Insulin and Working

Hi everyone,

I recently started working part-time at a grocery store as a cashier (my first job hehe) and have been having some problems with my bloodsugars. The hours I typically work are 4pm-7pm on weeknights (right in between dinner) and 4-5 hours on saturdays/sundays. I believe that the absence of insulin in my body during those times is the cause for my high bloodsugars (around the 15-18 level- Yikes!) and I’m looking for feedback on the issue.

If I take insulin before my shift, I’m worried that I’ll go low during it and make a lot of stupid mistakes. On the other hand- I don’t like having high bloodsugars! Does anyone have any experience with this, and be willing to offer some suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

Woops. I should also add that I talked to my endo about this and she said my high bloodsugars could be a result of adrenaline. How the heck do I stop that haha

I don’t think you can stop adrenaline :slight_smile:

Are your basal rates correct? If they are you should be able to get thru work without having to eat, or going high. You may have to have a small snack depending on how active you are at work. As for the weekends & the longer shift, how you handle eating & insulin if you were at home?

Congrats on the first job!

Hi Laura,

I assume your endo assumes that your going high is from adrenaline because you usually stay steady during these times. When you say absence of insulin do you mean that you are not eating so you are not taking a bolus for your meal? I assume that you have a basal that is active. If it is true that you usually remain steady with your basal, then, yes, stress has a huge affect on your insulin levels going up and a first job in a grocery store as a cashier could be very stressful. I posted a discussion on stress not long ago and had many replies that noted how drastically stress affects blood sugars. It was very reassuring to me. What did your endo say to do? It could be that after a couple of weeks your job will become a part of your routine and you’ll have gained lots of confidence and your sugars will level out. Good look with the bg’s and the new job.

Thanks for the replies :slight_smile:

My shifts usually stretch over a meal, like supper or lunch, so I don’t get a chance to take any insulin, because I’m missing that meal. So, for example, if I work 4-7 on a weeknight, I don’t get a chance to eat supper at my regular time, thus my body goes like 7 hours without insulin. When I finally do get home at 7 and eat, my bloodsugar is high and I have to take huge amounts of insulin. It’s incredibly frustrating that my emotions are screwing up my blood sugar… because I can’t help the way I feel! lol
My endo didn’t really have any suggestions… I think she assumed it would just balance out. But my gosh it’s so hard to take care of my diabetes while working.

Talk with your employer and tell them what your issues are. Where I work they are very flexible with me when it comes to my diabetes and allow me to take care of it as I need to.

I usually try to keep trail mix, the non- M&M type, with just the nuts and raisins with a small insulin dosage to keep it level. No, it is not dinner or anything, but it does keep me in check when I cannot eat my meals at the “correct” time. Stress always puts my sugars on a rocket, so you are not alone there.

Good luck!

The situation you describe, working over an usual meal hour is where insulin pumping comes in very , very handy .If the basal is set as correctly as possible, one can extend the time , to have the proper nutrition till later. However you are on shots, I read on your profile . What type of basal insulin are you using ?
Maybe you need a bit more basal ( without eating , which you would require your bolus insulin for) ??? Do you feel quite comfortable with giving a larger dose of basal insulin …maybe it’s best to discuss with your Team once again and insist the higher numbers are a concern to you .
I am with Mike : let your employer know and I hope he/she understands , what you have to deal with 24/7.Someone should know in case you have a low and need to be treated.
I worked in retail full day shifts ; Lantus, Levimir unavailable to me in the nineties . I gave myself a shot, after finger poking and ate , while I was serving the client …this has never been a problem …also because I knew, I did not have to do this for the rest of my life , one day I would not have to work in retail .
I always had glucose pills near by for the low situations .
Hope you get this sorted out Laura.

I’m on Lantus and Aspart
I increased my Lantus from 15 to 16 (not a big change, I know) but I don’t want to go too much too fast, you know?
I know I should tell my employer, but I hate telling people about it… like I don’t want them to think of me as a liability… I don’t know it just makes me anxious lol. But yeah I’ll have to tell my manager I suppose.
Obviously I can’t help the fact that I’m diabetic, and if they can’t wrap their brains around it then it’s not the right place for me to work I guess. My health needs to come first. I just wish it was easier haha
Thanks again

How have you been making out since you response to your posting , March 8 …any update ??
You seem to me to be a smart cookie by your responses and likely the best employee :slight_smile:

Good to increase basal slowly, you’re right. Iwas told to make any changes by 1 unit & to keep the new dose for three days to get an idea of the effect.

Hope you’re doing better.

Things are going more smoothly for sure!
I’m gradually getting more comfortable at work and losing some of that anxiety, so my blood sugars are keeping pretty level. All the managers are fantastic there and it’s just such a nice place to work. I still sometimes have that high number after my shift, but I think for the most part it’s under control :slight_smile: It’s really just learning to adapt to new situations I suppose.

Yeah 16 units of the basal seems to be doing the trick for now. I always seem to hover in the 14-16 margin for my basal dose.

That’s what I take also. I use split doses–one first thing in the morning & one before bed because I have bad dawn phenonmenon. Glad it’s working!