Okay.  For those of you who know me, I'm a pretty private person when it comes to my D.  I've been type 1 for 12 years and I've struggled pretty badly.  I've been through a lot from ketoacidosis to insulin shock comas, etc.  But it's NOT for lack of trying!  I know a LOT about D, but I'm always still learning.

 

I keep pretty quite about all of this at work.  I work in an office and have worked in an office for about 7 years.  I've been within 3 different departments in the past 7 years, and have managed to keep my diabetes under the radar.  I tell my manager only, and specifically ask her to not talk about it to anyone because I'm not an open person when it comes to my D.  Especially with people that I have to see every single day.  And people who I have to spend 8 hours a day with (which amounts to probably more time than I spend with my family) who THINK they know, but have no idea.  I honestly would rather spend my time working while I'm at my JOB, than arguing with people over what's okay for me to wear and/or what's okay for me to drink.  I don't need people who don't understand my situation to pass judgment on me.

 

So, within the past four weeks, while I was going through some diabetic trauma, with swinging blood glucose from 30 to 300 consistently, my boss told everyone in my office that I was out of work for one day (ONE day!) because I am diabetic.

Now, my co-worker, who is type 2 but under good control (her "highs" are 103), has taken it upon herself to school me on what I should and should not be doing.  The chart above is what was happening when I went home early one day.  I just could NOT concentrate.  Last week she said "I feel the way you were feeling the other day when you went home- all light headed."

"Ummm... you have no idea" is what I WANTED to say, but I just said: "Oh, really?"

I don't EVER skip work or go home early.  I probably took TWO sick days all last year.

 

 

This morning, I'm wearing my awesome shoes- like always- I love heels and strappy shoes, etc. 

I have NO problems with my feet and my Endo has seen me in my fantastic shoes many many times.  He only asks that they fit well when I wear them.  And they do.  NO problems with my feet.

But this morning, she took it upon herself to point out: "Aren't your feet cold?  You aren't supposed to be wearing open toed shoes anyway.  What did your doctor say?"

The only thing I could reply was: "My doctor told me I can wear anything I want to.  Mine is a lot different from yours."

And her reply: "Oh really?"

 

So, I know that she's partly concerned, but part of me thinks she's just looking for someone to relate to, or complain about her diabetes to, or someone to school.  Honestly I've been teaching her about carbs and whatnot for almost two years now- she just never knew WHY I knew so much about all that stuff.

And the tone of her voice is more: "I know something the rest of the office doesn't know." rather than in a whisper of: "I know you don't like to talk about this, but I just wanted to ask if it's different for you to wear shoes like that rather than for me to."

 

It just seems really gossipy and I don't like it.  At all.

I'm private about my health.  I don't want a big production about it.

And I'm really p***ed at my boss for letting it out.  I didn't give her permission to.

 

How would you handle this?

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Marps,

I don't want to go ahead and reiterate the already stellar responses you have received. I am very sorry you are experiencing issues in the work place. It must truly be uncomfortable to work with your personal "business" out. I do want to repeat though: Those shoes are AWESOME! I applaud you for being able to wear them. I would bust my rear every 2 steps with them. :)
Wow! Read your story and I can't imagine that any boss would think it's okay to talk about someone's medical conditions among their employees without their consent. Not that my two cents matters, and there are so many wonderful suggestions, but have to say that I LOVE Elizabeth's solution to your problem. Setting boundaries is always difficult, but being direct is the best thing to do.

My ONLY addition to all of this is, when you do talk with her, wear a pair of shoes that says, "I'm kickin' ass and takin' names." Those little buddies never fail you. ;)
What a nightmare! I'm so sorry, and YES your shoes are amazing. I have (thankfully) never had an issue like this but I would definitely agree with the face to face conversation, politely but firmly worded for both your boss and co worker. Emails live forever and it can be very hard to convey tone and sarcasm and whatnot so you might be misinterpreted via letter.

If I were in your position, I think I would let the matter cool for a while. Gossips (thankfully) have short attention spans and will move on, but on the other hand, you shouldn't have to wonder (and it isn't healthy to worry) about whether people interpret your off days, sick days, etc as an excuse for your "Being Diabetic". You deserve more than that.
I'd wait a little while and then mention to your boss... "You know, back a few weeks ago when I was sick... the whole office now knows... I want to reiterate to you that my medical issues are private and just between the two of us..." blah blah blah. Use your "I" statements not "you" statements... "I" was upset, not YOU did this. More bees with honey and all that.

