February 12, 2015

Help in Diabetes Management Education – Part 11

Part 11 of 12

Traveling with type 2 diabetes will depend on the medication(s) you are taking. I would advise having a letter from your doctor on the doctor's letterhead about the fact that you are a person with type two diabetes and are taking the medication(s) that you are prescribed. If you are on insulin, this should also be stated and that you are using insulin pens or vials and syringes.

I did this for several trips overseas and had no problems except for a slight delay while they located a translator for English. I had my medications in the original container with the prescription label on them and these were accepted with no questions. One of the TSA employees in the USA made a point of looking at each vial of insulin and each medication. The rest of the times, all they needed was a look at the doctor's letter.

How do you handle sick days? Many people refuse to say they have diabetes and can be fired for unexplained sick days if they do not have a doctor's letter explaining the reason for an absence. Then, if they find out you have lied on your application, you also risk losing your job. Developing diabetes while working for a company can also create problems, but not as serious.

Wellness campaigns by many companies today will also disclose your diabetes. Therefore, I think it is wise to have a talk with the human resource department and be honest with them. They may respect you more as an employee and even be willing to move you out of jobs that are more hazardous if you develop neuropathy. Not all companies do this, but more are learning. Some companies are only concerned that you show up for work and can perform your job. In small companies, there may be even more latitude in what they allow. If you have allowed sick days, or paid sick days, use them wisely and don't abuse the system.

Problem solving skills is part of daily life and diabetes makes them more important. I had one individual with diabetes laugh at me when I said this and could not believe that daily living required problem solving skills. I just said you had someone side swipe your auto and it was going too fast for you to get a license number, what do you do. He said just call my insurance agent and if the car is driveable, I will go to the repair shop. I said you failed.

First, you call the police to report a hit and run. You should have them check for evidence of paint and file a report. Then you request a copy of the report for the insurance company. Then you may call your agent and do what he directs you to do.

With diabetes, this means that if you can't solve the problem by observation, you look at the logs you keep and try to analyze what needs to be done. Then if you are unable to solve the problem, decide how serious the problem is at the moment and whether you should call your doctor, drive to the hospital, or call an ambulance. All cost different money and this may affect your decision as will whether this is a true emergency or a perceived emergency. Or it may be as simple as doing some additional exercise and eating a little less at the next meal. But problem solving it is and your skills should improve as you gain experience, ask questions of your doctor, and talk to other people with type 2 diabetes.

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