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

6 comments / Add your comment below

  1. I gotta say, a letter like this explaining diabetes to important people who NEED to know about the disease but don’t have a clue is terrific.

    I think most adults want to know, but either don’t know what to ask, or are afraid of asking questions that are too personal.

    This is another great example of taking charge of your own diabetes management.

  2. Hi Claire,
    Just wanted to check in and give you a BIG boost of encouragement. I was dx’d at about your age … but that was a lonnnng time ago 😉

    I wear a Cozmo pump and *I* just started with a CGMS, too. I totally agree with you about the good news & bad news.

    Keep up the good work with all this. Since you’re an athlete, you’ll understand why I say that Type 1 is more like a marathon than a sprint, and takes marathon-like attitudes and behaviors. My very best wishes to you for continuing good health & happiness. By the time you’re my age, this disease will be a distant memory, as JDRF and others fund the important research to cure it.

    BTW, I’ve had Type 1 for 40+ years. Like you, I’m healthy and happy … but I’m not an athlete.

    Take good care and keep educating those around you. Even our parents, who worry all the time and try to be informed :-))

    Laurie

  3. Thanks, Laurie.

    I love hearing from people who have had diabetes for what seems like forever!

    Also, you get a prize for being the first person to comment on my blog, if you don’t count my dad. Yay!

  4. Claire – Are you working on translating this great letter to Spanish yet? I’m looking forward to hearing about your adventures so be sure to post and let us all know how you are getting along when you are down in Mexico!

  5. Hi blogger, hope you’re having a great day. You mind sharing the name of your theme? I would appreciate it very much. Have a blessed day. I adore this blog theme. How hard is it to customize? Would you be able to write me an email? I would love to get it and use it on some of my blogs. Thank you in advance, Marcella.

  6. I had been arguing with my close friend on this issue for quite a while, base on your ideas prove that I am right, let me show him your webpage then I am sure it must make him buy me a drink, lol, thanks.

    – Kris

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