This month’s blog carnival question is “Does your employer/school/friends know you have diabetes? Why or why not?”
I was 24 when I was diagnosed and my employer at the time did know. They knew that I was a good employee and it was rare that I took a day off. At one time, I worked over a month straight (that included Saturdays and Sundays) without having a day off. After being diagnosed, I had a lot of doctor’s appointments for awhile and I really did not feel it was necessary to hide what was going on.
Like a lot of people do, I went thru a rough time after my diagnosis. I decided to change jobs. I accepted a new job and the first few days I was there, my new boss wasn’t around much so we didn’t have a chance to talk. He was a small employer and did not have a group health plan. He gave me an application for insurance and one of the questions asked if you were diabetic. When he saw that I had checked that box, he literally freaked out. He thought that I would be having a lot of seizures. I assured him that I never had a seizure. Fortunately I had been there a few days before he saw that and he had already told me that he was surprised how fast I was picking everything up. Hopefully, that helped ease the blow a little for him and he at least gave me a chance.
After that experience, I kept my mouth shut in the beginning and didn’t tell anyone. Even when an employer did find out, I tried not to let diabetes interfere in my job. In the early days with the older insulins, eating meals on time was important. I would always make sure that I had a sandwich with me or keep some food items stashed in my desk just in case. I had one boss that used to regularly schedule a meeting with a client at the time I needed to eat lunch and I never once complained about it. I would always eat before the meeting so it would not be a problem.
One employer found out accidentally the first week. My mother is a worry-wart and when I wasn’t home one night, she called my cousin. My cousin knew my new boss so he called him and in their conversation, told him that I was diabetic. The next morning, my boss approached me and told me that my cousin told him that I was diabetic. He didn’t have a problem with it because he was Type 2.
As far as friends go, when I was working most of my friends were made thru work. As long as I was in a position at work to be able to tell them, I did. If we were going out, they would find out that I was taking insulin. I am a lot more open about it now than what I used to be so don’t have a problem telling people.
“This post is my March entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival. If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/march-dsma-blog-carnival-2/“