Recapping The T1D “Back To School” Mindset & Coping Mechanisms

Back To School

Going back to school can be a bummer for everyone, but adding a “disability” to the mix throws in an additional layer of stress and anxiety. Today, I recap different stages in my life where diabetes reared it’s head and how I dealt with the highs and lows during this treacherous time of insecurity and adolescence. I’m breaking it down and sharing a few coping mechanisms I only realized as an adult.

Elementary School – My homies and fellow Girl Scouts knew what was going on. That didn’t make it any easier per say, but at least the cat was out of the bag.

  • Girl Scout CampI allowed adults to help out. I busted my first bottle of insulin during this particular Girl Scout camp. I was mortified, but everyone rallied and we scored another bottle so I could be a part of the camping on a concrete platform experience.
  • I kept snacks in my desk and have shared how to handle bullying in Cheez-It Trauma.
  • I took my lunch… I was even “particular” at an early age. This allowed me to have healthier options while not feeling weird about not consuming the hamburger, fries, fruit cup and milk option. (What were they thinking???)

Middle School – Man those were awkward years full of insecurity and anger. This is the first time I recall hating myself because of this damn disease. Every part of my life seemed like an uphill battle and this photo sums up my attitude.

Middle School

  • I learned to play the cello.
  • I really got into arts and crafts projects.
  • I picked up French, leadership and I believe a public speaking class.
  • I wandered the creek aimlessly; connecting to the world around me. Being outdoors was really important.
  • I bossed/sweet talked the neighborhood gang into a choreographed production of New York, New York with a live performance on our front porch.

High School – These are the years I wish I could do over, but there are no mulligans in life, just lessons learned. I believe “denial” would be the best way to describe my lifestyle. I felt like shit all of the time because I was consuming powdered-sugar covered donuts before pom practice and having to take naps before games. My body hated me and I hated my body!


  • I’ve forgiven myself for poor management. I’m truly thankful I survived the years of not caring. I was well aware of what I was doing, but chose to turn a blind eye that my lifestyle could cause complications later in life.
  • I’m not really sure what sucked me out of this downward spiral, but will write about it once it surfaces.

As you or someone you know heads off to their first day, please know that you’re not alone. I have 30+ years of diabetes under my belt with only one real regret. I wish I would have reached out to the diabetes community. I felt like I was on an island most of the time and hope I would have grasped the life reserve should someone have tossed it my way.

As times are changing, I can’t imagine what youngsters are dealing with – Is the journey an easier one because family, faculty & staff have a better understanding of the disease? I sure as hell hope so. At the end of every post lately, I’ve asked for comments via the box below, Speakpipe or on the DDG Facebook page. Your story could help someone so please share how you battled the awkward years of education and diabetes.

==Is it time to restock your Low BG supplies? Snag a few sugar tablets to throw in your backpack or purse.==

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