Let's face it, your school rules probably weren't made with kids with diabetes in mind. Like, if you're not allowed to eat in class, what are you going to do if you have low blood sugar? Will they let you test in class, or do you have to go to the nurse's office? What about injections?
"Those are issues for your parents and the school, but they kind of filter down to what you need to do, too," says Jean Betschart, a diabetes educator who works with kids in Pennsylvania.
She says the key to making things run smoothly is to iron it all out with your parents and teacher ahead of time. In other words, you've got to have a plan.
Experts suggest that you and your parents meet with your teachers before school starts and go over your diabetes plan. This way, you educate the adults at school about your needs and what you're doing.
Says Oregon teen Allison Blass, "It might seem really weird to tell strangers about a personal disease, but it will be a lot easier if people know."
Provide an information sheet that spells out all of your daily needs. Use this handy form, or find one in The Healing Handbook for Persons with Diabetes by Dr. Aldo Rossini and nurse Ruth E. Lundstrom at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.
It might also help to have a "Notes For Today" sheet. It would include details for a single day such as when to test your blood sugar, with blanks to write down the results, and details of when and what you will be eating that day.
"I would suggest using this at the beginning of the school year, just to give details of preferences that you might have, or how to handle class parties or if any treats are being handed out," says Lundstrom. Also use it if your routine or dosages change or if you're having trouble getting cooperation.
It is important to work with your own doctor and diabetes-care team to write your own documents. No two students with diabetes are the same, and your document will need to be tailor-made to fit you!