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It's no surprise for any person with diabetes, or a parent of someone with diabetes, to face the challenges when it comes to health insurance. As a 24 year-old whose father lives in Korea and whose mother passed away, dealing with the stresses of health insurance on my own is not new to me. Though, every year, things seem to get tougher and more frustrating to deal with on my own. With many bills I’m responsible for, I’ve come to a point where I’m not able to afford monthly premiums and the out-of-pockets to receive care for my diabetes and supplies. With this dilemma, I’ve had to turn to applying for Medicaid.During this difficult and stressful time, the delayed progress in being accepted into Medicaid had eventually left me running out of Omnipod pump sites and test strips. Not wanting to be an inconvenience for anyone, I went back to the basics: Syringes and Novolog vials. What’s missing in this picture was the Lantus, spiking up my blood sugar overnight. My numbers started becoming so inconsistent that I started feeling weak and got headaches easily.Out of desperate measures, I had to text my friend, Sarah (member of the CDN Chapter...
 In life there are always firsts. Sometimes those firsts can be scary. Your first steps, your first day of school, and your first time driving come to mind. As a person with type 1 diabetes (T1D), my life is defined by a few other “firsts.” My first time giving myself a shot, my first sleepover after diagnosis, my first site change, and what this story is about, my first time travelling abroad with T1D. All my “firsts” had been scary, yet so rewarding, so I knew this experience wouldn’t be any different.I chose to walk 500 miles across Spain for six weeks with nothing but me and my hiking pack on a trail called the El Camino de Santiago. There would be daily 90 degree temperatures and hiking up and down mountains for over 10 miles each day, all while carrying 15 pounds on my back. This was definitely going to be a challenge.How was the time change going to affect my blood sugar? How was all this activity going to affect my blood sugar? How would I know how many carbs were in the Spanish meals? And most importantly how was I supposed to fit all of the insulin,...

CDN Grants- Awareness

Editor’s Note: CDN was able to provide $5,000 in grants to 16 CDN Chapters for the 2016-2017 school year. The funding for these grants was provided by Lilly Diabetes. You’ll be hearing about their events in our blog over the next few months! University of California-Davis- EmmetAs a type 1 diabetes (T1D) group at the University of California- Davis (UC- Davis), we knew we wanted to do something special for College Diabetes Week 2016. After talking about how many of our friends have misconceptions about what it means to have T1D, we decided it would be worthwhile to inform our fellow students what life with diabetes means. With that goal in mind, and the help of the funding from the College Diabetes Network (CDN) grant, we began to make outreach plans for College Diabetes Week.At the start of the week, we printed out flyers to promote an informational night and bought supplies to make a poster for outreach. Our poster explained what T1D is, how it is treated, and the truths behind some misconceptions about it. Having reserved a table outside the coffee house on campus, we set up our poster throughout the week, handed out flyers promoting our event, and had...
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...
When I woke up on my first day of college, I had this wonderful, idyllic picture of what the next few months were going to look like. I was going to have a 4.0, work part time, go to the gym every morning, and to top it all off, lower my A1C. Heck, I was even going to exfoliate on a regular basis. In retrospect, my naivety is laughable. The first week of classes was manageable, but by the second, the sheer amount of work that I was facing seemed to be insurmountable. I thought that I had dealt with stress before, but nothing compared to the ever present fear that I was forgetting an assignment, or needed to write a ten page lab report on top of the exam I had to study for. I have always been a perfectionist, so the thought that I might not be completely in control of every aspect of my life was terrifying. Having type one diabetes (T1D) was always a challenge for me; to be perfectly frank I really hated it, but managing it never felt like an impossible task until this time in my life. This was probably normal given the...
I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when I was four. At first, I was scared and confused. When I was eight years old, however, I attended Camp Kudzu, a camp for children with type 1 diabetes in Georgia. After that experience, I gained a sense of independence that turned into wanderlust to travel and see the world. To date, I have traveled extensively and have lived abroad twice: in Tours, France during the spring of 2013 and in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg during the 2015-2016 academic year on a Fulbright Research Grant given by the US Department of State.During my Fulbright year, I worked at the Luxembourg Institute of Health on a project to develop liquid biopsies for lung cancer patients. Lab work is extremely dynamic, and no day is ever the same. Some days I conducted experiments; other days I caught up on scientific literature; other days I had the opportunity to attend workshops on statistics or other lectures given by experts in the field. In addition to my lab work, I had many opportunities to step out of my academic and cultural comfort zone. I attended the EU-NATO Seminar, where we visited the institutions of the European Union...

"Failure": Make it Count

Failure. It was my biggest fear and still is, to be honest. That was my biggest challenge throughout the whole process. Letting my family, my friends, our Chapter, the College Diabetes Network, and ultimately letting myself down is what scared me the most and even now. It is a constant thought that pounds through my mind a lot in my everyday life with everything that I do. It’s not something that you can get rid of or just ignore, but it’s a matter of what you do with that fear.This December marked my 16th Diaversary. That is 16 years out of my 21 years of living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). I’ve made it this far and it’s scary to think of what awaits me in the future. Mostly, because living with T1D is a lot to deal with. It is a job and it’s difficult to portray the severity that comes with it. Most people don’t and can’t understand all that comes with T1D. This is exactly why I’m passionate, why I will pursue a profession related to working with young people with T1D. I know exactly how it is. I know how aggravating it can be, how you...
Editors’ Note: Medtronic is a CDN Corporate Member and one of the participants in their MiniMed 670G clinical trial recently shared her experience with us. We recommend students participate in trials – it is a great way to learn more about what is happening in the diabetes sector! You can find trials near you here. My name is Ashlee and I’m a senior in a university nursing program in Denver, Colorado. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) at the age of nine and have had a passion for diabetes treatment and research since a young age. I participated in the MiniMed 670G trial after being involved in other various Medtronic trials throughout the years. This trial would help Medtronic gain FDA approval on their hybrid closed loop system. (Yes, please!)I knew this would be a great opportunity but a big commitment. The study consisted of a one-week long overnight stay (with a steep learning curve), frequent downloads of my device data, and multiple check-ins throughout the process. After I completed the first part of the study, I was able to become part of a continuation phase which means I could wear it in the real world.To me, the hybrid...
Diabetes does not define me. I refuse to give that kind of power to a disease that I did not ask for – a disease that has, without my permission, become all that I eat, breathe, and sleep. I refuse to let type one diabetes (T1D) become the definition of who I am.I will, however, choose to let diabetes empower me. With the understanding that what I accept from this disease is on my terms and my terms only. I will allow T1D to make me stronger; to push me to be a more considerate and loving person; to be a better friend, daughter, and sister; and to make me a little more grateful for every day that I have.  It’s taken sixteen years for me to get to a point where I no longer am afraid of my disease. I had lived in fear of so much for so long – fear of the number on the screen, of not waking up in the morning, of telling my friends, of disobeying my parents. And I realize now that what I feared most was losing my sense of self. Finding the balance needed to discern the line between being a person...

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From The Blog

Seryn talks about the relationship between T1D and mental health
Val gives us tips on hosting a successful CDN event on campus
Meg gives us her tips on simplifying her life to benefit her T1D.

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