Campus Health

Question:What kind of disabilities services should I ask for? I am a freshman in college and I'm not really sure what I might need from the Office for Disability Services (ODS) for T1D, and the ODS counselor isn't really sure what is appropriate to offer. Thanks.Answers:Maddy:You’ve already taken a smart step at the start of your college career by getting in touch with ODS! I went through my first two years of college not even knowing I could have registered with my university’s student disability services program having T1D. If you had a 504 plan (or other accommodations) during high school, you may want to bring that document with you to your next meeting with ODS. ODS can see how they can be formatted to fit your needs in a college setting.   Here are some accommodations that might be beneficial:  Permission to eat in class and leave to use the restroom. In my experience, very few professors have an issue if you eat in class or need to get up to use the restroom. However, just in case you come across one who does have a problem with this, you may want to have accommodations already in placeExtra time...
Adam Brown, author of diaTribe’s Adam’s Corner, recently released a book of action-oriented items help with diabetes management and mental outlook of people living with diabetes. From his 15 years living and learning about what works – and what doesn’t – Bright Spots & Landmines is intended to help readers learn new, useful diabetes tips related to food, mindset, exercise, and sleep.“I hope this book reminds readers that we all have moments of enormous diabetes frustration, self-sabotaging food decisions, negative thoughts and questions, busy days where exercise is hard to fit in, and nights without enough sleep,” Adam said in an email interview.Written in the format of Diabetes Bright Spots (positive behaviors and choices that work well and should be done more often) versus Diabetes Landmines (mistakes that take blood glucose out of range, ruin your mood, or make life more difficult), the book is filled with advice Adam wishes he would have known when he was diagnosed. Through time reflecting on his own experience with diabetes, Adam learned what works best for him and provides the roadmap for readers to discover their own Bright Spots and Landmines.Bright Spots & Landmines shares my toolkit for navigating the choppy, unpredictable waters of living with diabetes. I hope it puts some...
Being diagnosed with T1D during March of my freshman year of college was without a doubt one of the biggest curveballs I have ever been thrown in my life. One afternoon I casually mentioned to my mom that I had been feeling very thirsty lately, and was going to the bathroom in the middle of the night, every night. Just a few hours later, after having a friend in my dorm test my blood sugar, I found myself in the hospital, giving myself insulin shots and learning how to carb count.After the forever-long day and half stay at the hospital, I returned to my dorm and my typical college routine, with just a few blood sugar checks and insulin shots added in each day. I quickly found out my roommate didn’t like needles (just a little problematic), but we worked that out! During the first few weeks back, I certainly experienced plenty of highs and lows, emotionally, physically, and diabetically. When I wanted to eat a food I didn’t know what to bolus for, or had a diabetes-related question, I would call my dad, who also has Type 1. Our texts quickly became focused on “BS” – Blood sugar, of...
Editor's Note: This blog is for informational purposes only and to share a CDN Student's experience. It is not intended as medical advice or treatment. Consult with your healthcare provider (such as a primary care physician, endocrinologist, mental health provider, etc) for advice, possible diagnosis, treatment, information, etc. for any health related matter. If you think you are having a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately. Note from Meagan: Everyone experiences his or her diabetes differently. My experience with diabetes, how it has affected my own body image and mental health, and how my body image has affected my diabetes are completely unique to me, but the perspective I’m sharing is also one of many common challenges faced by persons living with type 1 diabetes. Please also be aware that I discuss eating disorders, so be careful if this may trigger a negative affect in your own mental health.In my life thus far with diabetes, the hardest part has been the feeling that it’s not a mountain - it’s Sisyphus, pushing a rock up a hill for all of eternity. When my blood sugar is high, I can bolus and bring it down. When it’s low, I can drink...
For about a month and a half I had the privilege of participating in a trial with Good Morning Friend (GMF); a company that provides daily check in services for people with diabetes. The services include either a text or call at an agreed upon time in the morning and a procedure for if the calls/texts were not answered.  I worked with the founder and creator of GMF, Thomas Dillon, to create my individualized plan with GMF.  We set up for him to text me every day at 11 AM, which worked best for my schedule. GMF works with each client to set up check-in times, which may be different each day.  We also set up a procedure for if I did not answer that first text and so on (each step happens if there is no response from me, until I respond or the final step is reached):A text 10 minutes after not getting a response to the first text.A call 10 minutes after the second text.A call 10 minutes after the second text, to someone on my emergency contact list.Within 30 minutes of that call if GMF has not heard back from someone on the emergency list, local...
My name is Madison Lambert, I am 19 years old and a first-year student at Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. Being a social work major, the topic of self-care comes up just about every day. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes at the age of 18; less than a year ago on August 6, 2015. I was diagnosed during a routine appointment at my pediatrician’s office with a blood glucose of over 600 and immediately sent to the emergency room.  I found myself having to fine tune and create new self-care techniques within the next few days of my diagnosis. I believe you can never have too many methods of self-care, and find myself learning new ones every day.Here are some self-care methods that I found work well for me:· Humor: On the car ride to the emergency room, I could tell my mom was panicking - neither of us were familiar with type one diabetes and were unsure of what was next. My method of coping and self-care, at that moment, was to make jokes and laugh at billboard advertisements we passed. I continue to use humor everyday as a self-care technique, if you don’t laugh you might cry.· Learning...

