What I (and my parents!) wish I was told before going to college: general advice about the college transition with diabetes.
Wearing my Omnipod insulin pump helps with the transition between living at school and living at home with diabetes. Like most students, my schedule is completely different when I am home for breaks and when I am on-the-go at school. I’ve discovered that wearing an insulin pump has helped me not feel so stressed about my diabetes management.
When I first started my freshman year I was taking shots, because I thought it might help me keep my diabetes a secret. I assumed that shots wouldn’t be a big deal - if I needed to take an insulin dose for eating, I could just leave the room and no one would know. I discovered my assumptions were wrong.
Problems with Insulin Injections at School
The stress of my diabetes management kept mounting during my first semester. I realized that I had to carry around my insulin and needles everywhere I went. When I’d be hanging out with my new friends in the common room of our dorms I realized that I would just overlook and postpone or skip an insulin dose, because I didn’t want to remove myself from all my friends.
Another problem I had with shots was the inconsistency of activities. A lot of activities in college are planned last minute and not wearing an insulin pump really affected me. I struggled with low blood glucose readings from not being able to cut back on my long-acting insulin dose. I couldn’t stop the dose and sometimes I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to fun events or last-minute gym session with my friends. Storing my diabetes supplies was inconvenient too. I had a lot of sharps and had to constantly get more sharps containers, because I couldn’t really find somewhere to properly dispose all of them.
Using an Insulin Pump at School
When I came home for winter break, I knew I needed my insulin pump. Wearing the Omnipod has given me so many benefits as a college student. I never feel weird about showing my Pod and I don’t have to worry about postponing or skipping a bolus, because I can just pull out my PDM. I’m able to postpone my basal or use the temp basal feature if something unplanned comes up. I also use the temp basal feature when I go to the gym. I no longer have to worry about not being able to participate in activities and I’m able to store all my diabetes supplies efficiently, which creates more space in my small apartment bedroom.
Transitioning from college back to home is another benefit of my insulin pump. I can set different basal programs to accommodate my less busy lifestyle and adjusting my doses is as easy as pressing a button. Personally, I feel less stressed having the Omnipod as part of my diabetes management.
Overall, the best benefit of wearing an insulin pump in college is that I’m free to be spontaneous and live an on-the-go lifestyle, as well as not worry when I just want to relax. I feel healthier and am prepared when handling my diabetes management. And in the end, being prepared with your diabetes is one of the best things you can do for yourself before heading off to college, whether for the first time or for another semester!
Click here to learn more about the Omnipod insulin pump and order a free Demo.