Diabetes & Disability…Again

Saturday is a busy day. Staff meeting at 1p, work at 6p, working out at some point and a meeting with Dogs 4 Diabetics at 10a.

In 2008 I toyed with the idea of getting a service dog, though my paperwork fell through the cracks and I didn’t press the topic. With the onslaught of recent scary lows and the crazy expenses of a CGMS, I decided to re-evaluate the idea.

First, if you haven’t heard of D4D, or service dogs for diabetics, I’ll explain the little I know. Dogs are capable of being trained to alert you when you’ve dropped too low or if your going up too high. People have a different scent with their blood sugar levels. It’s an amazing concept.

The idea of having a service dog is awesome. It would be SO helpful. While I live with family, they know so little about diabetes and are incapable of providing any assistance if needed. It would make me feel much more comfortable working alone when my manager needs to schedule me later in the evening.

There are a few concerns. A pet dog can be left at home when you want to go out. A service dog goes with you everywhere. What about an interview? Or a date? Or a restaurant? Or a spa? Or a salon? Or a grocery store? Or a friend’s house? It’s not like any place can legally stop me from frequenting. But, what about the stares? Or the questions?

Diabetes is enough of a “topic” with work and dating. Could you imagine adding a DOG?!?! I know the whole, well if they hold it against you it’s not worth it (dating…legally a workplace can’t). But, still. Or what about a bar?!?! Going out dancing and drinking with a dog? Maybe it’s just a foreign idea to me right now and that’s the reason for my concern.

All these questions will be answered in the meeting I’m sure. They’re just running through my head.

My manager at work thinks it’s a great idea. So, while they’re legally allowed to let me bring a dog to the gym, as a service dog, at least I’ll know they won’t harbor any ill feelings.

I feel as a diabetic we’re already fighting an uphill battle with people trying to “prove” we’re not disabled. Service dog laws are regulated under the disabilities act, I believe. Will people be completely incapable as seeing me as anything but disabled? I know I shouldn’t care what people think, and for the most part I don’t. But I don’t like attention and if I don’t want to tell someone I have diabetes or talk about it, I don’t have to…having a service dog is like holding a big sign “There’s Something Wrong With Me!”

Maybe I’m overanalyzing. I wouldn’t put it past me. It’s a bad habit of mine.

*Just a sidenote: I’m really excited about the idea. These are just questions I have, it’s good to ask questions I think…I hope 🙂


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

6 responses to “Diabetes & Disability…Again

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