Back to College With Diabetes Amidst COVID-19

 

The resource below is republished from our friends at the College Diabetes Network and available in its original format here.


Whether classes are in-person, online, or a mix – our network, resources, and virtual events will connect you to the community and information you need to thrive. Download our Off to College guides for everything college and T1D.

#1 Wear a Mask and Socially Distance

Protect your own health and stay current with the latest information on COVID & T1D from the CDC and at coronavirusdiabetes.org.

#2 Create Your Communications Plan

  • Make sure those around you understand T1D – RAs, professors, campus health center, friends & roommates.
  • Make a plan to connect with your closest family and friends – before school starts!
  • If you use a CGM, consider giving access to a caregiver or friend.
  • Discuss your high and low symptoms, along with the location of glucagon and how to use it, with roommates and friends.
  • Carry some form of medical ID: jewelry, wallet card or phone app indicating you have T1D.
  • Save important numbers in your phone – diabetes clinic on-call number, insurance company, local pharmacy, customer/tech support for your supplies and devices.

#3 Know Your School’s Plan for Returning to Campus

Returning to campus or learning from home? Research & make the decision that’s right for you! Consider:

  • Residence halls
  • Shared living space (on/off campus)
  • Dining services
  • In-person classes and labs
  • Campus health and other support services
  • Contingency plans in case of COVID-19 outbreak on Campus

#4 Register for Accommodations

CDN strongly encourages all students to register for accommodations.

  • Consider all forms of accommodations (academic/residential/dining), whether on campus or virtual.
  • Update existing plans to reflect changes in your learning or living environment.
  • Make an appointment with your school’s disability office to discuss before classes begin.
  • Watch our chat about virtual and in- person accommodations.

#5 Back to Basics

Take time to review:

During COVID-19, keeping your blood sugars within your target range is critical.

#6 Stock Up on Supplies and Plan Ahead

  • Set re-order reminders – don’t wait until you’re out! Or, sign up for auto-fill.
  • Select a 90 day supply option for prescriptions and supplies, if possible.
  • Have an extra set of diabetes supplies available.
  • Make sure prescriptions are current and review refill status with your care team.
  • Update your shipping address and local pharmacy location – to match where you will be.
  • Book telehealth visits in advance – don’t skip appointments.
  • Know the options for discounts and coupons through Patient Assistance Programs.

Editor’s Note: You can find additional help to afford insulin and other supplies here


#7 Sick Day Prep & Checklist

Make sure you have everything you need for a sick day BEFORE you get sick. This includes items like:

  • Ketone strips/meter
  • Water, crackers, and sports drinks
  • Syringes, vials, insulin pens, glucagon rescue options, thermometer
  • Batteries, meters and test trips (including backups in case of device malfunctions)
  • Pump settings and insulin doses written down as a backup.

Find more out more about preparing for sick days from the CDC and our resource hub.

#8 Emergency Preparedness – for COVID-19 + Beyond

  • Know where you will go for medical care in an emergency – a local hospital or clinic.
  • Pack a ‘go-bag’ with enough diabetes supplies for a long-term hospital stay (i.e., up to 30 days).
  • Include emergency contact information, copies of prescriptions and your insulin regimen plan.
  • Have your insurance card ready and know your benefits.
  • Consider having a Medical Power of Attorney or HIPPA Form
  • Don’t wait too long to seek help. When in doubt, call your care team!

#9 Mental Health Matters

Now more than ever stress, anxiety and diabetes burnout should be on your radar. We’re here to support you. Join one of our virtual events to connect with peers and professionals. If you need to talk to someone, you can find a mental health provider who specializes in diabetes.

Learning From Home? Set Boundaries! Communicate with your family or roommates about your schedule and when it’s ok to talk about your diabetes.


Editor’s Note: You can find additional resources for mental health support here.


#10 Get Involved with CDN

For ten years, CDN has supported young adults as they transition to independence. CDN Chapters are running strong on campus and off! Join or start one today. Sign-up to receive monthly CDN updates.

Caregivers, join our private Facebook group.

You can find also College Diabetes Network on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.