An Updated Version of My Letter

Guess what? In Mexico everyone speaks Spanish. So because I’ve moved to Mexico, I translated my letter into Spanish so my teachers will understand.

Estimado Maestro(a):

Me interesa informarle que tengo Diabetes Tipo 1 y platicarle lo que esto significa para Usted como mi maestro(a) y para mí como su estudiante.

No se si sabe o no, pero las personas con diabetes como yo, tienen que ajustar manualmente sus niveles de azúcar en la sangre, dado que el páncreas no funciona adecuadamente.

Esto significa que:

* De 6 a 10 veces por día tengo que comprobar mis niveles de azúcar en la sangre. Es posible que usted me vea picando mi dedo y después poniendo una gota de sangre en mi probador (sobre todo cuando no me siento bien, debo verificar mis niveles de glucosa).

* Cada vez que como algo (incluyendo comida ligera) tengo que suministrarme insulina.

* Si mi nivel de azúcar en la sangre es demasiado alto me siento horrible, tengo problemas aprendiendo cosas y puedo parecer enferma. Después de que me reviso, si es necesario, debo suministrarme insulina para que mi nivel de azúcar baje (la insulina me ayuda, pero se requieren 45 minutos como mínimo para que funcione… no es muy rápido).

* Si mi nivel de azúcar en la sangre es demasiado bajo, también me siento mal. En este caso lo debo corregir ingiriendo azúcar. Le pido de antemano su apoyo y permiso para ello. Si es que como dulcecitos sabrá que me siento mal y estoy tratando de corregir mis niveles de azúcar (siempre estoy preparada para ello, con dulces en mi bolsa). El corregir mis niveles de azúcar cuando están demasiado bajos sólo requiere unos minutos. Es mucho más fácil que cuando mis niveles están demasiado altos.

* Siempre tengo un aparato electrónico conmigo. No es un celular, es un aparato especial para suministrarme insulina.

* Si estoy actuando un poco raro (cansada, muy quieta o me quedo dormida) por favor haga tres cosas inmediatamente:

1. Dígame que compruebe mis niveles de glucosa inmediatamente.

2. Si mis niveles están demasiado bajos, deme azúcar: dulces, refrescos, jugos, lo que sea rápido (he tenido diabetes desde 2007 y esto no ha pasado pero debemos estar preparados).

3. Llame a mis padres y a una enfermera, si hay una.

Estoy orgullosa de mi habilidad de vivir con esta enfermedad. Soy muy sana, deportista y no tengo restricciones en mi dieta. Esta enfermedad forma gran parte de mi vida y es muy importante que usted sepa como funciona. Me dará mucho gusto responder sus preguntas y de antemano agradezco su apoyo.

Su nueva estudiante,

Claire Montgomery

Watch Your Blood Sugar in the Water

People don’t tend to notice their lows in the water, so be sure to be careful about it.

That’s what my trainer said two days after I was diagnosed with diabetes. But usually I go high instead of low while exercising. And then it all began to change.

The first time I noticed that I was low while swimming wasn’t a result of swimming. I was low before swim team and wouldn’t come up. Even during dinner I wouldn’t come up. First I had a juice before dinner. Then I ate dinner. Then I had some smarties. Then I had another juice. Then I started to swim during practice. I checked again and I was 80. So I had another juice. And then, finally, I was fine. But it took maybe forty five minutes.Swimming With Diabetes

The next morning we biked to swim team. After swimming my mom made me test even though I felt fine. And I was 56. My mom called my dad and he came and picked me up. Luckily I had some smarties with me. When I got into the car I overheard my mom telling my dad that at the end I was only going fast enough to stay afloat. And that’s why she made me test.

In the next couple of practices I was fine. But one morning after practice my brother and sister convinced my dad to go get doughnuts afterwords at Safeway. When we got to Safeway, we were holding my doughnuts and in line to pay when I tested my blood sugar. I was 45. It was sort of a funny scene, we were paying and I was devouring my doughnut. “Three doughnuts,” my dad said. He looked over at me. “Well, two doughnuts, actually. Her doughnuts on her face. I meant that the crumbs were on her face. Do I know you?” The cashier laughed, and we payed for three doughnuts and left.Managing Low Blood Sugars While Swimming With Diabetes

At my next swim meat I was 200 after my first event. So I corrected. After my fourth event I was 460. After my fifth I was 450. So I guess you go high at swim meets.

I’m just putting this out there to say that diabetics should watch their blood sugar in the water. Because if you don’t, some nasty situations could come up.

Claire Montgomery
Type 1 Diabetic, Independent Pumper, Doughnut Stealer

Is It a Pump or a Cell Phone?

Yes, I can use my cell phone in school. Now leave me alone.

Everyone is sitting at their desks eagerly glancing at the clock. Finally the bell wrings. Lunchtime!

Before going to lunch my friends and I stop to chat with Mr. Glatthar, the writing teacher.
I have my pump out so I can get some insulin in before I eat. Mr. Glatthar noticed me fiddling around and raised his eyebrows. “I never thought that I would have to say this to you, Claire,” He says, “but is that your cell phone?”
“No,” I said, blushing slightly. “Insulin pump. I’m diabetic, remember?”
“Oh yeah. Sorry.”
“It’s okay,” I said. “It happens all the time.”

And that’s the truth. Diabetic Pumpers are constantly called out on the fact that their pump looks like a cell phone. It’s either that or they point at your waist and say, “What’s that?”
What do you say to people like that? My usual answer is, “Oh, it’s an insulin pump. I’m a diabetic.” At this response I’ve found that most people just nod their heads wisely even though they really have no idea. To get rid of this feeling sometimes I’ll just tell everyone that my pump’s my cell phone. No hassle, no questions asked. Problem solved. Well, not quite.

On one occasion, I was at a summer class learning how to make ice cream. One girl saw my pump and asked, “Is that your cell phone?” I was surprised as I was an early pumper, and responded, “No.” Then I realized, Oh no, now I’m going to have to tell her what it is. Great. So I told her it was my pager (I couldn’t think of anything better). She was very amazed.

But I think a big question that we all ask is why do we want to make sure that nobody knows that you’re a diabetic and carry a cell phone? Does it really matter if anyone knows? And if so, why?

If you’re like me, it’s a gut feeling. I don’t know why I don’t feel comfortable with everyone knowing I’m a diabetic. I’m just not. Maybe I’m scared that I’ll become the weirdo.

But becoming the weirdo isn’t likely. When I first got diagnosed with diabetes I told my whole class all about it. I still have many of them in my class and even though they don’t completely get it, I don’t get looked at any differently.

Insulin Pump or Cell Phone

And because of that, I think that its a great idea to tell your every day acquaintances about your diabetes. It’ll turn out fine.

But for the simple question of whether you have a cell phone or pump, I’m fine with saying cell phone.

Claire Montgomery
Independent Pumper, Type 1 Diabetic, Cell Phone Lacker