Now that it is time to go back to school, it is important to remember these tips which will help make your transition into the classroom easier. I have found them helpful in making me feel well-prepared and ready to focus on my school work and not worry about my type 1 diabetes (T1D).
1. Most important to me is letting my teachers know in advance about my diabetes. This may entail sending an email or meeting with them in person before your first class. I wear a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and often look at my receiver to check where my blood sugar is. To a teacher, they may think I am looking at my phone, so I feel it is important to explain this prior to beginning school.
2. Have an extra supply of fast-acting sugar and a testing kit in an area that is easily accessible to you throughout the day.
3. Have a 504 Plan in effect. This is most helpful for high school students who will be taking standardized tests. It is important to be able to take breaks, and not be penalized, if you stumble upon a diabetes-related issue during the test.
4. Make sure the school nurse has a Glucagon kit and knows how to use it in case of an emergency.
5. Get a copy of your schedule, so you know when you are eating lunch or have sports and can plan accordingly.
6. If you have to walk a far distance, make sure you walk with a friend.
7. Always have water handy. It is important to stay hydrated and also is great if you need to clean a finger before you check your blood sugar.
8. Advocate for yourself. Don’t be afraid to stand up for the resources and conditions you need to maintain a safe blood sugar level.
9. Let your friends know the signs and symptoms of high and low blood sugar levels so they can help you if necessary.
10. Don’t stress over your blood sugars. Going back to school can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. It isn’t uncommon for it to take a few days to settle into your new schedule. Try to relax and enjoy the school year.