I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 14. Suddenly, I went from being a carefree teenager to a patient who had to be concerned with every carbohydrate in a cracker. Not only was I dealing with the hormones and emotional adjustments of adolescence, but I was also learning to cope with and accept a disease that wanted a part of every minute of my day. I also had to deal with the illusion that other teenagers had nothing to worry about except how to fit in, and the fact that I was no longer part of that group of carefree kids. I was now the student who had a free pass from teachers to eat or drink during class. The girl who left fourth period ten minutes early to go to the nurse's office to test her glucose. The sick kid who had a doctor's appointment every two months and came late to school because of it.
Greetings from Philadelphia International Airport! Airports are fascinating places...great for seeing what people look like and how they act under unusual circumstances. At this moment, I see a lot of truly overweight people. Most folks are treating the moving walkway like a ride at Disney World–just standing there, inching slowly along and staring blankly at the passing drywall. I don’t know…maybe the two sights are related. Have we really become this lazy? Have we “convenienced” our way out of being in shape? Have electronic toilet flushers, soap dispensers, and water faucets taken away our last opportunity to burn any calories at all?
When a young person with type 1 diabetes leaves home for the first time, it's often a difficult adjustment for the parents as well as their child. Tyler Stevenson is 20 years old, in his second year at Florida State. This is what he told us about his life in college with diabetes.
As a type 1 diabetic, I have found that it's a good idea to plan for the unexpected when traveling. Life is full of surprises, and so are vacations. The flight is late. The flight has been cancelled. We had a flat tire or ran out of gas. There is an accident on the highway, and the traffic isn't moving. Who would have ever thought that airline flights would be grounded for five days in most of Eastern Europe because of volcanic ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland? If a diabetic had planned on going for a week-long vacation in England or France and had taken limited insulin, syringes, or infusion sets, he might have been in big trouble. Trying to replenish medical supplies in a foreign country could prove to be very difficult.
Diabetes Education and Camping Association's (DECA's) young adult leadership team "DLEAD" takes on Boston at "D-TREAT" - a unique 3-day event at Northeastern University, May 28-30, 2010 - to encourage young adults with diabetes to network, share insights and meet peers during an awesome event.
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