Has your diabetes affected your choice of what to study,or what sort of job to do?

For those who had diabetes as kids:
1-Has their diabetes affected their choice of collage and career?
2-Had their family tried to convince them to change their choices for education and career?

I have changed my degree from computer forensics to BS in Health Sciences with a double emphasis in nutrition/dietetics and going for a CDE.

Sort of. The only influence diabetes has ever had in my career decisions has had to do with American health insurance coverage. The kind of work I do as a professional singer and as a private singing teacher - a contractor in public schools here - is considered self-employment or freelance work. Since coverage in the U.S. is through your full-time employer, I had few options. Even belonging to accredited organizations that offer benefits, I was always turned down on the basis of my type 1 diabetes. I tried for several years to seek coverage under what we call private insurance here. Always denied. I was a full-time working professional who could pay for coverage and I was denied.

I am thankful that my parents’ health coverage covered me from birth until age 25. Then I was eligible for an extended (and expensive) coverage here called COBRA - where they allow you to continue on the insurance for 18mos, and then the State of Texas allowed me to continue for an additional 18mos beyond that. I am one of the lucky ones because I was able to get married right at the end of that period and have not been without insurance.

How it affected my career is that, about two years before my coverage ended, I decided to pursue another degree to become a regular classroom teacher, teaching English - only so that I could get insurance benefits. My salary would not have changed and I would have had to move from the teaching environment I was truly trained in and loved - performing - or I could get married. Well, it just so happens that my current husband proposed about a year before my coverage ended and we were able to marry a week before I could no longer be on my parents’ COBRA policy (the marriage wasn’t for the insurance, but the marriage DATE surely was). I was able to stop forcing myself into a new career field and continue building my client base and doing what I love in public high schools. So, yes, diabetes was an obstacle to me feeling I had the FREEDOM to do what I wanted to do for a living and be financially solvent. But it never stopped me!

  1. Yes absolutely! I was diagnosed just as I was finishing up my senior year in high school. I was good in sciences but didn’t have the passion to pursue it in college so I had told everyone I was going for business and law. Hahaha! One month in, I changed my major to biology and am pursuing the pre-med track to become… an endocrinologist! Imagine that… I’m only going to be a junior in college though so I have a ways to go.

  2. My family hasn’t. I mean, I kind of thought about being a surgeon, but I realized that I would never have the stamina for that. Plus I didn’t want to say “Nurse- sugar please” all the time.

I was diagnosed in my second to last year of high school and I think that (at least consciously) my diabetes never affected my choices. My family has always supported me in my choices.

It is the health insurance system that was a hassel for you Meissa,not diabetes!!

  1. Diabetes in no way affected where to go for college because I knew that I wanted to study in a city (or at least close to one) and you can generally find good doctors and health care in larger cities. I was also covered by my parents’ insurance throughout college which shipped all of my meds and supplies wherever I was at no extra cost, so I didn’t have to worry about that. For a career, I have always been drawn to the medical community in part due to my diabetes but my dad is also a doctor (so was his dad) and I have always been fascinated by medicine and hearing his stories. My goal was to be a medical social worker, but I ended up moving to Italy where it doesn’t exist and now I’m doing something COMPLETELY different! If I were still living in the U.S., I know that the job hunt would be made much more complicated by looking for a job that offers excellent insurance coverage. Luckily in Italy that isn’t the case, and hopefully it will change in the U.S. soon as well.

  2. My parents were nervous about me studying so far away from them (5 hours by plane). They worried what they would do if something were to happen (luckily nothing ever did). They have always been really supportive in my choices for jobs, what to study, etc.

What about the health system in Italy Kirsten?

  1. Yes it did. I got diabetes way back in the dark ages in 73 so my choice of being a policewoman went out the window at that point. OK I know now that all kinds of diabetic ppl are out in the work force but back then I was told that even working at a manufacitoring factory was a big risk so I became an at home mom.

@ My family well let’s just say that when I took Type 1 at !0 they had no future for me. According to thr Dr who was my peditrison and my mom I wasn’t going to make it passed 30 anyway anyhow so who needed a career? HA! I’m 45 now and the mother of 2 girls…That was another thing I was told I couldn’t shouldn’t have kids!!! Proved you wrong huh???