Now that I am a sophomore in college, I have plenty of knowledge on this topic. A few friends that are younger than me have asked me these questions :
How do I tell my roommate about my T1D?
Do I teach them how to test me?
When do I tell my friends?
When do I tell my roommate?
Well my friends, at this point in our lives, it is time to grow up and stand strong and proud with our diabetes. College is a great time to be loud and proud. I told my freshman roommate when I first met her. Not like, “hey my name is Erika, I have diabetes”, but it was within the first few days. Also, your roommate will be curious of an insulin pump/glucometer/glucose tablets!
I chose to tell my roommate and my sophomore-year roommate. And I have not taught them how to test me or treat me. But I had a scary experience one night, and the next day, I told my roommate and our group of friends that they need to contact my parents if I ever go too low. I hang my emergency contacts on our fridge.
It’s as simple as that. You don’t need to scare them with the disease, but you need to talk about it seriously. It’s okay to joke about it, but they need to understand that it is a serious disease. Just keep that in mind.
On a side note, if you feel comfortable about teaching them certain things, then go ahead and do that. Teaching them more than less will never be a bad thing.
College = hard
Diabetes = hard
College+Diabetes = a tricky situation
I have come to the understanding that college is a stressful and chaotic time. There are so many things to do, so many places to experience, so many people to meet! It is easy to let diabetes fall on the back-burner.
To help explain how I let it fall to the back-burner, I will give you an example of my schedule.
On Mondays, I wake up at 7:30 get ready and drive to my internship. I usually arrive around 9:30 and my work starts at 10am. After 6pm, I drive back to campus, usually get back by 7, 7:15pm. After that, I might grab a quick bite to eat. Then, I teach yoga from 8-9pm. Depending on homework, I try to get in bed by 10:30-11pm the latest.
On Tuesdays, I have class from 7-9:30, 11-1:30, 2-3:15, 3:30-4:45, TV studio from 4:45-5:30, and then I have class from 6:30-9:30.
- My point is, meals are all over the place. Meals are no longer nice, relaxing periods of time where I actually chew my food and digest it. Usually, I am on the go and don’t have the time to spare. What I have learned from this is that I need to make the most out of the food that I am eating.I may not have the time to eat mindfully, but I can be mindful of WHAT I am eating. The goal is to eat healthy as often as possible, and to make good decisions when I am eating.
I have started to wear my sensor again. I use the Dexcom. I usually don’t wear it week to week because I end up getting tired of constantly being reminded of my blood sugars and it makes me kind of paranoid. There was a time where I was taking additional insulin after meals because I saw that my blood sugar would rise. This is obvious! Of course my numbers will rise when I eat. In turn, the additional insulin caused me to drop a few hours later. Drops, drops are no fun. They can be scary too.
- What I’ve learned: wear the Dexcom, let it help me. But, don’t take all of the information to heart and certainly don’t try to pay attention to all of it.
Drink lots of water!
- I have always been a big water-drinker. But in college I have learned that drinking water makes you feel that much better. It makes you feel more awake and it keeps you energized. Also, it makes working out feel a lot better too. When your body is fueled with water, there’s no stopping you!
Sleep is important!
- Everyone always preaches about how important sleep is. It really is true. Although my body is now used to this wacky schedule, it still could use more rest. Also, when you are tired and groggy it is so much easier to reach for crappy food. Like a doughnut instead of a whole-wheat piece of toast, or a bowl of fries instead of a salad.
- Living with diabetes can be good and fun. But it can also be scary and threatening. There have been a few instances where I am afraid I will not wake up and test my blood sugar. It always snaps me back into the present moment. Nonetheless, diabetes is a complicated and life-threatening disease so I take it very seriously. Having support from roommates, friends, and classmates is only going to make living at college with T1D that much less stressful.
Of course there are lots of other things to talk about as well, but these are just a few for now.
Just some thoughts, hope this all helps.
I have been writing for The Odyssey for about a month now, and I wanted to share on here some of my articles.
So here is the link of my profile on The Odyssey!
Thank you 🙂
I have had this image saved for quite some time on my phone, and I can’t keep it hidden anymore. It is a screenshot of a blog post that I saw one night as I was scrolling through tumblr.
This put LOWS into perspective for me, and maybe it will for you too. Whether you are a T1D, a relative, parent, child, or whatever. It can be scary. I know this feeling all too well.
I really admire whoever wrote this.
I really admire this blog because it allows people to say things they don’t want to say and to share their secrets. This is huge in the diabetes community. Read a few posts if you can, you may learn a lot.
As Diabetes month comes to a close, I really hope you learned a few important things:
- Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes are different diseases.
- I test my blood sugar roughly 5-10 times a day.
- I take insulin 24/7 and more when I eat through an insulin pump(mine is pink).
- I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want, but I know how to choose my battles.
- I count carbohydrates, not sugar.
- Diabetes can cause other complications, like neuropathy or retinopathy.
- There are certain ways people without diabetes should act around people living with diabetes, or certain ways to ask things at least.
- Exercise is crucial when living with diabetes.
- Diabetes and alcohol can be tricky.
- There’s nothing stopping me, ever.
Until next year, your favorite diabadass
I have shared this a few times, but it is so important to me, so I will share it again.
Accu-chek came out with a Diabetes Etiquette list for people who DON’T have diabetes and it is simply amazing because it says the things that people with diabetes don’t always want to say, especially to loved ones.
Here is the shortened list:
- DON’T offer unsolicited advice about eating or other parts of diabetes, that you probably don’t truly understand.
- DO realize and appreciate that diabetes is hard work.
- DON’T tell horror stories about your grandmother with diabetes or other stories you have heard about.
- DO offer to join in on making healthy lifestyle changes(with your diabadass).
- DON’T look so horrified when someone checks their blood sugar or gives themselves and injection.
- DO ask how you might be helpful.
- DON’T offer thoughtless reassurances.
- DO be supportive of any efforts of self-care.
- DON’T peek or comment on blood sugar numbers without asking first.
- DO offer your love and encouragement.
LOVE LOVE LOVE this list by Accu-Chek.
Link is here to watch the Youtube video I made about this list as well:
>>>>>>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_Nd-V-04jU <<<<<<<<<
Someone dear to me messaged me on Facebook and asked me to make a post about what the average person can do to help someone with T1D when they need to be helped, AKA when they are having a severe low blood sugar or are going into a diabetic coma.
I am going to keep this as short as possible.
But two things could happen.
One, if the person is talking and still functioning, get them something to eat or drink that is QUICK. Meaning, find candy or orange juice or Hawaiian punch(just some examples) that will help bring up their blood sugar quickly. Don’t bring them a piece of bread or pasta. haha Just keep them talking and make sure they are getting some sort of carbs or sugar in them.
The other situation is that the T1D can not communicate to you that they need help. This often looks like the person is drunk. They may not be able to speak or even use their body really. THIS IS SERIOUS. In this case, either contact a relative or contact 911.
If I am at a friends house close to home, I would tell my friends to call my parents before anything. There is a certain shot that can be given to help in situations like this. But if I am far from home and have no one around, call 911. Do not hesitate to. Remember to tell them that I have Type 1 Diabetes.
Hope this helps!!