Friends/Roommates

Question:When you meet someone or first become friends with someone do you tell them you're a diabetic? When do you feel is the appropriate time and way to tell people?Answers:Zach:Great question! Honestly, it depends on how comfortable you are with sharing that you have diabetes. For myself, I don’t usually bring it up immediately, but if I feel like I need to test my blood sugar or if I have to give insulin, I will do it even if I’m in front of a new person. Usually this causes the person to ask what I’m doing, and I will explain to them then that I have diabetes and these are some of the things that I need to do to stay healthy.Often times I’ve seen my diabetes play out as an icebreaker. By opening myself up to discussion about it, I’ve answered a lot of questions that people have and made some great friends because of it! How you share that you have diabetes is up to you, but if you are worried that they might not want to be your friend because of it, I can say confidently that I haven’t lost a friend because of my diabetes. However,...
College is hard. It’s hard for a normal student. Balancing classes, studying, friendships, a social life, and exercise can be a challenging endeavor for even the most successful scholar. Then throw in diabetes. For us who are “lucky” to have this disease, we have one more tedious thing to add to the mix.I was diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) in November of 2013, 9 months before I shipped off for my freshman year at my dream school, the University of Georgia (UGA). While my diagnosis and first months of treatment went well, I think it’s safe to say I’m still learning how to live successfully with T1D. T1D in many respects is an experiential disease. We get better at managing it the longer we have it.However, as I shipped off to college, I really had no idea what to expect. Through my first two and a half years, I’ve learned my fair share of lessons. I want to share them with other students getting ready to head to campus.Talk to your friends and roommates about your diabetes:I remember the first day I moved into my room in Brumby Hall (one of the freshmen dorms at UGA). Soon I was...

Diabetes with Roommates

Diabetes can seem like a huge burden sometimes, and even worse, it can make you feel like you are a burden on those around you. No one likes feeling like they have to be taken care of, but here’s the thing- Diabetes doesn’t make us any less able to take care of ourselves, it just means we might need a little love and support to keep us going through some of the highs and the lows (diabetes pun intended)! You’re not a burden- you’re a bundle of sugary joy and you and your roommate are going to have a really educational and sweet year. I was diagnosed with T1D in my sophomore year of college, and my biggest support system throughout that was my roommates. In my 3 years of college, I have lived with 11 different roommates. Beyond teaching me a thing or two about how not to burn pizza, how to manage homework all-nighters and how to sleep through a hair dryer (basic life skills), living with roommates has taught me how to make the most of a built-in support system with my diabetes. Whether you go into a roommate situation with your best friend forever or a complete...
Editors Note: Did you know CDN has brand new Off to College Booklets for parents/caregivers and students. They cover everything from what to pack to how to talk to your roommate about T1D to managing T1D on campus. Check out a preview of the parent one here and the student booklet here. You can request you copy by filling out this form. My game of hide and seek with type 1 diabetes started when I was diagnosed a month before my senior year of high school. It was obviously a big adjustment for me, but it was also a change in scenery for everyone around me. After having lunch with me for 14 years, my friends and family were not accustomed to seeing me all of a sudden checking my blood sugar and giving an insulin shot. The fact is, type 1 diabetes is somewhat of a foreign language, overclouded by the perception of type 2 diabetes and the false assumption that diabetics cannot eat sugar. This can be extremely frustrating and often leads to type 1 diabetics, including myself, hiding their caregiving and not being open about their condition.Enter College. My first time really away from my parents, completely on my own. I entered an entirely new...
    How much should I explain to my roommate? How many boxes of reservoirs and sites should I pack? How should I adjust my basal rates to this new schedule? How should I handle the abundance of cookies, ice cream, or worse, alcohol? Am I allowed to eat in class? What should I do if I have a low during an exam?These questions were my main concerns when preparing for college. I figured I could handle making friends, adjusting to college courses, and joining clubs; These were objectives for every incoming freshmen. It was a worry we could all share and laugh about together. It helped to validate our stresses, acknowledge that it was acceptable to be nervous, and give us motivation to succeed.I found myself trying to blow off steam by telling my roommate, “I just brushed my teeth but now I’m low!” or “Gosh, those sweet potatoes had a lot more carbohydrates than I thought.” Except, my roommate did not relate to any of my stories about diabetes. It was difficult to feel like I did not have an outlet for these experiences. Here is where the College Diabetes Network steps in.Since sophomore year of high school, I...

A Birthday Card

My Mom remembers more about my diagnosis than I do. I was only three when I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, so I guess that’s to be expected, but she’s told me about it so many times that it feels like some of her memories have become my own. I don’t actually remember walking into the hospital after dance class in my tights, leotard, and tutu. I don’t remember my intense thirst, or constantly needing to pee, during the weeks before our visit. I don’t remember crying every time a nurse came to check my blood sugar, or eating special meals for my health. I don’t remember the doctor bearing the news, and I certainly don’t remember the emotions that came with it. But my Mom does.Ever since that day in a small Illinois hospital room, my Mom has committed herself to helping me manage my diabetes. She mentioned once how she and my Dad stayed up for hours after my diagnosis reading books about diabetes, talking to doctors, and soaking up as much knowledge as they could about this foreign disease. As I grew, she began to teach me how to take care of myself. And she always...
Hello internet!!!  To my fellow diabetics and to non-diabetics, to my college students and to those younger and older, to guys ‘n gals alike, thanks for reading this blog and checking out College Diabetes Network’s awesome site.  I’m super pumped to be the new student blogger for CDN (pun intended), and I hope this site will offer you the resources, support, inspiration, and laughs you may be looking for, among other things.I think introductions are important, so first and foremost, here’s a little bit about me. I’m best known in the diabetes community as the girl behind Diabetic Girl Problems, a Twitter account I made not quite a year ago so I could tweet all the awkward, embarrassing, and sometimes humorous details of my life as a female college diabetic.  I’ve been pleased to discover that the things I tweet about do not just apply to me, but to diabetics all over the world, and I’ll admit that I take some comfort in the fact that I’m not the only girl who can chug a juice box faster than frat bros chug beer.My real name is Danielle Petrunich, or just Dani for short. I’m 20 years old and a sophomore...

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