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RE: [IPk] diabetes at work

Hi Diana
I retired only a couple of years early and because of complications, not
type 1. The reason I had a heavy teaching load was that people were getting
themselves promoted into management because in terms of a contract an hour
spent in a management meeting counts as an hour, an hour lecturing involves
at least 2-3 hours preparation, marking, pastoral work etc. I, foolishly or
not, was committed to teaching (though I was also required to research,
apply for grants etc) I was probably an easy target but did protest that my
health was suffering! This was ignored. 
I won't explain any more-just leave it to others to take this important
debate forward because, as you say, although I worked a 50-60 hour week, I
was lucky in some ways compared to nurses, call centre workers etc
I'd like to hear from them.

-----Original Message-----
From: email @ redacted [mailto:email @ redacted] On Behalf
Of Diana Maynard
Sent: 05 May 2011 11:20
To: email @ redacted
Subject: [IPk] diabetes at work

Hi Christine
Sorry, I still don't understand your point. What is it that you think an
institution such as a university can do (with respect to the DDA) that would
make life as a type 1 diabetic easier?

I'm fully aware of the pressures of being an academic lecturer, and it is
far from being a cushy number I agree. A senior research position can be
just as demanding these days, for those who choose to make a full time
career out of research (very different from a research sabbatical). 
And yes, I chose research over teaching deliberately even though I spend
half my time doing admin, applying for research grants, attending meetings,
running training courses and so on. However, I do believe we
(academics) have a lot more freedom of lifestyle than many other jobs,
whether researchers or lecturers. But my point is that you were complaining
(if I understand correctly) that the pressures of being an academic lecturer
and a diabetic forced you into ill health and to retire early, and that you
blamed the university for not taking into account the DDA. Perhaps I
misunderstood? I can't quite understand what you would have your employers
do differently in order to accommodate your needs as a diabetic? Are you
saying that under the DDA, your employers should be able to give you a
lighter teaching load, for example? I'm trying to focus on the
practicalities here.

No one should be running blood sugars high to avoid embarrassing situations
at work, on a regular basis. If that's the case then I honestly think that's
a pyschological issue you have to deal with, not a physical issue.
Unfortunately, as diabetics at risk of hypos, we are always at risk of
embarrassing situations, and I bet there's not a single person on this list
who hasn't had an embarrassing hypo moment. 
One of the joys of being diabetic, but at least these days we have a lot
more tools at our disposal to try to prevent this (fast and easy to use
meters, pumps, even CGM). It's very true that some people have unsympathetic
and/or unreasonable employers in this respect, and this is a very real
problem. But that's another issue.

And yes I agree that many people are very ignorant of diabetes. 
Especially, it seems, many people with family members with type 2!
Things ARE changing though, and we can all do our bit by educating people.

On 05/05/11 11:02, Christine Bousfield wrote:
> Well, Di, research has its pressures but most lecturers research, do 
> many hours lecturing, meetings, course management etc. They will kill 
> for a resarch sabbatical! I know that when you have to travel to 
> conferences all the time it is difficult and I don't know how you 
> manage alone without sight but I admit you are amazing-fitting in all 
> your exercise programmes and internet lists, too.
> However, the days when a full academic career was a cushy number are 
> over and our institution was very much micromanaged influenced by the 
> business model that permeates everything now and causes immense waste 
> and overwork for those working at the face, including in The NHS.
> I wouldn't complain for myself now but I was making a wider argument. 
> In our long hours' culture whether you work in a call centre or as a 
> nurse you  try to keep type 1 invisible by running blood sugars too 
> high to avoid potentially embarrassing lows. This has to happen, I 
> suppose, with a nurse or paramedic but they should have a decent 
> workload related to their needs so that they can obtain the best control
> The world at large knows practically nothing of Type 1-in the words of 
> our Personnel Manager 'diabetes is nothing. My Granddad's got it'!
> To pretend it is nothing yourself is frankly ridiculous, and 
> potentially lethal.
> Best
> Christine
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