey this is the age where they think all mom suggests is stupid! I was going to pick up some flax oil and magnesium to help with his mood! but my husband doesn't agree with supplements nor would Jacob probably, but he is interested in the melatonin as his nurse practitioner brought it up. this to shall pass, I just hate to see him so broody we also have depression in the family so I worry about that but I think he is clearly above water just suffering from teen angst.

As far as disclosing diabetes goes, I usually just tell people who are directly my supervisors so that I can carry sugar and eat in situations where I normally wouldn’t be allowed. I’ve never used the word “disability” and I try to make it clear it isn’t a problem. When I was a cashier I could suck down a juice without anyone noticing :stuck_out_tongue:

Have you ever heard about College Diabetes Network? i am sure they would be happy to help in the appliance process!

I like your approach, I think Jacob feels the same, I will share your experience with him!

thanks so much I hadn't heard of this site and will check it out!

I don't think you have to disclose diabetes during job interviews. I had to do an interview with the same company a couple years ago and was pumping by then and if it comes up, I will tell people I kick ■■■ with it. I don't get sick hardly ever so they wouldn't see a bunch of sick days that would be a problem or anything like that in my record and, in the circumstances, they needed all hands on deck anyway and the interview probably could have gone "do you have a pulse?" "thump thump" "great! you're hired!"

Re college, I went to two large state universities (University of Illinois and University of North Carolina). U of I got me going on frequent testing in 1985. Since, like junior, I was young and knew everything, I didn't do a lot in terms of seeing the doc but I was fortunate that they recognized that their students with diabetes benefitted from lots of testing pretty early on. I don't know if you'd find that at a smaller school with less resources and probably just "samaller" all around. I was very fortunate not to have to deal with financial aid (plus, in the mid-1980s, it was *extremely* cheap compared to now...) so I'm not sure what to tell you about that. I've heard that parents of D kids (mostly younger...) have kids redo tests if their BG is off, etc. and I never did that either. I'm not sure I would call it a disability but, at least financially, if there were $10K+ involved, I'd probably go for it!


I am a freshman in college, and I did put down that I am diabetic on my CommonApp's personal statement. I only placed it on there because I was diagnosed during my senior year, was out for a week and a half, didn't know how my grades would be affected by my long absence, and wanted to cover my rear end and let them know that my absences and "terrible" grades were due to extenuating circumstances.

I did get in contact with my school's office of disabilities and have a few accommodations regarding diabetes-related absences as excused absences, permission to have my supplies and medical ID on me at all times, and permission for testing accommodations (I think I would only need to use it for one class that I constantly go into hypoglycemia if I am unable to fix that class's basal rates before exams).

I have disclosed to my professors and a few people in my classes that I am diabetic. It is primarily so that, in the event of an emergency (sudden hypoglycemia), they know that they need to call 911 ASAP and not assume that I am acting like that because of a huge night of drinking (unfortunately, my school can be considered a party school).

I don't like the term disability and try very hard not to ever use it. As for me and the jobs I've held in my lifetime....I mention diabetes in the interview process, but in a clever way. Usually when they ask a question about a challenge I was faced or an accomplishment I am proud of. I think it is extremely important that he let someone in a supervisory role know about diabetes just in case he goes low or he needs to take an extended brake. I have also been in several management positions and needed to know of medical conditions for safety reasons.

I am a HUGE fan of melatonin as well. It's a natural way to help our brains calm down and "turn off" so we get the sleep we need and deserve. Good luck Amy, you're in my thoughts.


thanks you sarah, well after 6 hours on his feet working ( bs 48 after his shift treated with a donut by dad double yikes, and apple juice when he got home) surprisingly or not so surprisingly actually, bagging groceries takes a lot out of him because I thought he would be sky high in the morning ( he had a normal dinner with a bolus but the donut did not get bolused for) and he was 50 ish this morning. so he went with less insulin for breakfast and for lunch picking him up from day 3 soon! any how he was fighting a cold last night so I gave him 1/2 a dose of Nyquil and a melatonin and he slept like a dream and woke up much happier and at ease! yeah! happy boy, happy mom. sometimes it bothers me that so much of my happiness or lack of is derived from what my children are feeling I have tried to work on that but in my little world for now things are better when Jacob is smiling!

hi there must of been a challenge being diag. senior year then moving on to college, from this quick post it sounds like you are doing well. I do feel it is best to notify others of your D, Jacob just has a hard time bringing it up, as long as he handles himself appropriately I think it will come out eventually when he is ready to share. he does wear medical id but he feels his lows and I know he will respond. hope you are settling in to college and not letting your D hold you back!

