We felt very overwhelmed with the initial learning curve, so I really cannot imagine the struggle for a 23 year old to come to grips with the changes that one has no choice but to put in place to manage D effectively. Some day awareness will be such that young adults will not find themselves having to deal with the added confrontation of workplace harassment and your advocacy in having stood against workplace harassment helps all of us.
Our two children have very different personalities. Our oldest, our daughter is extremely outgoing, while our youngest, our son, is very shy and reserved. When our son was diagnosed with D, it was important to us that he become comfortable managing his diabetes in the presence of people and not feel that testing is something that needs to be done out of view, or behind closed doors. With his reserved personality, this has been an ongoing challenge.
Our son’s school board actually has a written diabetes management policy. As part of the policy a clean, private place is to be designated on school grounds for diabetes management and while this is greatly appreciated in situations where one might need to take pants off to administer an injection, confining BG tests to a remote location is neither practical nor desirable. The wording of the written policy clearly shows a board concern with exposure to HIV and Hep B. That being, said at some point the medical and emotional well being of the T1 child needs to be the real priority. We could easily have shown school administration that our son did not pose either an HIV risk or a Hep B risk to any of his fellow students. We were just too new to the whole D thing back then to advocate.
David had a terrific teacher in a mixed 7/8 class for both of his years in grade 7 and 8. During those years he was able to test his BG in the classroom and be free to drink a juice during class, whenever needed. He was also given access to the photocopy room by the principals office that had a locking door if he did need to remove clothing to administer an injection. These days with the pump, it is just the BG checks and juice sort of thing that needs to be handled and his grade 7/8 teacher’s perspective helped him tremendously in gaining a comfort zone to test wherever and whenever he needed. She was an aggressive, outgoing, fireball of a little lady and she ran a finely tuned classroom. Sadly for the students, she has since retired, but I will always remember her for her practical, sensible approach. She is just one of those teachers that one never forgets and may we all meet more people like her in our working and personal lives.