I have had diabetes for the past two years now, I have been insulin dependent the whole time and have been on Novolog trying to move to a pump.
This summer I worked as an EMT and lifeguard at a pretty big summer camp run by the girl scouts.... First they told me that I couldnt test my sugar in front of the girls... Ok that is kind of understandable I mean it is blood and that can be kinda gross to some. Then they explain that they have to lock up my insulin pens along with my glucagon kit because they include needles and they indanger the children and fellow counselors. So I dont really understand that but I am ok with that. Then it just goes down hill, I go high one day and radio in to the nurse to unlock my insulin so that I can get it when I get back to main camp and they totally flip out and send her to me with the insulin... I go back and explain the procedure that should have been taken... Just have the insulin close. They told me that I couldnt be sent on out of camp trips because I am unreliable due to the need of insulin ( I only had that one incedent to that point and at that my sugar was only at 430 which is managable) I was then stuck on camp for the entire eight weeks ! I was not allowed to bring my insulin off camp on my nights off because the nurse was sleeping when I was required to be back so I couldnt eat out and had to take my nightly dose early so that I didnt have to stay on camp. The final week I ended up deciding that I didnt want to live around my diabetes and ate somethings that I probably shouldnt have and I spiked pretty high and then dosed a little too much with my insulin. when I was coming down I blacked out which is quite normal for me... Kind of a reset button. But I had went to the counselor lounge and was out of site of all campers and on my time off so it made no difference. when I came too the nurse I found out had no idea what to do so one of my co counselors had run up to get my glucagon and gave it to me. Someone had called an ambulance and I had to explain to them that it wasnt needed and with my sugar at 63 I was fine. Now the camp wants to say that I shouldnt be a lifeguard anymore due to two incidents 6 weeks apart neither on the waterfront or even when I was responsible for campers. When talking to the waterfront director I was told that she thought she couldnt trust me because she never knew if I was high or low or if I was going to die in front of her, and even after sitting and explaining the disease to her she still failed to trust me. And the camp director was even worse because she knew less then the waterfront director and refused to let me and my friend (who is a type 2 diabetic) explain the disease and how it is treated. I just dont know what to do because I really enjoyed working at this camp and I really want to go back next year but not if I am only seen as the lifeguard/emt/counselor who has diabetes and is no good to do anything no matter how much experience she has...
Aren't they legally required to know how to deal with diabetes? What happens if a camper comes there with type 1 Diabetes or do they discriminate against them too?!?!? I would get in touch with a diabetes advocate to see what can be done about this. It may not help your situation, because ( I, too, have had T1D for 34 yrs) and went through a very similar problem, and once they set their minds to it unless you are willing to take legal actions, which never works out, and makes for resentment from an employer, but it may help some child or other person. Dont take it personally... its not you that they dont trust.. its their own lack of education and experience.
Here's a link to the "Your Rights" section of the American Diabetes Association website. Your employer is most definitely violating both your rights and the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you go to this website, there is a link to contact a Diabetes Advocate. They will be able to help you deal with the situation at work.
There are water-proof packs that can be worn and you do not have to let someone else manage your insulin meds, that alone is very dangerous to you. You are a trained diabetic first, and emt - those type positions require medical equipment and drugs knowledge and to not have them would be like being an house builder without a hammer and nails. The other posts are correct tho, this will probably not help you much unless you decide to fight it out, and then you will have to be the voice of reason thru the whole drama playing out. I found this true in the early 70's, it is very sad that it still exists.
Are you doing anything to contribute to the problem? Frankly, I'd be freaked out if I had to call an ambulance for an employee. Don't give them any reason to not trust you.
I worked 2 years as a camp counselor at Girl Scout camps in Washington state and Colorado. I kept my meter and syringes in a lock box in my cabin or in a fanny pack I carried on me, so they weren't a danger to anyone else. Also explained my diabetes and how I treat lows to the camp director, nurse and the counselors I worked with. I led overnight camp outs at least once a week and also led a 10-day hiking trip. No problems.
It's a bummer if you're being discriminated against when you do nothing wrong, but I think your director is being smart to keep you in camp if you are having blackouts. You HAVE to be capable of doing the job. The biggest part of being a camp counselor or childcare worker is providing enough adult to kid coverage. If you're incapacitated, you can put your campers into danger (especially as a lifeguard) and your camp could lose it's license. If your diabetes is getting in your wa right now then maybe there's another job at the camp or maybe you need to wait until you're on the pump to work there.
