If you would like to Share, What IS or WAS your profession before you got diabetes?

By re1ndeer Latest Reply 2011-07-25 08:16:19 -0500
Started 2011-07-06 22:43:54 -0500

It is always fascinating to me to find out what people do or did before their illness took them away from their working world.

I worked in a bakery for about 15 years. I was a cake decorator. I was the person who put all the fancy stuff on the outside of the cakes.

What do you, or did you do before diabetes, changed your world?

144 replies

YogaGal 2011-07-13 07:25:29 -0500 Report

I was in public relations, communications and special events. My career has evolved into grant writer, fundraiser and researcher. And I got a certified as a yoga instructor during my healthiest post-diagnosis days.
One of the wisest pieces of advice my doctor gave me last February was to leave my las job, not due to the work itself, which I loved, but due to the toxic and extremely stressful environment my unstable boss created. It was during my one year there that I gained about 15 pounds, all of my numbers went haywire and I stopped exercising regularly due to the constant chaos of a very unstable work schedule and outrageous demands. The stress itself was taking a terrible toll on me. I'm in a new job where they actually offer exercise classes during the lunch hour (which I take advantage of), and everything is much better!

re1ndeer 2011-07-13 13:15:01 -0500 Report

Your a real people person being in public relations. And then a yoga instructor, very interesting. How great that they let you exercise during your lunch breaks. Thanks for sharing.

jimmuel 2011-07-12 17:33:14 -0500 Report

I was selfemployed ever since I was 16 years old.I cut out an put in fence rolls for farmers.Im 41 now.Never thought I would get diabetis or anyother sickness

Roy531 2011-07-12 13:48:31 -0500 Report

I work as a computer hardware tech for a school district in Okla. was doing that when diagnosed and still doing it, hopefully for a couple more years then plan to retire.


Tender Tips
Tender Tips 2011-07-11 22:49:04 -0500 Report

I continue to teach high school special education students and am grateful that I can still work. Several of my students have diabetes 1 so I have a special place in my heart for them and keep a watchful eye on them. One student has a service dog ("Cookie") who is trained to pester her human if his blood sugar starts dropping too low. Brought tears to my eyes when I read his journal entry one day stating that Cookie was his best friend. I love these kids!

re1ndeer 2011-07-12 01:40:32 -0500 Report

What a wonderful job ! As I have said before teachers are very special people, they develop young minds. Thank so much for sharing.

June Tademy
June Tademy 2011-07-11 13:46:45 -0500 Report

When diagonised I was working in the Real Estate field and managed a stressful office for seven years. I did okay and did not have any problems. I later changed companies and worked for another Real Estate office but it was a little tooooooo much stress there so I changed to another company and worked in the Property Management Section for six years, this was very, very stressful and I was not checking my BS like I should nor was I eating as I should. I knew I had to do something but I could not quit because I did need the job. Business started slowing down and I will always believe that because of my age I was the one laid off and the other ladies, much younger but not experienced, stayed on. Of course eventually the business moved to smaller location and only one person stayed on, business since has really gone down the tubes so now all they have is the rental properties and one person can handle that as I did. I was really upset for awhile there, but later I found it to be helpful to me, I have been able to take care of my diabetes much, much better and now have it under control. I feel a million times better than before.
But at my age I am finding it very very difficult to return to the work field, especially since I am in one of the worst states for unemployment but all will work out and I am doing better health wise just have to loose more weight:) My retirement monies is very little, but the good thing is my health coverage is taken care of I have a very small co-payment so all is well and life is good. And I thank God everyday of my life.

re1ndeer 2011-07-11 13:50:56 -0500 Report

Being in Real Estate can be stressful, I totally agree. Sorry about the economic downturn for you. Good to hear you are controling your diabetes. Thanks for sharing.

Somoca 2011-07-10 15:54:48 -0500 Report

I was a program director but now I work at a university. Its another kind of stress; but at least I have health benefits with this job.

sweething 2011-07-10 11:56:22 -0500 Report

I was a registered nurse at the time I was diagnosed—lots of stress and tension. After twenty or so years, I develioped peripheral neuropathy, bad back, you name it. I took classes and got a degree in paralegal studies, worked at that (with emphasis on my medical background) for a couple years before everything "hit the fan" so to speak health-wise.

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 13:43:47 -0500 Report

How interesting, nurses are great healers in their own way. Sorry about the neuropathy, but you did have a nice job as a paralegal. Thanks for sharing.

nzingha 2011-07-10 09:45:15 -0500 Report

My life is just too hectic now for someone with whose diabetes that needs further control.. I hold a very stressful position in a very high profile job… mmmmm at my age I had planned to have been retired already tho I am not at retirement age.. but there r bills to pay..HELP! lol! any suggestions anyone?

