Transitioning

Hello everyone! My name is Samira Hemraj and I am a freshman at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) where I live on campus and have a meal plan membership. I currently take insulin with a pen and monitor my blood sugars at a minimum of five times a day. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) on December 26th, 2017 (Yes, the day after Christmas!). While in the hospital, I remember numerous nurses and doctors telling me, “Your life is about to change.” At the time, I was unable to fully understand the scope of this “life-changing” experience. Through all the endocrinologist appointments and an abundant amount of information about T1D, I started to truly realize my lifestyle was about to change. With only two weeks before the beginning of spring semester, I enthusiastically grasped the basics of T1D before moving 107 miles back to college, away from the comfort of my home. My parents questioned whether I would be able to manage my T1D away from home and I quickly took charge and assured them that I was ready to conquer this challenge.Throughout my spring semester, I rapidly learned a tremendous amount about not only myself but the...
Question 12: I’m starting college in the fall and I’m so nervous for graduation and then starting college. Do you know of a good way to hide your pump under your dress that isn’t uncomfortable? What do I do if my roommate is weird about me having diabetes?Abbey:First off, try not to be too nervous about graduation and starting college! I am a creature of habit and the change from high school to college can be nerve-wracking, but think of it as the next part of your journey! You are ready and you will love it!For all occasions when I wear a dress I attach my pump to my bra. I usually place it on the front; however, I know girl members of my CDN group place it on the side or back. Sometime it depends on the dress and where it will fit best, and feel most comfortable. Also, I wouldn’t fret too much about your pump showing on your graduation day because during the ceremony you will be wearing your gown over your dress!Editor's note: wearing a pair of spandex with a side/back pocket under your dress also works great! Your pump won't be sweaty against your skin...
Editor's note: download your copies of the second edition of the Off to College booklets for students and parents here!Allyson S. Hughes, M.A. is a doctoral candidate in the Psychology department at the University of Texas at El Paso.  She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1995 at the age of 7 years old..   .   .Switching health care providers (HCPs) can be challenging, especially when seeking a provider who is skilled in type 1 diabetes management for adults.  The to-do list is long and includes (but isn’t limited to) building rapport with a new provider, explaining medical history, and also discussing device data and/or medical needs.  It doesn’t have to be maddening though.  I’ve written some helpful tips to ease the burden of the process of finding a new provider.   To begin with, I believe that it best to approach this process in a positive light and view finding a new HCP as an information gathering mission. Gather Information on Potential HCPsThere are several steps to information gathering.  First, figure out what your insurance provides.  Often insurance plans change approved providers, so make sure that you have an updated provider list.  Second, know the difference between HMO and...
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...

Knowing Your Resources

For the past three years, the College Diabetes Network Chapter at the University of Rochester has hosted two sister events: One for parents of incoming first year students with health concerns and one for the students themselves. Our Chapter wanted to educate students on the resources available on campus; as students with chronic illnesses who have gone through the transition to college ourselves, we know it can be a stressful time when you need all the help and guidance you can get. We decided last year to open up the event to any student with health concerns, not just those with diabetes. We felt the event could prevent diabetic students from feeling isolated and also have a broader impact on our campus community.Our event for parents of new college students provides a detailed view of the health resources on campus. The event is not only relevant to those with a child with diabetes, but also for parents with children who have allergies, chronic diseases, disabilities, and other health concerns. The event features a number of panelists: advisors from different services on campus, including our University Health Services (UHS), University Counseling Center (UCC), the Center of Excellence in Teaching and Learning...
Question:My son is going away to college this week. His A1C has been 12 for the past year. He has had Type 1 for 9 years. He has gone to classes for carb counting, getting ready for college and been to diabetes camp for many years. He wears a pump but does not want to wear a glucose monitor. He often does not bolus when he eats even though he knows he is supposed to. He understands the complications that can occur with his high A1C.  He has had counseling for his high A1C. His college is in a rural area and does not have a CDN Chapter or much health services.  Do you have any suggestions for him?  Answers:Casey:Howdy! First off, I want to say thank you for all you do as a T1D parent. It is a tough job to say the least, and you deserve recognition for how difficult this experience is for you as well.Regarding your question, I have had a similar experience. I attend school at the University of Wyoming, which much like the school where your son is going, is extremely rural. Based on my experiences I have three pieces of wisdom to pass...
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...
Almost three weeks before I was supposed to move to Boston for my first-year of school at Simmons College, my entire life was flipped in a completely unexpected direction. At 18 years-old, on August 6th, 2015 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) during a routine check-up at my pediatrician’s office. My doctor discovered that I had lost 10 pounds since the year before, even though I was not trying to lose weight. She immediately began to investigate, and when they took my blood sugar, it was over 600. At the time, I did not realize I was showing some of the classic symptoms of T1D – I was painfully thirsty, but I blamed it on the hot weather. I was always tired, but I blamed it on my long work hours and having to get up early. I was always hungry and ate snacks and meals all-day, but I always have had a big appetite. I never suspected anything was wrong because I was absolutely unaware and ignorant of what T1D even was.Both my parents and I (mostly them) were already on edge and worried about my transition to Boston, but diabetes made the transition even more difficult....
Editor’s Note: We caught back up with Charlotte, CDN Chapter Leader at the University of Rochester about what’s she learned as a sophomore with T1D. She blogged about her initial transition as a freshman last year! Somehow I’m already halfway through my sophomore year! I really can’t believe it! Such a cliché, but I’ve learned so much about myself. I really feel like I’m setting the stage for handling adulthood, especially in relation to diabetes management. Here are a few things I’ve learned about type 1 diabetes (T1D) while I’ve been at the University of Rochester (so far)----Plan AheadIt makes life easier to pack extras (batteries, glucose tabs, pump sites, etc.) It’s easy to say, “I’m just across campus,” to myself. In reality, though, packing these extra supplies ensures that I can keep on with my day without being fazed by a trip back to my room. It ensures I can arrive to meetings, work, and classes in a timely manner. Of course, diabetes management is always a valid excuse, but I feel better about myself when I can manage my diabetes without it getting in my way of my normal student schedule.-Educate Yourself, Educate OthersOne thing I’ve noticed about college...
Coming to college, I was sure that I would be able to handle my diabetes all on my own. It had been 12 years, I had been to sleep away camp, traveled to Europe, and grown up with this. Type 1 diabetes (T1D) had never been a huge burden in my life and I did not expect much to change when I moved out. However, after just one week, I humbled up. I could tell right away that this was a new life. My numbers were fluctuating from 400 to 50 within hours, I was lethargic, drinking juice constantly, and changing my pump site almost every day. The worst part was that no matter how hard I tried, I could not crack the code. I was testing my blood sugar more than ever, counting my carbs as best as I could with the new mysterious dining hall food, exercising… you name it. There seemed to be nothing that I could do.When I moved in, I jammed four months of every diabetes supply possible in tall plastic drawers that I hid in the back of my closet. I knew that I had to tell my new friends about diabetes, but I...

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