Handling diabetes when you first start college – by Holly Rose
I have to be honest these past few months have been really up the wall with my diabetes lately, from starting college and just the general stress that comes with that. I think I have caught every type of illness that has been going round, and then my bloods have not being the best.
When you think about going to college I guess everyone always has these ideas in their head of what it is going to be like, and then once you’re there it soon hits you that it’s a hundred times harder then what you even imagined, well that’s what it was like for me anyway.
Things change in a short time
Towards the beginning of September last year I could see how much my bloods just seemed to not know what they wanted to do – one minute they would be high and the next they would be low, so then I would have to have my usual jellies to manage that. Now I knew it wasn’t going to be easy! For the past five years I was used to doing my bloods the same times every day and then eating the same time every day, so when you move on from school your timetable can be completely different and this definitely affected my blood pattern.
A little after I started I went for my usual hospital check-up and for the first time in so long my HbA1cs weren’t the best they could be. This could have been down to a mixture of things. I had just started college and I haven’t been on the pump yet for a year, so I am still getting use to all that is involved with that. I’ll be honest it wasn’t the best thing to hear and you do start to think “Oh what I am doing wrong, compared to usual?”
It’s now been about four months since I started college and honestly the difference that short amount of time can make. I haven’t been for a check-up since, but I am hoping that it will be all back to normal as I can see my bloods starting to be similar to how they were. I guess it was always about getting use to everything and knowing what would be best for me in the environment I was in; I am not saying I’m 100% used to everything because I am really not, but I wouldn’t have thought in September that this is how I would be now.
My tips when you start college
I think the main things that I would say to do when you start college with diabetes are:
- Make sure the college know about it, because then you always know that if something unexpected happens then there will always be someone who knows how to deal with it.
- Try and find a safe place to put everything you need. I have always carried around everything in my bag but the insulin would have to be put in a fridge, so the very first week I just went and asked if I could store my insulin in a fridge in College.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people. I don’t mean just meet someone for the first time and be like ‘Hi my names Holly, oh and I’m diabetic’, I mean you could do and good for you if you do because your confident with that, but for me I just waited until someone would see me doing my bloods and then I would explain and tell them not to look if they didn’t like blood. I think this was the big thing for me as I have always been used to being with people who have known me for years so they know about it, and even though I write these blogs it’s mad because I am always like ‘Shall I just tell them’.
- Finally, make sure you’re comfortable with it all. At first I was really uneasy about the idea of my pump beeping and no-one knowing what the hell was going on, so I decided to ask my tutor to tell my teachers. I know my teachers probably already knew about my diabetes but for my own piece of mind I asked her and once I did I felt so much better, as I knew that if I went into class and it beeped at least my teacher would know what it was. It actually happened the other day and I always find it really unpredictable as sometimes it’s quiet and then the next minute you feel as though the whole class is being taken over by this noise (I’m probably just over exaggerating), but I just get my blood kit out and it soon shuts up.