So my guidance councilor gives me the "don't let diabetes define you" talk every time we meet. Well today I asked him for a recommendation to work as a CIT at a DIABETES camp. He said "I would not recommend out control blood sugars like yours work at a diabetes camp because that is setting a bad example" I said "oh" felt the tears of anger start to come and walked out.
Eventually I will have to face my guidance councilor. What should I do? What would you do? Should I tell him how he stabbed me past my heart into my soul? Should I say "Well actually I was asking for a recommendation letter about me NOT MY DIABETES?
What the heck....he's a guidance counselor, not a doctor, nor a counselor at a camp for diabetics!! What does HE know what constitute good control! If they WERE out of control, it can serve as a way to relate to the campers.
I would suggest to write it out in a letter. Put your feelings on paper, and give it to him with perhaps a foot note indicating that you may meet as a means for you to discuss the letter....or better still, to indicate that you merely wanted a reference letter and that the letter you gave him was a means of explaining why it is not in his realm of qualifications to determine whether you are in good control or not!
It takes all kinds!!
Gabby - After reading through all your responses I will now add my $0.02. As a former CIT and Nurse (RN,CDE) and Head Nurse for a prominent ADA camp I can tell you that you would be a welcome addition to any staff roster. I applaud you for wanting to spread your wings and be a CIT at a camp for children with DM. Counselors are there to watch the campers and keep them safe. The medical staff is there to make sure everyone stays healthy. Summer camp brings MANY, MANY hypos and hypers. Are these children (and counselors) exhibiting poor control? Absolutely NOT. They are experiencing life - which has its own set of curve balls to throw in the fray. The goal of camp is to show that even though you have DM you can live a normal, fun, productive life and when your blood sugar goes awry you will have the skills to manage it.
As for your GC. Well, unless the application requires a recommendation from a school counselor, I would move on and find a person who is willing to right you a reference. I agree with everyone here that the GC should stick to commenting on your behavior, grades, social skills, etc and leave the medical aspect of your personality to those who can rightfully comment on it. As you will find out, and I am sure many of us here have learned, no one is perfect and no one has perfect control all of the time, Couple that with mis-perceptions of those individuals out there that "know all about diabetes" because their mother's, uncle'cousin's best friend had "the sugar" and they went blind because they ate a piece of birthday cake once. We as DMers do need to educate the ignorant and misinformed - especially if you are using a pump. the average citizen has no idea what you had to go through to get your pump and learn to use it. Perhaps you need to also start with your teachers so they understand that testing does not mean you are out of control but that you are doing it so you can say IN CONTROL. Plus, if they fill they need to report your frequent testing to anyone - they need to speak with YOU and the SCHOOL NURSE. I hope that your school has one.
When I was diagnosed - 30+ years ago my mother was my support person and my father, although he was supportive and made sure I had everything I could ever need or want to manage my DM, was ignorant to what the disease actually was. It took nearly 20 years to get him to understand. It sounds like you and your mom could really use a support group OR if the camp you are applying to has a family session, you and she would benefit from the experience. Another resource for you is the American Association of Diabetes Educators (www.DIABETESEDUCATOR.org). They, along with the ADA (www.DIABETES.org), have a lot of resources for schools.
Finally, should you want/need some additional leverage with your GC I would be more than happy to drop him a letter letting him know more about DM and the student in school. Just let me know!
Never let anyone put you down because of their ignorance. You are doing just fine. Hope that you get the job. Let us know.
Tim Moeslein, RN
30+ years DMT1
Former CDE x 10 years
Always an advocate
I was thinking over your post, and the more I thought, the more impressed with you I became. 1) You are proactive. You sought out this forum, you are seeking input now, etc. 2) You are being amazingly responsible with all your testing. 3) You care enough about others to want to help out at a camp. Here are three REALLY commendable things. You go!!!
Also, I have learned to ignore anyone who says "don't let it define you." It's likely that this counselor only wanted to encourage you to live your life to the max, but if he'd known anyone with diabetes, especially type 1, he would know that it takes an incredible amount of work and attention to deal with. Success requires being somewhat consumed. Of course we're not going to let it define who we are or let it affect what we can accomplish in life, but "don't let it define you" sometimes minimizes recognition of the hard work we do for our health.
So continue on your path and find people who are supportive and knowledgeable to help you in your journey. This man may not know enough to be truly supportive.
Best of luck to you!
You nhasv all the ulitiies neede in a couse,or..I hope you can quicky find the two recommendations you need, Unfortutunately, your cousekor has not idea aboujt diabetres management. I was old by my own family they though t my diabetsda was so much worse when I wme ton ??MD//I from mthe old one shit a day NOH, then got a oumo and a gcm in more recent years the gneral oublic thinks that diabets controlled is diabets unseen to them, andif you have to see somwonw tsking cre of themselves.. Ity musy mean that ehy asre out of control. Because, MANYc \Diabetic uninformed poeple think, even if they do not say "Just take ashot and/or a pill and eat right, and the diabetes will be ok. You must be doing something wrong if you have to test your blood sugar multiole times to see if it is ok. If you just stay away from those cakes and pies..Your
blood glucose will hover between 80-120 at all time. Just take care of yourself and don't let us SEE you test or treat ( bolus)a lot. Then
will look like a sick out of control diabetic>'
Youb willl be a fine example foryoung people at the camp.
