I've just started at a new job and I'm not sure how to break the ice about my diabetes to the people around me and my bosses. I cannot feel highs or lows at all and so I frequently require help or become sick/pass out rather suddenly. I've been working there for about a week and no one knows yet because I'm not sure how to bring it up naturally...but today I started getting sick and wasn't able to do as much work as I would've liked for an afternoon. I'm worried I might have a really severe low and no one would understand what's going on.
I would like people to know, but I'm still new and I don't want anyone to think it was a mistake hiring the "sick girl". I also don't want to scare the people sitting around me by telling them I might pass out at any second or need help! Is there a tactful way of doing this? Should I tell just my bosses or just the people around me or both? Tell them differently or the same way or how? I've got a meeting coming up with my manager this Friday where he checks up on my progress and I figure I could tell him then, but I'm not sure how to do it without sounding like "woops I forgot to mention this while we were interviewing!"
I have the same fears, but I would not mention any of that to my manager. I never come right out and tell anyone that I am diabetic. My meter is at my desk and I test constantly and fight off my severe highs and lows in silence. Don't hide your testing but certainly don't tell your manager the worse right now.
Test, test, test. Glucose tablets and snacks. Today I went sky high after lunch and felt like I was gonna die. I bolused big time, got up from my desk and walked up and down six flight of stairs and nobody knew.
Today has been a roller coaster for me, in fact the last four days have been awful, but no one knows, but me and my husband. I don't talk about it because no one can truly understand.
Tonight I suffered through a low of 37.
Are you on the pump and CGM? If not, I highly recommend them both. They both help avoid the highs and lows, and the CGM warns you when your blood sugar is getting out of range.
I realize you are probably feeling like you're walking on thin ice right now, but due to your hypo unawareness, I would mention to someone that you have type 1 diabetes and are on insulin. That way if you lose control, they can call the medics instead of assuming you are drunk or on illegal drugs. Also make sure you wear some kind of medical alert bracelet or necklace that says you're a type 1 diabetic.
Yep, I'm on both the pump and also use the dexcom. It helps a lot, but it often doesn't catch my sharp swings in time. I wear a medic alert bracelet at all times too, as well as a card in my wallet. I'm also on the waiting list for a service dog which I'll get within the next 6-12 months. Obviously once I get the dog my "secret" will be out regardless of whether I tell people or not! But until then I'd definitely feel safer with someone knowing.
I work in a retail store as a sales associate, i move around the store a lot.My boss and co-workers know I am diabetic. When my boss doesn't see me around, she has my co-workers look for me to see if i'm alright. It has been to my advantage for them to know i am diabetic. Hope everything works out alright for you.
That sounds really great. It was like that at my old job, everyone knew and knew how to help. I had a really great manager who noticed that I was walking kind of crookedly on the way to a meeting once and was able to get me some help- apparently my bg was in the teens!
This question is often discussed in some form or another. It seems as if everyone has an opinion. None are really wrong.
To identify yourself as one who has diabetes can alert your co-workers to look out for you. It can, as you say, identify you as the sick girl. It is hard to know who to trust or what to say.
I hope you will keep a close eye on your Blood Sugar levels, test often and keep a constant diet for lunches and snacks so that you have a good handle on how your body will react on a given day. Test often, say once an hour, or so, so that you keep track of your levels.
In my life, I wear my pump on my belt and don't hide it. I don't talk about diabetes unless it comes up and then I am candid, but don't give a lot of information. There is a lot of testing that I do to keep on track so that I don't have a low at work. Nobody says much.
Good luck, Be well.
I don't keep it a secret but for a long time I always let a close associate know that I had T1 just in case something did happen at work. But about 2 years ago I was hospitalized for it (BG >700) and was in intensive care for 3 days and after that the whole company knew. Actually it was kind of a relief because now I don't have to worry when checking sugars, etc.
I think you've gotten great advice here already and I agree with all that has been said.
Everybody at my workplace knows I am Type 1 but I did not tell anyone until after I had been in my position long enough to prove myself. If you have a "probationary" period where you work, I would not tell anyone until after that time period if you are worried about losing your job. I know the law is supposed to protect us but I have seen employers "find" or "create" reasons to terminate people they felt just weren't working out - especially in this economy..."reorganizing" is frequently heard. Of course, you have to do what *you* are comfortable with.
I'm glad that you already have a medical alert id and Dexcom. That's a little peace of mind because if you were to pass out, coworkers will call EMS and the medics will know how to help you because of your med alert.
You haven't said what your diet is like but I would suggest that you consider eating low carb or lower carb on work days. Carbs often put me on a bg roller coaster and I can avoid much of those issues at work if I just eat lower carb on work days. I also bring my lunch and bring things that are known carb counts that I know I can trust. I don't eat take out or things I have to SWAG on carb counts when at work. I don't want any bg surprises so I choose my food for lunch carefully.
I empathize too with rapid drops. Low carb and adequate protein during the day help keep me more stable. I bring cheese sticks to work and try to nibble on cheese and nuts during the day. I keep my meter and my Dexcom on my desk so I can check both frequently. If someone walks in while I'm testing or doing something on my pump, I keep going and ask them to wait just a sec..then on to business and it's not a big deal. I keep sweetarts or glucose tabs on me at all times even if I'm just walking down the hall to the bathroom. Again, I don't want to get caught off guard...being prepared means fewer surprises.
The way I brought my diabetes up when I was comfortable and ready to do it was usually when offered carby or sweet food by coworkers - many of them would ask questions and I'd take that opportunity to educate. But I did it when I was ready.
Best of luck to you with the new job and it sounds like you're working hard to keep yourself safe so good for you. :)
T2 is much more common than T1. There are, in fact, 2 t2's in my office, but they actually have very little understanding of what T1 is (I'm not saying that that applies to all T2s of course).
I like to chime in with an unpopular response: Don't drive faster than your driving skills allow. Would I drive 200 mph if my car went that fast? Not likely. This is why I am still alive. The same applies to insulin. When I eat low carb, life is easy. My BG does not move fast. When I got my pump and the dexcom I felt like superman. All of the sudden I ate an entire personal pizza and injected 25 units of insulin. What a joy ride!!! I definitely could not keep my BG in range. I am always up for a challenge. I practiced and practiced and now I can eat the personal pizza and keep my BG with 70-120 mg/dl. I recommend that you start at a slow speed (=low carb, low insulin) until you have mastered this level and are up for a challenge. A wipeout (=severe low) means that you need to dial back. I am sure that you will have few wipeouts if you match your carb intake to your abilities. I cannot promise you that you will ever pass Mario Andretti. But at least wipeouts will not be a frequent occurrence.
On a more somber note: I have not told anybody @ work about my D in 40 years. It is my responsiblity to conduct myself professionally. This includes not driving too fast.