To tell or not to tell

Hey there

I'm Sandy, 20 years old, just diagnosed two months ago--a real newbie! I was just wondering how other people handle Diabetes in college, in particular with revealing the news to other people. I obviously want my close friends, roommate, and student health services to know, but what about everyone else? Do you think it's a good idea to tell my professors? How about other students? Thanks for the advice... you've all got way more experience under your belt!



Hey Sandy!

I'm 20 also and I was diagnosed last September. I let my professors know because god forbid you get low during a class or extremely high and just arent feeling well they know your situation. I don't think you need to tell everyone, just your close friends so that they can know why you might be getting mood swings here and there.

Feel well!!!


Keeping others informed that are close to you or that work with you and around is very important.  Not everyone is going to need to know but make sure that at the very least you keep all your medical emergency information handy on your person. It is very important to keep a medical alert bracelet or necklace for times when your by yourself or around people who will not know what is happening to you if you  have extremely low blood sugar.  I keep a card with instructions in my wallet as well and a tube of gulcose or glucose tablets handy as well.  Remeber to educate your professors and roomates as well about what to do should something happen to you. Depending on where you are it can take anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes for an ambulance to respond to an emercency call.  Things happen and its best always to prepare just in case.  Always,,repeat always carry a copy of your medications and doses.  This can save your life if your unconcious and unable to inform people.

I'm 23 and I've been diabetic since I was 10. I let my professors know (I actually have accommodations for tests and if I miss class because of a high or low blood sugar) and my close friends know what to do in an emergency. I do also let the people in my classes know that I'm diabetic and that if I start looking like I'm out of it or I look weird that they should say something. It doesn't really matter to me who else knows I'm diabetic because it's just part of my everyday life... plus my insulin pump will beep and people will ask "What was that noise?" 

Girl I am the same way!! I was 12 when i was diagnosed and also 23.  I am an elementary education major and am taking my prereq classes before I get into blocks ( education program stuff). I tell all my professors at the start of a new year and or semester about being a diabetic and bringing in snacks or having to excuse myself if I'm low or high.  Well my math professor not only is not the most understanding of people but my insulin pump went off in class the other week and she was like , "Chelsey you're not suppose to have your cell phone in here." I then proceeded it's my insulin pump. She immediately was like oh im sorry. After class she then thought I had never told her I was a diabetic. It frustrates me because there's like 15 maybe 20 people in our class ,( so many have dropped lol ) I told her I was a diabetic and wrote it down on a get to know you card ! That's the great thing about having this, some people will completely understand and accomodate and others well we have to unfortunately fight for it. My pump has this mozart music when it goes off, if only it could be like my hump by black eyed peas and translate into my pump lol

I have to tell you, I feel the same way!  I was just diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes three weeks ago, and at first I was ambivalent about telling people.  But I think it's better to be open about it, especially with your close friends and professors. I've found that people are generally pretty understanding, and when you open up it can clear up a lot of misconceptions and preempt weird rumors.  It helps people understand your actions, so if you have to get up and leave in the middle of class, the professor knows they didn't randomly offend you while they were talking about literacy development; or when you spend five minutes looking up the carb content of whatever you're eating for lunch people know you're not paranoid about your weight!  I've found that it's just a lot easier to be open and honest.  :) 

I can relate to all of you. I am 22 (almost 23) and was diagnosed when I was 9. I would definitely tell your professors and close friends, at the least! I don't broadcast my diabetes to everyone, but I am not shy about it either. I remember when I was first diagnosed, though, I was apprehensive to tell people I had diabetes. A lot of it was probably because I didn't completely understand what that meant, besides the fact that I had to poke my finger, count my carbs, and take shots. I got a lot more comfortable as I got older. You might even meet other students who have type 1 DM too! Now, if I need to take a shot, i just whip it out and inject wherever I am...literally!

I was taking a big exam last week and felt a low blood sugar. Fortunately, that class size was small, and I was able to check my BG at the teacher's desk and took a handful of glucose tabs. Some professors, especially at big universities, may not be understanding initially if they don't already know that you are type 1 diabetic. I take shots now, but in the past when I had a pump I just had to remember to put it on vibrate before exams!!

If you're away from your dorm/apt/home, remember to always have glucose tabs or jolly ranchers (or whatever you like) on you. I personally don't tend to notice my low BG's until they're really low, so it's important to keep quick fixes on you. And watch your blood sugar on test days. That time I mentioned above, it was extremely difficult for me to take my exam since it took some time for me to re-orient. 

Hope any of that helps!! And I sure appreciate reading all of your stories. Makes me remember that I'm not the only one!

--Candace =)

How in the world do you arrange for test accommodations when you're at college?  (Believe me---I'm not a helicoptering parent---my son just thinks he's wayyyy to busy to be on Juvenation.)  My son is a senior and has had a 504 and accommodations in place since he was diagnosed at the end of his freshman year.  He has had to postpone tests before for really high blood sugars because he tends to stress about tests and his blood sugar rockets.  One teacher was telling him recently that he needed to get used to not have accommodations since he was heading to college.  This didn't strike my husband and me as being accurate, but we don't really know the answers.

As a suggestion, most colleges have a Student Disability Center, where students with disabilities can get official accommodations that professors have to follow. It’s a good idea to check that out!

Wow your son's teacher is a jerk!!!

I have had diabetes for 11 years. During most test I take mine drops due to stress. The summer before school started I emailed my Dean at school and she connected me to the disabilities office. I took in a form on move in day from my Doctor in Iowa City that said I was diabetic and all the medicine and things I needed.

I went to class a few minutes early so that I was the only student in the room. I went to talk to my teacher. I explained to all of them my condition and how I would have to miss a few days of class on occasion and how I had trouble taking tests. We worked out a plan individually with them and they were all understanding.