Hide & Seek: Highschool & Diabetes

Diabetes in high-school can be a game of hide and seek.  Testing, pumping, injecting is often done in lockers, bathrooms or in private for both fear of others judging or embarrassment. Teens can be very fearful of what others will think or how they are going to manage their diabetes while in school.

high school.jpg.CROP.rectangle3-largeEarlier this week I interview Cayla (17) who was diagnosed at age six.

I was curious to know how teens deal with the fears of high school & diabetes I asked these questions and got the following responses:

What fears did you have in regards to your diabetes when you entered high-school:

“Talking to teachers about having diabetes because I no longer had one teacher, but four and many more for the next four years. I didn’t want to address my teachers at first but, I found it was more affective than telling them on the spot when I ran into problems.”

Did your diabetes care decline in highschool because of peers/social events?

“Literally if I didn’t do something it was because of my own issues not because of other people. I guess there were times when I would wear certain outfits and have my pump clipped to my bra but only because the outfit looked better that way. Then I would forget to bolus because it was in my shirt and I didn’t want to reach up my shirt.  But eventually I just started reaching up my shirt regardless.

I pretty much never test at lunch at school because I find it a hassle to go get my meter. When I do test, I test at my locker  or at the lunch table but I generally avoid it. As much as I am open about my diabetes, other people don’t have to test. They just eat. So, I start eating too and before I know it I forgot to test. If I feel low I generally just eat and do not worry about testing. It’s easy to brush off not testing. It’s just one prick a day is what I always think. How big of a deal can it be? But, the thing is, it does matter. That one blood sugar can affect the amount of insulin you take for that meal which can affect you for the rest of the afternoon. If you don’t you could be low in a class which is a disruption and I often will just suspend my pump to avoid having to leave class for a low (I keep my food in my locker, my car, or the office).”


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