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 16:59:43 -0500 Report

I'm sorry your life is so hectic right now. You should, in a way, be glad you've got insurance to help you control of your diabetes. Sorry, I don't have any ideas for you. Thank you for sharing.

SuziOJ 2011-07-10 09:21:27 -0500 Report

I have been a teacher for 25 years… Gifted middle school math. Recently, neuropathycaused me to have complete bed rest for over three months. I thought I'd loose my mind. I finished the school year and everyone was so glad that I returned. Then the next year, last year, same issues plus a few new ones began to interfere with my ability to teach. I'm very brittle and I was having a major crash every day which caused me to not be able to think and certainly couldn't convey the content to my students effectively. I tried to adjust my insulin, diet, etc. But finally I went to my principal to discuss the issue. Immediately, they wanted me to go on SSI Disability. I don't want to stop teaching yet but am very afraid that they will just look for a reason to get rid of me and then I'd have no pension. This situation has absolutely rocked me to the core. I am a teacher and without that, who am I. I'm now sobbing as I write this. I'd like to know how many diabetics do have to give up their careers to better manage this disease.!? I should add that my wound care doc has been telling me for 3 years that I should give it up or possibly loose a foot. Please everyone, give me some advice.

nzingha 2011-07-10 10:42:23 -0500 Report

u r not alone. Im beginning to feel that I too will have to give up that stressful job or they might give me up because i feel so weak in my feet sometimes and I know its the diabetes.. I have to push myself to get going at times.. but my brain is still functional and active.. so I am hoping I can hold out tho it makes concentrating kinna hard and I get miserable on people a lot especially my son since he;s closet to me. Teaching is very challenging and u have to concentrate.. if the doc says u have to give it up or loose a foot then u have to make the choice… give it up…do u have family.. cant they help? Its hard anyway u take it! Pray on this one!

SuziOJ 2011-07-10 11:39:37 -0500 Report

Thanks! I will continue to pray. I have a wonderful husband who works about 75 hrs a week and then comes home and does everything. The job is extremely stressful and like one of the other replies, I think they'd just rather not have to pay my insurance. It's tough ! Thanks again for the encouragement!

Nova69 2011-07-09 13:13:06 -0500 Report

Sorry, duplicate post.

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 08:30:45 -0500 Report

I love teachers they form young minds. It's great that you became diversified, and started consulting and working on cars. That's neat that you are building a motorcycle replica from WWII/Korean War. Thanks for sharing.

Type1Lou 2011-07-09 10:09:52 -0500 Report

I developed diabetes while working for an insurance company. The diabetes didn't affect my job (actually had several within the company) even though I traveled quite a bit. I also continued to participate in sports. I just had to adjust by testing and being sure that I carried something (glucose tabs) to treat any unexpected lows. I also made sure my colleagues and friends knew about my diabetes so they could spot if/when I was in trouble. I never leave home without my meter. Yes, as diabetics, we must adapt to our diagnosis, and yes, it changes how we live, but I don't believe it limits my performance potential. If I can keep my diabetes under control by eating and exercising properly and correctly dosing my insulin, I feel I can do nearly anything as well as a non-diabetic peer! I used to love to bake (and eat the results); I no longer bake bread and cakes and cookies because they are too much of a temptation for me. I do have some lower carb alternatives when I have a sweet craving…had I worked in a bakery though…wow that would have been tough! It's a lot easier resisting eating that file than that luscious cupcake!

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 08:28:01 -0500 Report

Wow, that's great you work for a company that handles insurance. Thanks for sharing.

Type1Lou 2011-07-10 14:51:01 -0500 Report

I worked 24 years for a property-casualty insurance company…frequently putting in 10 to 12 hour days. I'm retired now and my days are as busy as ever. I play bad golf (my mantra is "Bad golf is better exercise"), belong to 4 different sewing/quilt groups, teach at the local quilt shop and quilt guild, volunteer at the library and, when I find the time, do housework (ICK!) I love to read and listen to audio books when sewing or driving. I'm a rabid "cruciverballist"…someone who loves crossword puzzles. Life is good…even with diabetes!

