You cannot work there because you have diabetes

So, im pretty sure most of you know about jobs and diabetes way more than I do, for I am only 15. I was going to see a movie with my friend and her mom, and her mom was telling me that she was going to work as a bus driver again. I said “That would be a cool job” and she was like “Well michael, I read on the paper that if you have any illness that risks you of passing out, you cant do it” I mean, it kind of hurt my feelings to be told I cannot do something, although I do not really wanna be a busdriver, but I have a question for you, Is that true? And have you ever been put in a similar position.



I know there are restrictions on getting a pilots license and getting certified in scuba but don’t think it’s an outright ban on it. can’t imagine that a person that can prove they are in control of their sugars can’t do that job but guess it would depend on your state rules for driving a bus.

Actually there was an instance in the papers not too long ago of a commercial truck driver that became T1 after getting his CDL. He was allowed to keep it, after appeal, however the DOT doesn’t want him to let his BG get below 180…

I heard that commercial pilot is a no go as well as Armed Services of any kind…bummer for both things for some people. I did hear that bus driver was a no as well…especially driving school children for fear of a low BS level.

I thought it was a public servant position was something T1 were unable to perform due to changes in BS levels. I advised my son to become anything his heart desires and we will confront things as they come. Chin up Michael,you can be anything you want in some way or another.

Wow, that’s really irresponsible…

I’m a private pilot and I have the ability to go commerical pilot in the future. I’m T1D. The rules in the AOPA are really outdated and they recognize that. They have strict rules, but with a Continuous Glucose Monitor, they eleviate a lot of those rules.

Here are the rules for USA:
The USA offers pilots with diabetes full private pilot privileges. Applicants must pass a Class 3 medical test and supply additional medical records and tests to demonstrate good overall diabetes control. The Class 3 medical is valid only within the US borders and holders must obtain three-monthly check ups to confirm continued good diabetes control and submit on an annual basis to validate the Class 3 Medical.

The Class 3 medical certificate allows solo flying for training and full privileges of a Private Pilot Certificate. To ensure safe flight, the pilot must adhere to pre-flight and in-flight blood sugar testing requirements that include a test half an hour prior to flying, each hour into a flight, and half an hour prior to landing. A pilot with Type 1 Diabetes must keep sugar levels within 100 – 300 mg/dl (5.5 – 16.6 mmol//l). If above 300 pilots must land and bring sugars back within range before flying again. If below 100, pilots must ingest 20 g of readily absorbable carbohydrate (e.g. sweet drink/soda, candy).

For example, eating 20g of carbs would SKYROCKET me. So, these guidelines need to be catered to us individually, I think, but looking back only 15 years ago and we weren’t even allowed to TOUCH a plane. So, this is progress.

I, too, was rejected by the military due to T1D. They said they don’t want the lives of other soldiers to be in my hands and I pass out on the infantry line. I’ve since read other members here who joined the military, but needed to keep an A1c under 6.0 to stay enlisted.

Scuba diving is listed as dangerous for a T1D and I’m not entirely sure why? But I’ve been rejected by scuba instructors for wanting to go on a trip as a student. They said no. Since then, I’ve researched and found sites that say we can go scuba diving, but their restrictions are completely unrealistic.

Basically, as long as you’re a responsible diabetic, it should be nothing more than having a food allergy or something. ■■■■’s gonna happens sometimes, there’s nothing you can do about it. But as long as you prepare for the bad stuff while you’re at work, there’s no reason why we can 't do what everyone else does. End of story.

You always have the right to appeal. Or witthold your T1D unless asked.

Haven’t been through it personally, but I sit in an office all day. I’ve also always been able to find a job (even with benefits!) so don’t take it to heart too much.

Here is tons of info -

Things to think about when you are getting into the workforce:

… you may want to be a busdriver, but what about an FBI agent? Here’s another story:


there is always work around any issue.

here in 98 it says you can be a bus driver in some states

Arizona and North Carolina recently agreed not to fire or refuse to hire school bus drivers simply because they have diabetes. Both states had laws that prohibited people with diabetes who use insulin from operating a school bus, and had enforced these laws without regard to an individual’s safety record.

The U.S. Justice Department challenged the laws under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and recently reached an agreement with both states to have them enact new regulations that do not discriminate against drivers with diabetes.

AND HERE it says you can’t be an interstate bus driver:
People with epilepsy or with diabetes controlled by insulin are not permitted to be interstate bus drivers.

as far as scuba goes I assume it’s because it’s hard to test underwater and if you are running a low how do you get sugars? you can’t eat underwater and can’t surface too quickly or you risk the ‘Bends’

You always have interesting topics Michael! I’m wondering if it is common for people to actually pass out from being too low?? I always feel mine coming on so have never experienced that before?

