Life as a College Student with Diabetes
I'm sad, only one person posted a question for me (I love you Gina!!!)
Anyway, here's my answer:
Diabetes in college is, I would imagine, very similar to diabetes in any other work situation. Most people don't know you have it. Those who do know don't care that much. And when they do care, it's usually because you're inconveniencing them somehow.
That being said, I've managed to keep a pretty low-profile on campus with regards to my diabetes. When I was a freshman, I went and got a letter from the Office of Students with Disabilities that explained to my profs that I was allowed to have juice in class if I needed, to leave if necessary and that I could postpone tests and what-not if I needed to. I showed it to all of my teachers, they were like "whatever" and we never talked about it again. Since then, I haven't actually told any of my professors that I have diabetes because I felt that it hasn't really been necessary. I'm usually awake early enough before any tests that if I'm low or going low, I can drink juice so my blood sugar is back up to normal. I've never gone low during a test. I can't even remember a time when that happened in high school or middle school.
I test during class and no one cares. With the advent of cell phones and the fact that *no one* seems to remember to turn their's off, my beeping is probably shrugged off as someone turning off (or on) their cell phone. I've gone low a couple of times, and in those cases, I've left, gotten soda and come back, or just left period if it was a dumb class (which they invariably are). In college, unlike high school, no one really cares if you're there. The only time it would potentially be a problem is during a test, and as I said before, this has yet to happen.
I will say that the teachers I do talk to about my diabetes are my dance teachers. Participation is a large chunk of my grade, and I don't want to get docked points if I have to stop dancing at any point. Right now I'm taking dance for non-credit, so I can leave and not feel bad, but it's good to have the teachers know I have diabetes just in case I pass out.
I'm also really good friends with my Health Center. They know me by name. We have a Certified Diabetes Educator on campus, so I say hi to her every few months or whenever things are starting to go a little hay-wire. Though since I've been doing the remote services with Gary Scheiner, I haven't had to go in.
So that's my answer! I'm sure it's not very comforting to people. Maybe if I run into some fiasco with a prof I might be more inclined to make a bigger deal about it, but I would rather just not go low during a test than having to convince them that diabetes is the culprit (and not the fact that I waited until 2 in the morning to start studying... not that I've ever done that...).