It’s sad that I have to say this, but completely necessary… I’m not a medical professional, this post (and all others) are not medical advice. I’m simply about to share with you about my experiences managing diabetes at work.
I observed a diabetes chat where readers submitted questions for a doctor and two people from diabetes nonprofits to answer. Someone asked for advice on managing diabetes at work because it is harder for them to manage at work than at home. I know there are no dumb questions when you’re trying to learn, but I couldn’t suppress my reflexive thought of well that’s a dumb question, just do it like you do at home.
But after some self-scolding, I realized that for some it’s not so easy. To my relief one of the panelists said that management at work or school should be like management at home. Of course, I agree.
Making your health a priority can be tough for people, but the bottom line is that you need to do it. Your health and well being is important, both to you and your employer.
I manage my type 1 diabetes at work exactly how I do at home, in this manner:
- My diabetes bag is within arm’s reach
- I check my blood sugar regularly and I check my Dexcom frequently
- I eat when I need to
- I bring my own healthy food to work (as opposed to going out)
- I stay hydrated
- I count carbs
- I stop what I’m doing when diabetes must be handled
Sure there are extra hurdles to doing this at work instead of in the privacy of my own home, but you’ve got to do it.
Managing my diabetes at work has included:
- Changing my pod at my desk (my regular pod change time however is after work hours)
- Excusing myself from a phone call or meeting to handle a low blood sugar issue
- Bolusing at lunch meetings, although when it’s a lunch meeting with a client, I typically check my blood sugar prior to getting out of my car
- Taking shots (the insulin kind) in my office before I had a pump
- Wearing visible devices
- Staying at the office when not safe to drive home
- Eating when I need to. Bringing a snack into a meeting is completely acceptable!
If you work full time, you put in 40 or more hours a week at your workplace. For me, about 25% of my life is spent at work. If you don’t take care of yourself while you’re at work, you’re going to end up paying for it later.
Taking care of your diabetes is in no way unprofessional, if you need reasonable accommodations to do so, don’t hesitate to ask.
What have you learned about managing your health at work/school?
By the way… Today has been designated DBlog Check Day which is basically a way of inviting people in the diabetes online community to comment on every diabetes blog they read to let the bloggers know that we’re there. Even if it’s a simple “check” in the comments. I don’t have a lot of time to read blogs today, but I will be checking in so to speak on every diabetes blog that I read the rest of the week.
If you’d like to find posts, just look for the hashtag: #dblogcheck on your favorite social media platform… or all of them.