Me, too!

I am a teacher and the first day of school when I introduce myself I tell my 7th graders I am diabetic. We cover procedures for in class the first day and some of the procedures have to do with keeping them safe, and some to keep me safe. Part of the tour of my room includes where my refrigerator is and my diabetic kit is if I need it. Part of the talk is what do do if anyone around them has symptoms of needing help. Where is the nearest adult, where is the nearest exit - etc. They are all very comfortable with the information and take it in stride when I need to test or snack.

At the end of class a young man came up to me as everyone was leaving and said, “Me, too.” I knew immediately that he meant he was diabetic, too. We had a great talk and he walked away knowing I was his advocate.

My problem was I DIDN’T KNOW HE WAS DIABETIC BEFORE HE WALKED IN MY ROOM. I have a real problem with that. As a teacher I read all my IEPs and 504s and medical alerts before school starts. I want to take care of all my kids. I went to the office and wanted to know why I DIDN’T KNOW!!!

His parents were upset - as well they should be - that we teachers didn’t know. They contacted the office and a packet went to the rooms the next day outlining what his needs were.

This should not have happened because last year when he had been diagnosed they had gone to great lengths to be sure everyone was notified, his needs outlined and this young man was taken care of properly. The office dropped the ball.

Everyone who has diabetic kids in school – PLEASE check with your school every year that the teachers have all the information they need, a copy of the IEP or 504 or whatever plan you set up. Luckily our team is always ready - I have trained them to take care of me! But some education goes along with every new student - how to spot a kids with problems, what to do in an emergency, what he needs when he’s low/high, etc. And sometimes the office drops the ball. We want to do a good job, be sure we have all the information we need.

Thank you from all the teachers out there. And love to all the kids out there! Its all about you!

Wow, that is quite unbelievable! Letting the surrounding know about diabetes is so important. What if an “unknown diabetic” have a hypo and need help, but no one knows that person has diabetes. It’s dangerous!

I had a classmate in high school with type 1. I had no idea she had diabetes until little more than half way through the first semester when she forgot her backpack in the classroom one day. She didn’t live at school like I did so when I saw an insulin pen sticking out from the backpack I knew I really need to find her before the school bus came that afternoon. Said and done, I caught her at the bus stop and gave her the backpack. After that day I guess she knew she had someone to somewhat lean on.
On days when having lunch together at school I always stayed with her outside the cafeteria while she took her lunch dose, politely looking in another direction.
It seems not even the teachers at school knew about her diabetes. One day a teacher joined us at lunch, and my classmate were talking about going into hospital soon to get her sugars in control and the teacher said “Maybe you have diabetes” my friend’s response "I’ve had diabetes for 6 years!"
Ever since high school, I’ve been thinking what if my friend had got a bad hypo at school and no one around knowing what was going on.

I know a lot of people want to keep their diabetes private, but really, it’s NOTHING to be ashamed of! It’s better to let the surrounding know about it so you have backup should something happen so you can’t deal with it on your own. It’s especially important at schools, kindergartens and workplaces.

One of my HS teachers was a diabetic. He selected two of us in my class and briefed us on what to do if he had problems. We were flattered to have this responsibility and trust. This was in 1945 when things were more primitive. Perhaps a “buddy system” like scuba divers use would work in a school classroom which would be a help to the patient and a responsibility lesson to the buddy.