What it feels like to be a type 1 diabetic.

By Matt Teigland

My alarm buzzed with the standard Apple alarm sound. I rolled out of bed and walked to my box of medical supplies. I grabbed a grey device that looked like a pen, rolled out a needle and gave myself the first injection of the day.

I packed my bag with fruit snacks and Gatorade in case my blood-sugar dropped too low. I pulled out a black case and pricked my finger with a needle to test my levels. The reading came back high, so I made a mental note for my breakfast injection. 

I loaded my black Dining Center tray with eggs, bacon and a mocha-chocolate-chip muffin and sat down at a table with my friends. Against my doctor’s orders, I waited to take my insulin. Too many people around. 

The metal turnstyle spun as I left the Dining Center to take my injection in the bathroom before Spanish 101. “Hola amigos” my professor said as I passed through the classroom door. I was already woozy. 

I took too much insulin for breakfast and felt the effects of a hypoglycemic reaction, or low blood sugar. I snatched a couple packs of fruit snacks from my backpack and frowned for having to eat so soon after breakfast. 

The rest of my day flashed by with classes, library sessions and more estimated carb counts and insulin dosage conversions. And my levels stayed steady. 

Another dosage of insulin surged into my bloodstream before bed. A midnight snack. But I woke up in a cold sweat, my head throbbing. I overcorrected again. 

I munched on two granola bars at 2 a.m. I wasn’t hungry.

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