Diabetics face discrimination, suffer emotional distress
A new study reports that 15 per cent of people living with diabetes have felt discriminated against due to their disease.
And one in four Canadians with diabetes experiences great emotional distress.
As a mother of two children with Type 1 diabetes (also referred to as insulin dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes) I have to admit it isn't an easy haul for them.
As a matter of fact, it is a tough world out there not only for people living with diabetes, but also for those who are living with other diseases and disabilities.
From the time you are diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes you are already behind the game.
As you get older, you start worrying about how you are going to support yourself and your disease.
Will your job have medical benefits? What happens if I lose my job? Do I choose to put food on the table for my family or sacrifice my health by not purchasing the diabetic supplies I need?
Diabetes supplies, insulin pump supplies and insulin are costly. People with diabetes carry a huge burden just worrying about finances and the ability to support themselves and their disease.
According to a report by the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), 57 per cent of Canadians do not follow their prescribed therapy because they cannot afford their medications, supplies and devices and can therefore compromise their diabetes management.
Approximately 80 per cent of people with diabetes will die as a result of heart disease or stroke.
Life expectancy of people with Type 1 diabetes may be shortened by as much as 15 years; and those with Type 2 by 5 to 10 years, according to CDA statistics.
That in itself is enough to cause emotional distress.
In grade school, students wonder why the child in their class has to prick their finger with a lancing device and suck the blood up in a glucometer before each snack or meal. And why do they get juice and a snack when we don't?
They also wonder if they can "catch" the disease.
And people wonder why you have syringes and a sharp box.
While diabetes is no laughing matter, it does help keep your sanity with online community forums like tumblr where people share their views and tips on the disease and even lighten up your day with some amusing anecdotes.
Sir Michael Hirst, president of the International Diabetes Foundation (IDF), says, "Through DAWN2, people with diabetes and their families have been given a voice. In this day and age, no one should face discrimination because of diabetes and people with diabetes have the right to live full, active lives and have an equal role in society.
"We will use the results of DAWN2 to educate decision-makers to make changes that are desperately needed to improve the quality of life for people with diabetes."
Other key findings showed that 12 per cent of Canadians with diabetes suffered possible depression; and 27 per cent of family members indicated a significant burden on the family related to the disease.
By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money
Have you or someone you know encountered discrimination due to diabetes and/or suffered emotional distress?
Posted by: JP | Jun 27, 2021 2:12:46 AM
Yes, I have, when I was diagnosed with type II, my employer could not understand why I had to leave work and go to the ER when my BS was over 28!!!!!!!!!! He thought it was some kind of lame excuse to leave work. The second time it happened, I invited him to come with me to the ER, had the nurse explain how dangerous it was to have such high blood sugar, then I picked-up some pamphlets about diabetes and gave them to him to read. Just because I didn't have an arm in a cast or getting chemo didn't mean I wasn't sick. Then he had the gall to ask "well how many more times is this going to happen?" (he obviously did not read the pamphlets) I answered I don't know when's the next time you'll get sick? There was much emotional distress with this employer, he simply did not want to understand. There was major depression for a long time, anxiety. With the right help, people for support, family, friends, I came through. Now with proper diet and weight loss my diabetes is almost non-existent.
Posted by: SCOTT | Jun 27, 2021 8:11:36 AM
I have type 11, my biggest complaint is when I applied for health coverage for my morage I can't get it why, my diabetes has been under control for 10 years now. Morage companys should take a course on diabetes so they will know what is involved before they say no!
