Saturday, June 6, 2015

Clash of the Titans


You're sitting in class (not the class you teach, but the one you take at night afterwards) reviewing for the credentialing exam you're scheduled to take in a week and a half. You and your classmates are in the middle of discussing an in-depth case study of a student, going over key terms, analyzing needs. Your professor is warning you to look out for case studies that involve IEPs or 504s. She reiterates what a 504 plan is--legally mandated testing accommodations for students with a physical disability. Accommodations can be anything from special chairs for sitting, large-print testing materials, to access to medical devices in the room.

And as you sit there idly, listening, trying to take notes, daydreaming, wandering....all of that...screeches to a halt. You realize...hey. She's talking about me. I need that. Because of course you need access to your CGM and at the very least your pump. At the very very least some sort of glucometer. Because you can't take a 4 hour test flying high at 250 or wondering every 10 minutes if you're crashing down to 25. Because you have a disability and you need accommodations and when you took one of these tests last year, and the zillions you took before that, for all of your educational history and entire lifetime, you didn't need this. So you didn't think about it. But now you do, it's all you can think about and you sit there alone in class with the realization that you might not be able to take this test after all. And just like that.

CRASH. Two of the biggest stressors in your life (your career aka your real life and your diabetes aka your actual, literal meaning of the word, life) smash into each other at an astonishing velocity. And what can you do? When you forget about the D in PWD?

And you know in the long run (even in the short run) it's not a big deal, you can reschedule, it's not what you want to do but you can do it. But why? It certainly doesn't feel like you that's being accommodated. You made the plans months ago. You've been studying for a while now. You are ready for the test. But apparently, all the shit you drag around with you on the daily is not. That is what needs to be accommodated.

And you need to get on the phone fast and beg and cry and finagle and hope and pray to get your accommodations approved in approximately 1/3 the time it promises you on the website. And you do, and it's fine.

But that's tomorrow.

That evening? There's just a crash, and a smash, and some numbers thrown in your face and the ticking of your pump that you can't just leave outside the door. 

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