I wouldn't disclose too often. Let him disclose. That's a tricky thing, but its part of your advocacy for him, that you let him decide the degree to which he defines himself by his disease. If you feel like you ought to talk to his boss, you can because your still his mommy and he's only 16. My mom did that at school, I remember.

Super interesting how diabetes is now a classification as disability. I dont think it was always like that, I certainly wasn't asked about it on my college application. But, I did see it on paperwork for a job recently. I didn't select 'disability,' because I don't give out that info freely. I don't think that disclosure will affect your financial aid or increase the probability of admittance, but you should call the school and ask. Let use know if you find out differently. Its interesting.

During my 2nd to the last semester, I had a partial seizure during an exam (not due to diabetes), and I had to withdraw from all of my classes, because you couldn't just get a medical withdraw for just one class. That sucked, but I wasn't on record with the school as disabled or as having any chronic disease, and they still allowed it. So, I think you have the option to file at any time that the need may arise.

College is expensive and being a diabetic is expensive, so you probably could use some extra funding. I would think that the only way that comes out in the paperwork is if you deduct medical expenses for him on your taxes. I dunno. That's interesting.

No teenagers can sleep. A wise, old man at ski patrol told me to: 1. Drink no caffeine in the afternoon; 2. Go to sleep at the same time every day and, 3. Dont eat before bed. I think it works, but it takes more discipline than I have.

I'm gonnna read the posts, you raise some interesting ?'s....

Interesting about the sleeping pills....

God bless the mothers! I have always know that my disease was harder on my mom than it was on me, if that gives you any peace.

I'm not the parent of a diabetic but, being a diabetic, I made the transition from high school to college about a third of a century ago.

I had a very good transition and really enjoyed getting out of the strict completely-time-packed high-school environment with forced mealtimes, and instead being in the college environment where I had a lot of choice in class schedule time and freedom to snack/eat meals whenever I wanted. My bg control improved incredibly as I got the independence and made good decisions for myself (instead of others making them for me!)

As to workplace, many (not all) real world jobs give folks the ability to pick their scheduled hours and meal times and break times and these can work very well without having to invoke the disability card. Again, it's about making good decisions, and it's sounding like your son is making some good decisions.

It's been a very long time since I was a teenage diabetic, but one thing I do remember is that I did not want my parents interfering in my attempts to make headway with this new challenge. Your best approach is to ask him about the equipment and regime that he is following, and ask what he will do to avoid lows at work and school, but not try to tell him what to do. If he sees that you are willing to listen to him, listening is the best help you can give him. He will learn by his mistakes more than by anyone telling him what to do.

OH, I am in Canada, and you do not have to disclose medical conditions in an application or interview, and the employer is not allowed to ask, although if they do it would be best to answer truthfully. I don't know if the same rules apply in the US, but I am a little uncertain where you are, as those numbers you cite seem either really high to me inCanadian measure, or really low in US measure.

hi roger, thanks for your advice, we are from the US. I agree with listening is best, so far so good he had one low so far at break time which he handled and a pump alarm at break which he handled appropriately. I have backed off knowing this is the only way but like you said we talked scenarios and I make sure he has his supplies which is always has them so I have stopped asking! the initial unknown is always worrisome especially when he was nervous also funny though he says his nervousness about new things is more just him and not his D which makes me feel better that now his D is all just part of him and what he does to be healthy, thank goodness. he still relies on my help sometime yesterday 'oh you do the insulin' im glad to help out when asked! amy

Melatonin works for some. Not me. When I was the Rehab for a broken hip it never worked. If abyone suggest AMBIEN avoid it like flu,

I’Be had many job interviews and have worked 4 jobs, and only once I’ve gotten the job have I told my bosses about my diabetes. It definitely helped me when we were very busy and my blood sugar would be dropping, my coworkers would learn how to tell if I was low. (Because I’m stubborn and would try to keep going) I would definitely recommend him telling his boss at least. It’s not a weakness, so he has nothing to worry about :slight_smile: Good luck to Jacob and his kind, worried momma :slight_smile: