Diabetes is getting in the way of getting a college degree

Here’s my problem, I’m currently a single mom of a five year old and I have been unemployed since my daughter was born ( due to the fact that these last 5 years have been devoted to caring for my daughter with no help from any one else ) I’m sure you’re all wondering how I get by well it’s not as bad as it sounds because I am lucky enough to have a wonderful father who has given me a
Me and my daughter the 2 bedroom apartment in his house that he used to rent out . He let’s us live here for free and I get a good amount of child support from my daughters father ( but that still only covers food, clothes ,etc ) my diabetic supplies are covered threw Medicaid and that is 100% covered along with my doctors and specialists that I need to see . So in my opinion I believe that I have excellent insurance . Since my daughter has started kindergarten I have gone back to college and I am working towards a bacholers degree , which makes me feel frustrated and proud at the same time ! The reason for these feelings is because of a very grim reality . I know that I will not achieve this degree until 4 years from now but I still have to consider the fact that in 4 years from now I will still be a type 1 diabetic . This reality is going to get in the way big time , because of this reason once I start working I will automatically lose all of my medical insurance threw Medicaid ( due to the fact that my income will be more than 1500 a month) Of course I will accept the insurance plan that my company would offer . Here’s the what ifs that a diabetic cannot deal with when it’s time to cross that bridge . When you start a new job you obviously start at a entry level position so when layoffs happen your the first to go . So if I ever got layed off I’d still have a bacholers degree but no medical and everyone who is one the pump knows how much these supplies cost each month ! So here’s my question to I not go to college and just get some partime job as that doesn’t require more than a Highschool diploma and get to keep my security with 100% coverage of all of my diabetes supplies and doctor visits but have to succumb to a ridiculously low income ( which is very embarrassing) or get my degree and then get that 50,000 starting salary job as a accountant and take the chance of haveing fly by night medical insurance

I say you have been fortunate with what has been available to you so far but I would not hold back my dreams with one of my primary reasons being diabetes. You do have to plan around it but there are other ways to get medical insurance even IF your dream job has to lay you off in the future, I think it's called OBRA (some one correct me if I am wrong). Another option is to get into a field where there will always be a need, that's why medical professions are in high demand these days. Complete your schooling and get ahead, it already sounds like you will be unhappy if you don't do this so keep going and GOOD LUCK!

Anything can happen in the four plus years it would take you to get your degree. I say go for it, why hold yourself back out of fear...What if you dont take the chance and four years from now there is no medicare, it can happen...Then you would be under-educated and under-skilled for nothing....Plus there are always something out there, I live in CA and I have no kids nor a job (got laid off). I was working at a great company with wonderful benefits, everything was basically free for diabetics under my company health insurance...Since being laid off I have nothing to fall back on being a Type 1 with no children but eventually I found a federal program that offers people with pre-existing conditions to have access to good medical insurance through them. Not all states carry this plan but it saved me. Its not extremely expensive and I get to have more control of my insurance now. Marie, I can not tell you whats best for you but I can say dont ever make a decision based on comfort and fear, it will only keep you in one spot and you will never have room to grow....

Cobra :)

You really pin pointed me with the "comfort and fear " thanks for really understanding cause l have never explained myself using those words but those words are deefinetly a problem in my life and the fear I have is that what if in 4 or more plus years it takes to get that degree I have come down with a diabetic complication ( currently doing ok) and I can’t handle a 40 hour week at work and now I have all these loans to pay back

In 4 years from now I will have had type 1 for 26 years

I got diabetes in the middle of my college life. My grades started to slip horribly because I was under diagnosed and then misdiagnosed. By me having to retake a few more classes than I would like my student loan bill doubled. I pay when I can and when I cant they have deferment plans where you can still be in good standing although you dont actually make a payment. By you being a single mother you should qualify for more "free money" meaning you dont have to pay back. Take your first two years at a community college then transfer to a state university, thats the cheapest route to a BA...As for a job just only apply for those with less stress. I know I can not work in a high demanding job, I need to have a lil flexibility to check my BG and be able to eat if I need to....Ususally you will find that managers will accomidate your needs as long as you do a good job over all....There are a million and one scenarios that can talk you out of something but there is always a million and one solutions for every problem...

26 years with no real major complications, thats impressive!

I've had D for close to 28 years, in those 28 years I've gone to school got my RN, work 40 + hours and am planning on going back to get my BSN. Don't let it control you, live your life. And I haven't ALWAYS had the best control, lol went through a real rebellious stage, so yes you CAN do it.

Two Thumbs up!!!

Stay in school. Finish your degree and, if you can, continue on for your masters. I don't know what you're studying, but in most cases, a college degree does mean more money. Having type 1 diabetes does mean that you have to sometimes get inventive. When I was in college, I had to work full time to obtain insurance and my supplies, so it did take me a little longer. But you know what? Now that I'm past that point, no one cares that it took me over 5 years to finish my bachelor's degree!! I went on to get 2 masters degrees and make enough money and have good enough insurance that I rarely worry about where things are coming from. It's hard work, but it's worth it.

No insurance in this country is guaranteed. Even Medicaid requirements can change. The more education you obtain, the better your chances are of getting a more secure job, earning more money, and having better health care.

