Is Diabetes a Disability?

Here’s a question for you: Is diabetes a disability?  This question came up while I was reading an article in the October issue of Diabetes Forecast.  There is an article titled, “Cracking the Case.”  Long story short, Jeff Kapche was denied a position at the FBI because of his diabetes.  He filed suit against them stating that they didn’t hire him because of his diabetes.  The FBI said that his diabetes is not a disability because he manages his diabetes well.  The court favored Kapche.  The case is still is heading back to the Federal Court of Appeals for another review.

There is no easy answer to this question, it may seem like there is, but there isn’t.  Let’s look at it from all sides.

Diabetes IS a disability

When you have diabetes(type 1) there are certain things that you must do in order to live a healthy life.  You must check your blood sugar, take insulin whether it is from an insulin pump or syringe, be able to have access to glucose in case of an emergency and many more things that we don’t have to get into at this time.  This can definitely hinder your processes of doing normal day to day or daily job tasks.  If you are working an extremely physical job then your blood sugar is more likely to drop faster, so this is where diabetes can be considered a disability.

Diabetes IS NOT a Disability

Even with all of the things that you need to do in order to properly manage your diabetes, they do not have to hinder your daily life or your day to day tasks.  If you are doing the things that you need to be doing, then you can control your diabetes which does not allow it to become a disability.  Whether you are wearing an insulin pump or taking multiple day injections (MDI), you can control your levels.

My 2 Cents

Here’s my 2 cents.  Diabetes is in no way a disability.  I live a normal life, I just so happen to be diabetic.  In the 6 years that I have had diabetes there has not been one single time that I have had to say, “no I can’t do that because I have diabetes.”  I eat ice cream cake for birthdays, I ride roller coasters that go upside down(Manta @SeaWorld)Manta_SeaWorld while wearing a pump hooked to my hip, I test my blood sugar at the table, at the desk, in the bathroom, at work, at the dinner table, I do everything someone without diabetes does, but more!  I don’t see diabetes in any way being a disability.  With proper management, you can control it.  A disability to me is something that you can’t control.

I think using diabetes as a disability is a scape goat for a lawsuit. Sure, there may be a reason that you don’t get a job because of diabetes, but that is a discrimination, primarily based upon ignorance and the cost of your health to the company hiring you.  So, if you are going to file a suit against somebody for discriminating against your diabetes it should be because you are defending that it isn’t a disability and that you are able to do the job just the same as someone without diabetes.  Instead, the guy in this article is fighting the FBI and saying that he was denied the job because he DOES have a disability and the FBI is claiming that his diabetes is not a disability.

This irritates me.  To think that the ADA is doing a 2 1/2 page article in their magazine talking about how diabetes is a disability.  What kind of negative thinking is that?  Not the kind that I want to think about.  How about they write articles about how it’s not a disability, but people’s pure ignorance to think that we can’t do something just because we have diabetes.  I don’t know.  But what I do know is that I’m not going to have an organization that is supposed to be furthering advocacy for the disease I live with, start to take steps backwards.

If you want to accept diabetes as a disability, then be my guest.  That’s your life decision.  But I’m not going to let this damn thing hold me down!

I would love to hear ya’ll feedback.

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JDRF vs ADA – What are your thoughts?

First off, if I have anymore computer problems I am going to flip out and throw this thing out the window.  I was getting some sort of script errors and I don’t know what the heck was going on, so I was pretty much computer-less yesterday.  Anyway on a better note, I have my cup of coffee next to me, making Amanda some chocolate chip pancakes as I speak.  Today is going to be a long day, but what day isn’t anymore.  Long day at the office, long night of football, then the gym, then dinner, then work at home and maybe watch some football if I’m lucky.  I wanted to do this post yesterday, but obviously I couldn’t so here I go.  The JDRF vs ADA, what are your thoughts?  Here are mine (if you care)

I mentioned briefly the other day about how most people have their favorite charity or think that theirs is the best so they want the money for theirs because that cause is more important to them.  In my mind there are two large diabetes non-profits, obviously I am talking about the ADA and JDRF.  Everybody may have their own opinions on these 2 organizations, but overall they are good.  If I were able to only donate to one of them and not both, which I do at this time, this is how I break it down.

I see the ADA and JDRF having two different approaches.  ADA being about advocacy and JDRF being bout research.  So there are two different train of thoughts for me here.  I believe that the ADA is doing a decent job with advocacy in Washington.  Could they be doing better, of course!  So when I donate a dollar to them, I am donating a dollar thinking, “Ok, they aren’t going to help me find a cure, so they are going to help me live a better life with demanding certain rights and insurance priveledges for me”  It is almost as if it is accepted to not find a cure and just deal with the fact that you have diabetes, so let them fight for you and be your voice in Washington.

According to the American Diabetes Association, 24% of funds go to research and 23% goes towards advocacy, however, 21% goes to “fundraising.”  What exactly does that mean?  That $0.21 of my $1.00 goes towards creating a new fundraiser to gain another $1.00 from me?  So I have now donated $2.00 and only $0.48 cents has gone to research and $0.46 to advocacy, but meanwhile $0.42 cents goes to fundraising.  I am not arguing with where the money is being spent because like I said, I still donate to the ADA because I think the things they do are excellent, especially the amount of money they spend on information because the more information the better.  This is just the way my mind thinks of describing the two.

Next up, we have JDRF.  JDRF is my non-profit of choice.  If I had to choose any organization to give money to, it would be them.  The way that I view them is that they are here for one thing and only thing only, to find us a cure and get rid of this nasty thing we all live with.  They obviously dabble in advocacy as well, but their #1 goal is research and a cure, and so is mine.  I want to find something so any chances that my first, second born child will have diabetes will be eliminated.  According to JDRF, approximately 85% of every dollar spent is used towards research.  I’m all about doing it for the kids.

So when I compare the two I see that it only takes me $1.00 spent to get $0.85 worth of research with JDRF.  On the other hand it is going to take me $4.00 spent with ADA to get that same amount of research funded.  This is why I have come to view these two organizations in the way that I do.  I know there are skeptics out there that believe we will not have a cure so we may as well have somebody fighting for us to give us everything we possibly need.  And then there are positive thinkers that just know there will be a cure and do everything in their power to get to that cure, and that’s the boat I am in.  Not to say that one side is better then the other.  In fact, I also think that they should both work together a little closer.

For example, every year for the ADA walk their is a JDRF event the same morning.  Every year at the JDRF walk, there is an ADA event at the same time.  What are your thoughts, do you agree, disagree, am I just crazy?  I will continue to donate to both because I think they are both extremely important.  I know putting up ads and links on your blog is somewhat frowned upon in the dblog world, however if you have noticed that any ad that is on my site, I donate that money to JDRF.  I think this is a great way to easily donate funds to a non-profit of your choice.

Well, I must get going, like I said it is going to be a long day in this life of a diabetic.  So have a great day ya’ll

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