Dorms and Diabetes

I’m set on the college I’m going to next year…EKU. I’ve read through a lot of the topics in this group about accommodations and all of the colleges seem to be accepting of them. I seem to be having some issues though. My parents and I think that having a single room is the best option for me to handle my diabetes and not be stressed about dealing with a roommate since I have anxiety too. We’ve looked into it and since EKU doesn’t offer singles to freshman, and the disabilities office needs a lot just to prove my diabetes is a disability I wonder is this the right direction to go? I’m really worried that I won’t get a roommate that can be okay with my situation and that issues might arise that could be avoided if I got a single. Is it worth it to go through the process for the single? Have any of you had roommate issues because of Diabetes? Did you get a single and regret it? Some advice would be greatly appreciated!

I graduated from undergraduate ages ago (1990), was diagnosed in 1984, so it may be a bit different than now. Spent a lot of time foolishly trying to hide my testing and care regime from roomates, so from this perspective it would have been easier for me to have had a single (wasn’t an option at the time). I was lucky to have roommates that were easy to get along with in most regards, that I think isn’t always the case. Unless you are a very social creature, if you can get a single room (and afford it), I say why not! Freshman year is a stressful enough. I am very surprised that the disability office needs so much to prove DM is a ‘disability’, a few ? to ask yourself
how will you feel about potentially disturbing your roommate with getting up in the middle of the night to test bg? or deal with a hypoglycemic event? the office that assigns rooms should consider this

Hi, My T1 daughter just graduated from college. Her first 3 years she had a roommate and it was no problem….she just told her roommates about her type 1 and all was good. Senior year she was in a suite w 3 other girls and they all had a private room but shared an apt on campus.
She DID fill out a Disability Accommodation form and her freshman year she was moved to the top and given a room with a private bathroom…which was great when you’re on a pump!
The forms are easy…….all they need is the letter from your endo. Your endo probably already has one on a word doc. as ours did. It just states that you have T 1, would like a room w a bathroom (if you want), a room near an RA (if you want).
TRAIN your roommate on what to do before college starts…don;t worry…my daughter went to a small college (4000) and she met 7 type 's there.
I highly recommend having roommate so someone knows that you wake up and are ok and not low. Your roommate won’t mind.
I also recommend that you tell your professors in case you need to miss class (endo appointments) or need to leave (bathroom, treat a low etc) They totally understand and will appreciate you telling them.
I also recommend that you have your own ref rig. for your insulin, low snacks and juice etc….
Looks on the JDRF website and there should be some info about going to college…
You will do great! Go for the roommate and she will be OK about it…remember “everyone” is dealing with something in their life whether it’s T 1 or something else.
You’ll do great! Good luck!

I recently graduated and had a wonderful roommate during my time living on campus. She was always very supportive and helpful. She even helped me put my CGM in a few times! We had a “Hayley’s Medical Corner” with all my supplies and a section in the kitchen that was always stocked with my snacks/fast acting carbs. I lived alone my senior year and currently while in grad school. Personally, I think going with a roommate is a good decision, especially with it being your freshman year. Having someone there to support you is huge, especially on those days when diabetes tries to get the best of you. Also, there were times at night when I didn’t hear my pump alarming with a high or low, and my roommate would wake me up so I could treat it. I felt bad about it waking her up, but she never minded. She fell right back asleep and didn’t think anything about it. That’s my biggest worry about living by myself now is dropping too low at night. I definitely understand about being anxious over not finding a compatible person, but does your school have some kind of roommate matching program? If you do go with a single room, just be sure to tell your neighbors/RA about your diabetes and where your emergency supplies are if ever needed. I’ve found that most people are curious and just timid about asking. Most are more than willing to help! Good luck with everything!

Definitely get a roommate. You will want someone to be around in case of an emergency, especially if you’ve never lived away from home before. My freshman year (in 2002), I had 2 roommates with whom I shared a large common bedroom and one bathroom. I tested, changed my pump, and did whatever I had to do in front of them–no big deal (and no need to run to the bathroom to do it). Growing up I had always had a problem with lows around 4-5am, so I told everyone on the first day that I am going to set my alarm for 5am every day to test my blood. I also explained about diabetes and other basic stuff. It was no problem. When you share a dorm room, you quickly learn to ignore all alarm clocks but your own. You don’t need to keep your own fridge (you can share), but make sure your roommates know that certain items are off limits such as your juice boxes or whatever you use for lows. I did not fill out any disability forms or ask for special accommodations, though you can if you need to.

In my sophomore year, I had a roommate that preferred to stay at home a lot so I essentially lived alone. One night I woke up at 2am with a bad low–I think it was 28 or something. Disoriented and with no one around, I began to panic thinking no one would find me if I passed out. I grabbed about 3 juice boxes, sat down on the floor, and called my boyfriend. In between sips of juice, I told him how low I was and how scared I was. I told him that if I stopped talking to him or answering his questions to send an ambulance. He stayed on the phone with me until I was better–luckily no ambulance was needed. He didn’t go to school with me so it’s not like he could have come and sat with me or checked on me. Today he’s my husband :slight_smile:

If you do end up living alone, make sure you have a back-up plan of someone you can call. I hadn’t thought about it ahead of time, but when it happened to me luckily I still had enough sense about me to call someone for help. Had I been any lower, I may not have had enough sense to do that.

Get a roommate. Even if you hate them otherwise, they likely will not let something serious happen without calling for help.

Thank you everyone for the advice! This helped a lot and definitely gave me some new things to think about that I hadn’t thought of before.

I definately think roommates are wise thing. Back in 2011 i was going to collage and living on my own in a bachelor suite. My bf at the time lived out in Camrose so essentially if i went low i was on my own. Least to say one day in the middle of the night i woke up with a super bad low… i tried to catch myself before i went to low. unfortunately i did not and ended up doing a face plant on the floor and giving myself a fat lip because i started to convulse. I did managed to fix myself but i learned that it is better to have a roommate and not need them then not have one and be screwed like i was. To this day i do not know how i managed to fix my levels.

If you are concerned about a having a roommate who will be comfortable with your diabetes, ask to be paired with someone who is a health science or ask if they know of any other incoming freshman who have diabetes. Reach out on your school’s Facebook if you feel comfortable with that. I think having a roommate is important. Yes, you have diabetes but you should not let that stop you from experiencing the college roommate experience. I met my best friend this way. If it does not work out, you can always ask to be moved. Don’t sell yourself short! Take care of yourself but go and take advantage of every possible experience and don’t let your diabetes stop you!