The "What's" and "What Not's" of Type One Diabetes
First off, the 10 things everyone should know about any person with Type One Diabetes.
1) An insulin pump isn't a cure
it is hard to have diabetes, even when I have an insulin pump. Our blood sugars will vary every day and there is no such thing as "control" with Type One. Please be patient while we deal with low and high blood sugars.
2) We wear super cool gadgets that keep us alive
our insulin pump and/or testers may look like the latest iPhone, some alarms even sound like ringtones. Please don't take them away from us, you would be putting our health in danger.
3) Sometimes we eat in random places
we have to keep glucose tabs and snacks on our person in case of emergency. Even walking a few steps could be a bit risky without immediate fast-acting sugar.
4) We may not be brave enough to speak up for ourselves
we depend on you to put our health and well-being first. It's not always easy to speak up when we are low or high and need to take care of our disease. It helps to know you are looking out for our best interests.
5) We need Immediate attention when we tell you we are low
we may also need your help. Please give us a snack or allow us to immediately check our blood sugar. Don't leave us alone, or send us anywhere by ourselves. Our bodies and brains won't be functioning properly, and we could end up getting lost and collapsing from the low. I also cannot finish a test, or complete my work until I have treated my low.
6) When our blood sugars are high, we use the restroom frequently
this will not change, no matter how old we get. Please be patient when we need to take multiple restroom breaks throughout the day. This typically means our blood sugars are high and our bodies are reacting normally to flush extra glucose. When our blood sugars are high, we also need to drink more fluids to help it go down.
7) Please don't call us diabetics
because we are defined by WHO we are, not by diabetes.
8) If we are not listening well or following instructions, we may need to check our blood sugars
please don't assume that our lack of obedience or cooperation has anything to do with our attitudes. If you notice we are not paying attention or are acting odd, gently ask us to check our blood sugars.
9) Thank you for being patient for interuptions in class
checking blood sugars multiple times a day, adjusting insulin levels, and treating lows or highs can be exhausting. Your compassion during these interuptions will help may school easier for us so that we don't feel like a burdern to you or the class.
10) Some days are a rollercoaster of highs and lows
days that include extremely low and high blood sugars happen. And when they do, we may feel terrible. It is simular to how you feel when you have the flu or too much alchohol.