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[IPk] Diabetes at School

When I had just begun secondary school at the age of 13, my class were to go 
on a weekend expedition to Tenby, Wales to camp, climb mountains, and go 
potholing.  Having been diagnosed just six months before, I had been told 
that the effect of exercise was the same on the body as that of insulin - it 
lowered the bloog sugar, and therefore, I assumed, one could be replaced 
with the other (I did not understand that I needed to be insulinised in 
order to exercise the muscles)

There was no suggestion that I should miss out on this trip with my new 
class mates, and the best strategy I could think of to prevent dreaded hypos 
was to leave my insulin (yes, both Insulatard and Actrapid) at home for the 

We left on the Friday afternnon, and by the Saturday morning I was feeling a 
little groggy, after missing two Actrapid and one overnight Insulatard 
injection.  With a blood sugar of 27 I thought that i had better take a lot 
of exerecise to bring this down.  By Saturday afternoon I was feeling very 
ill and my appetite had fallen.  I remember feeling delirious during the 
night, getting up at half hour intervals to go and drink the freezing 
mountain water from the tap in the farmhouse, and yet it never seemed to 
quench my thirst.

On Sunday our class went pot holing (clambering around in small wet 
underground caves, for a laugh) and those of us who were small enough were 
told to attempt to climb through the 'letterbox'  - a hole not much larger 
than a letter box, surrounded by water.  My whole body cramped up and I 
could not move - I screamed in agony and was terrified that I could not 
move, let alone free myself.  One of the teachers hauled me out, and told me 
to rub my cramp to get rid of it.

I spent most of the journey in the minibus back to London with cramps in my 
legs, feet, and neck (not having had insulin for 48 hours) and was relieved 
to see my Novopen on return.  I immediately injected my night time dose of 
Insulatard on Sunday, and some additional Actrpaid to bring down my BG which 
had risen to 37mmol.  I was too afraid to tell my teachers about this 
episode as I was new to the school.

Needless to say I took insulin with me for my nexy school trip (skiing) in 
1994, and the teacher in charge was a Type 1 Diabetic who was so surpised 
that i did not use portions to measure my food intake.  Ten years on I now 



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