Jessica, who is a CA, CPA and currently a manager at a financial institution in Toronto, knows the challenges of dealing with T1D in the workplace. She occasionally deals with situations where her blood sugar is low at work, which can happen at any time, including right before an important meeting. It’s not a feeling she relishes.
“If your blood sugar gets low enough, you feel like you’re not in control, your heart races, you can’t focus, and you might not be speaking properly,” she explains. “If you don’t get a sugar source soon enough, you could go into a diabetic coma. It can feel panicky, and it can be a critical situation – I need to stop everything and get some juice into me right away.”
Fortunately, Jessica’s colleagues know about her T1D and are very supportive. If a low happens before a meeting, for example, and she doesn’t have a juice box handy, she just tells them she needs to go back to her desk for a few minutes.
“They hold the meeting off for a bit; everyone is really understanding,” she says. She’s also instructed her co-workers about calling an ambulance if she ever passes out during a low – fortunately that’s never happened.
She has been riding for the JDRF Revolution Ride to Defeat Diabetes, presented by Sun Life Financial, for seven years, each year joining work colleagues raising funds on Ride teams.
“I think it’s pretty cool that people in my workplace are supporting others like me with T1D,” Jessica says. “It’s a great cause. I ride for myself and for all of the other people who have T1D, especially children.”