Help! Career Advice for a Fellow T1D?

It’s true that she could have made other arrangements.

But we don’t really know all the facts - maybe she needs liquid carbs because she is hypo unaware and she needs super-fast action. Or she needs water with her sugar (I understand that the body needs about 4 oz of water to take in 10 grams of sugar, so when you are dehydrated you can’t take carbs as fast). I have never managed a supermarket, but I really can’t imagine why this would have needed to end in court.

Some people in positions of authority have no idea how to use it. I was reading the other day about this high school teacher who thought a certain class could not have a bathroom break, and sent a 14-yr-old girl to pee in a bucket in a closet attached to the classroom. I have a feeling the supermarket supervisor was one of these people. I call them little Napoleons:-) In times of crisis, these may also be the people who will commit horrible crimes (cf "Hannah Arendt, “the banality of evil”) - who knows. I am always very leery of those who don’t have compassion in small things - I think it is a sign they may not have any in big things either.


Stress, adrenal rush, hands shaking, uncontrolled breathing, heart pounding will raise everybody’s blood sugar. Its the whole purpose of an actual adrenaline response. So that you can survive the dangerous/scary thing in front of you. Its how as a species we survived to today.

The A1C you mention seems excessive to me fwiw…

Perhaps giving yourself, lighten up on your control overall might make it easier to work with. Consider allowing yourself another 50 points for example, see if the diabetes piece stops teething on you then? Its counter intuitive, I know.

Perhaps control where you are now, is something if you let up on, for a time, and reevaluate three months down the line?

Eating/testing/shooting publically causing difficulties for the position?
Their honors not like food/drink in their courts?

Might have some solutions/ideas if you paint more specifics for us…


Here’s the problem with your scenario. Anything that ever requires counting, or using multiples of them, is a dangerously bad idea. Low, I’m not finding three chalk tabs and stuff them into my mouth and try and swallow them. Soda works faster, I wont choke on it ever…

Crashing hard, not using the tablets. Insufficient sugar to stop a dangerous free fall. I offer soda is a very valid solution, not some “card” being used. Low enough I require “help” tablets will not work nearly as well as soda either. You could, I could… most will be unsure if its not simplistic solution like a soda.

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Fair enough. These fit in pockets too:

And there’s the gel option


Ok Sam, that orange flavor is disgusting! If that were my option I’d sitting on the sofa collecting bennies instead of working. The cashier is probably going to set that special rescue bottle right where the soda would have been. Also soda is probably cheaper to replace if you misplaced the bottle on that part time minimum wage crummy job. I wish this stuff tasted more like Oreos or salted caramels than extreme sweet tarts. I had a young T-1 work leader on the crew that replaced my roof one very hot August. He also assured me there was regular soda right there if he needed it - good kid making the best choice he could. Not everybody is questioning authority :thinking:

It’s all a matter of perspective and situation. Some people want to need a special accommodation and would go to lengths to secure one and feel empowered by one. Some dont want one and would go to considerable lengths to prove that they don’t need one. I fall into the latter group personally. There are options out there that make that possible. And in many jobs if you said you wanted the special accommodation of keeping a soda at your work station they’d laugh you right out of the room… granted it is probably not an unrealistic request at a grocery store checkout, but in other situations it is.

I actually like the orange glucose tabs from Walmart better than any others… granted none of them are delicious.

I’ll happily send you the orange ones I weed out of my “tropical” mix at the end of the year. I also don’t want or need special accommodation but a co-worked had two toes amputated yesterday - we are always on our feet on cement floors so he may have to ask for special treatment when he returns - at least until he works out all of the physical/emotional issues. That’s the thing about having options - we are gloriously not the same. By the way - to the original poster - maybe alter your work hours - early alone time for all that stinking paperwork then you can do the court and face time you really enjoy. Make time and your own accommodations for physical exertion - sitting at a desk is as bad as scarfing mars bars all day - how about a set up that has you standing at a desk and crossing the room often for necessary paperwork. Lastly, don’t short your sleep. Give these things a try cause you love the work. Trust me loosing an avocation is just a stressful in the long term.


If we all judged everyone else by our own, strict standards… well, I’ll tell you what. You all would get away with murder ‘cause I just don’t care that much, honestly :slight_smile: However, I’m glad we have legal protections when we need them, and I’m glad I don’t have to live up to @Sam19’s standards: he seems pretty unforgiving of other peoples’ issues if he can handle it himself.

Well I don’t know how many of you have gone through ada training on workplace accommodations as a supervisor and how to determine which are reasonable. I have. I’m not just trying to be a hardass, I’m just trying to paint a reasonable picture of the realities of these situations. If the accommodation a person insists on is not a reasonable one because other alternatives are available that do not interfere with established policies and precendents, they are not protected. In the example discussed above, pretty clear cut to me that it wouldn’t be… though as was mentioned I don’t know all the facts.

And I know it’s not something everyone is aware of but there’s a pretty strong arguement to be made by the community of people with diabetes that they are not in any way handicapped-- that they shouldn’t be denied opportunities in life and in careers arbitrarily because they have diabetes. This happens all the time. Try to join the military being insulin dependent— try not being discharged if you’re a year short of a pension in the military… try flying a commercial airplane or even being an air traffic controller. Or even a truck driver or a garbage man. The list could go on for days… and yes the people struggling to prove they are not disabled to prevent doors from slamming on them in life do tend to roll their eyes a little when they see someone insist they’re so handicapped they have to have an exception to the rules so they can have a soda at all times.

