There is something referred to as “the adolescent transition,” which is actually the transition to adulthood. “Emerging adulthood” is sometimes defined as ages 18-30.
(Being an adult is mandatory; acting like one is optional.)
The point is that as a teen with diabetes, you will at some point have to “grow up” in terms of your health care. You will communicate with health insurance (oh, and get health insurance coverage), make appointments, see adult health care providers, pay bills, and other fun things like those.
Research has shown a high number of hospital admissions for DKA in those who are transitioning to adult care. There is also a tendency for A1C to go up, office visits to go down, and rates of getting kidney function checked can go down as well.
When you become an adult you get to manage your diabetes on your own. You also get to manage all aspects of your health care. Get a strong handle on how diabetes works now, while you’re still at home. Ask your parents to teach you how to navigate health insurance. Start taking a lead at your appointments while you’re a teen-ager, so it won’t be scary or foreign when you are on your own.
Use your resources. College Diabetes Network is an organization that supports emerging adults with diabetes who are heading to and attending college. The Diabetes Online Community is chock-full of support and camaraderie. Another fabulous option is to get involved in a diabetes camp. And some endocrinology offices have providers who specialize in the transition to adult care, so be sure to ask if yours does.
Most important, stay on top of your diabetes care so that you will feel good, be productive, and live well now and far, far into the future.