Chronicles of the College Diabetic

There are many times when I feel like nothing can hold me back. (i.e. Graduating College, Getting a summer internship, full time job etc. etc.) However sometimes I do feel a bit “stuck”. 

At school my life is pretty fast paced. At every second there is something that needs to be done. Whether it be taking notes in class, working on a project, finishing homework, sleeping, I feel like there isn’t enough hours in the day sometimes. image

I get all caught up in the day when suddenly I get that feeling. The short, soft scream in the back of my mind that I only hear when my blood sugar is dropping. As time passes my mind starts to fill with an anxious feeling and then I know I’m dropping.

So I test, and yes I’m low. Now what? I ate the last of my snack an hour ago and I’m currently in the middle of a lecture. I can leave but what then? Walk around campus until I finally find a vending machine or make it to a cafeteria. Yes that’s it I’ll go to the cafeteria. 

I begin one of my more dangerous walks to the cafeteria while rocking a 53 mg/dl. Yeah, low brain talked me into it and I instantly know is was the wrong decision as I feel my legs turn to jell-o. 

I finally make it and B line to the soda and check out while the cashier briefly thinks I’m crazy as I make it up the counter, half the soda gone. 

By the time I finish the soda, and my blood sugar begins to rise I contemplate walking back to class. When finally I can stifle low brain and decide to hang in the cafeteria for a while until I bounce back and feel better.

When I get to class, its just ended and I’m covered in sweat. 

It makes it a tad difficult to keep up with class when you body is constantly distracting you. Luckily this past year I’ve had some great professors and met some wonderful friends who help me keep up. 

I guess its just part of the being Diabetic thing.. 


Do you have any crazy low stories? 

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30 July 2013 ·

Inspired 13

As I sit here 3 days I’ve been home from the best place on earth. This past week I spent every waking (& sleeping) hour with diabetics. I’m talking of course of Diabetes camp.

14 consecutive years I’ve spent at Diabetes camp. It has changed my life in more ways than one.

As a camper I learned new techniques to cope with D. I met so many many friends who were all just like me in their own ways. I was inspired to do whatever I dreamed without letting Diabetes stand in my way. My counselors played a huge role in that. I looked up to them. Throughout the year when I wasn’t at camp I would wonder what they were doing. What challenges they were facing and how they were tackling them. They inspired me to keep going, to keep dreaming, to keep being me.

Now that I am a counselor I only hope to do the same for my campers. I work hard to keep my blood sugars in range, to stay healthy and happy and to not let Diabetes stand in the way. I try to do what I think will be impossible just so I can show them that it can be done! I do everything I do to be a good role model and one that inspires.

This is the number one reason camp is important to me. It’s not the food, activities, break, fun, friends, racoons…. It’s the feeling that I return with. The feeling that I can do anything. Diabetes does not and will not ever stop me from reaching my dreams and creating new dreams.

Obviously camp is a huge part of my life… I’m just glad I am lucky enough to share the feeling with others.


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24 July 2013 ·

Even Diabetes has Benefits

With classes coming to an end soon and summer rearing its beautiful sunny head again I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to tell you about my new diabetes plan here at my new university.

At the very beginning of this school year, back in August, I notified my friendly local Student Support Services office about my diabetes. They are a group of wonderful people who are there to help students like me to have a backup plan if anything were to stop us from completing school work. This includes, homework, attendance, tests, tardys, the whole kit and kaboodle. (Yes I just said that….)

At any rate they helped me come up with a plan (that I will outline below) to help me get through the day to day stresses of being a college student with diabetes. (Oh so much of that stress thing). All I needed to do was get a note from my Endocrinologist and have him fax it to their office. Easy as pie (well as easy as pie can be I suppose, maybe that was the wrong analogy)! 

image Anyway something really cool that the Student Support Services at my university does ( and it may be done at yours too you can check with them), is that I was able to have priority sign up for classes. Which of course is a HUGE deal at a little school like mine. Classes fill up very fast!

