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Work don't seem to care. Type1.

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Stevie_D_1983, Feb 24, 2016.

  1. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi, I'm 32 and have been diabetic for almost 3 years now. I've had a lot of complications and miss diagnosis's along the way. I'm type 1 and inject upto 5 times a day. I inject 3 times at meal times with humalog and 1 in the evening before bed with lantus. The 5th injection is only if I feel I need it as instructed by my diabetic nurse. Before I was diabetic my sick record was excellent with only having occasional time of for dependants but since I was diagnosed with my condition I have had quite a bit of time of unwell. I'm a manager where I work and have a better understanding of the companies sickness and absence procedures than most of the HR dept, so I'm fully aware that I'm covered by the equality act (which has taken over the Disability Discrimination Act or DDA). I don't expect special treatment but I do expect them to acknowledge and understand this. Every time I've been off over the last 2-3 years the company has not shown any compassion or even empathised towards my condition, and have instead been determined to discipline me for my absences. I'm at a stage now where I go in to my return to work meeting knowing that they have pre empted the decision to discipline me. My GP has recently signed me off for a further 8 weeks to the previous 2 weeks due to blood test results taken because I was experiencing pains in my quadraceps, knee joints and ankles. She now says I have a high cholesterol and at risk of heart attack so has put me on statin tablets. She has also informed me that I will lose my eyesight completely and be on dialysis both before I'm 40 IF my cholesterol and BG levels aren't under control soon. I'm paying for a personal trainer who is helping me with a diet plan as I'm still waiting for dietitian advice from the NHS. This has all been explained to my work place yet they still do not show any signs of understanding for me, with my people manager already talking about getting rid of me. I'm sorry this is a bit of a rant but I feel I'm alone and have no one to talk to.
     
  2. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi @Stevie_D_1983 - Firstly welcome to the forum. Secondly, could you provide a few more details of the state of your condition and what you've been told to do? Are you under a Diabetes clinic for treatment for example, how have you been advised to manage your condition? What sickness issues are you facing? It would help us to understand where you are.

    The reason I ask is that you are sounding as though you struggle to manage it and we may be able to provide you with some tips to help you achieve better results with this. With Type 1, the only person who can really make a difference is you, so if you can give us some more info, I hope we can help you do that!
     
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  3. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    Hi tim2000s

    Thank you for the welcome.

    I was originally diagnosed as type 2 hypoglycaemia which was a miss diagnosis. I was actually hyperglycaemia so was making things worse. I started off on metformin which didn't help. And was soon put on to disposable insulin pens twice a day. That worked for a short period of time but had to then be put onto humalog and lantus. My diabetic nurse was amazing to start with. But I have not heard from her in over a year. I've not been seen by my local diabetic specialists since January of 2015. Last January I was hit hard with the flu after having my first vaccination due to the diabetes. I was bed bound for 14 days and took a further 7 to fully recover. I struggle in the cold environment (which is 90% the nature of my current job role). I have suffered with severe stress and depression since my marriage ended 3 years ago and continue to suffer. I take citalopram tablets for this which to an extent does help. But was told by one of my specialist consultants that stress can effect my BG levels. Both my parents have been hospitalised over the last 12 months creating severe stress which I don't think had helped. March of 2015 I was off for 31 days as I was struggling with my BG levels and this was the first time my mum was admitted to hospital so the depression crept up. December last year I was off again with flu, this time it only seemed to affect me for 7 days. And now I'm off for 10 weeks pending further blood tests and an appointment on 8th March with diabetes nurses surrounding the pains in my legs that I'm experiencing. I've recieved no dietary advice and no nutritional advice, which is worrying as now I'm being told I have very high cholesterol I'm concerned about what to consume. I'm 6ft2 and weigh 13 stone so in no means obese, which is why the high cholesterol is a complete shock. Hope you can help?
     
  4. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @Stevie_D_1983 As with many, you've been put on a treatment scheme called "Multiple Daily Injections" which uses a basal or long acting insulin and a bolus or short acting insulin. The long acting insulin stops the body's natural glucose creation from pushing your levels up, awhile the bolus is used with foods to stop your glucose levels increasing.

    Unless you have these levels right, it's really hard to control type 1, and with the added stress that you have been going through, that will indeed make it tougher.

    The first thing you need to do is insist that your GP refers you to your diabetic clinic for an urgent appointment. You need their help.

    Secondly, there are a few things you can do to start to help yourself. Having roller coaster blood glucose levels feels awful and the sooner you can take a proactive role in managing them, the better you will feel.