Right now I’m just in the beginning I have a few different majors that interest me but I still have time to fully decide but I’d be so grateful if some of you guys out there who have had type 1 for 20 years + could tell me what you do as a career and whether your diabetes plays a role in your work life ( for instance do you get those mornings where you wake up at 300 for no reason and you bolous to get it down but you take the bare minimum cause you know how annoying it will be if you start going low as soon as you walk in the door at your Job , or how do you deal with a high or bad low at work ? Anyone recommend the types of jobs that would be more flattering for a diabetic ( you know where your just not being watched every second and don’t have to explain why your eating when lunch just ended an hour ago but now your going low cause something went wrong ? ) all comments are helpful !

Well as I stated I am an RN, I worked in Gastroenterology for about 7 years. Overall I've been in nursing for around 10 years. I never really had a problem, but I worked mostly in private practice, and it wasn't unusual to "snack" throughout the day. I loved it, not sure how much being Diabetic influenced my decision because I've always been interested in healthcare even prior to diagnosis. Nursing school could have the potential to be hard, but I made it through well. Today I work for a health insurance company doing clinical reviews. It is mostly a desk job, 8 hour days, 5 days a week. That works really well. Maybe something that might be good for you would be medical coding, especially if you are concerned about how the physical activity of the job might interfer. I personally love the medical field and there are a lot of good paying jobs out there and one great thing,there are ALWAYS going to be jobs in this field.

As far as lows go, I always keep a little candy at my desk. Jelly beans, etc and if I start dropping a little I have something that will quickly bring me back up. For me lows are more of a problem than running high.

Marie, the health care industry is growing all the time, especially with baby boomers reaching old age. That's where the jobs are now. I was a medical supply buyer for seven different hospitals under one name. You are in a pickle with your choices. Catch 22. I would get that degree and nobody can take it from you. Myself and D have been together for 32 years and I have severe neuropathy, which forced me out of a great job. I expected some kind of complications after all this time and I accept that. You should look to the future as a life always with D. I 've been hearing about a cure for years and it won't happen soon. No one can predict the future, and some day you will find that perfect partner to share your life with. For now, concentrate on your daughter and get your education. You don't want to look back at age 50 and think I should have done this or that! COBRA is expensive, but it is the way to go if you want to stay healthy and be around for your daughter. Just think, one day you will be holding grandchildren. No one knows what things will cost years from now, but you can make it. Stay focused on your daughter and education for now. That great job is out there just waiting for you.

I totally agree with Mike.. I think getting a degree and job gives you many more choices, and much more control for you to make choices that meet your dreams and goals. Opportunities to meet that 'perfect partner' , along with new friends and supporters will likely be easier to find while in college and in the work force.

Hope you strive to be the best you can be, DESPITE your diabetes !

Hi Marie, I echo what the others have said. Don't let the fear of the future keep you from getting a degree or going after a job with better pay. I'm almost 25 years in with D (diagnosed at age 27) and work full time at a desk job at a university. My bosses are awesome and so is my insurance. I do what I need to do to take care of myself.

Don't let fear of losing health insurance rule your life because that could happen to any of us at any time, whether on Medicaid or Medicare with changes in the law or funding or with private insurance if we lost our job or ability to pay. You can't worry about what may never happen and what you have no control over.

I keep a bottle coke and gatorade on my bookshelf in my office "just in case". If I'm drifting a little low, I pop a few jelly beans to bump it up. I keep my meter and my jelly beans on my desk for easy access and nobody cares (or probably even notices). I test and inject (MDI) at my desk and nobody cares. I try to always finger stick before heading in to a meeting and make sure I have a little bag of jelly beans in my pocket just in case.

I do agree with a previous poster that more stressful jobs or jobs with unpredictable schedules are harder to deal with, although it doesn't mean that it can't be done. When I was diagnosed I worked for our state legislature where we had to be at the state capitol whenever they were in session, no matter how late it was, and it was very stressful, testifying in committee rooms at any moment. I also had a small child at the time...I once had to run and pick her up from day care and go back to testify in front of a committee with my 4 year old sitting in my lap. The combination of a little one and a stressful job with late unpredictable hours, combined with diabetes, was a recipe for poor control for me. Once I found a more predictable job, my ability to control was so much better.

Good luck to you! I know you can do it!

OK, so I'm about to get flamed here, but I can't help myself. I feel very sorry for you that your father enabled you to be a slacker. I am terribly sorry he didn't tell you to suck it up and pay rent, at least to him if to no one else.
You have been let to feel like you don't need to work at something, that you might as well settle, that you might not succeed so why try.
Go to college, if that's what you want, work your butt off, and make something of yourself. Or, get a job, but remember that it's for your life, so make sure you can better yourself and your position, or settle in to being taken care of and living a marginal existence. Those are your choices, make one, stick to it, and good luck to you.

I agree that you should go back to school. Your excellent insurance isn't particularly secure - Medicare cutbacks are a way of life for state government and there is no reason to assume that your current coverage won't become much more limited in the future. It isn't a long stretch to see Medicaid limiting pumps to individuals who despite demonstrated compliance aren't able to get their A1cs down to a reasonable range without the risk of severe lows. If that happens you'd find yourself without either a pump or good prospects.