Out of the Mouths of Babes

I am a teacher. I make my students fully aware of my diabetes on the first day of school. I always try to give them an “in a nutshell” version of the disease, as well as my pump. They have come to know that when I go back to my desk in the middle of a lesson, I’m testing my BG. They know that when they hear my pump beep 3 times, it means i have it on a special setting (temp basal rate!). They know that if I stop to eat something and don’t offer them anything, I’m not being rude…I just need a snack.

So last week, as part of the health curriculum, our school nurse had some nursing students visit from the local college to talk with our 4th graders about nutrition. The nursing students were being observed by their college supervisors. I assume this presentation was a class project that they were to do and be graded on. OK. So, my kiddos are sitting there listening to the students from the college talk about vitamins and food choices. One of my kids asked a question about eating ketchup (I think it was ketchup), and one of the nursing students said that ketchup was ok, but it had too much sugar, and that sugar should not be eaten, because eating sugar will give you diabetes. At that moment, 20 pairs of 4th grade eyes turned their heads towards me, with a look that said “Huh?? What is she talking about?” They knew full well that this person was wrong, but because they thought of her as a nurse, they didn’t want to question her authority. I was about to say something, when one of my kids raised her hand and said “You know, my teacher has diabetes, and I don’t think what you said is correct!!” I couldn’t help but laugh and cheer on the inside!!! At that point, one of the college supervisor’s corrected the nursing student, saying that eating sugar does not give you diabetes, but eating things with too much sugar can lead to other problems that may make you more likely to get diabetes.

It never ceases to amaze me how little others know about the disease, even those in the medical field. I’ve had a doctor once ask me “Why do you need to test so much? Aren’t you on a pump?” What?! I’m glad that the comment about sugar causing diabetes was brought up during that presentation at school, because at least the college students learned something from it. It’s just funny that a 10 year old had to point it out…

It’s amazing, isn’t it? I was absolutely astounded at how much my mom and step-mom (both nurses) thought they knew about my care when I was first diagnosed (as an adult, mind you… I didn’t exactly need babysitting). They still sort of give me this “look” if I’m eating/doing something they don’t think is “right”.

I always love it when docs tell me “you probably know more about this than I do, so I’m not even going to ask” line when I go in for non-D related things :slight_smile:


What a great story! Good to know that there are 20 kids (plus 1 nursing student) who are now educated.

I’m stunned at what I’ve heard from doctors & nurses & even my CDE.

heheh, that just make me feel better about the future

aww thats super cute!