Like most people, you are busy—trying to accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. But when you have type 1 diabetes, you have to keep track of your blood glucose levels, give yourself medication, eat right, and exercise. These steps are essential to your health, and skipping any one of them can negatively impact your diabetes. When your days are filled with school or work, how can you put your health first and live your life?
You have five classes, gym, and after-school activities, but you also have diabetes. What’s the best approach to manage all of this? Have a diabetes management plan in place and share this with the school staff—nurses, teachers, coaches, guidance counselor, cafeteria manager, recess monitor, and even bus drivers. The more people who know about your condition, the more support you will get.
Your parents can schedule a meeting at the school to go over your plan. This is important because everyone who works with you should understand the basics of diabetes and be familiar with complications that you can have. Also, you need the flexibility to test your blood sugar, give yourself an insulin injection, and have a snack or drink to treat low blood sugar (hypoglycemia). You may also need a schedule where you have lunch at the same time every day.
These steps can help you to get through your school day:
If you have diabetes, laws in the United States, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act, stop employers from firing, refusing to hire, or refusing to promote you because of your disability. The laws also mean that your employer must make accommodations for you. These can involve giving you extra time to test your blood glucose level, give yourself an injection or medication, and eat snacks and lunch. If you have problems related to diabetes, like poor vision or foot pain, your employer must also accommodate you. For example, if your job usually requires that you stand up for long periods, you may be allowed to do your work sitting down.
Following these strategies can help you manage your diabetes while climbing the corporate ladder:
Whether you are preparing for an exam or trying to meet a deadline at work, you still need to monitor your diabetes. This all comes down to being prepared and having good communication with your doctor.
American Diabetes Association
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse
Canadian Diabetes Association
Public Health Agency of Canada
Diabetes center. Kids Health—Nemours Foundation website. Available at: http://kidshealth.org/parent/managing_diabetes/living/school_diabetes.html. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Managing diabetes at work. University of Tennesee Medical Center website. Available at: http://www.utmedicalcenter.org/news/Managing+Diabetes+at+Work/1972.html. Published October 26, 2008. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Physical activity and exercise. Canadian Diabetes Assocation website. Available at: http://www.diabetes.ca/clinical-practice-education/professional-resources/physical-activity-exercise. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Take care of your diabetes during special times or events. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/specialtimes.htm. Updated February 12, 2014. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Take charge of your diabetes. Center for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/DIABETES/pubs/tcyd/ktrack.htm. Updated May 21, 2011. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Type 1 diabetes in school. Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International website. Available at: http://www.jdrf.org/index.cfm?page_id=103439. Accessed October 22, 2014.
What is bullying? Stop Bullying Now website. Available at: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html. Accessed October 22, 2014.
What should I do if my blood glucose numbers are too high or too low? National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/type1and2/lowglucose.htm. Accessed October 22, 2014.
Last reviewed October 2014 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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