Tag Archives: disability

Second class citizen

More than once I have ended up feeling like a second class citizen because of diabetes. I have heard lots of comments that lead me to believe if you have disease like diabetes you are considered broken, fragile, or flat incompetent. Just have a reaction at work sometime and watch the fall out. I have to say I am very pleased with my current employer on how they handled a recent low blood sugar incident. In the past I have been suspended, forced to get a note form a doctor to return to work, and even had an attempt to terminate my employment. That was just a rumor though (thanks to the American Disabilities Act. I have also had employers who have thought they knew better than doctors how to treat my issue such as changing my work schedule. Now any diabetic can tell you if you are having a problem with blood sugars going out of whack it is best to get into a routine and work through it. Changing things around such as work times and exercise levels is not going to help stabilize anything. Even if the doctor can make the changes to get you back on track it is for your new work life not the old one. Back in your old routine again and things will go right back were they were.

Another issue that makes me feel like I am less than normal is being told that I can not do this or be that since I am a diabetic. My first taste of this was my senior year of high school when I looked into the military. No you are classified 4F, we can’t take you. I get the no combat issue but there are so many other position in the army, navy, marines, or air force. Medical assistant, truck mechanic, aviation tech, computer programmer, networking specialist, and the list goes on. When they started letting women in the services they had been limited to non-combat roles. So diabetics are seen as less useful then a modern woman? I looked into getting a CDL license. It is not impossible but nearly so. There are so many hoops to jump through it is too easy to trip on one of them. Railroad crew? Don’t count on it. When I was given the medical test I was told my A1C was not good enough.

The bottom line here is that there are so many restrictions put on diabetics and other medically challenged people that getting a better job is very hard to do. Having a job is a good start but not much better. Things can go wrong in a hurry and with the newer pro-business congress running the law making things may get much worse. I friend once asked me why I don’t go on disability. I have never seen and will look at myself as being disabled. I can do anything that a non diabetic can do I just need to watch my blood sugars closer. They are called right to work states but that is a misnomer. It means that there is little backing for unions which in turn loosens their power. That power is needed to reign in corporations greed and power. In a right to work state, a company can eliminate your job and then open it back up with a slight title twist. Then you go to your union steward who tells you there is nothing they can do since they have no more power. In other words they can fire you for any reason and once you are gone there is little you can do to get your job back. I have re-applied at more than one previous employer only to hear again and again that since they have enough applications that they are not going to consider rehiring me. In the back of my mind I can not help but go to the idea that it is because of my history of diabetic problems. They of course can’t say that so the issue of not needing my app is used.  I do feel like a second class citizen at times. Does anyone else get that feeling?