What effect has Type 1 diabetes had on your college experience?


(ThePancreanator) #1

I know for me in particularly, Type 1 diabetes hit me almost right in the middle of college.  Fortunately the adjustment went rather smoothly.  I've avoided really low lows, and, for the most part, have stayed away from highs.  I know there have been times when I've been down, but I just always look ahead and keep on chugging.  How has it affected you?


(cdavid1) #2

When I was diagnosed it was the second semester of my second year of college. Finding out I had diabetes was hard on it's own. But on top of that I lived on campus and got really depressed because I didn't have my family around to talk to or comfort me and no one really understood what I was going through. I also really hated giving myself the shots on campus because I didn't really have a choice but to do it in front of everyone, I always tried to hide in the corner and do it discretely. 

This semester I live at home and commute, although it's a pain in the butt to drive 45 minutes to an hour to school everyday I am soooo much happier! I have so much more support from my family and my boyfriend but actually being around them and feeling someone there for you that cares makes it a lot easier than talking on the phone. 

Now I use my diabetes as a tool for teaching other people about the disease.


(ThePancreanator) #3

I guess I was pretty lucky.  I was dx'ed around the same time of college you were but I had a pretty good core group of friends and I lived off campus with three of them.  I also had a pretty extended honey moon period that's only recently all but over, so I had a while to work into getting used to it.  Although it sounds like it might have been a struggle at first and, ya know, it's always going to be a struggle sometimes, but you seem to have come out a stronger person!  


(cdavid1) #4

It was pretty tough for awhile. My boyfriend lived about 25 minutes away so he was there when I needed him. But there would be times that I couldn't fall asleep because I worried so much and would call him and cry to him a lot. My honeymoon started the last month of the semester so I was going through really horrible lows during finals week. I think juvenation was one of the things that got me through those first couple months. And I think that after the initial shock of finding out I was diabetic I realized that it could be worse.

One of the greatest things that came out of it was my connection with my father. We've always been really close, but because he's been diabetic for 20 years now I have this connection with him that I never had before. It gives us a ton to talk about, and we compete with BGs.

It's great that you had such great supportive friends. How was it for them when they found out, and were they interested in learning about it?


(ThePancreanator) #5

My friends have been pretty supportive for the most part.  They have all obviously made some ignorant comment that's pissed me off, but you can't expect people without Type 1 Diabetes to be experts.  I'm a Type 1 and I'm certainly not an expert.  Overall though it's been really good.  I have a really supportive girlfriend who is really interested in learning all she can, and so that's a huge help!


(cdavid1) #6

That's great! I remember seeing my roommate for the first time after I was diagnosed and she was really supportive but she didn't really know much about it. She is a weird girl and always wanted to give me my shots. My boyfriend is the most supportive so it's always good to have him around.


(since030993) #7

supportive significant others and friends has always been so helpful.  being in the medical profession, people usually (but not always) understand at least a little, and are often willing to learn


(Tavia) #8

It is really great that you have gotten the support you need, I can't imagine being diagnosed during college it must have been such a change!  I was diagnosed at nine and am now in my first year of college.  Ever since I got here things have been going wrong left and right with my pump and its making things a lot more difficult, but it is really nice to have supportive friends here.  My roommate is so great and has become really supportive, maybe partially because I vent to her about all of the problems when they are happening, but she has become a lot more interested and ultimately been really helpful through it all.  Even though its hard for people to understand, many get interested and want to learn more, especially to help you out when you need it the most.


(ThePancreanator) #9

It sounds like you lucked out with your roommate.  The changes that came with getting dx'ed weren't all that bad for me.  Hopefully you've gotten the worst of those problems figured out and will be good for the long run.


(svray) #10

I have had type 1 for 6 years, almost 7 and I am in my second year of college I feel like I am now finally starting to get in control what has also helped is I found a support group and they are able to help me as well as I am able to help them and that has made the biggest difference and my friends do not treat me any different than any one else. The only bad thing is when I have a bad inset or totally blank on giving myself insulin however I have come along way and have learned from many trial and errors. Diabetes is just a part of who I am and I am proud of it.


(Zemus) #11

It's interesting to hear everyone's stories. Here's one that I really look back on and think wtf was I thinking.

I'm 28 now and in grad school, but at the time I was a junior in this terrible research methods class and it was test day. I got to campus and had to walk like 2 miles to my building. I was with my gf at the time and we were talking, etc. Given, I was NOT a morning person, so I would wake up as late as possible before I had to go to class. Also, I didn't ever eat breakfast and I had some medication/insurance issues at the time. Anyway, we were walking and she jokingly pushed me and I flat fell over in the parking lot. I got up and kept walking thinking man, what's wrong with me, must be tired. Well, I got to my class and realized I had a low blood sugar level, but I tried to do my best and take the test anyway. I didn't do well. I always wondered why I didn't just go to the snack machines before class, but I guess I was really stressed out, tired, and my brain wasn't being logical anyway.

That happened to me again last year and I got snacks and was good to go.

I think it's really hard to be a college student with T1 because you might have weird class time, weird work schedule, weird social life that requires a lot of adjusting and careful insulin management.

I just got done teaching my first class (120 students) and I never had an issue with diabetes. I was paranoid about something bad happening, but I was all good. I did however have a girl in the class with epilepsy or something have a seizure during class, which wasn't fun at all.