Angela, a primary school teacher who also has diabetes and is insulin dependent, was able to spot the symptoms of diabetes in a pupil and talk to her about potential options.
I am a primary school teacher and teach in a small rural school where I have been for the past seven years. I am also an insulin-dependent diabetic and wear an insulin pump which offers great control.
I've been diabetic for 15 years and on a pump for 13 years as was asked to trial the pump when they first materialised. We haven't had many pupils in the school who are diabetic but there's one case that I remember clearly.
It was a P7 girl who grew ill over the start of her final year with us and I recognised the signs...she battled with tiredness, headaches and an incredible thirst. This matched with significant weight loss made me almost certain she was diabetic. She carried on as normal and her parents were concerned that on entering her teenage years she was becoming too conscious of her weight and was perhaps an anorexic.
I shared my concerns with them about diabetes, as these were the same signs I went through. I encouraged them to visit their doctor for blood test checks, where it was later confirmed.
Since diagnosis, she became far healthier again but became nervous over being seen as different. We made a 'secret' hide hole in the office where she placed emergency supplies and her blood meter. She was asked to do 'P7 duties' at break time which involved going to the office and whilst there she checked her blood sugar levels and at lunch completed her insulin injection.
If she was ever uncertain as to her next steps after seeing the reading, she would come to my class and we discussed the best care. I also took charge of her medication if we were out of school.
I also shared with the girl some of my early day experiences and how I had managed to get through exams, university and become a teacher, all with diabetes. I also talked her through how the pump works and how it allows me so much more freedom, which she also saw as a positive and a potential future option.