Playing the Diabetes card

I’m curious to see how many of you may have ever requested some sort of “special treatment” because of your diabetes when it wasn’t really a legitimate reason. For instance, have you tried to get out of a traffic ticket by citing blaming diabetes and not your own neglect of traffic laws? Maybe you tried getting out of Jury Duty because you might frequently need to check blood sugar or eat snacks in the jury box. (I tried, it didn’t work). How about demanding a lunch-break just to put a halt to a physically exhausting or mentally mind-numbing experience at work, even if you didn’t really need it? Smuggling food into a theme-park or movie-theater where you’re not permitted to do so, just to avoid the park/theater’s exorbitant prices? (me… guilty, again!)

Please share your stories, and whether or not you felt any guilt for exploiting your diabetes for personal gain.

My answer is NO …just because it would backfire and then the guilt …I always have played an upfront game , just the way I like to have folks be upfront with me …looking back it has served me well …( old school thinking ??)

Never played the D card for personal gain. My husband has, though, to get out of attending social get-togethers. “Sorry, Gerri isn’t feeling up to it.” Does that count?

If it’s for real, I don’t hesitate.

Umm. Time for an admission. I have used the diabetes card to “get what I want” in certain situations. I have used it to aggressively request substitutions at restaurants. If the waiter starts to hem and haw (sorry for the technical term), I’ll play the diabetes card "I’m diabetic, if I eat something bad, I can’t tell what might happen."

And I have used it to bring water through TSA, although that was some time ago and I don’t bother anytmore. I have also done the theme park thing, but they actually tell you to do that, so I don’t consider that a full card being played.

However I only use it to force an accomodation that I consider should be given to everyone anyway. I would not try to use it to get something I don’t truly require and is unfair to others.

I confess, I did it with jury duty a couple of times. I actually had another reason that was my main reason, but I threw the testing BS and treating lows in along with the kitchen sink. I was excused but I don’t really know which one got me out of it.

Sort of, but with some legitimacy. I had a bad experience with fountain soda at a restaurant shortly after my diagnosis. My blood sugar was in the 90s when I left my house, I had one “diet coke”, no food and two hours later my blood sugar was 380. Now every once in a while I bring a bottle of diet coke to a place that serves only fountain soda, but usually I just drink water.

I tried it with a cop when I rolled the stop sign “I need to get to the store to get some food” and he suggested maybe I should get a DUI instead of rolling the stop sign I abandoned that tack. I bring food to amusment parks all the time, granola bars or whatever. I don’t feel guilty about that.

I would LOVE jury duty!

I went to renew my driver license the other day. On the paper you have to fill out they ask if you have any condition that may impair your driving such as diabetes. I got nervous cause I could see where someone may try to use diabetes to get out of a ticket and all of the sudden you wind up a driver license review board with an admission to a cop that your driving is impaired because of diabetes and now you are stuck with no driver license. So the only time I use diabetes as an excuse is when I try to get out of doing house chores or to avoid shopping trips with the wife.

I wouldn’t have the courage to try it with a cop, for fear of something worse being charged. But I did once call the court clerk a day after getting a ticket to see if, in her experience, cases are sometimes dismissed because of medical cases like these. I didn’t get an answer other than the scripted “if you want to contest it, you can talk to the judge…”, so I just admitted guilt and paid the ticket. That was over 15 years ago.

Aww, I would feel too guilty. The only time I did it was at a restaurant with crazy slow service so I just bloused in front to the waitress and said “You have 15 minutes, GO!” Worked very well.

In all honesty I feel like I need to do certain things to take care of myself like test or eat when I need to but nobody ever hassles me. I just give them the look of “I know what I’m doing, you don’t need to worry about me” and the world keeps on moving. I’ve never gotten a traffic ticket…knock on wood! I also know that for my surgery I got to go first because of the diabetes but that wasn’t really for personal profit!

I feel if I played the diabetes card all the time it would lose it’s value and when I am truly in a bind then I may not get the help I need. Like the boy who cried wolf too many times.

Kind of…some of the reasons you list are (for me) completely legit and related to D. For example, when I go to theme parks or movie theaters (any of those places where you’re technically not allowed to bring food in), I always come prepared with my own food and I definitely use the D card if questioned about it. While I could probably get away with eating something in whatever park/theater I’m in, I know it will more likely result in wacky BGs, and when I’m out having fun, I don’t want to deal with that. Also, I’ve never yet served on a jury, but I came close a couple of years ago, and I am not sure how I would manage jury duty and T1D. They make it sound like you’re stuck in a room for long periods of time, and D makes that very hard for me. I have some mild neuropathy and sitting for long periods of time is painful. I also have to test and eat frequently to keep things stable, and I don’t know how I would manage that while doing jury duty.

By ‘playing the diabetes card’ I assume you mean using it without a legitimate reason.

Haven’t played it. Never felt the need to.

BUT, I would never play it as an excuse for violating traffic laws. It’s then an admission that you’re driving while impaired and you’d risk having your license pulled or restricted.


The only times I can recall using it are when I board aeroplanes (which is pretty often :slight_smile: ) and ask for an advance selection from the menu to choose the least-carby option. Although I would consider that a quite legitimate reason, others may not.

I can’t think of any other situations where I have used my affliction as an excuse. Of course, a selective memory may be one of my complications…

Cheers, Alan, T2, Australia

Everything in Moderation - Except laughter

Not on purpose …
Hubby has noticed that when my sugar is low I’m a bit dumb - his perspective.
So when I say something that he considers not worthy of my intellect he tells me to go eat something. I don’t mind, it’s preferable to having the argument that probably isn’t worth arguing about. After 38 years of marriage - meh! I’m fine with that.

That’s a good point. I was on a plane once, sitting towards the back, and they ran out of the “good food” by the time they got to me. So I relied on my emergency stash of granola bars. Technically, yes, I could not eat and not bolus, but a change in routine really can throw my sugars for a loop… especially if I land late at night and eat dinner immediately before bed because I’m so hungry.

I always wanted to be like everyone else and not considered special. That might be because I was dxed as a child. Back when I graduated from H.S. I was expected to be like everyone else so I never considered my D except when I had to eat lunch. Back in those days being on shots you had to eat at certain times every day. I’m so glad that technology has evolved in the Diabetes field where I don’t have to abide by those restrictions…and having a pump helps.

It will sound self-righteous, but the true answer (for me) is N-E-V-E-R. Don’t need to blame diabetes on anything “pretend”, Its got big enough teeth and a wicked timing already. It will attack again soon enough…


I have had been called for jury duty thrice… I served the first time with no incident. The second time I got out of it because of my job, they do not get a sub for speech paths unless we are out for illness…So I had my supervisor sr to write a note saying that my kids would not be served for the up to 8 weeks Grand jury duty. The last time I was called was nine years ago , when I was suffering from as yet undiagnosed pernicious anemia( b-12 deficiency) and was weak, barely able to walk, and trembly and emotional… and my docotor’s did not know what was wrong with me yet…So I went the first day to the ice-cold ( it was summer and the air- had to be on 50.) My endo wrote a letter that said I was to sick to serve… I really was, and I ended up hospitalized for the now diagnosed condition three weeks later.

Never really “used” diabetes to force any accomodations or changes. I will ask for a current nutrition count page at Fast food restaurants if my Calorie King handbook does not have the item I am contemplating.

God bless,