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Discussion:
Diabetes as a disability?
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Perhaps this is a stupid question, but why is diabetes considered a disability?
Is it because we are at a greater risk of losing limbs, becoming blind, having a stroke? Or because our blood sugar levels and dip and rise without any warning before it too late?

I get so peed off when I read/hear that diabetes is classed as a disability. I mean ( and I am not tooting my own horn here), I am a healthy diabetic. I still got my limbs and my eyesight is perfect. And yet I am classed as "disabled".

On the plus side, perhaps I should apply for a disability grant.
Posted on 03/24/09, 02:45 pm
28 Replies | Most Recent Add Your Reply
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Reply #1 - 03/24/09  11:25pm
" Hi, that is a good question I live in Canada and have not heard that it is classified as a disability but I will check into this. Does that mean that you can only get a disability grant if you are unable to work due to your medical condition such as loss of sight or limb. Very interesting topic.

Take care :) "
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Reply #2 - 03/25/09  9:20am
" To be honest, I didnt look into it. I was filling out an online job application when I saw that one of the questions were about asking if you had a disability. So I clicked on the drop-down menu ( out of curiousity) and saw that Diabetes was the last option on there. I was peed off when I saw that, as my day was not good yesterday ( read my last journal entry.) "
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Reply #3 - 03/25/09  9:44am
" In the UK a disability is defined as ' physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities'.

I would argue that diabetes falls under that definition because it does affect my day to day activities. I have to go out of my way to get my repeat prescription. I have to remember all of the vital things I need when I go out of the house. I can't just get mindlessly drunk. I can't eat without measuring and monitoring. I always need a fridge to store my insulin if I am staying anywhere for longer than 1 day.

I think classifying it as a disability is a good thing - it gives us more rights. If we are dismissed from our job due to taking time off for doctors appointments, for example, or if we are not given sufficient meal breaks, we have some way of fighting back.

To me, the basic fact is that an important part of my body does not work. To me that seems similar in that sense to others who have parts of their body which do not function, such as their legs, eyes or ears. The main difference is that those other disabilities are visible whereas diabetes is not. But like other disabled people, there are things I cannot do - heavy vehicle driving and being in the army - and special requirements - time off for doctors appointments and provision in case I have a hypo. Thats the way I see it anyway. "
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Reply #4 - 03/25/09  10:29am
" Thank you Lizzie. I think you made it clear that diabetes is in fact a disability. Nicely worded :) "
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Reply #5 - 03/28/09  11:46am
" well said lizzie i totally agree with u "
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Reply #6 - 04/02/09  9:22pm
" I think diabetes is classified as a disability due to the effects it has on people. Even in good control we all are subject to issues here and their that result in forms of impairment. I always had an interest in air traffic control but learned I could not pursue due to diabetes. "
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Reply #7 - 04/07/09  9:51am
" My daughter gets real mad to. But what you gusy go through sometimes can be pretty rough. And I think if you can beifit from any help anyone offers, you should! I think you can get special grants for school, I have heard that too! Yes..do it! You deserve it..I know my daughter deserves any help offered to her. My God you all are strong!!!!! Take care - LOVE and SUPPORT from Ohio! "
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Reply #8 - 04/07/09  9:51am
" wow sorry about all the spelling mistakes. "
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Reply #9 - 04/08/09  5:52pm
" I've read this and didn't know if I should comment. I hate being told I have a disability. I know technically I have one but I function really well.....to a higher degree than most people with out my "disability". I work circles around girls half my age and I do it while I am dropping my sugar or injecting insulin. I work for the state of NM and became a diabetic in October after my pancreas was removed due to cancer. No one treates me different altho I know I could request special things. For now I want to feel NORMAL......not disabaled. and I am really glad to read ya'll's comments! "
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Reply #10 - 04/21/09  11:30am
" I think that part of the stigma that some people might feel at being labeled "disabled" is that we typically look at disability as wheelchairs and cripples. But in a simpler light, if we can remove that prejudice, the word just really means that there is an inability to do something which the average majority can do. The inability to make or use insulin has a significant impact on the lives of those who live with it. I don't think that anyone intended for the 'disability' label to be an insult, but rather a CALL to the unaffected to recognize how significant diabetes is. A disability classification prevents people from being able to be illegally discriminated against.

I don't like to think about my daughter as disabled. She is certainly very able to do all of the things which other children her age are doing, and simply needs to take consideration of her blood sugar, take the time to test/treat/ snack, etc... you know. But when the rubber hits the road, if she had a severe low and needed a glucagon injection, she would be UNABLE to do that herself, obviously. It doesn't mean that she is UNable to do anything else, but that is a pretty significant consideration, and none of the other children who are playing on the playground that day have to take stock of that notion that someone present better know what to do if she is suddenly flopping like a fish. I can see why a person would resent the word, but as a mother of 2 who both have medic alert bracelets, the importance isn't in the label, its in making sure that the relevant people have an educated understanding of their situations. If diabetes were not classified as such, there would be no grounds for me to demand that the school staff be trained to understand. "

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