Hello! Since my last post, I have started my TERF assignment at the Tyson Research Facility. It has been an awesome week! I am assigned to the Forest Dynamics Team under the leadership of a Washington University professor. The project I am working on is a re-census of the trees in a designated plot. We are measuring the trees in this plot and this data will be compared with similar experiments world wide. The data we gather will help us better understand the effects of climate change as well as how beta diversity changes along space and time. I am so excited that I have this opportunity to work alongside post-graduates, under-graduates and other high school students. This is an invaluable learning experience for me!
Managing T1D in the field this week has provided me with some challenges. The work that I am doing is all outside in the steep forest slopes. Between the sun and heat it is hard to differentiate fatigue and low blood sugars. In school, it is easy for me to feel when my blood sugar drops too low. My legs feel weak, I start sweating and I get shaky. Unfortunately, those are the same symptoms one can experience from heat exhaustion. In school, I can easily stop what I am doing, check my blood sugar using my glucometer and then drink a juice if my blood sugar is too low. Managing a low blood sugar is not as easy in the field. I don’t always have easy access to my glucometer. In addition, I don’t want to slow down my team. I found myself grabbing a Gatorade and quickly drinking it rather than stopping to check my blood sugar with my glucometer. I know this is not ideal but it is one of the compromises I have to make.
There are many individuals with T1D that have to make these decisions and accommodations in their everyday life. T1D is ALWAYS on our minds and requires constant management for us to stay healthy and alive. This is why continued research is vital and I am so excited to be a Missouri delegate in the JDRF’s Children’s Congress 2013. In four more weeks I will have the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. to share my story with Congress. Our hope is that our united voices will remind Congress how much we are all counting on continued funding for T1D research and a cure!
Hello! My name is Adam and I will be a junior in high school this fall. I am vice president of our student body, active in many groups at school, play tennis, swim, volunteer at my church and I am passionate about protecting our environment. I also have type one diabetes.