EXCUUSE the typos !!! I was in a fatigue induced stupor!!
Glad you're OK, I read your post and thought you must be real low, and there's no way to help in cyberspace!
Whew!! Delighted to hear that you're fine. I read your post long after it was up, and I too thought you must have been low....frequent typos happen here too when I'm low. Other than catching you in the moment and URGING you to test and treat....there's little else we can do....unfortunately! :(
Thanks for thinking about me, Linda and Bad moon.. I am a not a great typist, even when I have a blood sugar of 100..lol.At the time I had initially posted the message; I was operating on only 4 hours of sleep at 2 a.m. My blood glucose was 121; yet my body (failing fingers and eyesight) was telling me to "Go to bed!". So I did.
Congrats on the dedication you have to manage your diabetes and knowing what you want to do with your life. My daughter, when she was in school, had a problem with her counselor but the situation had a twist. first i want to say the counselor was negative toward everything my daughter wanted to do in life claiming that her diabetes would get in the way of her job. then she continued to tell my daughter how to deal with diabetes, how to eat, activities and told her that she goes to the doctor tooooooooo much. My daughter had enough and called me to let me know what was going on at school. i was divorced and raising my son with visitation with my daughter, she wanted to live with her dad. anyway she was diagnosed at age 14 and we made alot of trips to the doctor to get her going on insulin, then a pump. I always went with my daughter to the doctor, educator, nutritionist and now i had to help her fight at school. everything was new and overwhelming for her at that age, she knew about diabetes due to other family members but the counselor was way over her bounds.
I made a phone call and set up a group meeting with the principle, counselor, school nurse that was there one day a week and other staff. At first the counselor denied what she had done and I explained that my daughter was just diagnosed and the diabetes team was working on getting things set and making adjustments and that they would have to see her several times over the next few months.
Everyone at the meeting agreed except the counselor and when i asked why she has such a problem with what the doctors are doing all she could say is "they dont tell you that or set that up cause if they did they would do that with my daughter who also has diabetes." I asked the counselor if she could show me her credentials showing that she is a doctor. she said no, so i let her have it and the rest of the staff agreed. I didnt yell, I informed her that no two diabetics are the same and not all families have the money to spend immediately on medical equipment. I then asked the counselor if she had a degree in diabetes. again the answer was no and the principle stated that she should keep her opinions on things she dont know to herself. I contacted the school board members about her along with the ADA. I was working as a home health aid in homes of people and as a mandated reporter i had to report the abuse of my daughter by the counselor and the discriminatory actions she was using. I was informed that since the counselor used her daughters diabetes to know it all about diabetes toward my daughter when there were different circumstances and age differences that contribute to different management types. She was reprimanded at that time and I have found out that she did the same to another child and has been fired.
The school board informed her the first time that she was not allowed to give her opinion to students about diabetes and since she had been doing so for so long they would not give her further warnings. therefore the second student that had a problem with her decided to record the conversation before going to the principle and his mother sent a copy of the tape to the school board and the counselor was fired.
Counselors are there for encouragement and advise on what to do with getting better grades and the appropriate education needed to achieve your goal in life.
I believe you would be a great CIT and that if you copy all the posts you have on this site from everyone here you should have enough recommendations. Diabetes is difficult and you are doing a great job taking care of yourself.
One recommendation I have is that the counselor at your school should have to pay out of pocket to a school program of your choosing, the same costs that a diabetic pays for and that the counselor should have to do BG readings every hour of the day and night for the next two years to find out what diabetes is really about for a lesson. BG meters now days can be downloaded to computers and e-mailed to a specific person to monitor that the counselor is complying with the requirements to keep his job.
this is just my opinion and wish I would have thought of it when my daughter had problems.
Again congrats to you and I hope all goes well, god bless and good luck.
Counselor is out of line. A 6.7 is excellent control for a teen with Type 1 and a teen is not going to have stable blood sugars. You can manage Type 1 but not "control" it. At a well-known diabetes camp whose name I shall not mention, our DD heard counselors saying their goal was to get their A1cs out of the 8s. I wouldn't bother with that guidance counselor, just get a recommendation from another teacher or other source. You sound like a very responsible, excellent role model to me.
you should tell him how you feel. i go to a diabetes cap every year and a cit has never told the cabin what there blood sugars are. i mean you could tell kids but its something you dont have to. i would defenently recoend being a cit because camp is a great lerning expereince and alot of fun
Guidance councilors suck! When I was in school they were all idiots and the least helpful people in the system. Don't get a letter from them, get a letter from a teacher, principal, neightbour, or someone you have helped (babysat their kids, a place you volunteered). What about your Endo?
I would also tell that councilor that until they are a registered Endocrinologist they have no right, nor the knowledge to state whether you are in control or not. What school do you go to I'll call him/her right now and tell them what I think. Post the phone number and I'll ring them right now.
Never ever should anyone be told they can't do something. Of course you can, you can do anything you want. I had been scuba diving for 10 years before I found out that diabetics aren't "supposed to" dive. Well no one told me and I love it!
As for once a month having sugars out of control - yup me too - starving and eating everything covered in chocolate. Try 70% coco bars - and hot chocolate wtih less sugar for those cravings. :)