November, a month dedicated to diabetes

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November, a month dedicated to diabetes

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association.

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association.

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association.

Statistics from the American Diabetes Association.

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THE average person eats 1,068 meals a year, with a three meal a day diet. Imagine before you could consume anything you had to prick yourself with a needle, receive a shot or use a pump. That’s 3,204 shots, pricks and pumps within a year. This is a daily occurrence for someone who is diabetic.

For sophomore Lily Schamel, who struggles with type 1 diabetes, she has been faced with obstacles ever since her 8th grade year when she was first diagnosed.

“Checking your blood frequently, watching your carbs, taking correct doses of insulin before or after you eat, exercise, and keeping your blood sugar regulated is a daily routine for a type 1 diabetic,” Schamel said.

Schamel is within the 1.25 million Americans diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in the US ( based off of statistics from  American Diabetes Association). Along with Schamel, senior Royce Pollock has also struggled with type 1 diabetes ever since the age of 5.

Even with years of experience under his belt, Pollock still struggles with his daily doses of insulin.

“No matter how many shots I give myself it still hurts,”  Pollock said. “I give myself shots every time I eat or if I need a correction shot to keep my blood sugar normal.”

Having diabetes is a struggle on it’s own, but being diabetic while partaking in sports can be more laborious.

“Before I run I have to take my blood and check my blood sugar, and make sure it isn’t too low” Schamel said.

Schamel is a part of the cross-country team, where she runs rigorous courses and races for long miles.

“I always start stressing for practice, because exercise can cause your blood sugar to drop quicker, so when i’m running i’m  just praying that I don’t pass out during our mile warm up,” Schamel said.

Along with Schamel, Pollock also faces difficulties with sports he engages in, like golf and swimming.

“Swimming is a little difficult because i’m doing a lot on my body and I have to always have a snack with me so my blood sugar doesn’t drop,” Pollock said.

Some parents stand in the bleachers or sidelines alongside others cheering on their children, while for Schamel her dad stands with her in the battle of diabetes.

“My dad also has type 1 diabetes,” Schamel said. “My dad has had a lot of trouble taking care of himself when it comes to diabetes. That’s one one of the things that drives me to take care of myself, because he hasn’t been taking care of himself for 20 years.”

Most students may not have diabetes, but most know someone that has or has had the disease. Students like, sophomore Jathen Edwards who has a type 2 diabetic uncle.

“When my uncle’s  sugar is low he has to pee a lot and every so often he needs to eat a candy bar or something to get his sugar levels back up,” Edwards said.

There are many cases of diabetes, in fact 1.5 million people are diagnosed with diabetes each year. In the case of November it is a month dedicated to students like Schamel and Pollock, and others that are affected by diabetes.

“I feel that the fact that they have a month dedicated to people who have diabetes is something that should be spread,” junior Ashley Wickman said. “With my family personally having diabetes and knowing that November is dedicated to people who have diabetes is something that can make them feel not ashamed because they have it.”

Feeling ashamed is not in Schamel’s vocabulary, as she appreciates the month of November as diabetes awareness month.

“It makes me feel special, because it helps me remember that there are still people out there that are helping to look for a cure,” Schamel said.

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