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My High School Experience with Diabetes

High school

My high school experience with diabetes has been an interesting one. It has been a blessing as well as a curse throughout my years at high school. I have acquired quite a few stories involving highschool and diabetes. A strong suggestion I have for my diabuddies in high school out there is to not vocalize your blood sugar in class. Explaining to my teacher that I exclaimed I’M HIGH because of my blood sugar and not a substance was not the most fun conversation. The atmosphere of highschool might seem very scary to someone with diabetes. I assure you as long as you are confident and open to educating others about your condition, it will run much smoother. 

Communication

One of the most important things to remember in managing diabetes in highschool is communication. To practically manage your diabetes, I would suggest always making your teachers aware of your condition and the difficulties that ensue with diabetes. Notifying your teacher will make it easier to handle issues like low blood sugar in class. Particularly when tests occur as your teachers will be aware of your needs and not think you are doing something wrong. Informing your teacher about diabetes can be educational too! There have been many times where teachers assumed I was using my phone in class, when in reality I was either taking insulin or checking my blood sugar. I have to admit it is quite satisfying to hold up my insulin pump after being accused of being on my phone in front of the whole class. Now circling back to education, many individuals believe people with diabetes should not consume sugar, teachers included. I think this can be a somewhat educational conversation to have with teachers or other students. There have been many times I had to explain that I could participate in having candy or chocolate during special events in school and that I would not melt into a puddle by doing so. 

Confidence

When I first began testing my blood and taking insulin in high school, I felt embarrassed doing it. That embarrassment quickly disappeared once I was acquainted with everyone in the class and had realized what a burden it was to hide taking my insulin. I finally began embracing my condition and showed it off. I became proud of being a cyborg essentially. I even went as far as to create the name Big Insulin and tell others to refer to me as Big Insulin. I enjoyed coming up with the nickname as having to explain I had diabetes frequently was exhausting. My nickname was able to inform individuals of my condition while having some comedic relief at the same time. The main point I am trying to express is to be proud of your condition and not ashamed. 

The many Feats and Foes of Diabetes in HS

I always view things in two categories- positives and negatives. Simple view right? This gets very tricky though when something has many positives and many negatives, which can accurately describe diabetes in high school. There are beneficial things like free juice! But then you remember that the juice is to correct your blood sugar. Another example, no teacher would ever question me if I asked to use the bathroom more than once in class as I would explain frequent urination is a common thing for people with diabetes. This felt cool, almost like a brag to be able to go to the washroom whenever, but once again, I’d quickly realized, dang having to use the bathroom more than everyone else is not that cool!

The Reality

Diabetes is different for everyone. My experiences will not be identical to yours, hopefully, you can laugh or learn something beneficial in managing your diabetes at school. This could be bringing awareness to topics involving diabetes or merely educating others on your condition. You will have to decide what will work for you and ultimately navigate your diabetes yourself through high school. Do not be alarmed though. There is lots of structure in place to help you succeed to be your very best. Highschool already is a scary atmosphere let alone involving diabetes in it, but I assure you, managing your diabetes will run smoothly as long as you embrace what you have been dealt. 

Hayden Darrington
Hi everyone my name is Hayden Darrington and I’ve had diabetes for almost seven years. Diabetes has become a normal part of my life as I’m sure many can relate. Please enjoy!

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