School Rule's for a Hassle free life with your diabetes

Now the summer is drawing to a close, for some blog reader's it's time to go back to class and back to school. But when you have Type 1 diabetes, this can also mean going back to a potentially new set of friends and teacher's in a new routine containing people who don't know about your diabetes. And because teenage year's are so commonly the one's people are diagnosed in some people may have diabetes and not know it yet.

When I had been in high school just 2 year's, was still finding my feet and making my friend's- I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Before being diagnosed I remember being in class and all I could think about was how thirsty I felt. And I remember wondering if what I'd eaten at lunch was so filling that it had made me feel really drowsy in the afternoon's. Because I could hardly keep my eye's open in class (And it wasn't because the lesson was boring!) . One thing I do remember was that because I didn't know anything about diabetes at the time and I was so thirsty, I would go and get full-sugar drinks from the vending machines not knowing the problem was only getting worse.

This thirst started continuing when I got home from school and into the night when I'd gone to bed. I'd wake up so thirsty in the night that I would go and put my head under the tap in the bathroom. I would drink and drink to try and quench my thirst. Of course I couldn't really every stop feeling thirsty, but being up all night meant I was too tired to go to school in the morning. So my Mum said I could stay home from school for a couple of days, until I didn't start to feel better so we went to the doctor's and then the hospital where I was diagnosed with diabetes.

The day after I was diagnosed I was allowed home from the hospital for the nurses to come to my house. Apart from the news that I'd need to be on insulin injections and how my diet was now going to change. I was also worried about going back to high school and how I was going to explain to everyone what had happened- that I now had diabetes. I was fortunate however that my new diabetes nurse said she was going to go into school before I went back, and give a talk just to my teachers about diabetes. At the time whilst it put my mind at ease knowing I wouldn't have to explain to everyone about diabetes when I got back. I didn't know how much of a big deal this was and how helpful her actions had been.

When I got back to school none of the teacher's asked me where I'd been or made a fuss and even better there was a care plan in place to help me manage my diabetes. What the care plan meant was that when I had a hypo, did my injections or just needed to test my blood sugars there was a plan on how I could discreetly do it, without having to advertise to the world where I was going. If I felt myself going hypo in class I could call the teacher over. And because they now knew about my diabetes I could take a friend with me to the office and test my blood sugars and stay until I felt better again. I could also take a friend to the front of the lunch queue with me too, which made me a good friend to have with the long queues at break and dinner time!

Telling my friend's that I had diabetes was something that I was a little worried about, I remember worrying whether they would still be my friend or would they stare at me at the dinner table when I did my injections? But they didn't because diabetes was now a part of me and I wasn't making a big fuss over it, so neither did they. The biggest drama I remember happening was when I went over for tea to a friends house and her mum panicked because she'd given me full-sugar squash. I had to go home early but no harm was done other than that. Quite often at lunch and break time we would play 'the blood sugar game'. Which just involved my group of friends picking the number that they thought my blood sugar reading would be.

I think the best advice I can give about diabetes and going back to school, is that my friends and people who knew me took their queue on how to behave about my diabetes from me. So if I had gone round acting like diabetes was this big thing that changed who I was and what I was all about. Then other people would have treated me differently and made it out to be a bigger issue than it was. It's your diabetes and your in control of it. There's no need to feel different about yourself, because high school is a time when everyone is changing and developing. So chance's are they'll be so caught up in what they're doing that they'll be too busy to worry about you. Having diabetes could even be an opportunity for you to help educate your friends on healthy eating and exercise. So don't be afraid, embrace your diabetes and your friend's and teacher's will too!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.


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