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But Sam often provides a good chuckle and another perspective. Charming prankster or man of steel - you are never quite sure…

Considering the number of people I’ve hired over the years? I’ve gone through supervisory training at the federal and state government levels as well as for two private companies in two different states. One of the things I learned as a general principle was fairly simple: err on the side of the employee when it comes to matters of reasonable accommodations. A) because that’s the kind of employer I want to be; B) because it’s safer from a legal perspective. If it seems really wonky, get HR involved and be kind and courteous to the employee in question.

Ultimately speaking, what makes for a “reasonable accommodation” is dependent on state and federal law, not your (or my) opinion. It really doesn’t matter what you can do or not do, or what you think is reasonable. You don’t have the legal right to make that judgement, unless it is for a direct employee of yours. And if you do make that call and get it wrong, then you and your employer will be legally liable for damages. Forget the sensational story about the woman and the soda in the grocery store: it doesn’t matter if she could have had glucose tablets, a glucagon injection, or divine intervention. What matters is that, like it or not, diabetes is considered a disability under the ADA. HR for the grocery store and the courts will decide whether the soda falls under the “reasonable accommodation” statute. A supervisor that puts himself and his company in that position seems foolish at best and an ignorant jerk with no regard for the wellbeing of other people at worst.

It’s almost as if you don’t know what the ADA is for! By classifying diabetes as a disability, it means that people with diabetes have legal protection from exactly the arbitrary discrimination you’re worried about. Honestly, I’m pretty sure you just don’t know what you’re talking about when it comes to employment law and disability status.

As for military and flight licenses, although I don’t agree with mandatory retirement (or exclusion) on diagnosis, I can understand the argument: they’ve determined that insulin-dependent diabetics pose a safety threat. There should probably be some kind of individual decision made, but it is what it is.

The ADA doesn’t “go out the window,” but someone that employs people in “safety sensitive positions” has a different set of standards to adhere to. Which makes an awful lot of sense. For example, I’d prefer not to have someone with narcolepsy flying my plane or operating my kid’s school bus. If you are OK with that, great. I’m not.

Trust me the ADA goes right out the window the second someone is in a “safety sensitive position” which can be construed to mean an awful lot of things

So while yes accommodations are great for people who truly need them, and I’m very thankful to live in a country that by-and large makes them possible when they are ‘reasonable’ I do simultaneously think there are unintended consequences to anyone pushing the limits of what is reasonable. Just because you don’t agree or don’t know what I’m talking about doesn’t mean I don’t have a valid perspective.

I think we railroaded @Knitigator’s thread, sorry @Knitigator!

@Knitigator, over the next few months you will probably figure out the right direction for you. This is not an easy decision for you - nor is it, I think, for many people in similar position. Possibly you might be willing to update the thread and let others know what you think made sense for you in the end, and what process you used to make your decision? It would be a valuable insight for others I am sure.

I am not sure if you have a partner right now. My wife and I have both been very involved in learning to fight my boy’s diabetes. Many people on this forum have mentioned how much their partner has helped them and supported them. I imagine that, for you also, the support of a close partner would make a whale of a difference in the stress level you get. I know it’s made a big difference for me to work with my wife of 23 years in this process - particuarly the emotional part of it, but others as well.

You are obviously a very bright and hard working person and I wish you all kinds of good things!

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Agree. To the OP— sorry for the side tangent. My thoughts to you are that the burdens you are experiencing are likely not that different from anyone with the same heavy professional burden. You have so much to be proud of professionally, and diabetes doesn’t deserve to enter that equation. Good luck-- Sam

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@krisa Bravo for pointing out the obvious.

I am 45 years into t1, diagnosed two weeks before starting dental school. At 65 years old I’m still practicing five days a week and still running circles around docs half my age. Being responsible for 19 dental offices provides plenty of stress, but I would be insulted if anyone said I had a disability.

I think OP needs to stop being a victim of diabetes and find the real reasons for his problem.

Being 65 years old and responsible for 19 dental offices is quite an accomplishment. Good for you. But the OP isn’t you and the real reason for his problem may be that he is balancing a stressful job and learning to deal with diabetes. The inability to put oneself in another’s shoes is another kind of disability.


Unless my perceptions are markedly off, the OP is a woman.

@still_young_at_heart With the technology available today it is completely possible for a t1 to maintain a non diabetic a1c, around 6.2 or less. The best endocrinologist I ever had once told me that “the disease is not diabetes, the disease is high blood sugar”. OP stated that her a1c was 5.5-6.0. Assuming that she has the freedom in her job to react to high or low bg, the reason for her angst must be something other than diabetes. That’s all I was saying.

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I relate. I also don’t like to see diabetes cast in the light of a disability. I don’t think anyone who knows me would define me as ‘disabled’ in any way. If I had a child with diabetes I’d be doing my best to ensure they never considered it a disability. I think it’s an important notion to convey that diabetes itself in no way disables anyone. No more so than high cholesterol, blood pressure, or tendency to be overweight… Can it lead to disabling complications? Sure. Is it a very real burden? Certainly. But that’s not the same thing.