Diabetes is a very common disease and most people know at least one or two of us.
Just a heads up, if you’re not one and you know diabetics… Don’t you ever imply or say out blatantly that it is not important. Not only does it hurt, but it’s completely ignorant of you. Diabetes Mellitus (type 1) is #7 in death causes worldwide, so it is not to be taken lightly.
I’ve been diabetic ever since the two years of age, so I’m not new to this. Always remember that in medicine, and diabetes is no different, two plus two doesn’t always turn out to be four. From one day to another, you may see enormous differences that may startle you, but don’t you worry, I’ve got your back here.
1. Go to your doctor regularly
I can’t stress this enough. I’m one of those people (aren’t we all?) that hates going to the doctors, but we just have to. Maybe it’s weekly (like I’m doing lately), maybe it’s monthly, maybe it’s annually… It depends on how you’re doing and how your doctor wants to handle you. Do always remember that if you see your disease uncontrolled and your doctor can’t help, you can, and should, switch.
Also, when you’re there, give them your full attention and tell them everything. Without every fact, they can’t do their job. They can’t guess for you, but they’re there to help you as you need it.
2. Tests, tests, tests!
I think I’m talking based on my latest experience with a new doctor, but it is important to take tests everyday at least twice. For example, I have to take six daily; one before and after each every meal. You may need more, you may need less. It doesn’t matter; take them! Even if you’re feeling odd in the middle of Maths class and it’s not due, do it.
3. Take all you need to school and have the talk with your teachers
Taking everything with you at all times, most specially school, is very important. In Spain, the canteens aren’t allowed to have sugary food and therefore there wouldn’t be a Coca Cola for me if I didn’t take it there myself.
Talk to your school’s teachers and they’ll even let you keep your drink(s) in the fridge. Also, having them informed on your disease (AKA the talk, as I used to call it) is also highly recommended. You want them to know how to react if you have a sudden change of moods, you start trembling or you drop on the floor.
Having switched schools a couple times, I know what I’m talking about. As my mum is a Primary teacher, I used to be at her school before I first switched during Year 4. No family with me, though the hospital was just down the road.
We (my parents and my 9-year-old self) had a meeting with most of the teachers in the school. During that time, we told the teachers how my character usually is and that it would be very convenient for them to look out for any weird behavior (crying, shouting…). I’d be told to take a test. I had full-on permission to go to the bathroom or the office if I wasn’t feeling okay, with a classmate. If I ever had a big BS drop, which I sadly did, they were to give me a glass of water with sugar stirred into it if I could still swallow and then take me to hospital so I could be taken care of properly.
When I switched again, my sister was there and the rest of the teachers knew that they were to call her if anything happened. Having them know that you are to be let out to the bathroom is very important, since highs can also happen and should be taken care of as well.
Have handy some sweets in your pockets or your bag. As a girl, I used to take a second messenger bag in addition to my school bag where I’d have my full kit (glucometer, needles, insulin) and a few sweets for me to have if I had a BS (blood sugar) drop in the middle of a lesson.
If you know you’re not okay, tell your teacher. Raise your hand or have your classmate do it to inform them and be let outside to the bathroom or the office, so you can call your parents if you need to as well as taking care of the situation.
Talk to your P.E teacher so they’re aware that if you’re too high (+250mg/dL) or too low (-80mg/dL), you aren’t allowed to do any sport. If you do, in the first case, your sugar will keep on rising to the clouds; in the second one, it will drop to the floor. Having a juice close is essential for this class. Water is, too, for a high, so make sure you have that handy, too.
5. Fitting in
It’s already hard enough to fit in at school as it is, so having diabetes is a little add-on to that fear of not being like the rest. Let’s be realistic, we are not like the rest. Grab a pack of tissues and cry the pain out while you’re alone. It hurts and it’s hard. Why us? Well, there’s no answer at all. No human is free of diseases or imperfections, so let’s please get that out of our heads now.
You can and will fit in when you know you’re you and not a disease. Do not let that define you. You have to own it and make it depend on what you’re going to do for the day. You’re having a P.E class in the morning and woke up with a reasonable BS level? Make it work for you; reduce insulin, eat a little more, maybe do as usual with a juice right after.
Diabetes is quite annoying since what works today won’t work next week but it doesn’t mean you can’t control it as you wish. Again, you can and you will.
Comment down below if you’re diabetic and what are other tips for handling diabetes at school!