Today, we bring you another installment from Elisa Marchetti. Elisa has previously guest blogged about traveling with diabetes, and more recently about managing diabetes and being a new mom. Today, Elisa joins us to talk about life changes with diabetes. Specifically, starting a new job. If you’ve recently gone through a big life transition, please share it with us in the comments below.
I’m Elisa Marchetti and have had Diabetes for 22 years and have been on the Medtronic insulin pump for 12 years. I am a wife, a mom, and also work full-time. I recently started a new job at a brand new company, and thought I would share my experience for any other fellow diabetics who may be going through similar life changes.
Preparing for a New Job
Now, once you’ve nailed the interview, signed the offer letter, and gone out and got a new wardrobe the reality settles in of…CHANGE. Although this was probably planned and intentional change, nonetheless change creates its own version of fears. For people with diabetes, one of the biggest fears is going low during the absolute worst moments. Starting a new job would be one of those possible fears. “What if I go low my first day on the job and no one knows I’m diabetic,” “What if my co-workers think differently of me if they find out I have diabetes,” and of course, “What if something goes wrong with my pump?” All unlikely possibilities, but somehow these fears can absorb our thoughts. My advice, just relax and prepare the best that you can. Always have back-up insulin available if needed and or course I find it easy to carry granola bars in my purse. If I go low and need to grab one quick no one gives me a second look. Lastly, for me, diabetes is not something that needs to separate me from people and make me feel different but has been something that has shaped my life and helped me identify and connect more with people. After-all, we all have something that we may feel very alone with but know, especially if you have diabetes, you are not alone in this journey.
Day #1 on the Job
Nerves and stress can cause unpredictable blood sugars. Thankfully for the pump and CGM it makes it much easier to course correct before it is too late. I purposely set my CGM ranges wide, as I’d rather not be woken up multiple times throughout the night. I woke up in the morning and checked my blood sugar. It was 228. I thought in my head, “Shoot, not what I was hoping, definitely high. Do I give extra bolus and risk going low, or do I intentionally stay a little high throughout the day?” I decided to give my recommended dose based upon the Bolus Wizard and made sure to have extra granola bars. My first day I knew that lunch was going to be provided but brought a little extra food just in case. (Manufacturer’s caution: Bolus Wizard does NOT account for manual injections.) The day flew by very quickly and I got a chance to meet several new colleagues. At my previous company I was very open about my diabetes. I am typically somewhat private about my health. Diabetes is not something that comes up often during a typical meet n’ greet conversation. Throughout time, I may share more about having diabetes as I get to assimilate more with the culture and build trust. After all, companies are about diversity and inclusion which is not just limited to gender, ethnicity, or religion.
Day #2… and the Next Day, and the Next Day
Well, it’s been almost two months since starting at the new job, and it’s amazing how quickly life adjusts and new habits arise. If people see my pump, I tell them what it is and most people are interested to hear more, especially if they have a friend or family member with diabetes. I was pleasantly surprised that more people knew what an insulin pump is than I expected. I mostly wear the pump on my belt, unless I am wearing a dress, then the bra is a nice alternative. I also own the Medtronic leg strap and have worn the pump on my ankle. I have a stash of granola bars in my office. The company where I work also has a cafeteria and Starbucks, so know I have a place to go if low blood sugar is creeping up. Assimilating to a new culture and new work experience is extremely exciting, especially knowing that with the pump and CGM I do not need to be hindered by having diabetes and can continue to makes steps towards my personal and professional goals.
, continuous glucose monitoring
, insulin pump
, insulin pump therapy
, weight gain