    To try and get yourself under better management, start with basal testing, which is the building block for making it all work: https://mysugr.com/basal-rate-testing/ This is really important.

    Then take a look at http://www.bdec-e-learning.com/ which will take you through Carb counting and working out how much insulin to take with your meals and to bring your levels down when they are high.

    Learning this, while it may seem daunting, will make life a lot easier.

    Stress absolutely affects blood glucose, some people up and some down. It's worth trying to find something that will help reduce this stress. I'm no expert here, but I find vigorous exercise a stress relief, some find meditation to help. You can also seek counselling, which it should be possible to get through the diabetic clinic.

    I hope these pointers give you somewhere to start. You are, of course, welcome to ask questions and you should take a look through the Type 1 forum on here. It will help a lot.
     
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  5. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Don't take this the wrong way, but if you're taking that much time off as a result of your blood sugar levels, I can empathize a bit with your employer.

    While you say that you're not expecting special treatment, it sounds a bit like you are. Taking 3+ months off in a one year time period means you're not able to perform the duties of your job role. Here in the US, that means you wouldn't be protected by the ADA (our version of the equality act).

    With that said, if you're struggling with unrelated issues, that's a different story, but high blood sugar is something you can control.
     
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  6. mo53

    mo53 Type 2 · Expert

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    Hello @Stevie_D_1983 you are certainly having a tough time at present but you are going to need to try to fight your way out of it which I know is a tough task. I thought the advise that @tim2000s gave was excellent in suggesting the two websites giving information on basal testing and carb counting. Using your time positively like this is an excellent idea.
     
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  7. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    I appreciate that, I do. But having been trained as a Manager within my employment to deal with my team the way my employers are dealing with me steers off course to what our company procedures are. For example recurring illnesses such as diabetes according to the companies welcome back process states that an increase on sickness % 'should' be applied. Our current target % is 3% which means if you are sick for 5 days or more then you are over the % but the stated increase should be 5% for recurring illness which on some occasions (not all) would have put me below the %. That is support that should be offered as stated in our company policy and procedures that isn't being exercised. I have been with my employer for 8 years and only been sick myself since being diabetic. I have had TOFD which is time off to care for dependants when my ex wife was critically ill but have not been physically sick myself. So I guess I expect support yes, but not special treatment.
     
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  8. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you mo53.

    I completely agree. I have done nothing but spend hours in supermarkets and online trying to help myself with what to eat. I'm constantly checking the fat for my cholesterol and the sugar and carb counts for my diabetes. If it doesn't tick all 3 then I don't consume it.

    I'm even paying for a personal trainer to put together a dietary plan to aid both cholesterol and diabetes.

    I'm a very active person, used to do weight training, coach sports but with my current leg pains things like taking the dog for a walk are a challenge in itself.
     
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  9. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    Thank you tim2000s.

    Yes you have certainly helped with your advice. You have given some great pointers that I will raise with my GP and diabetic nurse.

    Thanks again, I will be in touch.
     
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  10. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @Stevie_D_1983 I suspect that, given what you've told us, your absences haven't been recorded as Diabetes related.

    You had 21 days due to flu, which is normal for real flu, 31 days linked to stress with your mother and associated depression, the 7 days with flu in December and now you are signed off for 10 weeks with, really an unknown cause. It's very hard to state that these are really related to your diabetes, as there seem to be other factors at play causing the issues, and having a consequential effect on your diabetes management. It's not the Diabetes at the root cause of the issues.

    I think I'd seek professional advice regarding your concerns about your employer and their actions towards you. That will at least give you some advice as to whether you have a valid case.
     
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  11. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    @Stevie_D_1983 - Another thought, were your leg pains before or after Statins? Also, your GP signing you off work for ten weeks as a result of high cholesterol is really very unusual. I think I'd want more details on why rather than being told it was due to higher risk of heart attack. Something else doesn't quite add up there.
     
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  12. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    tim2000s

    I can see how that will look to the employer yes. All occasions were recorded as being diabetes related as GP did mention this on all sick notes. GP suggested the flu was partly down to being diabetic and having the vaccination for the first time. He stated I was more prone to getting it.

    The stress caused by my mother being taken unwell was put down as stress but also diabetes related with GP telling me that the stress contributed to my BG levels increasing/decreasing.

    On the 2nd occasion of flu the GP told me that it was again down to diabetes and being prone. But I thought that having the vaccination, wrapping up warm and regularly checking my BG levels would help prevent catching it again.
     
