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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Appointments, Appointments and More Appointments

Sometimes I feel like I'm taking time off work every week for some sort of diabetes related appointment. It's not really that frequent, but it just feels that way.

In many ways I'm very fortunate in my work to have a little flexibility. I usually don't have a problem with being able to leave work for a couple hours for whatever appointment I have. I know that not everyone is as fortunate.

What I do get a little angry about sometimes is that it seems like I burn up a large amount of my vacation time just for these appointments. I usually don't have much (any?) left at the end of the year, and usually don't take any time as actual "vacation" (my family outing to Grand Rios Waterpark (aka "The Toilet Bowl Trip") in January was an unusual exception).

And even though people say it doesn't matter, or doesn't affect people's opinion, being gone from work a lot does have an impact on the way your peers and management perceive your "dedication" to your work.

I finally got my appointment scheduled for the dietician (thanks Theresa!). I'm not exactly sure why the hell it took me so long - maybe I'm afraid to face my terrible eating habits or something.

The lady that booked the appointment said it would be a 75 minute appointment. I thought that sounded like a very long appointment, but I guess that is good. Plenty of time to talk about my issues and wrangle up some suggestions. I just hope that it really is 75 minutes with the dietician, and not 60 minutes in the waiting room filling out papers, 10 minutes in the "exam room" waiting for the dietician, and 5 minutes actually with the dietician...

As I sent an e-mail out to my boss and co-workers, I felt a strange feeling of guilt for having to leave for yet another appointment. It's not any "bad vibes" that I'm getting back, and I'm sure it's all in my head, but it just started me thinking. I mean, what if I didn't have any time to take off, or was self employed where time off means lost income, or had a job where it was very difficult to leave work for any period of time, or had a boss who was not understanding? It would add a ton of stress to the situation.

I think that it just sucks to think that there are people out there who have to make a choice between their work and their diabetes. No one should ever be put into that situation. There is no need to add another layer of complexity to things.

I'm thankful that I have it pretty good, but on the same note I recognize the frustrations of others out there who may not.

100 Days

On a completely different note, the 100 Days streak is alive and well at 6 days, with the next three being pretty much automatic basketball days, so that will take me to 9 in a row.

5 Comments:

Blogger Shannon said...

When I was out in the work force I ALWAYS felt guilty about taking time off when I wasn't sick. My MIL has emphysema and used to live with us, so she'd watch Brendon. During times when she was too sick to watch him, I'd have to stay home since I had no one else to watch him. It's definitely a guilt trip. And I'd always get that feeling that my coworkers were judging me even though they were supportive.

I guess it was my own inner-crap thing that I projected onto my coworkers.

On a side note: Great progress on your 100 Days!!

10:42 AM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Scott, if you are having to take vacation time for doctor's appointments, then I wouldn't bother to tell your coworkers you are going for a doctor's appointment. How you spend your vacation time is your own business and everyone gets vacation time as a company benefit.

Personally, I think having to take vacation time for a doctor's appointment sucks!

BTW, congrats on your streak, and keep up the good work!!

8:16 AM  
Anonymous Decomposition said...

I guess this would be a bad time to mention that I get paid time off for doctor's appointments? Wow. I never knew how spoiled I was.

Can you not cover this off under sick leave? probably a stupid question, but it shocks me that you would have to use vacation time for something necessary to maintain your health. Geez.

By the way, I'm adding you to my blogroll--hope you don't mind.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

At my place of work all time off is lumped into one "bucket". Nice in some ways, not so nice in others.

For example, I was out for a couple weeks last year when my mom passed away. It all came out of my "flex time" bucket - which is the only bucket there is. So, it left me struggling to cover my appointments and things for the rest of the year.

I guess every company is different, and I am thankful that I at least get paid time off, regardless of what "bucket" it comes out of. Many people are not as fortunate.

Thanks for stopping by!

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Laura G. said...

Hello Scott,

I'm new to the OC and to this blog and I just wanted to thank you for being generous enough to write it and send it out to us in all its honest, gory detail. I'm a longtime type I pumper with a Cozmo and I can relate to every single thing you write about. And you're not only charting daily BGs but putting pictures of your charts ONLINE. I'm just getting to where I can write results down and expose my BGs to the light of day at all! (I'm a log-hater from way back, preferring to keep all my bad results stored in my head, where it's dark.) Bravo to you!

Now, about this dietician. I have never seen a dietitian in all my 25 years of DM, being far too stubborn and secretive, and I'm dying to know how your appointment went. I hope she was respectful, supportive, and actually had a few new ideas in a format that will work for you and make them stick. Please tell us about it!

Best of luck with everything you're doing to stay on track. Keep it up for 100 days and beyond.

Laura G.

9:37 AM  

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