The reasoning for this priority was that I am an approved ADA (American Disabilities Act) Student. Although I am not 100% sure what that means I don’t really ABSOLUTLY have to have this priority registration, it is really nice to have. This way I can schedule classes according to my schedule and work around lunch and dinner and what not. That is really nice for a diabetic because this semester my lunch is at different times every day, making it super hard to figure out basals and what not. So really this is a huge BENEFIT to me.

I think it is really great that my university offers this type of support for me and it makes me feel a lot better about that whole stress situation!

If you are in need of some Support Services at your University, ask around and see if you can get the number to your own local Student Support Service office it’s really a nice thing to have at school. For more information check out College Diabetes Network, they have a lot of nice information about caring for diabetes at school and your rights as a student with a disability.

You can also check out the American Diabetes Association’s resources as they also have a lot of information on this topic as well!

And of course feel free to leave a comment question or concern below in the comment area! (I read them all!)

Here is my Diabetes plan here at university:

  • Ability to take breaks to eat a snack to alleviate low blood sugar

  • Ability to reschedule exams in case of diabetes emergency as this affects ability to finish exam

  • Excused for diabetes-related absences

I also have the Student Support Services e-mail all of my professors for the semester to let them know. ( I used to do this myself but it is much nicer to see it come from a school sanctioned office rather than just a student)


Today’s Question of the day is:

What Glucometer do you use?

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18 April 2013 ·

Hello Luna

On Monday I told a sad story and ended on a happy note. Today I’m going to tell a happy story and end on another happy note!


Say hello to Luna my new friend. She’s a 2 year old Basenji mix and I love her.

I adopted Luna from a local shelter. Before we go too far into that story lets take a step back into Luna’s life and I would also like to remind you that should you be thinking about getting a dog or cat or pet of any kind you should adopt not buy from a breeder! It is very important to adopt because awesome pets die everyday at shelters because there just isn’t enough room. Anyway I digress (and step off of my soap box..for now)

Before she went to my local shelter, Luna was at a Springfield animal control center. Actually her name wasn’t Luna then. Her name was Mika. She was transferred from animal control to my local shelter where I met her. 

My mother and little sister went to the shelter before I got there. They walked through and found a sweet little calm puppy in one of the kennels. All of the dogs around her were loud and barking all while Luna sat quietly. However that day at the kennel was only a visiting day so they had to leave and couldn’t “interview” her. 


After being sent a photo from my sister that would be worthy of an ASPCA commercial with Sarah McLaughlin and all, I knew I needed to see this puppy. The next day I headed to the shelter to interview Luna. 

She was so excited to be out of the kennel and was very sweet. Not one cry or bark, and she was very well behaved overall. Then they asked me, “Well do you want to adopt her today?”. Without hesitation I said yes! 

So I filled out the paperwork and she was mine. I had a dog again, I felt a lot better. We brought her home and let her into our hearts. I love her and I am so happy to have her in my life.


I think she’s happy too. ;)

Feel free to tell me about your pets or even post a picture!

Click here to donate to the ASPCA! Be sure to Adopt and not Shop! 


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13 March 2013 ·

I should tell you…

Hello everyone! I have so much to tell you and I am so excited to introduce you to someone!

But first I have to tell you a sad story. 

If you were reading my blog back in October of 2011 you may remember No D Day when I wrote about something that was completely unrelated to diabetes (somewhat like this one). I wrote about my dog Daisy (who we affectionately call D) 

Daisy has been my best friend for almost 12 years. She’s been through it all. She has always been the best friend I could ever ask for. I would do anything for her. 

We spend many of our afternoons going on walks at the park or running errands, or just sitting inside and watching movies on the couch.

This last year I have been so busy with school that Daisy has missed out on that a lot and I felt really bad about it. So I made sure she had a good day outside every once in a while to tell her I still love her. 

This past August we noticed some large lumps on Daisy’s arms and chest so we took her to the vet to get them checked out. She was a champ and had no complaints about visiting the doctor. She got to ride in the car and got tons of treats while she was there. 

We learned that day that Daisy had Canine Lymphoma. I was devastated my poor sweet Daisy was given only one month to live and I wanted to make sure she enjoyed it. 

