Being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes brings up many questions. One of those questions may be “How will having diabetes affect my friendships?” It can be challenging to know what to say, so here’s a list of topics to get you started.
- It’s okay to tell your friends about having diabetes. They’re probably curious. Most kids probably don’t know what it is and if they do, they may be more familiar with Type 2 Diabetes because a parent or grandparent may have it. So be prepared to explain what it is.
- Let them know what you have to do to take care of yourself. You can tell them about how you check blood sugars, get insulin when you eat and eat snacks when you are low.
- Explain what high and low blood sugars are and the symptoms you experience for each. They may be able to help you recognize the symptoms when you are having them.
- Let them know that diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing many things. There are a few special things you have to do at school, such as go to the nurse’s office each day or take a standardized test in a separate room so you can monitor your blood sugars. But you still can play sports, eat sweets and go to birthday parties, just like everyone else.
- Show them your diabetes equipment. They might be wondering what you are carrying around in that bag all the time. Show them your meter and if you feel comfortable, even your pump or CGM.
- If you feel like someone is bullying you because of your diabetes, that’s definitely not ok. Tell a teacher, the nurse or your parent immediately.
Chances are if you treat diabetes like it’s just a part of your life, your friends will too.