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[IP] Re: diabetes in the classroom

I completely agree with Nancy about parents talking to the schools. I 
was diagnosed at age 10. At that time, I had been going to a parochial 
school all my life. It may have been easier for us b/c my mom knew 
many of the teachers and principal; however, b/c it was a small 
school, there was no nurse, just other moms who volunteered in the 
clinic. For two years, my mom came in to the classroom (she worked 
full-time) and discussed my diabetes and what it meant, i.e., urine-
testing (back in the day), eating, and especially low blood sugars, to 
my teacher and the other students. In addition, she would have 
another meeting with the secretary, principal, and the more regular 
nurse/mom volunteers. I also somehow got a doll that you could give 
injections too, and I would show the class how I did it. This was a big 

There were problems. The secretary, in particular, felt that she 
couldn't be bothered. The teachers were great, but particularly, so 
were the students. They never made me feel odd, and many got really 
into helping me. I remember one asking me how to count 
carbohydrates (I had a forward-thinking endo and was never on the 
exchange diet), and then he helped me figure out how many carbos I 
ate per day. Teachers could actually use diabetes as a learning tool, 
for nutrition, biology, math, etc. I think this might make the diabetic 
child feel special, and increase understanding all around. 

Only once did I pass out, and this was shortly after diagnosis. Some in 
charge (the secretary) thought I was faking it (!) but enough people in 
the school had been educated, and someone thought fast and got the 
glucagon. I credit my mom with clearing the way for me, and for 
instilling in me the ability to broach the subject with people throughout 
my life. In public high school, she informed the nurse, but slowly 
turned over more of the responsibility to me. In college, I used the 
Students with Disabilities center to obtain a form to inform my 
professors, in case I needed to leave during an exam due to low b.s. 
With blood sugar testing, and experience, this wasn't necessary by my 
sophomore year. 

Good luck to parents, and I'm glad that some are learning to fight 
back, and winning. You make it easier for the next generation.

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