I spent everyday with Daisy. She would go with me everywhere I went. I bought her toys, treats and took her on walks. She lived past the first month with cancer and was stronger than ever.

Daisy is a strong girl. She is smart and loving and she never complains about anything. We knew she was hurting inside but she acted like a puppy and loved life.

When she celebrated Christmas with us I felt so happy & lucky to spend it with her. We showered her with even more gifts.

In February we marked 6 months with Daisy living with Canine Lymphoma. She ate hotdogs twice a day with prednisone and antibiotics. Daisy began slowing down at the beginning of February. She slept most of the day and was very tired going on even the shortest of walks. 

One day we noticed she was having some trouble breathing through her nose. She couldn’t eat much because her nose was clogged and she couldn’t breathe. This was so strange because Daisy is the type of dog that lives to eat and never turned her nose at food. I could see it in her eyes that she was hurting. She couldn’t sleep, she couldn’t eat and she couldn’t play. We had to get through the weekend so we could get her to the vet. 

The next day we visited the vet. The prognoses was not what I wanted to hear. She didn’t have a cold. Her stuffy nose was caused by a tumorous growth inside her mouth. We asked if she was suffering and the vet said that she was just annoyed by the growth. We upped her dosage of prednisone and were told to expect to spend a little bit longer with our sweet Daisy. 

A few days later we noticed that she was getting worse. I made the hardest decision and decided to let her go. 

Being a pet parent sucks sometimes, but most of the time being a pet parent is so awesome and rewarding. I will always remember the happy memories I have with Daisy. She was my best friend and I miss her terribly. 

After I let Daisy go I felt empty. I would come home expecting to be greeted by a cold nose and a wagging tail, but would be greeted by a sad empty home. I missed Daisy and there was a hole in my heart that Daisy left.

A week after I let Daisy go I made the decision to visit an animal shelter. (Yeah I couldn’t handle it) I met a very sweet puppy and fell in love again.

Yep, I adopted her. Her name is Luna and she is my newest friend. 


Be sure to “tune” in Wednesday for the story about Luna’s adoption. Then maybe I’ll start writing about Diabetes again. ;)


 Feel free to tell me about your pets or even post a picture! 


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11 March 2013 ·

It’s Time for a New Year


Hello everyone! It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any kind of blog. I needed a break to get school work done and work on some other projects (updates soon).

I wanted to check in as it is the last day of 2012 and share with you my New Years Resolutions for 2013.

First lets take a step back into New Years 2012. At this time last year I had 3 resolutions.

1. Knock my A1C Down a few Points.

2. Become more organized.

3. Lose some weight.

I accomplished 1 & 3.. Let’s just face it I will never be organized.

1.) My A1C this time last year was 7.5. By February of 2012 I dropped to 7.2! It was great, I was feeling great but was also battling quite a few dangerous lows. That’s when I had my emergency unconscious low and it was scary. After recovering from that I was afraid to be aggressive with insulin doses. As a result my A1C is currently 7.4. Which isn’t bad but I was a bit disappointed.

3.) Back in December of 2011 I weighed a little over average weight for my age and height. I didn’t feel healthy and I felt really “weighed down”. I worked hard and exercised and watched my calorie intake and I am pleased to say as of today I lost 14.3 pounds this year! It really feels like a great accomplishment. Even though I now have a obsessive habit of weighing my self daily it feels great to see lower numbers on the scale.

I have developed a new relationship with my body this past year and I feel great about it. I plan on keeping all of last years accomplishments going!

This brings us to this years goals. (Drum Roll Please!)

1.) Bring that A1C down even more.

To be more specific lets say by the end of this year I want to be at a 7.0 or lower.

2.) Keep a decent GPA

Something that I don’t talk much about online is my new obsession with being on honors. Oh it has been difficult balancing Diabetes, school, and work, but I believe I can do it!I started at a 4.0 and slid down to a 3.75 and I want to either boost it back to a 4.0 of keep what I have.

3.) Eliminate Meat from my diet.

