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Work and diabetes - does your diabetes hold you back?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by Elc1112, Apr 25, 2012.

  1. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Might sounds like a bit of a strange question, but do any of you feel that your diabetes has held you back career-wise.

    The reason I ask is that one of my collected today told me that his wife cannot progress in her career as she is diabetic. It really angered me that anyone would think this! I certainly don't feel my diabetes has held me back at all.

    Anyway, just interested to hear what the rest if you think.

    Em
     
  2. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    His wife might be in a technical type of career where there is a genuine restriction, eg pilot, driver etc.

    Generally speaking, any chronic condition can affect one's career. It's not always discrimination, it could be common sense and fairness to employers/customers/the public.

    I work in an office but often have fatigue and other symptoms that affect my work. I just do my best and try to accept things I can't change.
     
  3. Elc1112

    Elc1112 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Cat,

    I can understand if she was in a technical role as I know there are sone times that diabetes prohibits you from doing. However, she works in an office-based role. I guess it just angered me that somebody would suggest that my diabetes would hold me back etc. In my mind te only person who can ever hold me back is myself. I've got to live with my diabetes and I'm not going to let it limit my decisions. Or maybe I am just having a bad day and over-reacted... That's always a possibility! ;)

    Anyhoo, I shall stop ranting down and go get some sleep - I need it! :)
     
  4. ButtterflyLady

    ButtterflyLady Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You're quite right, no one should discriminate against someone based on them having diabetes. We need to be on our guard in case that's happening to us.

    If I was in perfect health, I would choose an office job with more responsibility, hours, and stress, and I would make more money. Since I don't have perfect health I choose less responsibility than I'm capable of. It's sad but a fact of life.

    I'm sure you'll be feeling more like your usual self when you've caught up on sleep :wink:
     
  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    No I can't say diabetes has held me back career wise or hindered my ability to carry out my duties, all my employers since diagnosis have been very understanding and flexible when it's come to taking time-off for diabetes appointments etc.
     
  6. Laubie

    Laubie · Member

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    Although my diabetes hasn't held me back in my career or social life, I do feel limited where others aren't necessarily and it does get me down!
    I work in advertising where there is a lot of networking and lunches. Having diabetes makes me feel on edge at these events as I have to do my BG, try to choose low carb options and then get try to discreetly bolus.
    I don't have aproblem with this in fron of my friends, or even my colleagues whilst I am at my desk working, but in fron of clients on a lunch meeting/ evening bash I do feel like it holds me back.

    But you are right - it is a frame of mind. No one holds you back but yourself. I do try, but just the feeling that it is holding me back is sometimes enough!
     
  7. McMittens

    McMittens Type 1 · Active Member

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    I've never really felt it holds me back but can understand how it may do for others in different careers.
     
  8. jopar

    jopar · Well-Known Member

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    Nope it hasn't..

    Does your friends wife have a lot of time of work due to diabetic problems! Because this is the likely cause of not progressing in her career if their's no legal restrictions holding her back!

    There is actually an acceptable and an unacceptable level of absence from work, even if you are diabetic... Why should an employer promote somebody if they know that individual requires an unacceptable amount of time off work!
     
  9. calmer1982

    calmer1982 · Newbie

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    There should not be any reason that any one should be held back or feel held back due to your diabetes, that is 100% in an office base job. Do not for get if you feel that other people make you feel you cannot progress due to your diabetes just always remember the DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) (http://www.diabetes-support.org.uk/info/?page_id=113), but remember you should only feel like diabetes is a Disability, unless you feel someone is treating you like you have a Disability to your detriment. I have only be T1 for 2 years now, apart from the first time i ended up in hospital with it, It has not effected my life (and force me to be healthy) [OK i would not wish it on anyone, but I always have to see the positive in things]. I have no shame in it, I will happy take a blood test in a meeting or if i need to inject my self, (other then asking people i do not know if they do not like needle) i will inject my self at the table/desk, I see a lot of diabetes go in to the Barth room or hide away, if that makes them comfortable that's fine, but do not have shame in having diabetes!.
     
