A week or so ago, I heard one of the 7th grade health teachers leading his class in a lesson about diabetes. I asked him later in the day if he’d like a guest speaker to sort out the facts from the myths. I also said I’d come bearing some gross stuff like insulin pens, test strips, my old PDM, and some used (and washed) pods. He was all over the idea. So on Friday I taught kids about diabetes. Some of my favorite questions included:
“Have you ever passed out?”
“How does the tube get into you?” (referring to the visible blue cannula on the used pods I passed around.)
“Which diabetes is the good one and which one is the bad one?”
My answers were: No, with a needle that delivers the cannula but pops right back into the pod afterwards, and both types suck, respectively. One student was so absolutely grossed-out by the discussion of needles that she spent most of the 20 minutes squirming around with her face hidden in her hands. She survived it though. We all did. And we had fun! Each kid got a card with a statement written on it. They had to sort themselves to the Fact or Myth side of the room based on what they thought their statement was. The majority were on the wrong side, but it was okay! We crossed sides, we laughed, we cried. Just kidding. No one cried.
My favorite part of the day was when a kid told me after class that he has type 1 diabetes. We talked for a little when one of his classmates overheard and said, “You have diabetes!?” He just looked at them calmly and said, “yeah, man” with a smile on his face.