Diabetes As A Disability?

I am a very stubborn person and hate being told I “can’t”. If you tell me I “can’t” do something, unless I understand the rationale behind it, 9 times out of 10 I’ll do it, or nearly kill myself trying. This mindset has allowed me to overcome adversity. But, I realize it can be unwise to follow this mantra at all times. As a diabetic I don’t feel I’m any less capable than the rest of the world, but I realize I do have more things to keep in mind.

My school has three schedules to choose from: 8:30a-12:30p Tues-Sat, 1:00p-5:00p Tues-Sat or 5:30p-9:30p Mon-Fri. Each schedule is on its own curriculum. My work schedule is: Sun 11p-Mon 6a, Mon 11p-Tues 6a, Wed 6p-11p, Fri 6p-11p and Sat 7p-11p. While there are very few time crossovers, I also need sleep. I’m not saying I need 9-11 hrs sleep every night…or any night for that matter. But, my sleep schedule is non-existent right now, which takes a toll on my sugars. The basal rates on my pump are based on time and my activity at those times. My erratic schedule also means I depend on energy supplements and caffeine regularly…which also messes with my levels. Sometimes I’m at work at 3:45a and won’t go to bed until 4p and some days I’m out like a rock at 3:45a and up at 6:15a. (I only use 3:45a because that’s the current time…and I’m currently at work)

I don’t want to say I’m disabled or allow diabetes to restrict what I do or don’t do. But, at the same time I feel it is important to be aware of my health. My program is supposed to be 7/14/09-2/11/10, so not incredibly long. My first two months I didn’t sleep much, though I wasn’t working overnights-by mid-September it caught up with me and I was in bed for a week. Overnights give me longer hours, so I need to work them when they’re available to me. I quit my second job the first part of October, in hopes of improving…thus far they are doing the opposite.

Last week the school’s administrators asked to meet eith me. In our meeting they asked me to consider dropping out and re-entering when it would take less of a toll on my health.

The big question is: Is dropping out and putting the program on hold allowing diabetes to limit me or is it being health-conscious and wise?

How much do you allow diabetes to be a factor?

If I get a doctor’s not I can take a leave of absence without losing my place in the program. But again, am I allowing myself to be disabled? Or is diabetes becoming a “crutch” to quit?

Would dropping/postponing be a wise decision or an excuse to get out of a challenge?

On one hand I just want to ignore my missed/off medication times, lack of sleep, stress, nerve pain (which only seems to be getting worse with less sleep and more stress) and screwy sugars. On the other hand I’m 23, I don’t want my stubborness to compromise my future health.

It feels like a constant inner battle. School is just my main one right now, but diabetes as a disability is a tough topic.

How much contol does diabetes get to have?

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About smashleeca

I am a lot of things...a Californian, a T1 diabetic, a Crohn's pt, a daughter, friend, former athlete, forever student, blogger, worker, and most of all life-embracer. That sounds corny...but I'll leave it. I'm just your average 24 y/o girl with a story to tell. View all posts by smashleeca

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