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Diabetes care in the college classroom

Discussion in 'Diabetes and College' started by Jeff, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Jeff

    Jeff Founder, CWD

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    I'm curious to learn about personal experiences regarding diabetes in college classes.

    Are instructors understanding when you need to check blood sugars or your pump or sensor beeps?

    What about other students?
     
  2. lilituc

    lilituc Approved members

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    This was a few years ago, but most of my instructors were understanding. I had one that adamantly wasn't. That is when I realized how valuable it is to go through the university's disability services office, even if you think you're not going to need it. They gave me a letter each semester for each instructor detailing the accomodations.

    The biggest problem I had was cognitive function due to frequent lows. I was having lows at the same time every day (so during the same class), and I ended up not doing very well in that class. I wish I had known more at the time - although the reason I was having so many lows is because they were treating me as an insulin resistant Type 2, which I wasn't.
     
  3. ccarrol4

    ccarrol4 Approved members

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    I usually do not tell my professors unless I have to like if a class interferes with a time in which I would be testing or taking an injection or something. I choose to go out of the classroom if I have to test and/or correct, because I do not won't to disturb any students. The only thing I do in class is eat when I need to, but everyone eats in class at my school so that isn't really a big deal.
     
  4. Tau1061

    Tau1061 Approved members

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    I just ate, drank, and tested as I needed too. Many of my professors knew I was T1, but some didn't. Some of my classmates in each class did, even if the prof didn't... just depended on the class size.

    Only one ever seemed to be bothered... b/c my pump alarmed in class one day & he had a no cell phone policy. He attempted to take my "phone" out of my hand and I quickly informed him it wasn't a phone but rather a pump! He said I couldn't have it, to which I responded by laughing as did others in class who knew what it was. I then politely told him we could take it up with his dept head if needed b/c it was a medically necessary device, as I pointed to my med alert bracelet. He was floored, turned red, and dropped the subject... later apologizing for his lack of consideration after class.

    Now teaching classes on campus I find most professors/instructors don't mind the necessary needs... one b/c they feel the students are adults, and secondly (in our dept especially) they understand the need b/c they've seen the management efforts of students and other staff members w/ D.
     
  5. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

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    I registered with the office of students with disabilities the week I got out of the hospital. I talk to most of my professors about it on the first day of class, and if they request it, I have the OSD send them an email to get me permission to test and eat in class. I have also not been required to do a biology lab that involved eating. My professors have mostly been pretty ignorant but accommodating.

    Oh- as for other students. A few of them are curious, most of them don't care, and a few have commented about how they could never do that blah blah blah. I have had two classmates with T1 so far, and I wouldn't have even known if I wasn't so open about it, because neither of them are very open about it. I have also had a classmate whose brother has t1, and another whose cousin, who is also at my school, has t1. I have also had some conversations with other disabled students that I wouldn't have had otherwise because of D, and I'm hoping to join the support group for students with chronic illnesses here at DePaul University.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2008
  6. Wendy12571

    Wendy12571 Approved members

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    I have to say most of my college professors were fine with it. I did almost get kicked out of an anatomy and physiology final. I need to explain this though. I was on the minimed 508 pump at the time. I primed out an airbubble earlier in the day. I totally forgot when I went home between work and the class to fill or even grab insulin and a reservoir. Well all was fine up to the point of when the reservoir was empty. The minimed 508 just wouldn't shut up. I swear it kept beeping. The teacher said I am gonna rip that beeper off of you. I didn't need the final. I had written a paper on diabetes to replace one test. Instead of finishing the test. I used the one side of the paper writing a note explaining the situation to the teacher. I handed it to her. She was very appologetic and told me to go home and not worry about it. My lab partner was aware of the D and a quick basics, but never had an issue. In either Organic Chem or Anatomy and physiology class. The only issue was the one lab final.
     
  7. jilmarie

    jilmarie Approved members

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    I had really good experiences in college. I only told my professors about my diabetes when it was a small class or a laboratory class (where food and drink are prohibited). Professors or other students didn't mind if I tested or treated a low in class. I'm in med school now and people are also really understanding.

    I have never registered with the Office for Disability Accommodations, and haven't had a problem.
     
  8. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    All of my professors have been understanding so far. Two of the professor's attendance policies are kind of strict though.

    Here is the attendance policy for English Comp I:

    "No distinction will be made between "Excused" or "Unexcused" absences. If the student has more than three absences, he or she will be withdrawn from the course. No notes, phone calls, or threats will alter this policy"

    And then, I was reading the syllabus for English Comp I(The professor is quizzing us on it next class), and I came across this interesting little note:

    "Furthermore, grace periods for all assignments are nonexistant. Nothing will be accepted late for any reason - this includes homwork, papers, exams, quizes, etc. (That means no mak-ups either)"


    And here is the attendance policy for Beginning Algebra:

    "To avoid distracting other students, students are expected to arrive to class on time and to remain in class until the class is over. If there is a medical reason why you cannot wait until the end of class to use the restroom, you will need to bring a letter from your doctor to the effect before an exception will be made."
     
  9. Tau1061

    Tau1061 Approved members

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    I'd try to talk to them and if they're are persistent, suggest (politely) that you can always have the discussion with the dept head involved... Always gets their attention helps remind them that you're paying them to teach you. ;)
     
  10. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    I might end up doing that. I plan on talking to both of my professors after class tomorrow to see what they say first.
     
  11. mysnackrifice

    mysnackrifice Approved members

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    My best professor was a Spanish prof and he was a t1 too, so he totally got everything, but at the same time, I couldn't get away with stuff, you know how you pull out the diabetes card when it's convenient...we all do it sometimes. I actually ended up becoming good friends with him.

    I had one professor who attempted to confiscate my pump in my freshman year of college, saying how disrespectful I was for leaving my phone on in class. I had another one tell me if I continued to eat the snack I was eating I would have to leave the room (I have my ADA papers filed at my school, its totally cleared.) and so I got up and headed straight to the dean's office and made mention of the issue.

    Then one time, just in case, I had three back to back finals over lunchtime, and I shot the nicest professor an email saying, "I have type 1 diabetes, my finals are too close together for me to eat lunch, would it be okay if I brought something to the final," and he said sure, absolutely, you don't even have to ask, why did you ask? So I told him about the other professors that gave me trouble and he was absolutely floored that they would behave like that.

    And got them in troooouuuuble. :)
     
  12. diamondback688

    diamondback688 Approved members

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    That's awesome. I wish my professors were like that. I haven't had any back-to-back finals, since I only go to class two days a week. According to the two syllabuses I got from my two teachers(I have three classes, but the third class doesn't start until the ninth), I have one final at 8 AM on 12/09 and another at 8 AM on 12/11. We'll just have to wait and see when my last final is going to be.
     
  13. mysnackrifice

    mysnackrifice Approved members

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    yeah i need to check when my finals are this year...one year i ended up having them ALL on the first day of classes one after another, half hour breaks in between. at least i got to party the rest of the week! haha.

    three classes, that sounds pretty nice!
     

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