Sleepovers are a common occurrence in elementary school and high-school. Late nights, junk food, scary movies, all nighters and gossip make weekend sleepovers the best. But what is it like to attend sleepovers as a person with type 1 diabetes, I spoke to Mackenzie (13) about her experiences.
Do you feel like diabetes affected your freedom to go to friends/sleepovers?
“Yes, I do feel like diabetes as affected my freedom. There will be times where I will have plans with my friends to go shopping, to the movies and then go back for a sleepover. I will go really low or really high and I will have go home or if I have had a really bad low day and I can’t go at all. Sometimes I think that if I didn’t have diabetes I would have more freedom to sleepover.”
What extra steps are needed in order to go sleepover at someone’s house compared to when you didn’t have diabetes?
“Some extra steps are, when packing for a sleepover you have to make sure that you have extra supplies and make sure you have your tester. I also test every hour or so to make sure I’m fine. You should also make sure you have extra food for the night so if you go low in the middle of the night you have food or juice and also making sure you ask your friends what’s for dinner so you know the carbs . If I didn’t have diabetes I wouldn’t have to any of that.”
Have you ever felt discriminated against by a parent or friend who neglected to have you over because of your diabetes?
“I guess I have. There have been times where I have been the only one not invited to sleepovers and that was more towards the beginning when I was first diagnosed not so much now. I was close and really good friends with a couple of girls and when I got diagnosed it was as if I wasn’t there anymore they didn’t talk to me and never invited me to anything.”
Has anything bad ever happened while you were at a sleepover?
“Lots of things have happen to me. Such as, I don’t know how many times I have forgotten my tester , supplies or I have gone really low or high. Sometimes, my site has come out or it’s not working right.”
What advice do you have for teens with diabetes when going to sleepovers?
“Some advice would be to bring extra supplies, bring extra food, test blood sugar when needed so you don’t go low and have to go home. Also I bolus for everything even if I have a couple chips. It is really important to bolus and test so that your blood sugar does not go too high while you’re at your friend’s house.”