November: Diabetes Awareness Month

Michaela Oliver, Student

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Some Bob Jones students have to be more cautious than others when it comes to diet, and the month of Thanksgiving is also the month of Diabetes Awareness Month.

Diabetes is a disease in which the body’s ability to produce or respond to the hormone insulin is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine. 29.1 million people in the United States have diabetes, but 8.1 million may be undiagnosed and unaware of their condition. At Bob Jones, 11 students have diabetes; 9 are type 1 and 2 are type 2, according to Nurse Kasulka.

More and more people are diagnosed with diabetes each year, and it can affect students both in the classroom and in their extracurricular activities. Nurse Kasulka said, “The type 1 diabetics need insulin (insulin dependent) to keep the amount of sugar in their blood at a safe range.  So they have to check their blood glucose every time before they eat and they have to take insulin to correct their blood sugar if it is high and they also have to take insulin for the food they eat. type 2 diabetics don’t necessarily need insulin but they have to check their blood sugar periodically, some more often than others depending on how their blood sugar ranges from day to day.”

Bob Jones alumni Jordan Ryberg shared her frustrations with diabetes. “One of the most frustrating things about diabetes is when I’m low for maybe thirty minutes but the effects on my body make me so sick and tired that I have to cancel an entire day’s worth of plans 😠.” She also expressed her aggravation with common misconceptions about diabetes. “To those of you who think you get diabetes by eating sugar: neither common types of diabetes happen because you eat sugar. Most of you don’t know that and probably mean no harm, and I don’t think you’re bad people because you don’t know about my disease or because you’ve made this comment before. But you are perpetuating stigmas based on incorrect information. Also, my disease is not a punchline.”

Another Bob Jones alumni with diabetes and current nurse Marissa Walker shared her concerns. “I totally understand why some of my patients don’t have the money for their diabetic supplies. 50 strips is $100 and you have to use 3-5 a day to make sure your sugars are where they need to be. I’m both heart broken for them and for me because that’s a lot of money when insurance doesn’t cover the strips you need. Especially if you don’t have insurance at all. I work at a hospital and even I struggle to pay for my supplies.”

It is important to remember to escort any students who suspect blood sugar issues to the nurse and to remind them to go to the nurse’s office or designated areas during emergencies like weather and fire drills. Diabetics have to also be careful driving. If you suspect your friends are experiencing a blood sugar problem, remind them to check their blood glucose, and if they’re unresponsive, call 911.


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