Honestly I don’t think that this will be a very difficult one for me. My relationship with meat has been pretty negative for a few years. I just haven’t been too fond of too many meats lately. I think eliminating most meats will be okay but there are a few I do love. (I’ll miss you bacon!!)

There are the three! I will keep you updated as to how these are going. I want all three to be successful so much so admitting my defeat may be difficult. We’ll see how it goes.

Wish me luck! Have a great New Year’s Celebration.

If you feel so inclined, let me know what your New Years Resolution is this year in the comments below (or send me a link to your blog I would love to share!)

Happy New Year!


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31 December 2012 ·

I am a Zombie

Hi Guys! So long no talk (well type on my part).

School has begun in full swing, and I love it! As you may already know, I have transferred to a new school this semester. I was at a local community college and received my Associates degree in Graphic Design (yay!). Now I am on to pursue my Bachelors and I am so excited for what I will learn in the next 2-3 years! Can you sense my excitement?!

Anyway, school has made me so busy I sometimes forget what sleeping 8 hours feels like. But it is totally worth it.

As far as my blood sugars and diabetes goes, well I think I am managing. Since my severe low episode, I knocked down my insulin flow quite a bit. My blood sugars haven’t suffered too much by the change since I walk ALOT at school.

However my A1C has risen just a little bit. 6 months ago I was at a cool 7.2% A1c rating. Last Tuesday at my 6 month Endocrinologist check up I was at 7.4%. Not too bad, but now where I wanted to be at this time. (Grr)

Oh well, I get there eventually. I am trying to learn not to push myself so hard. Sure my friends at school may be able to skip lunch or just live on caffeine for 24 hours (although not healthy for them either), I know I can’t.

I am trying to find new ways to carry some type of food on me. I pack my lunch most days (eating out is expensive), but I am looking for some “non-perishable” snacks that will fit into my book bag with ease. (Any suggestions?)

At any rate, with strict deadlines and piles of homework blocking my view of the sunlight, its nice to say that this weekend begins “Fall Break”.

Maybe I can STEP away from my computer for a while!


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7 October 2012 ·

About this Weekend

Oh this weekend was looking to be pretty normal. On Friday I finished with my summer class and got a parking pass to be able to park my car on campus. On Saturday I went back to school shopping with my little sister and mom. All pretty normal and I was looking forward to a relaxing Sunday. However that’s not how it happened.

I woke up thinking I was dreaming. Why were there so many people in my room. I couldn’t focus on anyone’s face. “I must be dreaming” I said to myself. I reached for my pillow to see if I could feel the texture. I could feel a pinching feeling on my hand and I looked down to see an IV attached. This HAS to be a dream, I thought.

"Do you know where you are?" one of the men said to me. "In my room" I replied. Another man asked me "Are you feeling out of it?". "Yes" Then I was offered a hand to sit up in my bed. I was handed a glass of juice and a sandwich.

I was covered with a sticky syrup substance and my clothes were wet from my own sweat. I knew then that I wasn’t dreaming. I soon found out that I had had a very low blood sugar and my mother and my sister couldn’t wake me.

They had tried to give me juice, food, glucose tabs anything they could find but they couldn’t get me to wake up or open my mouth. That’s when they had gotten maple syrup and tried to feed me.

My mom had called 911 somewhere between trying glucose tabs and maple syrup. By this time I still hadn’t awaken and the EMTs had arrived. They hooked me up to an IV with sugar water and I soon woke up.

It was definitely a scary experience for all of us. I do not recommend waking up with strangers staring down at you. 

But if anything I feel that this may be a God send. I have been on the fence about getting a CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitor)  for a while. This whole experience has pushed my family and myself toward trying to get approved for a CGM. It will definitely make us all feel much better if we have this extra insight to where my blood sugar sits.

As of right now, I am feeling great. I’m still pretty tired from the whole experience but considering, I think I’m doing pretty good. I will be watching my blood sugars closely for a while and I will be working on adjusting my basal rates (as its back to school time anyway).

