Hi my name is Cleo, I’m ten years old, I’m in year 5 at school, and I’m Type 1 Diabetic. I was eight years old when I was diagnosed. When I get to school each day I normally put my bag away and say «hi» to my friends and come into the classroom and set up for the day Cleo’s beautiful, she’s responsible, wonderful, she’s on top of her levels but it’s also good to have this peace of mind that we’ve got systems in place to support her. I’ve got her to use her iPad to put a timer on, so five minutes before the recess bell or the lunch bell, Cleo discreetly goes out and does her test, and comes backs in so that it doesn’t affect her schoolwork, doesn’t affect her play. When I have to do my test I would go outside and wash my hands then I would come back to my bag and get my test kit out, and then I prick my finger and then I would put the blood in the strip and it will tell me my level when I put it into my pump.
I’ve actually set up a journal for myself. In the journal what I do is I get Cleo to come in and fill in her levels at recess and lunch, and if I need to do a retest I fill it in this section with the carbohydrates. I also have a kit that I keep in the classroom drawer as a backup which is always good as a security and peace of mind. Cleo’s teacher, the effort that she’s going to, to support Cleo is a great example of the sort of things that school’s can do to support young people who have Diabetes. It’s important that the child is treated like a ‘whole child’ not just someone who has Diabetes. So school’s in particular have such an important role here to see the child in all of his or her wonderful features.
So the research that we’re doing is ultimately going to help all school’s to provide the best quality environment at a policy level, at a classroom level, at just the social environment that children with Type 1 Diabetes are experiencing, so that they can have the best possible outcomes. It’s really important to have friends that understand about your Diabetes and how you manage it, because say if I don’t realise and my face is pale they could tell me «Cleo, you should do your test, you look low». «How come you don’t need to have the needles anymore?» «Because I’m on the pump, because the needles delivered insulin too» If one of my friends or someone I know is diagnosed with Diabetes I would tell them that they’d get used to it and it becomes a part of their routine.
I’d normally wake up and do my test and whenever I eat I do my test and put the insulin in. Having Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t stop you from doing anything you love. .