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RE: [IPk] Re: Today's Dilemma
On being 'caught out' for eating:
When I was an undergraduate, I made sure that at least one other student in
each of my classes was aware that I had diabetes. I would show her (I was at
a women's college) my blood sugar meter, my Medic-Alert bracelet, where my
pump went in, explain the workings of the pump, and give her a few lines to
say on my behalf just in case something went wrong and I couldn't speak for
myself. I told some of my professors but not all of them. I went to see
certain instructors in their offices after class when I'd needed to eat
something or excuse myself and the 'untold' prof. had been unimpressed by my
behaviour, which he or she had taken as disrespect.
When I said, 'I have diabetes and my blood sugar got quite low during class.
I might well have passed out if I hadn't left. I figured passing out would
have been a bigger disruption than my leaving for three minutes', none of
them could argue that I should have sat tight and waited for the class to
adjourn. A couple of times I was even congratulated: 'I never would have
known you were diabetic from looking at you--how do you stay so well?' That
line gave me a chance to explain current theories and techniques of
self-management, which made me look super-conscientious: not only did I do
good work, but I did it in circumstances that few others faced and I seemed
to know what I was talking about to boot.
In another few instances, when I have been challenged (outside of academic
contexts) for needing to carry my kit or for having to leave a room for
something sweet and a sit-down, I have said, 'Would you prefer for me to
pass out, for paramedics to be summoned, and for you to be legally liable?'
The mention of legal liability shuts most people up!
If a child's teachers are told that it will be on THEIR heads if a child
with diabetes is not allowed access to necessary treatment--perhaps a
comparison with a child needing his/her asthma inhaler would help--I should
think that would give them some pause. If Danielle had to go to from school
to the hospital because a particular teacher didn't let her do what she
needed to, I would hope he or she would feel personally terrible and be
subjected to professional discipline.
Incidentally, does anyone know if SENDA has anything to say about diabetes?
I have been meaning to look into it.
IDDM 10 years; MiniMed pumper 6+ years
Co-ordinator, Oxford University Student Union Diabetes Network
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