I will be okay though! This is only a “speed bump” in my life. I feel very lucky that my mother and sister were there to save my life. I feel very grateful that I lived through this and that Saturday wasn’t my last day on earth (Because I mean I got some really awesome new clothes ). I will keep going and keep working with my diabetes along the way.


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13 August 2012 ·

A Friend Helped {Diagnosis Story}

Back in 1999 I was only eight years old. During the summer I was diagnosed with a familiar disease known as Type 1 Diabetes (Sound familiar). It was familiar to me because my mother has had Type 1 Diabetes my entire life. She was diagnosed at eight years old too! ( coincidence or genes?)

When we arrived at the children’s hospital we trekked our way to the Pediatric Endocrinology floor. I remember walking up to the door and playing with another girl in the waiting room area. I brought my stuffed gorilla toy. His name is George and I received him as a gift from my Grandmother when my little sister was born only two years earlier. I dressed George every morning, made sure he “ate” his breakfast and packed him in my book bag when I headed to school.

When we eventually were called back into the inner depths of the hospital, George came with me. We were both weighed and measured. We both had our blood taken (in George’s case, he just got a band aid). Then I had my very first A1C test and was directed to my “room”.

Eventually it was time for another blood sugar test. But this time I would use my brand new Blood Glucose Meter for the first time. The night before we went to the hospital my parents were concerned with the symptoms I had been showing and decided to test my blood sugar. The task proved to be easier said than done. I fought and pleaded with them to just forget about it but they were persistent and eventually got enough blood to the meter to read my very high blood sugar.

When I was asked at the hospital whether I wanted to test my own blood sugar or wanted my parents to test me I decided to test on my own. The look on my parents face went from anguish to surprise. They told me they were proud of me for giving it a try and all went well and my blood sugar was in normal range! (Thanks D Honeymoon!) However the story was different when I was asked to practice taking an injection.

I was frightened of the needle. It didn’t matter how many times the CDE told me it was the shortest needle made, and that my mother kept telling me that it wouldn’t hurt and I would hardly feel it. I just wanted someone, anyone to just give me the shot. I could close my eyes and squeeze George and it would all be over. Well that’s eventually how it went down, I never gave my shot that day or any day for a year. After every meal my parents would give me my shot as I closed my eyes and went to another place.

Nearly a year after my diagnosis I went to a check-up at the Endocrinologist’s office. In the same room I was diagnosed, I was asked again if I wanted to try taking my own shot. “NO” I insisted, but I don’t really know why.

That’s when the CDE left the room promising to come back with a surprise. When she came back she had a teddy bear in her arms. The bear was wearing a blue dress and I could just barely see a tiny Medical Alert Bracelet around her wrist. “This bear has diabetes, just like you! She just had a big jar of honey and needs her insulin injection, but she is afraid to give her own shot. Rachel, can you help her out?”

That’s when I noticed the bear had colored patches in all of her injection areas. I gave my very first shot to the bear. I handled the needle and drew out the insulin and pinched up her “skin” and gave the injection. It wasn’t scary any more when I had a friend to give a shot to.

When we left the office the CDE said that I could keep the bear. I was elated! After every meal I was excited to give “Riley” a shot. Eventually, with a little coaxing from mom and dad I gave my own injection in my leg! It didn’t really hurt and promptly announced the fact. After the fountain of “I told you so” ‘s from my mother, I began to feel proud and I gave my shots every day after that.

Only months after giving my first injection my little sister was diagnosed at the age of three. My parents would again have to go through the same “training” for their second daughter. I decided that I needed to be the best I could be for my little sister to know she was going to be okay.

Thanks to my small stuffed friends for getting me through that tough part of my life and helping me to learn.

Click here to get your own diabetic stuffed pal! & This guy even has a pump!
Learn more about Rufus, the bear with Diabetes.

Other Resources


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11 August 2012 ·

Anonymous said: ahahaaaa i love your url. A+

Haha! I am not sure when this was posted but Thanks to whoever it was! I love A+’s.

10 August 2012 ·

About Me

A really cool blog, by a really cool girl, telling really cool stories about a not so cool disease called Type 1 Diabetes.