Being a college student is a challenge all by itself, but what if you had to live with diabetes as well? That is what Emily Gruen has to deal with and it hasn’t gotten any easier.
Gruen was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 12 years old. She has been dealing with it ever since.
She would have to prick her finger to make sure her blood sugars weren’t too high or too low after every meal. If they are too low she always has either some chocolate or a soda to get it back to a healthy level.
This wasn’t a completely new thing for her though, because her younger sister had also been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes many years earlier. This made the news of having type 1 diabetes not as shocking or as scary to her.
“I knew that having diabetes would be a tough thing for me, but having my family around and them already knowing how to deal with it, helped a lot.”
She has now been living with type 1 diabetes for about 8 years now and moving away to college hasn’t made it any easier.
“At first it was a tough adjustment, the first month was really hard, but now I’m getting used to it, the same way I did when I first got it.” She said.
Gruen attends the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse, but goes home about once a month to make it an easier transition. When she goes home she always gets snacks along with insulin and other supplies she needs.
“Going home is just as much of a comfort thing as it is a restocking trip” she joked.
Being away from her family has made going away for college an even harder transition than the average freshman. Type 1 diabetes is something that she has to deal with everyday and even minor slip ups can be dangerous.
When asked if diabetes had changed her goals moving forward she said, “It’s been tough and I know it will keep being tough, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying to accomplish my goals and having the life I want to have.”