Back to School With Diabetes – From Remote to In-person
I recently started back at West Chester University of Pennsylvania in person for my final semester of grad school. After being remote for my entire first year as a graduate student, I was super anxious. It’s a huge adjustment and it definitely impacted my blood sugar.
On the first day of class, I ran an 80% temp basal increase which did a nice job keeping me in range (for the most part). A new schedule can lead to the need for adjustments to our insulin regimen. For most college students a lot more walking is now added in, increased levels of stress which can have a significant impact on our blood sugars, inconsistent schedules and meals, and more social events requiring adjustments and education to be able to make the needed changes. For younger students, stress is definitely a factor as well, recess, gym classes, and more.
Since most of us have been home for schooling this past year, allow yourself some extra grace. The grove of in-person learning will come back. Also, some bad blood sugar days aren’t going to harm us. The best we can do is learn how our bodies are responding to the changes and respond by making the necessary adjustments. Be sure to always come prepared too – and make sure you have accommodations in place so you aren’t putting yourself (or child) at a disadvantage by taking tests out of range or not being able to treat blood sugars during class. Don’t forget to always be prepared with extra supplies too.
A list of supplies I suggest having:
A meter (incase of cgm malfunction, expiration, or inaccuracy) with test strips and a lancet
Extra insulin (and potentially a cooler or frio case depending on the environment)
Extra pump supplies (sets, pods, rileylink, chargers, batteries, etc)
A syringe to pull insulin from your pump if needed
Low blood sugar treatment (such as glucose tabs)
Water (to stay hydrated in case of high blood sugars)
If you would like help adjusting to the changes, give our office a call. We have an incredible team of dietitians, nurses, and exercise physiologists that have all been through school with type 1 diabetes and can offer our personal experiences in addition to diabetes self- management education.
Don’t forget to continue to get your physical activity in and keep your steps up no matter your age! :-)
Kathryn Gentile is a clinical exercise physiology student from Lancaster, PA who is pursuing her Master’s degree and also working towards becoming a Certified Diabetes Educator. Additionally, she is an ACSM-CEP(clinical exercise physiologist), Certified Personal Trainer, and Certified Sports Nutritionist.