  10. pumppimp

    pumppimp Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think this really depends on how well controlled you are even in an office job if you find it hard to concentrate and have a lot of time off ill of course this would effect how easy it is to get a promotion. I wouldn't like to see someone get promoted who wasn't the best at their job even if the reason for this is illness and disability related. It puts a lot of strain on other people who you work with if you're off a lot not concentrating or functioning properly it's nobodies fault but wouldn't look good in the eyes of an employer looking to give someone more responibility of a promotion. So poor control does mean poor carreer prospects.

    However having a condition should never hold you back from a chosen career path, there are very few careers now that are closed to diabetics you can work offshore, I work occaisionally on fishing trawlers and research vessels in the north sea as well as in a microbiology lab with lots of dangerous microorganisms and chemicals, machinery etc. It hasn't stopped me but I wouldn't be able to do any of this If I hadn't talked by boss through the ins and outs first they were very worried when I started and talked about giving me an alarm incase I went low in the liquid nitrogen etc. It was all very over the top I had to sit my managers down and firmly explain what they had to do and what I could do myself. I shouldn't have had to do this but it was best that I did as they are more and more confident in my abilities now, knowledge is power.
     
  11. Lucypieee

    Lucypieee · Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I've never felt that my diabetes has held me back career-wise. However, I have had some issues in the workplace regarding it.
    I used to work in the city and was penalised by my boss when I had a hospital appointment (I had no control over what time they were), she made me take them as half day holidays, refused to let me take them as sick leave or unpaid leave. The appointments in particular had already been approved by my previous boss. Unfortunately, she was not doing anything legally wrong. Morally maybe. Another job I had were always funny if I had an appointment, but so long as I made up working hours, it was not an issue.

    I'm in a new role now and they're much flexible (and much closer to my hospital) with regards to my diabetes.

    I used to perform in shows when I was younger and I do believe, however, that my diabetes has held me back and prevented me from some shows and perfomances.
     
  12. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hi, no nothing holds me back, including diabetes. Maybe the lady in question feels as if other people or the company see her diabetes as a disability, when in fact its not. She could be using her condition as an excuse or something along those lines, because she cant get up any more steps on the work ladder, either by merit or experience :?:

    All the best RRB
     
  13. daniel1021

    daniel1021 · Active Member

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    I feel diabetes has held me back career wise as I was undiagnosed for 21 years, suffering without treatment all that time and not providing my body with energy. Its quite hard to stay focused on anything or get a lot of things done fast with no energy also depression is a part of diabetes which contributed to it. The first part of your life after education is the most important. I wanted to join the British Army and up until being diagnosed I was right on course but now having it I can not join and it has held me back.... Also you need to take into account every diabetics case is different and their diabetes may be more severe than yours or they might have more complications so to be honest I don't think anyone can speak for anyone else's diabetes but themselves! Although I think it held me back I'm not going to dwell on it.
     
  14. Osidge

    Osidge Type 2 · Well-Known Member
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    With regard to Calmer 1982's post, the DDA has now been subsumed into the Equality Act 2010. In the case of diabetes, whether someone is covered by the Act will depend on the effect on their day-to-day activities of their diabetes if they were not being treated. That is, the beneficial effect of treatment is ignored when looking at the effects of diabetes. This has the effect of bringing a lot of those with diabetes within the scope of the protection of the Act. Coming within the scope of the Act does not require you to have first been discriminated against. The theory is that the Act will help prevent discrimination and only if it fails to do that will those discriminated against be able to take action at an employment tribunal.

    I hope that this helps

    Doug
     
  15. Riesenburg

    Riesenburg · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    The short answer from my perspective is yes.

    Diabetes has severe effects on our cognitive abilities which reduces out ability to think fast, recall events rapidly and be at all times 100% there and fully functional when compared to a healthy person. We often take time to recover from hypo-hypers, our thinking gets all messy when sugars are too low and things can be a real problem when dealing with things on a practical way.

