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From New York, USA:

I have been diabetic for a little over two years now, and it sucks. If there is anyone out there who wouldn't mind giving me a little advice about how they handled it when they grew up and went to college I would greatly appreciate it!


It sounds like you must be having a hard time managing your diabetes. It is very common to be angry about having diabetes. I doubt there are too many people (if any) out there who like having diabetes. After all, it can be a "pain in the neck" even when everything is going well.

It sounds like you are very worried about your future. I would suggest talking to your physician and/or other members of your team about your particular concerns. Diabetes can be managed in college and you should be able to continue with your plans for the future (unless you wanted a career in the military or as a commercial pilot or some other career where diabetes can really get in the way).

Some general advice for managing diabetes at college:

  1. Try to get your diabetes under the best possible control before starting college. You might want to consider multiple injections in college to give you more flexibility even if you do not wish to try this in high school.

  2. If you live at school, make sure your roommate or someone who lives on the same floor knows you have diabetes. They should be aware of the symptoms of low blood sugar and how to treat it. Show them where you keep your glucagon. In an emergency, that can give it to emergency medical technician to inject even if they can't do it.

  3. Ask your roommate or someone who lives on the same floor to make sure you wake up and are out of bed by a certain time each day. If you stay up late, or get used to the noise of a dorm, you might also learn to sleep through an alarm clock and could develop a low blood sugar if you sleep too late.

  4. Try to get a refrigerator in the room. Even if they are not allowed, you can probably get permission to have one to store your insulin and some food.

  5. Make sure to keep some regular soda, or apple juice in the room in case you develop a stomach virus.

  6. Make sure you keep emergency food in the room in case you go low, or miss a meal in the cafeteria. It is good to keep food that is wrapped in individual portions (like packages of cheese crackers) that will keep for a while without spoiling. Do not buy large boxes of food to keep in the room open unless you like cockroaches. (You could store food in plastic containers or plastic bags.)

If you find that the diabetes is really getting you down, you might find it helpful to talk to a social worker or therapist. You might also want to post a message on the CWD Forums to get more suggestions.


[Editor's comment: You will find other college students in the Adults Chat Room and Teens Chat Room. The rooms are most active in the evenings. JSH]

Original posting 28 Mar 97


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