Thursday, 10 October 2013

Diabetes Disclosure.

I've never considered my diabetes to be a hindrance in my life. A pain in the butt, yes. A hindrance, no.

Yesterday, I went to an information evening about applying to do the PGCE course at my current university. Everything was going well until I had a chat with the admissions team regarding my diabetes. I've always been honest about my diabetes. It's not something I shout from the roof tops, but I also won't hide away in the toilets to do injections; it's not something I would mention on a job application, but if I get invited to an interview, it is something I then bring up (at the end of the interview, mind you!)

However, yesterday, I was made to feel that my diabetes may be an issue. 

"You have diabetes? What does that mean exactly?"

"I have type one diabetes. Basically, I have to check my blood sugar levels and I inject insulin when I eat. Sometimes I suffer from low blood sugar, sometimes I suffer from high blood sugar, but I just deal with it and get on with my day. Nothing stops as a result of it. It's just something that will need to be disclosed."

" might want to talk with the Dean of Students to see if you'll be okay to do this course..."


Yes, there are some jobs I can't do as a result of my diabetes. Teaching isn't one of them. Upset doesn't even begin to cover it, and I definitely regret my decision to even mention my diabetes.

I left the information evening just a bit peeved off, but so determined to prove to them people at admissions that I'd be perfectly capable of being a teacher with type one diabetes. I do it now, albeit only volunteering once a week. Diabetes has it's moments, don't get me wrong, but I know my body, and I know how to handle the highs and the lows quickly, and under the radar.

This whole situation has, however, made me reconsider how I'll approach diabetes disclosure in the future. What would you do?


  1. Honestly, in this case, I'd probably do nothing. The person you spoke to clearly doesn't understand. He or she said "you MIGHT want to talk see if...". Clearly, this person admitted his/her inability to make a call one way or another.

    In the future, if you feel the obligation to disclose, that's fine. But I'd choose the timing wisely so there are no possible repercussions.

    1. Hi Scott! Thank you so much for your comment. It's amazing what other people see when you relay a conversation - I hadn't even considered the word "might", I was just too worried about how their perception would affect my application. In short, I panicked! Your insight here is very much appreciated, and has made me feel a lot better about things! So, thank you!