Diabetes Type 1 Support Group

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1 Online
1 Online

Diabetes as a disability?

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.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

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 :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.)
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Thank you Lizzie. I think you made it clear that diabetes is in fact a disability. Nicely worded :)
deleted_user
deleted_user

well said lizzie i totally agree with u
xaviermom74
xaviermom74

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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!
deleted_user
deleted_user

wow sorry about all the spelling mistakes.
deleted_user
deleted_user

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!
deleted_user
deleted_user

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.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Sweetie........I totally get what you are saying...but I think children that are diabetice are in a really different catagory than adults. You are right...in order to get the care they need in school etc. they must be labeled. I personally and for my own reasons don't like it.....it is necessary tho....
deleted_user
deleted_user

I'm not sure children are different, tina. I mean, if your sugar is low, as the other poster mentioned and you are unable to treat yourself, your age doesn't matter. Severe hypos can happen unexpectedly sometimes whatever your age. And adults should have the same rights as kids if not more since we have to take time off work for medical appointments - we are paid to work so it is a bigger deal for our employer to be paying us while we are at the dr, than it is for a teacher to allow a child off school for a morning. Kids also have parents to speak up for them while adults have to speak up for themselves and if you are shy or don't feel you can contradict something sometimes you can lose out, there is nobody really to speak up for you. As a child there is all sorts of support, in my experience that all stops at 18 and you are suddenly expected to deal with everything yourself with no preparation or anything. Adults with diabetes need care too and it is important we are classified as disabled as this gives us rights. With an invisible disability this is even more important.
deleted_user
deleted_user

You are right.....but I guess what I was trying to say (badly) is that when it comes to kids.....yes....absolutely they must be catagorized as disabled because of all the items you mentioned. That does make them different from an adult because WE have to take care of them. And believe me when I say that a low is the same for all of us...but what I don't like...for me personally...as an adult with diabetes, that had my pancreas out that functions on the same level with EVERYONE in my office...is to be labeled. Even though I do know that this label apply's to me.

This is a personal thing with me. I certainly didn't mean what I feel should or would apply to anyone else. Let me explain...I work in the Human Services Department (Welfare Office). Every day I see children and adults that have less of a disability than I do....who CHOSE not to work because the are 'disabled'. I noticed years ago that some parents of diabetic children don't teach them any other way of life than to be 'disabled'. Mom coddles the child and makes them way more sick than they actually are. In no way am I putting any poster here down.....it's just that for me...I really resent...but understand... the label.

I seem to be stuttering......so I will quit now....
deleted_user
deleted_user

I know what you mean Tina. My mum never wanted me to think of myself as disabled. I also have a learning difficulty and doctors told her to special school me but she didn't listen and I am glad. I was always in main stream schools. I think it is so important for parents to encourage their kids to be as independent as they can be, even if that is less than their peers or some health condition limits their independence. I know lots of people who were not encouraged by their parents and they have no self confidence and don't believe they can do things. I think parents see their kid struggling and getting upset and they want them to be happy so they tell them not to worry and to stop struggling with whatever it is. That makes the kid happy short term but long term it encourages a mentality of giving up on yourself I think. I was lucky to have a mum who never gave up on herself or on me.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Diabetes is a "hidden" disability. I'd say my daughter can be disabled from diabetes..but also can recover quickly and be Ok again.With help and sometimes without. So...unless you'r under extreem control and have excellent A1Cs. You have that chance...of being disabled for a little while or in a hospital. Thats the nature of diabetes it can be so unpredictable. Its no ones fault, thats just the way it is untill we get a cure. I want my daughter to realize she is spcial..not disabled. I like the term special needs. Thats what she has..not is. She is an A student who loves animals and has tons of friends,who happens to have diabetes. A Kid with diabetes. Not a diabetic kid.