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  13. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    The leg pains were before the statin. I was really quite suprised when GP signed me off for further 8 weeks. To be honest I did and do feel that there is something regarding my blood test results that I wasn't told.
     
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  14. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    tim2000s

    As a relatively fit and active man in my 30's I'm slightly confused as to high cholesterol and doubtful that my GP's concern to sign me off for further 8 weeks may involve more. As my GP mentioned 'This is very serious'.
     
  15. TorqPenderloin

    TorqPenderloin Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm speaking to you from person to person rather than the legality of the situation.

    I guess my concern is what you hope to accomplish in these 10 weeks you're off. It seems you're waiting for other people to advise you what to do, but there becomes a certain point when you need to take the initiative to learn on your own. Of course, I hope that's part of why you have joined this forum.

    I think we all take the occasional day off because of something related to diabetes, but I can't see a lot of situations where it makes sense to take months off from work (aside from something serious like an amputation). Even people with DKA are usually back to work within a month and that's a life-threatening diabetic condition.

    You have to understand that things will get better, but you have to put in the time and effort to learn how to better manage your condition. Time alone will not fix anything.
     
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  16. mo53

    mo53 Type 2 · Expert

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    Snap! I've just come back to ask about the timing of you starting statins in relation to you starting with leg pains. I have been on two different statins . One caused muscle pains in the legs but the second didn't. I can find the name of the second if you are curious? The other thing I wondered is has the doctor started you on medication for high blood pressure? Is it a diuretic?
    Are you a member of a union? If so you need to get them on board. If not how about citizens advice beaureu?
     
  17. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Okay, you should never be recording these as Diabetes. The cause of these things is not Diabetes. Your GP is, if you'll forgive the term, a Dumbass.

    You don't get flu because you have Diabetes. You are at risk, but you had flu, plain and simple. You and many others have the vaccination, and in a small percentage you get flu anyway. This is also not because of diabetes.

    You were suffering stress. This caused your BG levels to fluctuate. This issue was, however stress, not Diabetes.

    Your second illness (probably not true influenza, just a virus), was again, because you caught a virus and with your stress levels were likely to be slightly immune compromised. This wasn't because you have Diabetes either.

    If your employer has all of these incidents recorded as Diabetes, then you are going to struggle. They perceive that Diabetes is affecting your ability t do your job, and even under the Equality Act, where they have made reasonable adjustments to fit in with you, that you have been unable to work for such a long period during the last year, they are making the assessment that your diabetes makes yo unable to do your job.

    I think you may need to get your absences re-represented as what they really are on your record. That is likely to help. And never put illness down as due to Diabetes unless it is directly linked, such as ending up in hospital with DKA or caused by severe hypoglycaemia.

    You are a person who gets ill just like anyone else. Diabetes is not the cause of everything.
     
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    #17 tim2000s, Feb 24, 2016 at 11:15 AM
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2016
  18. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    That really needs much more digging. What does "This is very serious mean"? Go and camp outside your GPs office till they give you answers. Being fobbed off with a line like that and no explanation is not acceptable. I'd get on the phone to them now and demand to speak to the practice manager.
     
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  19. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    TorqPenderloin

    I couldn't agree more. And yes I am trying to better manage my condition. There are a lot of people I know that would wait for free advice and free help and I know as type 1 you are entitled to it but I don't want to wait, that is why I'm paying for the help. I'm trying to read up on as much as I can about type 1 diabetes. What to eat and what not to eat. But with the added complication of high cholesterol I've had to re think everything as foods I thought were ok with low carbs and sugars are high in fat. Please make no mistake that I'm some couch potatoe waiting for everything to be done for me. I'm actively seeking solutions for positive results on a daily basis. With current leg pains it's a challenge to walk the dog, but that does not mean I don't attempt it. My goal although I have been signed off till 31st March is to actually be back at work before that time has come. I've been in employment from the age of 13 starting with paper rounds to legal employment at 16. And have never been off sick like this. There is nothing I want more than to be back at work and 100% in control of my diabetes, that is my main goal.
     
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  20. Stevie_D_1983

    Stevie_D_1983 Type 1 · Member

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    tim2000s

    Have just rung local GP surgery.

    Woman on the phone was very helpful, reading through my notes and explaining that GP was more concerned with my leg pains and loss of feeling. She was playing it 'safe' with 8 weeks off due to the very cold temperatures I work in. And giving my ample time for an appointment with OCDEM to further root cause the pains in my legs. There are other work place environments at work that I can be transferred to providing there are vacancies. I have a meeting next week with work to discuss future support.
     
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