Yes, people can pass out… it varies from person to person at what point they become unable to help themselves, but I think, in general, anything below a 60, is considered dangerous. Hypoglycemic Unawareness is a condition where you don’t necessarily get all the symptoms. I have that and I will feel none of the symptoms. I get to the point where I am almost unable to understand that I am having a hypo event before I’ll notice.

Joe, you are absolutely correct. I am a certified SCUBA diver and the current PADI regs to their instructors say diabetes is an “absolute contraindication”. However, if you have a good instructor and can show that you are in “good control”, you should be able to get certified. Your doctor needs to be on board, too, since you need something from a doctor to say you are otherwise healthy enough to go diving.

I haven’t had to try this yet, but I also carry a tube of glucose gel in my dive vest (BCD), so if I go low I can twist the top off and squirt some in my mouth, swallow, put the regulator back in, breathe and repeat.

I also don’t go in the water if my BS is 100 or lower, and typically eat something beforehand so I know I will be heading up. Most dives are around an hour, so I can normally test after getting out and begin any corrections.

Fair Winds,

PS - I have done 3 dives in the past 10 days.

I have a private pilots licence and am a recent Type 1.5.
In NZ its strict: insulin treatments == failed medical.
I do miss flying - NZ is an awesome place to fly.

Its interesting to hear about USA class 3 requirements - they sound quite reasonable.
That’s unusual in the aviation industry which is extremely risk averse.

It would be interesting to attempt a BG test bouncing around in turbulance
in a tiny cessna or piper cabin. Do they require CGMS?

Just checked the CAA in NZ to look for an update. Class 1, 2 and 3 medical certificates permit diabetes as long as its under control and insulin is not used.

Marps, you are lucky in the USA that you are permitted to fly. I do miss it.

wow, 180 is still high.

So you couldn’t be a T1 since we have to use Insulin.

Yeah, the medical board has to review your records to show proof that you’re under “control”. A1c has to be good (but they are never very “clear” about what “good” is) and you can’t have Hypo Unawareness AT ALL. Plus you can’t have had any ER visits due to diabetes in the previous 5 years. I had to wait 5 years before my Dka dropped “off” before I applied for my medical.

We are not required to wear a CGMS, but it helps because otherwise we have to test every 1 hour. While flying, that’s hard to do!

I do use insulin. I’m Type 1 (I promise Kathyann) and I had to jump through a lot of firey loops before I could become a pilot.

In the USA, you can become a “sport pilot” without ever needing to pass the medical. But, the problem is if you apply for the medical and fail, you aren’t allowed to be a sport pilot either, unless you can pass the medical. It’s kind of a TRY IT ONLY WHEN YOU KNOW YOU CAN PASS kind of thing.

The world is getting there. They’re starting to trust us insulin takers. :slight_smile:

You can pass out/slowly drift off to sleep/ fall into a seizure when low.

As far as jobs…it does seem as if more opportunities are opening up…if you want to do all the necessary work (here I mean more the research into finding what the restrictions really are and if there are ways to meet them and jumping through all the necessary hoops) Some people seemed to be grandfathered in…like the commercial driver who already has his CDL…

Any job that requires that you have a worldwide clearance (i.e. foreign service) is next to impossible to achieve…though I can’t say that if you tried to fight the restrictions you wouldn’t get it.

Something else to think about when job hunting is the quality of life work/life balance the job offers…ie. is it flexible enough to eat/test/bolus/correct when you need to? How regular are the hours? Personally I find that the more regular my daily routine the easier it is to manage diabetes…a lot of jobs do provide this…but then there are a lot that have irregular hours…

For example, one of my friends has to often relocate temporarily…both in the US and outside (currently she is in Dubai)…and trying to keep up with D while switching through time zones or going through airport security on a frequent basis would be a bit much to deal with for a job…But it also doesn’t mean that you can’t necessarily do it… more so depends on what you like…

I agree. My BG is perfect during the work hours. On the weekends, I tend to get a few more swings.

Also, when looking for a job, make sure they have really good insurance.

If you’re self-employed, it’s going to be very expensive to get insurance because diabetes is considered a “chronic condition”.
But, if you have insurance through a work/ career, the insurance companies have to cover you- and then if you leave the company, the next insurance company will see that you’ve been covered under insurance continuously and they will have to give you a lower rate than others who are living with a chronic condition.

Also, check the deductibles on the insurance coverage offered through your company. Some will only start paying co-pays and such for prescriptions and hospital visits AFTER you’ve already paid $3,500 out of your pocket each year. It gets to be pretty expensive.