They're going to see it now- do you have work accomodations?

Hi All,

I am wondering if I can get a pulse on what people do with about letting people know about their diabetes at the office, specifically to their supervisors and asking for breaks.
I work a 9-5 desk job for a large medical place we all know the name of. My particular department does not work from home and I am in back to back to back meetings all day long. There have been many days I have not been able to eat lunch and I cram food into my mouth to feed the insulin. I have been on MDI but am starting the omnipod today. You can't miss the pod thru my clothes- it's huge on me.

What I am wondering is has anyone figured out what "resonable" accomodations are? Is there someplace that can give me examples? Can I ask for a "reasonable" time for lunch (15 mins) to eat real food? Yes, yes, I know I'm supposed to get one but we get told "we're salary" so we just work it... I have already gone to hr about this. Nada.

Can I ask for some understanding if I'm late to a meeting so I can adjust my blood sugar? What if I carry my meter around with me- I still can't do that in the middle of a meeting with executives. What is a reasonable request?

I have to say, in 15 years of working corporate, I have never run into this and am completely floored. Had I known this I would not have taken this job. I have never had a job that was just this busy in meetings with no breaks. And YES I am looking to transfer to another department or find another job, but what do I do in the meantime? I'd like to get a feel for what others have done. I also have been here a year now and never told anyone- is it going to be a problem if I ask for these things now?


Yes you can ask for accommodations. I've always been very open about my diabetes and have been lucky enough to have very supportive bosses/coworkers, so I'm not sure how to go about telling them w/ your situation.

If you were a newly diagnosed individual, they couldn't deny you something if you started asking for accommodations. The same holds true now (even though you've had it longer than you've worked for them, there is not any kind of statute of limitations or something that would prevent you from asking for a break to check your glucose, get a snack etc). It did not previously affect your ability to do your job, and it's not going to now either--you'll just be more open about your condition by wearing the pod. If you've already spoken to HR about this and they didn't want to accommodate, you should go back and tell them (nicely of course ;) to pull their head out...b/c the Americans w/ Disabilities Act, among other items, should cover you for what you're requesting.

I don't know the details of the "meetings with the execs", but yes I would carry my meter with me. If you're not the only one in the meeting, then you can discreetly test at the table (in your lap for example) and I wouldn't think it is that big of a deal. If you plan to use your PDM for testing, then you can adjust the settings so that the meter portion makes no noise. So the only "disruption" would be the "pop" of the test strip canister being opened, and the "click" of your lancet device. If you're in a meeting with several others and it's not your turn to speak or be involved, then you could always excuse yourself and step outside the room for 30 seconds as well.

I wish you luck in your quest to get the reasonable accommodations you need!

I've been lucky, I work in a corporate environment but it's fairly laid back, and one of the 2 owners is also a type 1 on a pump, so they're very accommodating. I've sat in a meeting with just me and the other boss and had to grab a Coke mid-meeting (my lunch-time carb estimate was WAY off) and he shrugged it off.

Having said that yes, needing to stop to check your blood sugar or take a snack break are both very reasonable requests that should be accommodated. I'm not sure how much this is a consolation but if they refuse your simple requests they are definitely in violation of the Americans with Disabilities act, which could get them to rethink their decisions but obviously that would create some animosity. Frankly you should not have to plead or argue for what you're asking, it's minor and well within the scope of reasonable accommodation, but some companies care more about, well... caring than others.