Posted by: Phil Forand | Jun 27, 2021 10:49:52 AM
I have dealt with Diabetes for many years now and have been refused jobs due to my condition, refused mortgage insurance, Have to get my medical reports sent into the Government Automobile Association annually at a great cost, Eye exams and reports as well in order to continue to have my drivers license. I lost in fact my commercial Drivers license due to having Diabetes. Is there discrimmination out there in the red tape of Gouvernment.......... Oh Yes. Not having a bandaid showing allows workmates, Bosses, the public in general to think you are "normal" and without restriction. Try going to the Hospitals or clinics to have blood work done, that is another item of frustration. Medical costs are high, however I do have private insurance which covers the greatest part of my costs. The medical industry also have a field day in making profit. Yes they give out the blood test monitors, but then the cost of the test strips, lances, are their way of making profit. Oh and the rest of the complications as a result of Diabetes we won't even get into because I would use up all the comment space. Being a Human Pin Cushion is no fun, and it does in fact take alot out of ones family members as well, as they have to cope with the constant adjusting of their lives to meet the needs of the member of the family who has diabetes. I feel sorry for the Insurance Companies who are held ransom to pay out expense claims for diabetics as the over inflated costs of medicine spirual once it is confirmed that one has medical insurance. Pharmacies pricing of supplies and medication vary based upon the type of coverage you have. Even though I live in a very regulated Province, the regulations allow loop holes for Pharmacies to charge amounts that are not easily explained to the end users based upon inflated costs. Try explaining to Insurance Companies that medication for blood leaking into your eye, should not be a part of your eye care insurance. Yes getting needles in ones eye once per month, is not covered anywhere as the word Eye is used which automatically attributed to the "eye care" part of ones insurance which has very little coverage to start with. Being poked in the eye with a needle is not fun, and especially when it is being done by ones who are practicing to become a doctor.
The end of it all is simply this: I am alive, I eat everyday, and sleep in clean surroundings. It's a tough world but so many others are worse off than me, so I survive by counting blessings rather than protesting my ails.
Posted by: Cat | Jun 27, 2021 12:04:35 PM
I was diagnosed at 20 months old with diabetes. I am now 25 years old, and luckily, my diabetes hasn't held me back much. I've been lucky enough to travel and do a lot of things that I love. I'm also lucky enough to have a full time job with coverage for my medical supplies. The only instance I can think of where I've ever felt emotional distress over being a diabetic happen about 6 years ago. I was out to lunch with a friend and after we ate (while waiting for our bill) I did my needle (i have a pen) in my stomach. An older lady a few tables away was staring at me. And when I looked at her, she had this look of complete disgust on her face. She obviously didn't understand that I'm a diabetic and thought I was shooting up hard drugs in a restaurant. I laughed with my friend about it later, but it did bother me that someone would automatically think that if someone sticks themself with a needle, that they're a druggie.
Posted by: Mathew | Jun 27, 2021 2:37:23 PM
I am a type 1 diabetic and I have faced major discrimination at work. When you are being set up on an insulin pump you are required to check your blood sugar every 2 hours a supervisor of mine said that" a machine is more important than a persons health". That statement came from no only my superior at the time but also a volunteer firefighter. As a diabetic we need laws to protect us from such discrimination to a point that mutual respect is given no matter what the case. People only discriminate because this is something they can't see. If I was an amputee the discrimination may be more held back. Being on a production line also puts this disease in a different situation and leads to more disrespect and discrimination.
Posted by: lauren | Jun 27, 2021 10:12:34 PM
The diabetic community is like goverment seperation lists on the medium of spending habits and housing to demographic high rates of complaints involving revenue properties, taxes, income supplemnted families, and the working new comers to house the poor in a built unit stats stuidies to save a numbered vote to not give an increase for revenure properties only units approved, but as diabites run in the demographical stat provided, the descreet issue that plague common uninterupted sessions to healthy life styles, housing to the working class, the goverments incentive to lesson the spending in federal payment transfers of suppliment incomes to a contracted out new era of homes specially made for lessoning the rising costs of increasing asking for more when numbers wont be there to say yes they need more, why? cause they are seperated by the margins of income as for diabetes the healthy are most in the same sterotypcle boat to look of how we should be around others of plainly no differant, just that the social fact is it is very hard to catch up to leave soem one behind, the end result? hospitlization and costs that accopany persons who search families that can relate to in such cases to cause destictions between glamour well being, and the most issues now, a envioused event of troubles that causes crime to increase, acception, adaptation and schools merging to see kindergarden wonders of our taxations kinder grades for running the political machines of tommorw? well they say you cant run a country on scar tissue that plagues the brain due to biased events of the past. hope this gives some insurance to the premiums and eligabilites in new corparations in the insurance industry starting up here in mb.
Posted by: Get Serious | Jun 28, 2021 12:53:03 AM
Uh Oh... Lauren is off the wagon again !!
Posted by: ebl | Sep 2, 2021 5:17:15 PM
Watch out for employers stating that because you have diabetes, you are going to be off sick alot in the future, and firing you for this reason. This is a stereotypical assumption, which is direct discrimination, details here https://sites.google.com/site/ellisonblairlimited/