Playing the Diabetes Card
A few weeks ago, I was consulted about some potential changes to my position at work. I felt that what had been asked of me was huge, and very unexpected. It was a big step out of my comfort zone. It left me feeling stressed and with blood sugar levels that were through the roof in the hours after I first found out.
I knew that this change was not going to be great for my diabetes, either. It was going to mess majorly with the routine that I had become ever so familiar with over the past four years. I knew that it would make me unhappy and ruin my attitude towards my job.
I pulled out my pump and explained to my boss that I had diabetes. That the little pager-like device attached to my hip delivered all of my insulin, and that I had only just finished fine tuning the insulin delivery settings after three months. I went on to say that I thrived on a routine, and that I didn’t really feel too comfortable messing with it to such a huge extent so early on into my pump therapy.
I felt terrible. I felt so small, and so defined by my diabetes that day. I absolutely hated myself for having to fall back on diabetes as an excuse. I absolutely hated that first impression I had given to my relatively new boss, of both diabetes and otherwise. I couldn’t even begin to imagine what he would have thought, as he asked me if there was anything he could do to help make this change happen.
I was prepared to go back and make a compromise that I felt more comfortable with after much thought, but ended up being offered an even better option.
I felt absolutely terrible for using my diabetes as an excuse in that situation. Very rarely do I use my diabetes as an excuse for anything. Morning coffee. Christmas lunch. Taking on extra responsibilities at work. Helping others. Doing handy work myself to save hiring someone.
But two weeks into this compromise, I realise that it was well worth speaking up. I knew that I would have been unhappy with the original change, and that it would not be good for my diabetes and general wellbeing at all. I know that I am miles happier than what I would have been. And as one of my work Mums reminded me yesterday, this would not have happened had I not spoken up.
The reality is that I do have diabetes, and it can afford me some special privileges if I see fit. Taking into account the special privileges that I’ve been given in trying to operate a broken pancreas for the rest of my life, I think we can just about call it even.