MarkS 2011-07-09 09:57:26 -0500 Report

So, I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was 33 years old, three months before the birth of our first child. While I was upset, I made up my mind that this metabolic disorder was not going to beat me, that I was going to learn all I could and remain 'normal', whatever that may be. Its been 23 years since my initial diagnosis and I have stayed pretty much on top of my lack of functioning beta cells within my pancreas and as such, have remained, in my opinion, very healthy. When I was diagnosed, I was a reserach scientist and have remained in that capacity somewhat since my diagnosis. I've worked for the same company (Eli Lilly and Company - you may have heard of that pharmaceutical company) in biosynthetic development, human insulin manufacturing, and regulatory affairs (the group that submits new drug applications globally for the approval to market new drugs). As part of regulatory affairs I've had a chance to travel the world (even to China) meeting with government health agencies. What I'm trying to say is that I didn't let diabetes change my world. It made me more aware of what I eat and the things I need to do to stay healthy. But its not changes who I am or what I do.

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 08:25:31 -0500 Report

This is so interesting, that you work for a company, that deals in medicines to help others, and as a reasearch scientist, you get to see what's coming out in the near future. Thanks for sharing.

Christy808 2011-07-08 21:55:03 -0500 Report

I had just finished Medical Assisting school and was on my first job as an ma and the doctor I was working for tested me. I now teach Medical Assisting for the same school I went to, just in another city. I love it.

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 08:23:00 -0500 Report

Sorry to get back to you so late, I had a glitch in my computer. Medical assisting, to me is just like nursing only to a smaller degree. That's great that now you can teach others. Thanks for sharing.

Nova69 2011-07-08 20:40:58 -0500 Report

I was a high school teacher (math and science), a college instructor, a high school principal, and a district-level administrator. Somewhere between high school principal and district-level administrator, I was diagnosed with diabetes. I just kept on going and going until our idiot of a governor started messing with our pensions so I chose to retire. If not for that, I'd still be working. I have plenty to do, including some consulting work, landscaping our house, learning new things, and working on my cars (working with my hands was always my therapy after a day's work). Right now, I'm gathering pieces to build a WWII style motorcycle with a sidecar - just like in M.A.S.H. I figure if you just keep going, nothing bad can catch up with you.

re1ndeer 2011-07-10 08:20:26 -0500 Report

Sorry to get back to you so late, I had a glitch in my computer. Teachers form the world's children they develop the young minds. Thanks for sharing.

VickieF 2011-07-08 17:11:57 -0500 Report

I was a CNA for the biggest part of my life. They say Nuns and Priests "Have a Calling". Caregivers of any kind do too. Every once in awhile I would get burned out and have to do something else, but was always drawn back to careing for others.
In 2001 I quit my job to take care of my parents full time. In doing so my health went south and now I can not work, but they don't consider me disabled.

fraejo 2011-07-09 08:25:11 -0500 Report

Hi VickieF,
My brother became the full time caregiver to our parents 5 years ago when was unable to keep his job due to depression and anxiety. He tried applying for disability too, but was denied. I don't understand how they decide who is eligible and who is not. I have a neighbor on full disability (in his 50's) due to congestive heart failure. Funny (or not so funny) thing is, he developed his condition due to drug abuse.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 19:18:44 -0500 Report

CNA'er's , are the most productive people on the planet. They always take care of others no matter how much they have to sacrifice. Thanks for sharing.

VickieF 2011-07-09 18:12:56 -0500 Report

Thanks re1ndeer,
It is not only the CNA's though it is anyone in the caregiving field from Dr.s to Nurses, CNa's and not least of all Parents. Parents also get the least credit. So "Heres To All The Parents."

GabbyPA 2011-07-09 08:03:04 -0500 Report

I agree. I have been one in casual and intense times, and it does take a special person to do it for strangers and do it all the time. There are special wings in heaven for people like you.

fraejo 2011-07-08 16:06:27 -0500 Report

Before diabetes I was and still am a special education teacher for grades k-5.

tmvaughn 2011-07-08 20:04:29 -0500 Report

I am a kindergarten aide and find it challenging at times to find time to test and take MDI. I am gettiing ready to start on a pump, so I hope this helps! Best of luck to you!

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 19:16:48 -0500 Report

I love teachers, no matter what kind. You have the talent to create little minds into great people. Thanks for sharing.

