Teen Face: Diabetes 'an inconvenience' to a busy teen life

  • Montgomery High School junior Rachael Anderson sings in her choir class on Wednesday, January 22, 2014. (Christopher Chung/ The Press Democrat)

Rachael Anderson played a vampire in Montgomery High School's production of "Dracula" last fall, with fangs in her mouth and fake red bloodstains on a tattered white dress.

It was a "creepy, crawly" role as a bride of the dreaded Transylvanian count, said Anderson, 16, a junior who's been involved in drama for three years and wants to pursue it in college.

But it was also a trifle bit like real life for Anderson, a diabetic who must prick her finger with a lancet to produce a drop of blood four or five times a day to check her blood sugar level.

Diagnosed with diabetes at age 10, she wears an insulin pump to deliver the sugar-lowering hormone that her body will not produce. Sometimes, she needs to inject insulin with a syringe.

Once or twice a week, her blood sugar level plummets, a condition called hypoglycemia. "I get shaky, confused. I feel sick to my stomach," she said.

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