We have a staff of less than 10 in our Alternative High School and the school nurse was in today during our meeting to talk about health condition of our students. She mentioned that we have 2 students with Type 1 diabetes and what we should be aware of. At one time I imagined myself announcing that I also have diabetes. In my head I feel like I would be one of those, "yeah, well, that's nothing, I have diabetes too", kind of people. I just couldn't bring myself to admitting that and these are friends of mine. Perhaps they should know my condition, although on the other hand, it is mine and I will share it if I want to. One of the staff members is a close friend and I have told him. I just have a hard time advertising about it.
Any advice?

Views: 6

Comment by Matt Neal on September 19, 2009 at 10:11am
Hi Todd!

Letting others know that you have Type 1 diabetes can be challenging. I was diagnosed in Feb. and I was embarrassed about it at first so I kept it to myself. One day I let one of my co-workers know and it was a huge relief. I didn't feel like I had to hold it all in or hide anything from anyone. Since then, I'll talk with anyone about it. I don't go around announcing it or anything like that, but I will let people know that I have it. It's also a great opportunity to educate people about our disease. There are many rumors floating around out there about diabetes and they simply aren't true. I've found that letting people know the facts really helps people understand what we are going through and that we did not get Type 1 because of something we did or didn't do. It's also handy in case something happens and we have a really bad hypo or something, then you have others around who at least know about your diabetes so they can help or get the proper help.

Ultimately, the choice is yours. Personally, I feel it really helps to get it out in the open. You may find the same relief that I did once I let others know. I hope this helps! :)
Comment by Todd T. on September 19, 2009 at 10:35am
I guess I did not mention that I am Type 2. Many people think that we caused our disease by getting fat and eating lots of sugar. I know that both of those things contribute but there are many other things involved. I think I am going to start with the school nurse. I have put it on my emergency card but have never talked to her about it. We'll see where if goes. Thanks for the comments.
Comment by Cara on September 19, 2009 at 2:40pm
I've been very open about it since I was diagnoesd 13 years ago. In fact, when we moved 10 years ago, I had to make sure my neighbors knew about it, just in case they saw me passed out on the front lawn. It was especially necessary since I had a toddler at home and my husband travelled frequently at that time.

There are so many assumptions about diabetes. I've been told many times I ate too much sugar when I was younger and my pancreas gave up. Um, if that were the base, we'd have millions more type 1s. Then go explain this to small children. You're right about type 2s, the assumption of being fat and lazy. I have a friend who is ridiculously skinny and she has type 2.

I'd tell someone. Just in case you get into some kind of trouble and 911 is needed, then they can inform the EMTs of your diabetes. I don't find it anything to be embarassed about. Fortunately we don't get some raised D on our forehead to alert people to our medical condition.

I'm curious, what is holding you back from letting your friends know of your diabetes?
Comment by Cara on September 19, 2009 at 2:41pm
I forgot to say, its also a great opportunity to educate people about diabetes.
Comment by Betty J on September 19, 2009 at 6:27pm
Diabetes has always been one of those diseases that people are ashamed of be it T1 or T2. When I was dxed as a child with Juvenile I was told by my mom not to tell anyone.
Comment by Betty J on September 19, 2009 at 6:29pm
Another thing it can be dangerous not to tell anyone whether you're T1 or T2. Type 2s whether on diet and exercise can also have hypoglycemia.
Comment by Nancy on September 19, 2009 at 7:01pm
I was ashamed at first because I am overweight. I will admit it. I tested my bg in the breakroom when no one was looking; sounds dumb for a nurse to hide a medical condition, but I did. I did not tell until I started on insulin. Now my co-workers look out for me.
There are still a few that watch every bite or drink I take and want to question me or just give me a look like I should not be eating since I am diabetic. We eat and drink just like everyone else, just more particular what we put in our mouth.
I now proudly wear my med id bracelet and tell everyone I am blessed to have diabetes because I take better care of myself than if I didn't. Surprises folks, but that is how I feel.
Comment by Theodore Quick on September 19, 2009 at 8:45pm
The thing that comes to mind for me is that if there is ever an issue about you having diabetes trouble at work, varying your schedule to do tests or anything else, you may lose your job. We are defended by the Americans with Disabilities Ac, particularly the new Amendment to it that came out last year, BUT if we keep it hidden then they can cause trouble up to and including dismissal from your job, and you won't be covered by the law.
I've always found it best to make it clear once I show up for my first day at work, then they can't play stupid games.

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