I have been forced out of two imprtant jobs I have had because of insulin reactions at the facilities. I was told that our clientel, "Boeing,Fluke,Intel, Hewlett Packard etc. would not appreciate seeing medics and stretchers while they were touring our plants/facilities. I was warned, so I went through two two week intensive diabetic training program at Virginia Mason Seattle at the demand of our human resources department. Eventually both these companies made my tenure with them so unbearable that i had no choice to leave. This is how corporate America deals with diabetics without compromising or breaking the Americans with Disabilities act, and of coarse they have the most expensive lawyer's and I, 'on a blue collar salary could never hope to win any kind of lawsuit. This is America where the Golden Rule applies, in other words "Those that have the most gold rule". this situation did however allow me to win my S.S.I. disability after a 3 year rejection, then rejection then Lawyer then Judge rigamarol, all the while living on no money, no health insurance and no food etc. etc. etc. I survived however after working for thirty years in the same industry so my back S.S.I. pay was huge. I have alway's paid my taxes with no deduction's and after 4 years on S.S.I. I am not even close to exhausting what I put into Social Security. the Repulican's call Social Security socialism or comunism when really they just want that money for themselves because they think they have the sovereign right to that money because they are the elite. Do any of you know that the Iraq and Afghanistan war's were paid for with money taken directly out of the social security trust fund? Dick Cheney and Halliburton raped the trust fund and they laughed all the way to the bank. and by the way the money still hasn't been paid back into the social security trust fund even though President Obama said it would be eventually? See my Tiger picture I attached here, I am not afraid of any Greedy, Lying, Arrogant Sociopathic Republican. I come from a long line of Democratic patriots who have served our country in WW1, WW2, Korea, Vietnam etc. I don't mind paying the troops wages I just don't to pay thieves like Bush and Cheney and these tea party idiots. I will post some pictures of my father P.F.C. Floyd d. Robbins jr. circa 1943 while he was in the U.S. Army Air Corps and some picturees of my grandfather Colonel Floyd D. Robbins the first while he was stationed at Fort Worden Washington, Papa floyd was in charge of the Giant disapearing guns that protected the Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest against a possible Japneese invasion or submarine attack on the Bremerton Naval Shipyards where the Battleship Missouri was stationed.
Here are pictures of my GrandFather and Father during WW11 My Grand father is too the far right in the boot high khaki pant's. Photo courtesy of the Seattle Times circa 1972This is my father Floyd d. Robbins jr. taken at Santa Anita California horeseracing track which was commandered by the Army in 1942 at training/preparation bivoac for traing troops for both the European theater and South Pacific theater. R.I.P. Papa and Dad. Your Grateful Grandson and Son Jon P. Robbins
I have never ever put my campers in danger and the only reason I blacked out was due to the inability to get to my insulin when it was first needed. I brought a box with a lock on it to keep in my tent but due to the needles they felt that it was unsafe that I kept them with me. As a lifeguard I have never been high or low when on duty and many of my co counselors were interested in learning how to deal with my diabetes in case they ever needed to. The camp director had no want to learn about diabetes because she felt that she already knew everything that she needed to know. And out of eight weeks only having one real issue... the first one being an over reaction I feel that there is no real reason why I would be unreliable.
If you're able to do your job, then your director is overreacting. The American with Disabilities states that an employer has to make "reasonable accomodation" for your diabetes. It doesn't sound like you're asking anything extraordinary.
Try one more time to have a face to face meeting with her and address any of her specific conerns. Some people are stubbornly ignorant about diabetes. In my experience, those people believe what they want to, not matter what you say. If you can't get it resolved with the director you may ask to speak to the office that oversees your camp. Be reasonable and matter of fact and have specific information to make your case.
I think diabetes made me a good role model for my campers. There were kids with other physical issues and because they knew I took shots and had to deal with diabetes, it helped them see that it's still possible to be cool and active, even with a health issue. Good luck in getting your situation resolved.
thank you! and I know what you mean I mean I was not allowed to tell my campers that I had diabetes... My camp director made it very clear that they were to know nothing medically about us but I always had the campers with Cystic Fibrosis or diabetes... I even had a camper with cancer but being able to relate to them in a different way then most counselors was priceless.. I mean they knew that I wasnt "normal" and that I understood somewhat of what they go through on a daily basis.. They knew that I went to the med hut with them to get meds.. some of them knew I took shots at the med shed and it made me closer to them as a counselor... I could relate to them... kids are great in that way.. now if only adults could be open minded
I agree with most of what has been stated already but I was curious- have you considered switching from manual injections to using a pump? This would alleviate most of your problems. Though it does seem like the camp needs to take a diabetes education class -- i am sure that can be arranged.
Just so you know, because you have Diabeties you can not be discriminated against. It's not like it was 60 years ago. You don't have to explain anything to anyone. This disease is not a death sentence and people who don't get it often are just plain ignorant. Truly, I don't believe their is such a thing called brittle diabetic. Their are ways to get in control if you are not. It's no perfect science but it is always possible. If you need to find the right doctor to guide you or the right pump or the right insulin..whatever it takes it can happen. Their are ways. Whatever you do, please do not let anyone discriminate against you because you have diabeties. Find a way to get control so you don't have those incidents. I'm sure you know this already that their are diabetic educators and finding one you can communicate with also can really help you. I wish you well.