The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

The official newspaper of Chamblee High School, preserving the past for the future today!

The Blue & Gold

Chamblee Celebrates and Confrontes the Challenges of Diabetes in November Awareness Month

Anna+Entrekin+posing+for+a+photo+for+Sugar+Medical%2C+a+brand+creating+accessories+for+diabetics.+Photo+courtesy+of+Anna+Entrekin
Anna Entrekin posing for a photo for Sugar Medical, a brand creating accessories for diabetics. Photo courtesy of Anna Entrekin

Navigating diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, is no straightforward task, as you have to be immensely meticulous and mindful about the food you eat and the medicinal necessities that are essential in staying healthy. Many students here at Chamblee High School have been diagnosed with the complex illness of diabetes, which is a chronic disease where the pancreas has an inability to produce enough insulin, which is vital in stabilizing blood sugar.
“The food that you eat—the carbohydrates from that—make insulin, which my body doesn’t make anymore, so I have to take that through an insulin pump, and the insulin will turn the food that I eat into energy that will help me go through my day,” said Anna Entrekin (‘26).
Most students with diabetes were diagnosed when they were young.
“I was diagnosed six years ago; my sister Anna was diagnosed first, and then I was doing some studies to help figure out what genetic markers there are, and then during that study, I did this test, and I failed it, so they said ‘you probably have type 1 diabetes.’ Then I did the test again and failed it, so that’s when I was diagnosed with diabetes,” said Mary Entrekin (‘24).
However, diabetes is not an illness that has a particular age marker. Many people with type 2 get diagnosed a little later in life.
“I didn’t have a history with diabetes; I didn’t think I was eating that much sugar, but I guess I was. People handle different sugar levels differently, so I guess I was overeating sugar for my body,” said a student who wished to remain anonymous.
Students at Chamblee with diabetes have to persevere through a challenging environment, which, more often than not, is not the most supportive. Diabetes is a disease that not only affects your body but also affects the way you go throughout your day.
“[Diabetes] is always there, like I can’t do anything without looking at my phone. Every decision that I make, diabetes is in the back of my head, altering how I make a decision, and I can’t just decide ‘I wanna do this’ because I have to think about how it’s going to affect my diabetes. I must also bring all my supplies with me,” said Mary.
With diabetes, students have to find the appropriate balance between their illness and the immense struggles that accompany school and athletics.
“I have to be careful about watching my blood sugar numbers and how they change throughout the day, especially with what I eat, to keep my body as healthy as possible for swimming and seeing how that goes. It changes every day,” said Anna.
Especially with sports, which can be immensely energy-draining, it is crucial to maintain healthy glucose levels and keep snack substitutes and extra food nearby at all times.
“For soccer, I’ve had the same coach for a long time, so he is very understanding. I just have to check my blood sugar because it can drop a lot, so I have to have my snacks and all that—a lot of my team knows [that I’m diabetic], and they’re supportive, so that’s great,” said Mary. “For social events, I always carry my little backpack around with me; I want to make sure I have my snacks with me, especially if we are going to a restaurant and the food takes a long time.”
Nowadays, fortunately, people with diabetes have ample technology that aids them and their needs throughout the day and provides a little bit more support to their already hectic schedules.
“Technology like my watch and my phone is beneficial. I’ve had [diabetes] for six years, so I’m used to taking care of myself and being able to get schoolwork done, and all my teachers are very understanding,” said Mary.
Diabetes is not a straightforward journey, as there are more leisurely days than others. Learning to adjust and be comfortable is not easy, but students often find it increasingly manageable as the days go on.
“When I got diagnosed in the fifth grade, I hated talking about it or when others would talk about it, but now I have accepted it as nothing that I should be ashamed of. Now, I feel much more comfortable doing what I need to do or talking about it to interested people. Many people are interested and want to learn more about it, so I don’t care anymore, and I’ll talk about it,” said Mary.
Ultimately, diabetes is complicated for students as they have to deal with academics, social events, sports, and taking care of themselves. Those with diabetes use November as a month to spread awareness about the difficulties of diabetes, share information, and support those with diabetes to the best of our abilities. For the following Novembers in your life or any month of the year, remind yourself to be kind and have an open ear ready to listen.

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About the Contributor
Addison Lyons, Staff Writer
Addison Lyons (‘26) is a sophomore and a Staff Writer of the Blue & Gold. In five years, she hopes to be in college studying for a medical degree. Her three favorite things are Taylor Swift, watching scary movies, and reading.

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