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work and type diabetes

Discussion in 'Adults with Type 1' started by diabetic87, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. diabetic87

    diabetic87 New Member

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    Greetings to all!

    I am a 19 yr. old diabetic, living in Saskatchewan, Canada and attending university. A problem/concern I have with my diabetes is work. I've worked in a few kitchens (dishwasher), done some landscaping/gardening work, and am just coming off a job of homecare. These jobs are physically demanding and with diabetes it can be difficult. Sometimes I feel depressed in that I feel that as a Type 1 diabetic, it will be very difficult for me in life to work. My questions are to other Type 1 diabetics, is #1 how do they deal with work, and #2 should I work on choosing a career path that will put me at a desk job or other job that's easier for diabetics. Any thoughts, comments, answers would be much appreciated. Very happy to have found this chatroom.

    diabetic87
    CANADA
     
  2. sm51119

    sm51119 New Member

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    2beers

    Well I am just on the flip side of what you are going through. I am 26 diabetic for 4 years now and have just recently started my career at my desk job. Its not that bad, I actually enjoy the work I do. Which is what it boils down to. Do what you enjoy. I wanted to be a pilot or scuba diver. But to be a professional in either you cant be diabetic so I have gone with the next best thing for me and now I make maps for a living. A bit of a suggestion. If you exercise regularly you will be more adapt to handle physical strain associated lows/hights at work/ play and even vegging out on the couch. I notice that when I stop exercising my body gets used to this and I have a harder time dealing with lows and highs. Dont take a desk job because your a diabetic though. Pursue what you want no matter what. If a female could enlist in the army as a male during wwII then I think you can pass as a non-diabetic. Dont tell them your diabetic until after your hired, they will just discriminate and you wont have time to pursue legal action.
     
  3. cydnimom

    cydnimom Approved members

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    I say go for the job that will make you the happiest. Of course there are some limitations on some jobs you can get, however I haven't checked lately. I know in Canada you can't fly, but they are making changes in the US already in this regard. You can't join the army, you can't drive bus, tractor trailer, heavy duty equipment, but there are so many other jobs out there. You can do shift work, you can do physical labour, you can sit at a desk or a combination of them all.

    It does mean that you have to be vigilant in testing. I know surgeons, nurses, miners, data entry persons, etc. who all do shift work and require concentration. To be successful they test and test more. I guess that you have to think about what you want to be when you "grow up" and look at all aspects and what the health requirements are. I'm not sure about the police force or fire dept. and what their requirements are. What does large amounts of stress do to you?

    I say a happy person with D is a healthier person with D! I still haven't "grown up" and am still not sure what I want to be, however, I do sit at a desk, but I am constantly taking classes and am still considering becoming a nurse.
     
  4. diabetic87

    diabetic87 New Member

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    Thank you

    Thanks very much to both of you for your replies. I agree very much that "a happy diabetic is a healthier diabetic" and have recently made changes to my insulin/testing regime that allow me to live more freely without compensating (too much) for my health. Thanks again, and best of luck with taking care of your diabetes.
     
  5. Rob

    Rob Approved members

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    just want to throw in here, when you're lookin at possible job oppertunites keep an eye open for company's with scheduald breaks where you have specific times of the day to do testing and eat, or whatever. i currently work a night shift building mobile drilling rigs, and i get 4 breaks a night, at the same time every night, makes things alot easier when it comes to diabetic stuff, especially being in a physically demanding job. i've also worked in places with no scheduald breaks, it's a nightmare, especially when you're trying to test and things keep comming up that you're supposed to be doing. not something reccomended unless you have very good control.
     
  6. mischloss

    mischloss Approved members

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    I would also put in that anything in the health field or profession, I think they would be more in tune with your needs. I think you would bring a lot of compassion and empathy to a medical career path. Even if you have a desk job at it or want to be an RN, it could be a very rewarding field.

    I also agree with the other poster regarding "don't ask, don't tell,"...a job interview is not the place to state your D and all. Wait until you are hired and then go ahead and sit down with your manager and discuss the appropriate break schedules and time off for endo appt.'s etc. The world is tough out there as it is and unfortunately discrimination does exist in the job market regarding health, etc.

    But I think you are doing great and whatever you decide to do for a final career path, you will be all the stronger at it because of your D!!!
     
  7. leslie91879

    leslie91879 Approved members

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    Dont let it slow you down I am in school to be a chemical engineer and I currently work in an oil testing lab. I have been a type 1 for 25 of my 26 years and I have done everything from sports in high school to spending all day on the farm with my grandparents. And that is something I have stressed to my kids at camps is you can do any thing you want just at a different angle!!!
     
  8. Connie(BC)Type 1

    Connie(BC)Type 1 Approved members

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    no reason not to work with type 1

    I work 8-10 hours a day 5 days aweek with a 1 hour lunch break, which I get some days at 11:30 some days at 2, no regularity. I test when I feel I need to and insulate accordingly. I used to work shift work as a nurse, same went there, except I did have breaks although we never knew for sure when. As a diabetic I was/am treated no differently, except for testing my bg.
     
