Thursday, September 9, 2010

How Much Disclosure?

I've started a new job... my first job change since diagnosis (aka, D-day). While I'm neither advertising or hiding my diabetes, I've had a couple struggles about how much to volunteer.

First of all, lunch time is more social. Today, a group went to a Chinese buffet. There are certainly some Chinese dishes that could be reasonably compatible with carb counting and a diabetic-friendly diet... but that doesn't really describe most food on a Chinese buffet. Plus, even if I found a couple acceptable items, OMG YUMMY CARBS ALL OVER THE BUFFET! Yeah, I love carby, fatty Chinese food. It would be very hard to resist the bad and hard-to-count stuff. So I did not join the lunch outing. I wasn't brokenhearted about it myself, but I do want to make a good, friendly impression with my coworkers.

Then one of the Big Bosses was handing out chocolate chip cookies from a bakery with no nutrition label. I could have looked up the "average" carbs for most chocolate chip cookies, but my blood sugar was already on the higher side... I didn't want to take the risk of miscounting and going even higher (or bolusing for both the high BG and the miscounted cookie, possibly making me go low). No thank you... but really, I appreciate it!

A few coworkers know I'm diabetic, and so does one of the Big Bosses, but I'm not in favor of labeling or limiting myself in their eyes. I don't care if everyone knows, but I don't always want to explain why I'm turning down a cookie today, but don't stop offering them to me because I really can eat them! Or that I'm not being snobby about your choice of lunch cuisine, I just find it very tough to eat Chinese food right now, but really, I can eat any kind of food! I'm just making a decision that is best for me today.

They're also putting together an emergency info list with everyone's important medical info and emergency contacts. This included any medical conditions that could be relevant. The "keeper" of this document is someone I'll work with pretty closely, so I went ahead and showed her that I keep a glucagon kit in my purse, in case I'm ever unconscious and someone around is comfortable enough to use it on me (and if not, then 911 is the answer)... but also followed that up with a disclaimer that, oh, I've never needed it, probably never will, because I don't want her thinking I'm going to keel over dead on them! I debated whether to tell her about the kit at all, but decided in the end that it's best for her to know in case there's a situation where 911 isn't an option.

Just feeling this stuff out... What's the balance? I want to be seen as independent and normal, but I also want to be safe and understood.

Nothing about this disease is easy.


  1. At the job I'm at now, just the people I work closely with know (because I've told them). A few people in other departments know as well, through the course of conversation. Like you, I don't tend to broadcast it, and would rather have it not be the focus of "who I am" - but, it's important that SOMEONE knows, in case something should ever go wonky and you need help.

  2. That was my theory, too: someone should know. I told one of the Big Bosses because I knew I'd need a doctor's appointment before my leave time is available to me, the keeper-of-the-emergency-info, and then just someone who asked what my Dexcom was when I peeked at it.

    It's tough to figure out how to balance this stuff with other people sometimes, because I really feel like I've only recently found that balance within myself.

  3. I've been reading your posts a lot lately and they're really helpful because I can relate to many of them...thanks for sharing :)