August 23, 2007

Of Technology and Brilliance

I wrote about a Doing moment at the CWD FFL conference in Of Independence and Angry Mobs when the wisdom of who the care team is hit me. Another Doing moment, at about the same moment, was about what is important.

We were talking about some wiz bang cool technology that could report BG anywhere in fairly real time, cell phone, email, bounce of the Comstar satellite, etc. One of the questions was: Who would use it?

At first there was general buzz of excitement over cool new toys (and the room wasn’t exclusively male) when finally one Dad said he didn’t think he would want it because it would be too much of an intrusion into his teens life.

Doing!
Now that is brilliant. As type 1 parents, our job is to be parents, to raise kids to lead their own life, to let go.

In another meeting a wonderful young lady from the United Arab Emirates commented about transitioning teens from a teen’s perspective. Trust was a big issue in her household. Sound familiar? (Nice to know we parents are parents world wide.) She spoke eloquently about how trust impacted her relationship with diabetes and her parents. She talked about her need to take responsibility and be trusted with that responsibility.

Well I have slowly come to the realization that the diabetes is really just a parenting catalyst.
From Webster’s
cat·a·lystPronunciation: 'ka-t&-l&st Function: noun
1 : a substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions than otherwise possible
2 : an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action

Diabetes is a condition that requires parents to teach and give our children significant independence and TRUST faster than would otherwise happen.
Now I like to think I am a smart guy but truth be told I have been bombarded with this message since the first day of our son’s hospitalization at diagnosis. I am confident I will need to keep hearing it and writing it for years because it runs contrary to every fiber of my protective parenting soul. So how smart am I after all?

1 comment:

Kevin L. McMahon said...

While some kids will definitely not want the intrusion of giving someone else the ability to remotely monitor their blood sugar (and device state) in real-time, my experience in the field says there are other kids who initially say they don't like the idea and have come around within a few hours of actually using a real-time remote monitoring system. And finally, there are other kids who absolutely love it the minute they hear about it (future geeks like me most likely). I've seen the same variation in parents, too.

For example, several of the families in our trials have shared their very personal experiences with me regarding the impact of remote monitoring on the parent-child relationship which I was able to repost on our website with their permission.

I have a few more thoughts on this subject at a new post on ChallengeDiabetes.com