Charlotte

 
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Age: 23 Year Diagnosed: 2014 Location: Kansas City, Mo

A few weeks after being diagnosed my freshman year of college I was eating dinner in the cafeteria by myself when I noticed an upperclassman watching me inject insulin. I made eye contact with him and he immediately says "wow are you seriously taking drugs in public?". I jokingly responded yes but before I could explain that it was insulin, he grabbed all of his belongings and ran to a new table across the cafeteria. Later I heard other students commenting on my injection and took it upon myself to approach their tables with my insulin pen to explain their misunderstanding. Needless to say many students learned what type 1 diabetes is and it gave me something to laugh about.

Being diagnosed/living with diabetes can be isolating but there's a large community of people who want nothing but to support you during your triumphs and tribulations. Reach out to others living with diabetes, even if it's just someone you follow on social media and have never met before. You never know who you will meet in the diabetes community and what you can learn from them both in terms of diabetes and everyday life.

The best piece of advice I have is to attend diabetes events and meetups, especially as a young adult. I've learned so many helpful diabetes tips and tricks from conversations with other people my age also living with diabetes. I've met people from across the country experiencing the same highs and lows which has given me a group of people who I can call on when I'm having a rough diabetes day.”