In a recent training for work, I was reminded of how humiliating diabetes can sometimes be. About an hour into “Facilitating Meetings,” I started to feel like my bloodsugar might be off. I popped out my meter – being sure that the meeting leader saw me as I tested.
253 mg/dl… Hmmm… I pull out my pump – again being sure that the pump tubing was showing. Beep, beep, beep – dialing in the correction bolus.
“Excuse me, NICOLE – you need to stop TEXTING now.”
I’m taken aback. “Um…” I utter.
The meeting leader interrupts “Now. Please stop TEXTING.”
My face is scarlet as I croak “I’m not TEXTING…” Placing the same enunciation on the last word as the leader had. “I’m –“ I only get half of the m out…
“It sure looks like you’re texting there. Care to share what you ARE doing???”
I’m not able to curb my aggravation as I say “Not particularly. But I guess I don’t have much choice, I’m GIVING INSULIN for DIABETES.”
“Oh. Well can you mute that thing? Does it have a manner mode?”
“No I can’t mute this thing.” My voice is now edging toward out and out angry sounding. And I say this last not because I’ve forgotten how to put my pump on vibrate, but because I want this guy to know he’s being a total jerk. “It’s not a phone.”
By now, I’ve finished bolusing and put my pump back in its pocket. My face is as red as the tip of the white-board marker the leader waves around in his hand. I look up at the leader as he says, almost under his breath “FINISHED?”
“Yeah, I’m finished,” I say.
And the class continues on.
At lunch break, the woman next to me says “I can’t believe he DID that. I just can’t believe it. Are you alright?”
“Sure am,” I say, “this disease can be a pain sometimes.”
“I guess it can.” She says. “He’s lucky you kept your cool, isn’t he?”
“I guess,” I say, “But he won’t be lucky when I contact HR tomorrow.”
“Atta girl!!” She says, smiling at me.
“Atta girl!!” I think as I thank her – my grin wide.
I had a nice conversation with my HR Rep the next day – explaining what had happened. She promised to have a conversation with the trainer, an outside consultant they bring in for workshops like the one I was taking. I felt better having voiced my concerns.
But, man, in those two minutes, I could’ve exploded.
Sure, calling someone out if they’re doing something rude in a meeting is something I’d expect – something I fully support. But not giving a person the chance to explain what they are doing – and then making an issue of the noise it’s causing – even when you know the noise is related to a medical condition is just ridiculous.
Anybody out there had any issues at work related to diabetes or care that needs to happen at inopportune times or people who just don’t seem to understand that what you’re doing isn’t optional?