Darrin D
Darrin D 2011-07-08 15:27:42 -0500 Report

I have been doing air conditioning and heating for the last 17 years. I am finding out that I can not due the task I would normally do. One due to diabetes and the heat of being in attics. Two, well I think I am just getting to old to be crawling around in attics ( lol ). Gonna have to take the bidding and training job I guess.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 19:15:39 -0500 Report

Wow, here is a interesting job. This just about needs to be done every year. Go for it take the buddung and trainibg job, this way you can train someone to do the best job, like you did. Thanks for sharing.

misselly 2011-07-08 14:58:08 -0500 Report

secretary than administrative coordinator for 15 years, parti time alcohol server for 15 ears. my disease has never intervered with me working. I guess I am fortuante.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 19:13:29 -0500 Report

Secretarys are a very important part of the office staff, without them the office normally can not run. Thanks for sharing.

spiritwalker 2011-07-08 14:18:57 -0500 Report

I am a retired nurse. I worked in hospitals and hospice care for about 40 years.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:24:22 -0500 Report

Great, nurses are always needed (even if you are retired). That's one profession that should be respected by everyone, they do so much. Thanks for sharing.

cavie2 2011-07-08 08:59:01 -0500 Report

Was Administration Assistant for Criminal Justice Drug Treatment Service in Stirling, Scotland until April this year when I decided to retire. 60 is the retirement age for women in this country at present and I worked 2 extra years but 2 consecutive harsh winters made me decide to give up before the threw me out with the rubbish (garbage) I was diagnosed in July 2010 and it never interfered with my work.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:14:29 -0500 Report

Another interesting profession, an Administrative Assistant for Drug Treatment. Great to hear from accross the sea, I'm glad you came here to tell us your story. Thanks for sharing.

granniesophie 2011-07-08 08:51:49 -0500 Report

First of all-I have diabetes, but it doesn't have me! That said., I do group sales for 6 properties in 4 National Parks in 4 states, along with accounting, reservations, and also deal with foreign travel from all over the world etc, etc. My season gears up in April and doesn't slow down until November. I work 60 to 70 hours a week and get calls all day and night. I used to take my phone in the bathroom with me (no more, now thats my "me" time!). I have been told I do three people's jobs.
I don't have time to slow down, much less have time for diabetes, so it better take care of itself-cause I'm gonna do what I'm supposed to and it's just along for the ride :)

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:11:38 -0500 Report

Wow, granniesophie, you are one busy woman. I salute you on the enormous effort you put forth in your job. Thanks for sharing.

Marytea 2011-07-08 08:36:13 -0500 Report

Forgot to add, I was diagnosed with type2 about 2 months ago. I am learning so much here and love the community.

Marytea 2011-07-08 08:32:31 -0500 Report

I am a retired school teacher (32 years of junior highers). I coordinate a food pantry now which is almost a full time job but the rewards are fabulous. Diabetes doesn't stop me at all.

GabbyPA 2011-07-09 08:06:22 -0500 Report

I love your attitude about your diabetes. That is what we all have to do. There are things that do come up, but if we are strong, we can work through a lot of things and never look back.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:09:51 -0500 Report

I sure like all the teachers here (even if your retired), they helped formed many of the kids in this world. Great for you on working in a food pantry, this is one of my most favorite things to do, help others. Thanks for sharing.

debmauldin 2011-07-08 08:23:53 -0500 Report

I worked as a homeless liaison with the county school system for 8 years before diabetes (and a host of other medical problems) forced me to resign. I'm currently taking online classes for medical transcription. This is something that I can do at home and I hope it works out.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:07:55 -0500 Report

More and more interesting professions, a homeless liaison, wow. Great for you going back to school (even if it is on line). Wishing you the best of luck with your studies. Thanks for sharing.

knit57 2011-07-08 07:39:46 -0500 Report

I was an Accountant for a Country Club for 34 years. They elimated my job due to "budget concerns". Truth was I got to expensive for them, and I was the oldest on the insurance and they didn't want to provide insurance for me. They hired a younger girl to do the same job, just gave it a different title. Oh well, life goes on.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 14:05:46 -0500 Report

Thanks for sharing. Wow, working in a Country Club, that must have been nice. so, sorry they let you go.

nanaellen 2011-07-08 01:20:03 -0500 Report

Well, let's see…I was a single teenaged mom for my younger life, did all kinds of jobs from cleaning house for the rich people who live around the Ocean Drive to… Taxi Driver…City Hall Clerks Office…Navy Base Pass and I.D. Office,Fire Dept., all in my younger years most of my adult life…of ALL things I am a Cook! At this time an unemployed Cook because of my health, but hope to get that straightened out real soon, like before I lose my mind!!! I can't wait to get back to work!! I have NEVER EVER felt as helpless since this diabetes nightmare!! I'm the STRONG one!! I'm the one that takes care of OTHERS NOT THIS way!! I refuse to give up!! I AIN'T GOIN' OUT LIKE THAT!!! (Thanks, I feel better now LOLOL!) Ellen :)