You shouldn't have to worry about whether or not what you tell your boss in confidence will become office fodder. And frankly- your co worker could use a nice cosh on the head... the next time she mentions anything to you, you could say with a smile plastered on your face "Thank you for your advice, but I have a medical team that I work with closely and I follow THEIR advice" and just walk away in those amazing shoes.
I've been thinking about adding my own two cents here, but I don't really have anything more to say (beyond what everyone else has said). Unfortunately I've had only one experience going to a mediated meeting with the HR person and I was the one who ended up being on the defensive (even though I filled the complaint AND had a 5 seniority over the guy who'd been there for 2 months).
Apparently it's ok when the older "gentleman" accuses me of lying, but when I made the same comment about him I was told not use such strong language.
Anyway, this probably isn't very helpful to you so all I can say is be cautious with your wording during any possible confrontation.
Good luck!
ooooo boy! I completely understand what you mean.I am pretty private when it comes to my D, but people at my job do know and i guess lately,I've been more open about it.Sometime last year,i had a little piece of cake and i got the third degree and a bunch of people staring at me (at work) asking "should you be eating that?" and "is your sugar low'?" Grrrrrrrr!! I understand people care and are concerned BUT please don't say anything to me if you don't know. and PLEASE don't tell me you know how i feel and don't tell me what I can and cannot do.

You should really talk to your boss about this,sweetie.Its a violation of your privacy.The only good thing about some people knowing at your job would be if they saw you were passed out or something and they could help you but its your choice.If you don't want anyone to know,your boss should not have said ANYTHING!

*hugs* and cute cat! Meow!
Hello Marps.. First.. AMAZING SHOES!!! =) Hah, I just needed to get that outta my system (ps, Im guilty for having an album of my favorite shoes on facebook too!! hee hee)

Wow, I read all the replys and your story, and I'm still in a bit of shock...
I can't believe that a supervisor would even mention about your diabetes, especially when you made it clear to her that you did not want to share your business with anyone else in the office. I am very sorry that you have to deal with that...

I can't really add any more thoughts since everyone has already given you great advice!
So, I hope everything works out for you and good luck!
CAO.POZDRAV ZA SVE.
Ugh Marps. UGH! If it helps at all, I feel ya. I can't stand a) inappropriate behavior at work and b) Highs of 103! wtf? I still don't really get that? I don't understand in the least that for some, 103 is considered high, but for *us* it's not. That doesn't make sense to me? I want an answer! How can it be high for some and for others not? Have doctors just settled and decided, well, for some, it's just not achievable? That's not fair. If 103 truly means high, then be frank, and tell me that, and tell me how to get there! As for your bosses behavior, I'd take it to HR and if you can, set up a meeting with your supervisor and HR in the room together. I'd express how upset you are that you have specifically asked your boss to keep this under wraps, yet, she decided without your approval, to let it out of the bag so to speak. I hope it helps and gets you somewhere? As for the co-worker, just say "I'd appreciate you not speaking to me about Diabetes. For one, it's clearly different, your situation and mine, and I don't discuss it at work. the end." :)
P.S. Love the shoes, pea green with envy that they don't kill your feet like they do mine, and cute pedi :)
Thanks everyone for your input!
(I love my shoes too. haha. Gotta have those stilettos!)

Ok. Nothing major has been done yet. My co-worker hasn't said anything D related to me (about MYSELF, she still talks about her own D) since I slightly snapped at her with the comment "Ours is different" a few days ago.

I have talked to my boss's boss in private, in person, about my D and reminded him that I keep it all under wraps at work. He understands because his son is Type 1 as well and his son also only tells a few people.

If anything comes up about it again, I will have a meeting between him and my boss and myself.

I have a gastroparesis appointment tomorrow, so I'll be out of the office. I'm considering writing a reminder email to my boss not only about my appointment (and that I won't be in work) but also to make sure she doesn't spill the beans again. Brief and to the point.

Thoughts on this kind of "beat around the bush" approach?

I just don't want to make a big scene, or to make things awkward in the workplace. I have to spend a lot of time here.
And I even though I KNOW that it was my boss who let it all get out abt my condition, she could argue that I have a tattoo on my arm stating that i'm type 1. (people don't really look at it tho)
Hello Marps,

I wouldn't beat around the bush -- if anything her telling your officemates about you being diabetic has more impact than showing off your tattoo (I hope that made sense -- especially when people do not focus on the tattoo during a conversation). Kindly give her the phrase "words travels faster than a speed of light," especially in an office environment.

I would remind her about your appointment and then also mention to her that you do not want anyone else in the office to know what happens OUTSIDE working hours.

Frankly, it's no one's business.

What you do outside of work is personal.

I'm not much of a confrontational person, but when this sort of thing happens, I get upset and I do have to address it.

Hope it works out for you and good luck!
Rissa

That's true. My tattoo is in the nook of my elbow and is really small. Only one other person has asked about it- but I certainly don't go around showing it off. You know? It's there for me and for the EMTs, not for everyone.

I'm getting a little frustrated that I've had to ask her to not talk about it on more than one occasion already. Just three weeks ago, I reminded her during one of my performance reviews. And then THIS happened. So... I don't know what to do at this point.

When I write the email to remind her about my appointment tomorrow, I'm going to copy her boss on it too- so that he'll have a heads up on what's going on.

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