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Re: [IPk] Exam Stress/ management

It was quite upsetting to imagine my fellow diabetics think that I am
'making a fuss'. The main reason i requested a seperate room a was to spare
my classmates the distraction of me faffing with testing or adjusting my
pump.  Ever had to listen to someone tapping a pen while under exam
conditions?  I do not wish to be a distraction for anyone, so its as much
for everyone else as it is for me.

I can understand everyones point on not wanting to be treated differently,
be it in a positive or negative way.  but the fact remains that we are
different, our needs vary from person to person. I think it shows more
sense, confidence and capability to ask for assistance when its needed or
helpful rather than to be too proud to bother.  Yes diabetes is my lot in
life, I deal with it as best i can, I take care of myself so as not to put
any extra pressure on my loved ones and I strive to stay at the top of my
game no matter what i am doing.  I have never let my diabetes stop me from
doing anything, it often takes a fair bit of forward planning and
organisation, but thanks to that these are now skills i have in abundance.


> Sorry folks, but I fail to see why a post asking for help in the management
> of exam stress and diabetes has turned into an argument as why diabetics
> get
> a risk loading on life insurance (when life expectancy is lower..). (btw
> the
> reverse is true if you take out a pension or annuity  the expected
> reduction
> in life expectancy will work in your favour..do you complain about that?) .
> Sorry . but I think perhaps you are looking at this from the wrong angle,
> this is not about special treatment or resisting restrictions it is about
> offering practical solutions.
> Most schools and universities today recognise that a diabetic, if in a hypo
> or running very high, cannot during an exam produce a paper that accurately
> reflects their ability. That some time may needed to test sugar levels
> (even
> if just a few minutes) and correct them and/or recover from them and that
> this time should not taken from the time-pressured exam time itself.  The
> provision of a separate room is often there as much to protect the other
> students, who may find a fellow student testing their blood or eating a
> snack distracting. (those students are entitled to their quiet exam
> conditions too) Many diabetic pupils are minors and schools must make
> adequate provisions to ensure they can react to emergency situations also,
> if a child passes out from a hypo, why should the rest of the cohort be
> disturbed as well? The outcome and results of exams, do in many cases
> affect
> the rest of a person's life. Making some practical adjustment in an exam
> says nothing to the employer at all..that's the whole point..the employer
> sees only the exam result and the actual capability of the student..
> Allowing someone diabetic to show their full potential and perform their
> best in an exam is what then enables them to have the opportunity to choose
> whatever profession they wish and thereby prevents discrimination against
> diabetics.  In this day, when many top universities or future employers
> will
> not even look at anything other than the very top grades, should someone
> getting a poor mark due to very high or low blood sugars prevent them
> progressing or deny them the opportunity? In today's highly competitive
> world, surely one should be able to show their best? As an employer, if you
> was looking at two peoples CV's one with a 1st degree or the other with 2.2
> or 3rd, who would you choose? Given that in reality these choices are made
> purely on exam based results and that those results are relative to the
> grades others have achieved. Exam results are used (rightly or wrongly) as
> a
> measure of intelligence, ability and aptitude. This is not about performing
> under "perfect" conditions, it's about leveling the playing field, so that
> all have equal opportunity to show their worth. Once in the job..then of
> course the ability to perform becomes paramount and you are either up to
> the
> job or not. Grades and results matter, even at a young age, e.g. unless you
> get at least 8 GCSE's at A or A star..you won't even get looked at by most
> medical schools, so no chance of becoming a doctor if you lost the odd mark
> to a hypo when aged 16! In the past I wonder how many diabetics have been
> denied the chance of entering a top academic profession? Because they
> didn't
> achieve the grades, not because they couldn't..but because they didn't as a
> result of their blood sugars at the time of the exam.
> The same argument applies to those dyslexic... they are entitled to have a
> PC or transcriber during exams. I know many very intelligent, extremely
> able
> dyslexics..but if you saw their writing, they would be written off as
> stupid
> and illiterate, yet they can excel in their chosen professions, should they
> be denied the chance too? Or what about someone with poor sight, should
> they
> not be allowed Braille or a "spoken" exam? I do not see this as "special
> treatment", quite the reverse, it is about enabling someone to prove their
> potential, it's about recognition that sometimes a small adjustment or
> adaption here or there is required. Would you rather someone was denied the
> opportunity to enter a profession, thereby affecting their whole working
> life and contribution to society, rather than give them 15 minutes to
> recover from a hypo in an exam? Surely rather than criticising this
> application of the Disability Discrimination Act, you should be celebrating
> it? How is it different from requiring an employer to allow someone time
> off
> to attend their diabetic clinic...isn't that "special treatment..after-all
> non-diabetics don't get that time off? This is quite separate from being
> discriminated against and the opposite of being prevented from doing
> something because you are diabetic. Such provisions are there so that
> "diabetics can do (almost) anything that normal people can do".. but they
> do
> need the grades and opportunities to prove themselves in the first place.
> Many teenagers are newly/recently diagnosed at the time they take their
> exams and have yet to develop the skills or even possess the tools (if not
> on a pump) to manage their blood sugars adequately during times of stress.
> For many, the exams will be their first experience of stress hormones on
> their blood sugar levels.  Nearly all will be struggling at this age with
> the hormonal impact of puberty/adolescence on their glycaemic control, yet
> the exam results are a just a snap shot of how they perform in a few given
> hours after years of study. You may have to go into a meeting feeling like
> "a used teabag"..but you will not be performing at your optimum, you will
> though have other opportunities to prove yourself, not so for the student
> who doesn't get adequate grades. There's only one chance and it's pass or
> fail.
> Yes, life as a diabetic does mean learning to deal with life / jobs /
> family
> / travel / whatever blood sugars aren't perfect, but if there are small
> adjustments that can help with or make life easier or simpler, why object?
> Exams are stressful and difficult enough. You are on a pump because it
> makes
> your control easier and your life simpler..is there a difference?
> Oh yes.. I do remember times, when Sarah was very young when yes, I did
> have
> to call the "my daughter's a diabetic and her blood sugar's low so please
> serve her first." shout.. what else was I meant to do with a 2 year old who
> at that time was on Mixtard, in a hypo and wouldn't/couldn't eat glucose
> tablets and knocked her juice on the floor..? It's not always so clear cut
> and not everyone can function well with high and low blood levels or always
> keep their sugars under good control.
> Karen Persov..
> Mum to Sarah aged 14, dxd at 18 months..also hypothyroid,  on Animas2020
> and
> Dexcom7plus and thrilled to just having done a 6 meter Snuba dive and mum
> to
> David (not diabetic) age 19, First Year Medical student. Both about to sit
> exams next month.
> .
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