crosslady 2011-07-09 07:56:41 -0500 Report

I hear ya Nanaellen! I have been a server in the Restaurant industry for over 35 years! I am one of the few that actually derived pleasure from waiting on the public! Most servers today could care less about the people they wait on! They just want the fat tips! So, so many times, I have told a younger person to concentrate on the service and the money will follow… they don't listen. I just lost my job in May! I was there for 6 years. I was having trouble with face swelling and hives,,, missed a day… was told either sign the write up or be fired! Long story short… I signed the write up but quit when the HR person said, " We will no longer play your sympathy card." I was livid!!!!!! It has been 2 months now and the EEOC is handling my case. I understand what you mean about being the strong one and taking care of everything. It is hard to come to the realization that that may not be may place any longer. Oh well, I am blessed that I have 4 adult children that have taken over the finances… But it still is hard to get used to. I feel better too! LOL! LOL! Naomi :)

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 06:19:15 -0500 Report

You really had a diversfied early life. But, interesting a cook, must of learned quite a few good recipes. I hope all goes well for you and you get to go back to work soon. It's great that you have a great attitude toward life. Thanks for sharing.

nanaellen 2011-07-08 23:50:15 -0500 Report

Yes, I have LOTS of recipe's And as soon as I can figure out the carb and calorie count etc. I'll be adding them to the site! I try to have and keep a good attitude guess I get that from my Mom! I'm the oldest of 6 children and Mom was always there for us no matter what! Dad always worked 3 jobs so I get the worker in me from him! I'll be back to the site soon. Ellen :)

Armourer 2011-07-08 00:12:03 -0500 Report

I was a photojournalist for the local newspaper which covered the state and surrounding areas. On Memorial Day 1997 the Docs put me on disability due to a very bad intestine problem that almost needed emergency surgery, but high dose antibiotics worked. Docs stated I would never be 100% so work suggested I take a leave. A year later was diagnosed with diabetes which has gotten worse every year. Now I can't even hang a camera around my neck without blacking out in 30 min. Back injury two years ago has made it so that I can't walk more then a quarter block without my legs freezing up and making it so I can't walk. Last fall newspaper cut 66% of photo staff and 43% of newspaper staff, so would have lost job then. Still see pictures, but mostly sit at home and be bored.

GabbyPA 2011-07-09 08:09:34 -0500 Report

Oh, I went to see your photos and they are great. You have been to Brazil!! wow, that is great. I know a digital camera is not the same, but you can go out and photograph and not have the expense of film. You should be out enjoying the things of life in photographs. That is something that never leaves you.

Armourer 2011-07-10 16:19:38 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby, but now even my digital camera if it hangs around my neck more then 30 min I blackout. Still don't make small point&shoot to my specs. One problem I have is taking photos of things and having no income from it, so I wonder to myself "why bother."

GabbyPA 2011-07-11 17:26:52 -0500 Report

Because it's fun. Because you can capture those moments in time and share them, even with strangers. Because somewhere, you used to enjoy it.

re1ndeer 2011-07-08 06:15:40 -0500 Report

Really interesting job you had Armourer, must have seen many things in your state that you covered and then captured them on film. So, sorry about your health going down hill.
Hopefully, something good will come out of this in the future. Thanks for sharing.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-07-07 22:43:41 -0500 Report

I have been an Office Manager for the same company for the past 19 years .

re1ndeer 2011-07-07 22:46:32 -0500 Report

Wow, that must keep you busy, head of the entire office, and for 19 years.
Thanks for sharing.

Te Ja
Te Ja 2011-07-07 23:00:14 -0500 Report

It does especially during our busy season I put in over 100 hours a week no joke the most I ever worked was 112 hrs never did that again. I am also the safety director and I am a licensed fork lift driver.

re1ndeer 2011-07-07 23:06:36 -0500 Report

How very interesting, you seem to be a jack of all-trades. A 100 hours a week, I would be dead tired, they could not wake me up on the weekend, I'd still be sleeping. (LOL)

runthe 2011-07-07 21:40:42 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with diabetes almost 2 years ago. I was still working when I was first diagnosed. I work as a preschool teacher for almost 20 years and parttime at sears and at ups. I was layed off from my preschool job because I was always sick. Now I just sit at home. still trying to find work…

re1ndeer 2011-07-07 22:38:17 -0500 Report

Thank you runthe for sharing. So, sorry about the loss of your job. I'm sure you will find some kind of work. As MrsCDogg, said below, the Almighty, will be there when we need him most.

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