This weeks post is going to be something dear and special to me, it is about dealing with Diabetes in the office. I have been a Diabetic Type 2 for about 6 years and have been Insulin Dependent Type 2 Diabetic; injecting insulin shots 5 times a day for 3 years. So the observations in this post will be from my own personal experiences. And the reactions of my fellow employees are personal and real.
It is amazing to see and hear how today’s society deals and comes to grips with diabetes in the workplace. It is varied amongst the office. With the employees that understand it and those who don’t. Also it is varied with the employees that seem to want to help and then the small percentage of the few that seem disgusted and don’t want anything to do with it.
Lets start with the employees that care. I kept a spare Insulin Pen in the companies refrigerator with my name on it along with what it was. I also handed out about 8 to 10 pouches of Quick Acting glucose gel to various employees around the company. This was for the unfortunate time that I might have a low glucose episode. And of course they knew which drawer in my desk that I kept all my diabetic supplies. And they knew where to obtain my emergency numbers. And when it came to those special holidays and celebration days, they know to help me keep control of all the scrumptious sweet all around the office. It even got to the point when they had Donut Day on Thursdays, the boss’s would bring low sugar or sugar-free pastries in. That is when I felt the concern from “most” of the employees at my workplace.
But, where there is good there is almost always bad. And yes, I am talking about the employees that didn’t want anything to do with diabetes or with me knowing I was diabetic. The one thing that sticks out the most for me is one incident that happened in the main employee break room. With the type of insulin that I inject, I am suppose to inject it right before I eat. I mean, the injection has to take place 2 to 5 minutes before I place the fork in my mouth. On this particular day, one of the main managers in my company, called me to his office and said a lot of people complained about seeing my inject under my shirt in the corner of the beak room and it “grossed” them out or made them queasy. Now for one, NO blood is ever seen since it is a clear liquid going in. And two, the size of the needle is only 3mm long (about the size of a strand of hair). Now give me a break, I could have gone to rest room and back in the break room but I eat lunch everyday with the same people, the same people year after year and they don’t get “grossed” out.
In all, I think society needs to come to grips with Diabetes. It is a growing epidemic. And speaking out on insulin diabetics in public is also coming from the people that say public breast feeding is wrong. There is way more things wrong in this world than worry about medicating yourself in public. I am a STRONG advocate for diabetes in the workplace and diabetes research that I have become an advocate for the American Disabilities Act in the workplace.