Monday, 22 December 2014


"So, I also need to make you aware of something...I have type one diabetes. I wear an insulin pump, which is a small device that constantly gives me insulin..."

I said to my boss, rather awkwardly, yet carefully gauging his reaction.

Work Christmas party.
"Give it a couple of weeks, and I'll sit down with you and others I'm working with to go over all things diabetes that you'll need to know. Chances are you'll never need it, but there have been times in the past where I've needed help. I'd rather you know and never need the info I give as opposed to not telling you anything and then one day I do need help."

It wasn't until I went to the office Christmas party that I remembered that those conversations hadn't happened. 

So last week, I sat down with a group of colleagues I've got to know over the last few months and I went full diabetes disclosure on them. 

I showed them my insulin pump. I showed them how to check my blood sugar levels, and I told them what was "normal" medically-speaking, and then what I was comfortable with (because my personal targets are different). We spoke about highs and lows and how I treat both. 

"I know this is a lot of information to take in, and I don't want this to feel like a burden [diabetes insecurities coming in to play here]. The chance of you ever needing to react is slim, but it makes me feel safe knowing that I've had this conversation with you." I rambled on. 

I kind of felt like a child: despite being 22 years old, there I was standing in front of a group of colleagues, asking them to learn a little bit about my medical condition. Because diabetes is one of those things that's fine...until it's not.

That's what I hate about diabetes: it's never solely mine. I'm the one that wears the pump, pricks my finger to check my blood sugar level, I feel the effects of a high, the effects of a low. But if my blood sugar gets so low I can't treat it myself or so high my body just shuts's not only having an effect on me, but on those around me too. That part really, really sucks. Yet it makes me feel safer when there are others in the know. It's a lose-lose situation.

Disclosure is a personal thing, and there's no right or wrong way to go about it. I just know that I feel safer, and happier, knowing that those I come into contact with on a regular basis are aware of the insulin pump on my person. Despite my best efforts, there are a lot of aspects of this condition that I can't control. But I can control who I disclose to, making them aware of what could happen, protecting myself at the same time too.  

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