By wrightkid40 Latest Reply 2014-11-17 18:51:03 -0600
Started 2014-11-04 06:05:46 -0600


Recently I have started to search for my first job. This whole experience has been very exciting for me! However, I am worried about how I will manage my blood glucose while at work when I get a job.

Any advice on what works for you? How lenient are employers with accommodations? Do you get treated differently than your coworkers? Have you ever felt like you weren't hired because of the diabetes?

Just some questions. :) thank you! You're opinions on this topic are highly valued!

6 replies

AppreciateIt 2014-11-17 18:51:03 -0600 Report

It is similar to school, but with one ongoing class. You have your managers (teachers) and the other students (co-workers) who need to know that if you need to eat at school (work) or a bathroom break, it is legitimate and necessary. Not some entitled student (employee). Similarly, if it's the type of job environment that isn't understanding you will be much healthier and better off in the long run if they don't hire you. Don't forget what a big impact stress can have on blood sugar levels and insulin requirements. That doesn't mean you can't handle any job you want to, but the most important thing is that you will enjoy the work and work environment. Otherwise, it will impact your health in the long run far more than any amount of pay now is worth.

Don't be afraid to inform your bosses and your co-workers, so they understand when you say you need a break to treat a low or if you have an episode they will understand and be able to help or at least not misunderstand what is going on.

I can say as a type 1 diabetic who didn't switch to a pump until my 20s, I wish I had earlier because it eliminated the need for finding a good place to take a shot and it just plain reduced low blood sugar occurrences and also allowed me way more flexibility in what I can eat. It was and is a life changer.

If you are still under your parents' health insurance, this may not be a big deal now, but once you get old enough where you will need your own insurance, it will be important to ask questions about what medical plans your employer offers. You will want to know how the plans cover diabetes supplies. For example, insulin pumps and supplies often fall under 'durable medical equipment' and some plans cap the amount of 'DME' they cover annually. So the more you educate yourself on health insurance coverage as you get older, the more you can make sure that you can afford the latest and greatest healthcare options for people with diabetes.

And number 1, never be shy about being open w people that you have diabetes, it is a great way to find out if they are kind, non-judgmental people that you want to be spending a big chunk of your time around (or not.) :)

Happy job hunting, hope that helps!

tabby9146 2014-11-07 09:18:38 -0600 Report

It never affected me. I think what Gabby said, anyone who works in retail or jobs like that, might be a problem sometimes.

Type1Lou 2014-11-04 09:54:14 -0600 Report

If you are a good and productive employee, there is no reason why your diabetes should make any difference. I was diagnosed in 1976 while I was working in a stressful, supervisory capacity for a company I had worked for since 1971. I had started at an entry-level customer service position. I continued working for them until 1994 when I voluntarily left to join my husband in retirement. My last position was as their regional telecommunications manager. I received multiple promotions and felt successful in my career which demanded frequent travel and some long hours. My co-workers knew about my diabetes in case I needed help with hypos but, for the most part, it was a non-issue. Job performance is what matters to employers. Wishing you well!

GabbyPA 2014-11-04 06:58:09 -0600 Report

A good employer will work with you, Depending on what kind of job you are looking for, setting up some kind of schedule should not be too difficult. Retail jobs or food service is usually pretty hard, because you have to be on the floor and taking breaks at inopportune times can cause issues mostly with other employees.

I have never worked for someone as a diagnosed diabetic. I am fairly sure I was diabetic while I did work for a home builder, but didn't have issues that interrupted my ability to preform my job well.

There are many schools of thought on sharing your condition as it is not required. But in my book, I would make it known that you might require more steady breaks to check levels or take care of yourself. A lot of it depends on how well controlled you are.

A lot of it will depend on your attitude. I have seen some people play the "diabetes card" to get their way like an entitled child. It's very ugly and really hurts all of us when people behave in that manor. If you are eager, really want to work and excited to find a job, let that be who you are and then explain that you have just a few things you might need.

Always remember, the interview goes both ways. Don't ever feel intimidated. They are not doing you a favor to give you a job and you are not giving up who you are to work for them. Good luck! I hope your first job is one you really enjoy.