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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

That One Teacher (You Know Who I Mean)

My blood sugar has been hovering in the high 200s to low 300s range today, and nothing I do seems to be able to bring it down.  Add in my keytones and *boom!* I'm out of school for the day.  Now these things happen from time to time.  There are just those days when your blood sugar doesn't want to cooperate and you'd be better off at home rather than staring at the board all day, trying to pay attention but just letting your mind wonder.

Some of my teachers have yet to get this.

In elementary school, it's not as difficult.  But when you hit middle school, and every year after, you find them; it's inevitable.  Every year, there's that one teacher.  Maybe they start out nice, maybe they don't.  But one thing's for sure; when you start missing their class because you have problems with your blood sugar, you'd better believe there's some hell to pay.

I decide to write about this now as I'm currently dealing with this teacher.  He started out perfectly nice; pretty funny, laid back guy even.  And all was well until the beginning of the second semester, when my blood sugar started acting up on me.  And boy oh boy, did that attitude suddenly change.  The conversation I had went something like this;

Teacher: You missed my class twice last week, Reed.
Me: Yeah I know; I'm sorry.  I had some problems with my blood sugar, but it seems to be doing better now.
Teacher: Hmm...alright.  Well there's a test tomorrow, and I expect you take it.  Also, these homework assignments need to be made up by Friday or they're worth half credit.

...I'm sorry, what?

I find it extremely annoying when these teachers assume that when we're out of class for high blood sugar, we're just sitting in the nurses office lounging our day away.  I swear it seems like I have ADD when I'm high, because it's impossible to focus on one particular thing for an extended amount of time (Also I talk a lot).  We are not not having a fun time.  The way I describe a bad high blood sugar is that tingly feeling you get during a sugar rush.  The only difference is that it doesn't go away, and after a while that feeling starts getting really uncomfortable.

Another thing that I don't think he realizes is that when you're blood sugar finally levels out after being so high for so long, you are tired.  When the school sends you home, you aren't going to do homework.  You're going to take a nap and worry about it later, because it feels like you just ran a marathon.

I'm very thankful to be in a school with block classes, so that if something like this happens, I can always do my homework the next day.  Other kids aren't so lucky, and I've heard some interesting stories from some of my diabetic friends.  The important thing to remember is that if things aren't going well, you have a right to step back and take a breath.  Get a 504 plan to help you out if you're missing a lot of class (it's saved me on a few occasions).

I suppose my teacher and I are on better terms now, but he still doesn't like me missing lessons.  I heard from some friends he'll make jokes about me in class sometimes, saying that I need to lay off the sugar.  My response to that is this; here's a list of all the diabetic research organizations in the country.  Get out your phone, call them, and make a donation to help cure this.  Then I'll for sure stop missing your class, and every other teacher who's complaining about something they can't even begin to understand will lay off, too.

I'm still waiting for him to make that call, by the way.

Another thing these teachers don't seem to realize is that you need to watch those kinds of comments.  Because the only thing worse than getting a diabetic student mad at you, is getting a diabetic parent mad at you.  Take it from me; they will find you, they will not be happy, and you will regret any bad thought you ever had.  Am I right?

So to all those teachers who think their diabetic students are slackers, and that the parents need to tell them buck it up and just go to class...I would lock your windows from now on.  You know, just in case.


  1. I am so crying at my desk. I want to walk over to your school RIGHT NOW!!

    Youre amazingly strong and I love what YOU said to him!!

    Keep a copy of that 504 on you, and dont let him forget it! Love u!

  2. I love you spirit!!! I love that you're not letting him get you down. Label me: proud d-mom

  3. I admire the maturity with which you handle this teacher. He deserves to have you coming at him with both guns blazing and a posse of angry people behind you led by your mom and other D-moms.

    My son is only 8 and so far his teacher and everyone else in his school have been very cooperative. I cringe at the thought of him having to endure this nonsense when he gets older and fully intend to wage a small war on his behalf if need be.

    I hope things get better for you. (By the way, I volunteer in the office where your mom works; we met once a few weeks ago.)

  4. As a type 1 and a high schooler, I feel you. Teachers in my area are generally good, but I have had some problems (usually stereotypes from elementary PE teachers)