Let People Have the Inside Scoop on Diabetes: A Helpful Letter

This is a letter I give to my teachers and coaches that other diabetics might find helpful. I think it’s helpful because I don’t have to tell my teachers every thing, it’s right there in front of them. I gave this letter to all of my teachers and lacrosse coach. This way I am more safe and don’t have to worry about anything. I hope you find it as helpful as I have!!!!

Dear Teacher/Counselor/Coach,
I wanted you to know that I have Type 1 Diabetes, and to let you know a bit about what this means to you as my teacher and for me as your student.
As you may know, Type 1 Diabetics must manually adjust our blood sugars because our pancreas doesn’t do that for us.  This means that:

• 6 – 10 times per day I’ll test my blood sugar to measure my blood glucose.  You might see me prick my finger and then dab that drop of blood with my monitor to measure it.   Testing is normal, but if you see me test it’s a hint that I might not be feeling well.

• Each time I eat (even tiny snacks) I have to give myself insulin.

• If my blood sugar is high I feel horrible, have trouble learning, and might appear “checked out.”   After I test, I’ll give myself insulin in order to lower my blood sugar.  (Insulin will help me, but it takes at least 45 minutes to start to help…. It isn’t instant.)

•  If my blood sugar is low, I also feel horrible.  In this case I will correct it by eating candy.   So if you see me eating candy you can know that I’m feeling horrible and I’m working to improve it.    I always carry candy with me.    Correcting a low only takes a few minutes for me to feel better.  It’s much more instant than correcting highs.

• I carry a pager-looking device that is an insulin pump.  It isn’t a cell phone. : )

• If I am acting unusual (groggy, over-quiet, inarticulate, out of focus, or if I fall asleep) please do three things immediately:
1) Ask me to test my blood sugar NOW.
2) If I’m low or unable, give me sugar.  Candy.  Juice. Soda.  Anything.  And quick.   (I’ve had Diabetes since 2007 and this has never happened.  But if something goes wrong, it could go really wrong.)
3) Call the nurse and my parents.

I’m proud of my ability to manage this disease.  I’m totally healthy, an athlete, and have no diet or physical restrictions.

But this disease is a big part of my life and it is important for me that you understand a bit more of how it works.

I am very open to talking about diabetes and am very willing to answer questions about the disease or how I manage it.  Just ask.

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Independent Pumper, Knower of Cool Diabetes Stuff