    Even in jobs where diabetes doesn't matter you find at times it can matter a lot. For instance I used to work as a contracter in IT, had a few hypos at work ambulance was called in. Following week employer asked me to resign on the basis that it was causing the other staff distress. My first job application from university (which was I admit over 30yrs ago), I was told by one of the big law firms that they had had enough trouble with diabetics in the firm and that they were not willing to 'entertain' an application from a graduate with the condition.

    I think the Equality Act 2010 is all very nice in principle but it can be very hard in practice. I do understand the employers too, it's just a bit unfair when those of us who had no say in the matter are penalised by it.

    Well that's my experience hopefully it is not universal!
    In any case given a little extra room and time for dealing with things we can definitely perform or even out-perform our fellows!

    Frankie
     
  16. glenmoray

    glenmoray · Well-Known Member

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    Your wife could take action against your company for discrimination because of her diabetes. Diabetes is not a illness and the sooner companys realise this the easier it will be for all of us.insurance companies discriminated against diabetics until the mid eightys and now they cannot call diabetes a illness. They also cannot load people for having diabetes.
     
  17. nickyjayne

    nickyjayne · Member

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    I've never had a problem being held back with diabetes, in my work/jobs, I had a big change in life a couple of yrs ago, and decided to become a security guard/bouncer, i have been open with my bosses, they have been great support, and i have had no problems. I even go and work away at Festivals twice a year for weeks at a time, long as I pack everything i need, etc im fine and i just pack and go. I work gigs all over the south, and anywhere else i need to go. I travel every couple of years to the States, and readjust as i go, don't let it hold you back, if others feel that they cant have you working, in my eyes they are scared or don't want to know, that's down to them, not our problem, its theirs...........
     
  18. Geri

    Geri Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, it has stopped me in my career path and has held me back!
    I was refused a job at the BBC due to my Type 1 diabetes in 1982, although I worked for the first 35 years with diabetes with a good job lecturing in an FE College. However I had to stop working in 2005 due to severe hypos and stress related highs and generally becoming very exhausted and ill. I just felt that I couldn't hack it anymore although I loved my job and had dedicated alot of time and effort to keeping well and working well.
    I have had diabetes for 42 years now and also have other auto immune conditions that can interfere with my b/s control and general well being. I still feel quite guilty about not working, but use my time writing and painting and selling my creations from home.
    I dont know of many people who have had diabetes for over 40 years although those that I have heard about are in a similar situation to myself or worse. It is also important to note that blood sugar testing wasn't available for the first 20 years of my diabetic history!
     
  19. Nexus

    Nexus Type 1 · Member

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    I think having type1 has held me back, I work in an office which can get very hectic. There are times when I can be very **** sure and over bearing when my sugars up and can have a complete loss of confidence when my sugars are low. I was promoted to manager a few years ago but gave it up after a while as the stress really started messing with my sugar levels. So whilst I've never knowingly been discriminated against I think I could have achieved more not being diabetic.
     
  20. Shaun IDD1970

    Shaun IDD1970 · Member

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    Frankie and others

    Sorry you suffered as a result. I understand an employer not wanting to have people off work but consider your colleagues and your manager that they "get stressed" seeing somebody else sick. Did you ask how it was medically proven to be stressful on them? Or was it just part of their growing up??

    Never suffered discrim myself but then no interviewer ever asked me if I were diabetic. I am a qualified accountant doing mostly desk work and have led motivated teams. In my last 25 years work, someone at work always knew about my diabetes but I rarely had issues, being diagnosed type 1 when 5 in 1970. I had 1 hypo at work, in 2002, where I was taken to hospital from work and was back next day. My work did not suffer otherwise except for the odd 5 minute near-hypo situation which I rectified.

    My discrimination worry is not Diabetes but uncommon sense and the rise of HR recruiting rather than working managers: I was refused work recently because it was only after my good interview they realised I did not have experience in their industry which does not affect finance.

    Be happy not to work with those happy to prove their narrow mindedness.
    Shaun
    www.alphaenterprises.co.uk
     
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