  9. leslie91879

    leslie91879 Approved members

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    I know how the 10 hour days suck that is what I am working now luckly for me I get to take lunch at 11 everyday for the most part. I sometimes where a glucowatch when I am at work to keep an eye on my bloodsugar all day (mostly when I went to the 10 hour shift) and I go and snack when I need it. might be something you want to look into it can kinda hurt for the first few days but it gets better. you can email me if you want to chat about this more pm me for the address
     
  10. maaike

    maaike Approved members

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    Hi there,

    I myself (diabetic type 1, journalist) have always been completely open about my diabetes. I told my boss about my needs concerning my diabetes and stood my ground. Like eating regularly and stuff. I found that if people at your job don't respect that, you don't want to work there in the first place. I now have a workplace that's perfectly ok with it (in fact, they let me write a book on diabetes!). In the Netherlands, even if you have diabetes, if you can work ok, your boss should help you out. I also found that for me, jobs that involve heavy physical activity are to much of a strain on my diabetes, but everyone is different ofcourse. wish you all the best, Maaike
     
  11. BMW

    BMW New Member

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    Definitly go for the job that offers the definite breaks, and schedule. I've done the job with different shifts through out the week and it was hell on the blood suguar control. Be any thing you want, but stand up for your self on the job. Breaks are required. Some bosses forgett this little fact.
     
  12. amberngriffinco

    amberngriffinco Approved members

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    Try going onto an insulin pump. With it, you can do just about anything.

    My only big prob. haven't solved yet is hiking... when I used to go often, I would crash within 20 minutes. I had to finally learn to TURN MY PUMP OFF completely hours in advance and eat snacks all along.

    amber
    COLORADO
     
  13. Connie(BC)Type 1

    Connie(BC)Type 1 Approved members

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    Breaks are required. Some bosses forgett this little fact
    In Canada, all that is required for breaks is 1/2 an hour every 5 hours. I've always been able to work with that. You have to rule the diabetes, not let it rule you, and yest testing and treating have always been allowed where ever I've worked over the last 30 years
     
  14. jkeller459

    jkeller459 Approved members

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    Be what you want to be

    I've had the fortune, recently, of hearing Will Cross and Douglas Cairns speak. Will Cross is the first American AND Type 1 diabetic to climb the highest peak on each continent as well as walk to the North and South Poles. Douglas Cairns, when diagnosed, had is British pilot's license revoked. He came to the US, got a Private Pilot License and flew around the world.

    Consider the physical demands of their tasks. If THEY can do it, so can you. Choose what you want to be and make it happen!!! Diabetes is a challenge, not a limitation. Don't let IT decide the choices in your life.

    Best of luck!!!!!!!!
     
  15. Momof4gr8kids

    Momof4gr8kids Approved members

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    I just wanted to let you know that my DH has type 1. He is an auto tech which is very physical. He does great! First thing he did when he started was let his boss know ahead of time that he had diabetes, and may need to take a moment every now and then to check his blood, or have a snack. He keeps food on hand for lows, and tests at meals, and when he feels he needs to. He makes sure he gets lunch. Sometimes he needs less insulin at breakfast, and lunch because he is going to burn so much. He is on Lantus, and Novolog which have been great compared to the old days of R, and NPH. Basically the point is he loves cars, he loves working on them, being around them, and pretty much everything about them. He was made for his job! He makes his diabetes work around him instead of working around it. You can do it if a physical job is truely the type you are happy doing. Just figure out what you would need in order for it to work for you. Take care, and good luck!
    Jamie
     
  16. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

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    Today was my first day back at work after being diagnosed with diabetes, type 1. I work in the weaving workshop in a home for the blind, so the job isn't a desk job, but it doesn't require a lot of exertion either. I was really tired by the end of the day. One of the nice things about working in a home for the blind is that they understand about diabetes; many of the residents have diabetes. So they have a sharps container for my needles, and they can accomodate breaks.
     
  17. charlenebusch

    charlenebusch New Member

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    hi ,
    in reply i am a type 1 diabetic and i have worked for 8 years i am 22 years old . i am a manager at wendys and i have a 4 year old daughter , u have to first take care of urself , ur employer has to make time for u to check urself believe me u have to tell ur employer teach them what to do in case of emergancys . i have had a low at work where the other manager had to take care of me , thank god he knew what to do . working with diabetes isnt easy at times but it is something u have to do . control the diabetes dont let it control u !

    charlene
     
  18. oldstert1

    oldstert1 New Member

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    Go for whatever job makes you happy. I would just suggest that routine is very important as some others here have posted. As far as letting people at work know about being diabetic, while I have never mentioned it before I was hired, I DO let co-workers know. It's always safer if they know how to help you in case you experience a low at work. I've had both active and desk jobs, went to college and have traveled in Europe on my own--I have always tried not to let being diabetic stop me from experiencing all I can. Diabetes has become so common place in most Western countries, especially the US, that people aren't surprised when you tell them anymore. The frustrating thing is that because so many are type 2s, they lump you in that group too. I make it a point to tell people I have been diabetic most of my life and it's not because I'm overweight, or that I eat too much sugar or that I don't exercise or that I'm like their granny who "just has to take a pill". That one really irks me!!
     

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