Mental Health in College

Please note:This blog contains information related to mental health and references suicide. If you are thinking of hurting yourself, please reach out for help. Your school's counseling center and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline are good places to start.Mental health in the United States has recently become a charged political issue. It comes up in the debate about gun control, in the critiques of the prison system, and in many other places as well. However, for the millions of Americans that live with chronic diseases such as T1D, mental illness is significantly more common than for the general population.The statistics of mental illness are striking:· CDC suggests that 27% of people with diabetes suffer form major depressive disorder at some point in their lives.· One in four college students have a diagnosable illness, and 40% do not seek help.· 10 % of college students that have thought about or made a plan to commit suicide.These statistics are daunting, and the stigma and charge that surrounds mental illness and depression causes many people to avoid seeking help and prevents many from recognizing an issue before it becomes an emergency. The stigma around diabetes, something many people with T1D live with, is something of an...
Are you a young adult between the ages of 18 and 24?  Are you living on your own, or spending a lot of time away from the ever-watchful eyes of your parents, at a college or university?  Are you aware of some of the health risks and precautions you are prone to at this time in your life?  You probably spent some time in your high school wellness classes discussing important health and safety practices for people your age…thankfully, this blog is not about any of those topics.Equally important but not quite as uncomfortable as those Sex Ed classes, StripSafely is an attention-grabbing campaign advocating for test strip accuracy as it relates to diabetes management (whew!).  Did you know that the test strips you use every day when you check your blood sugar can be skewed from your actual BG by a whole 20%, sometimes more?   This means a reading of 200 mg/dl could range anywhere from 160-240 mg/dl—that makes quite a difference when you’re giving a correction!  Imagine basing a correction off of a reading of 400 mg/dl—a 20 % margin of error in both directions means you could actually be anywhere from 320-480 mg/dl!  That’s a HUGE difference...
The last few nights, I’ve woken up low at around four in the morning. Ok, “woken up low” is a bit of an understatement: I actually wake with a start, dripping with sweat and toasting from the inside out under my twisted sheets and blankets.  I don’t know what time it is, what’s going on around me, or when I have to be up in the morning for class, but instead there is one singular thought in my mind: get food.  I reach over the side of my lofted dormitory bed and grasp for a bottle in the 30 pack of Welch’s variety juice drinks I keep on the floor below my head, and I gulp it down in five swift chugs.  Then I generally throw back my covers to cool off and try to fall asleep again, but for the past few nights, I’ve been too low to go back to bed after just one juice.  Instead I lay on my stomach, flex my toes over the left side of the bed, and fold over the right side to reach for some snacks in a plastic container under the center of my bed.  I usually end up falling on my face when I try to reach over the bed this...

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