Choosing Snacks to Maintain Your Diabetes at Work
The first job I had was in a movie theater, at the ripe ageof 15. I told my employer right away that I had diabetes. I told him there maybe times when I need to stop for a second and grab a juice box, and I explainedthat I would go somewhere private when needing to inject insulin.
Fortunately, he’d had plenty of experience with diabetes because of another employee. His name was Mike and he was, to the say theleast, not really the same kind of diabetic I consider myself to be.
Mike’s blood sugars were up and down all the time. He oftenhad episodic lows, requiring someone else to tell him he was acting funny andshould slow down and grab a soda. My boss was surprised to see that my diabetesreally never became an issue or interfered with getting work done.
One of the best things about this job, however—and part ofthe reason my diabetes never became an issue—was because I had free access tothe soda machines whenever I wanted! It’s hard to drop low, even during a busynight, when I’ve got a cup of lemonade sitting behind me at all times.
I recently just started waiting tables at an Italianrestaurant. I’ve been nervous about being a waitress for one reason: I wasafraid I’d get stuck running around the restaurant and not have a chance totake care of my blood sugars. But I can tell you, after just two shifts, Ifigured out how to maintain my blood sugars effectively.
Before my first shift, I had a small dinner of an apple,cheese and a large bowl of vegetables. I would usually take about 9 units ofinsulin for this. Instead of taking the 9 units, I took about 3 and after anhour at the restaurant, I managed to find moment to check my blood sugar. Itwas 89 and dropping. Of course, I had several hours to go and I knew I’d berunning around, so I grabbed some Sprite from the—aha!—soda taps, of which Ihave free access to, and sipped the drink throughout the rest of the night. Bythe end of my shift, my blood sugar was 139. Before my next shift, I ate adinner of about the same amount of carbs and didn’t take any insulin for it.However, I was running around even more thatnight at the restaurant so I still needed to sip the Sprite.
I think, if you’re having trouble maintaining your bloodsugars and you really want your co-workers and employers to know you may needtheir help at times, you should be very diligent about explaining it to them.
“I have diabetes. If I start acting like this or this orthis, please help me get some sugar or juice, etc. into my body….” AND SOON…tell them what YOU need, but do so in a manner that you aren’t scaring them,instead, you’re helping them understand the disease without overwhelming them.In the end, diabetes is your own responsibility, so I think all of our goalsshould be geared more towards learning how to regulate our own blood sugars asopposed to relying on people to save us during a crisis.