Life can take unexpected turns, and sometimes, these twists challenge our resilience and strength. Today, on World Diabetes Day (14 November), I want to share my personal journey of being diagnosed with diabetes, the hurdles I faced, and the incredible support I found in my new workplace – BET Software. Through my experience, I hope to shed light on the challenges faced by employees who confront health issues in their professional lives and highlight how a caring and supportive work environment can make all the difference.
A Sudden Reality Check
It started in 2019 – I suffered drawn-out illnesses for months. Prescribed meds, over the counter meds and even home remedies weren’t helping. I tried eating healthier but that didn’t help either. After seeing a specialist physician and undergoing several tests, I was finally diagnosed with not one, but three chronic illnesses. In that life-altering moment as the doctor uttered the words “You have Diabetes,” my world turned upside down. The flood of emotions that followed – shock, fear, and uncertainty – was overwhelming. Diabetes is a condition that requires careful management, and I was apprehensive about how it would impact my work life. As a professional, taking sick leave due to a chronic condition like diabetes was not something I had planned for.
Navigating the Work Obstacles
One of the most significant challenges that employees with chronic conditions face is taking multiple sick days. Many workplaces can be inconsiderate, and supervisors might not fully comprehend the gravity of such conditions. In my previous jobs, I had faced situations where employers lacked empathy, viewing sick days as nothing more than a hindrance to productivity. This lack of understanding could lead to a hostile work environment and could make a tough situation even more difficult to bear.
Finding Hope in a Supportive Work Environment
When I joined BET Software, little did I know that I had found a workplace that prioritises employee health and wellness. One of the most incredible aspects of the company are the regular Health and Wellness Days that take place throughout the year. These events aren’t mere token gestures, but fully integrated into the company’s values. They cover various facets of wellness, from mental health awareness and nutritional guidance, to fitness challenges and disease prevention information.
What is Diabetes, Its Symptoms and Health Tips?
Diabetes is a condition where your body has trouble using sugar from the food you eat for energy. There are mainly two types: Type 1, where your body doesn’t make enough insulin, and Type 2, where your body can’t use insulin properly.
Common symptoms include feeling very thirsty, tired, and frequently urinating. If you notice these signs, especially if it persists, it’s important to get tested for diabetes.
Regular exercise and a balanced diet low in sugar can help manage it. Staying healthy, active, and checking your blood sugar regularly are essential tips to live well with diabetes.
The International Diabetes Federation has an online diabetes risk assessment test to predict your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes in the next 10 years. It’s based on the FINDRISC test created by health experts from Finland. It only takes a few minutes to do, and it’s private. After you get your result, see your doctor for blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.
The Path Forward
Since my diagnosis, I try to eat healthier, get regular exercise and take medication to control my diabetic condition. (I’m very grateful to not be on Insulin). I’ve come to terms that this is something that I will have to live with and continuously work at.
My journey of being diagnosed with diabetes was undoubtedly challenging, but it was also enlightening. I hope my story serves as a reminder of the power of compassion in the workplace and the importance of prioritising employee health and wellness.