FMLA for 32 year old newly diagnosed with DKA?


(Diana) #1

I’m a 32 year old female just diagnosed about a week ago. I was hospitalized for 4 days with DKA. My glucose levels are still very unstable and had to take a week of sick level, but was wondering if I should take some FMLA time-off / short term leave to get my levels more stable and learn how to do this new type 1 diabetic routine.

Are there others out there like me or others who recommend that I take some time off of work? Please share how FMLA works and if you recommend it. My fear is that I go back into work too quickly and end up back into the hospital. Please advise with your thoughts.

Thanks
Diana


(Leah T1D since 2001) #2

Hi Diana! I have no advice for DKA, but I can absolutely tell you that your physical health and MENTAL health are VERY IMPORTANT!! You should take as much time as you NEED to get yourself right. Consider that you will do no one any good if you’re worried and stressing about your health. Not only that, but stress does some bad things to hinder health in general. So, you only get one life, do what you need to do to live it for YOU, not anyone else.


(patel41480) #3

Hello. I work in Human Resources. I don’t know how much you know about FMLA. It is usually unpaid unless you have sick/vacation time you can use. You will have to have a doctor fill out medical paperwork. And it may be in your best interest to take a few weeks off to figured out a schedule, medications and other stuff.
I do know DKA is not fun and should be taken seriously.
The department of Labor has some great info on FMLA.
Let me know if I can help anymore.
Good luck.


(Dennis J. Dacey, PwD) #4

Hi Dianna @Dianamarie17, a Warm Welcome to TypeOneNation!
I can feel for you and your anxiety and concern in your first few days learning to learn and live with diabetes. I was in your position 60+ years ago [when a ‘simple’ blood sugar test took three days] and with many ups and downs learned to manage my diabetes and love a long, active and productive life - you can do that too!
Considering whether to take additional time off from work sounds almost automatic and has many positive points, BUT … Diabetes of this type is a life-long condition that needs your awareness every hour of the day [and night too] so returning to work could help you arrange and adjust your meals and insulin to fit for you what will be your “normal” daily pattern. I do not know what type employment you are enjoying, working conditions and employer/supervisor cooperation so I’m probably talking “best case” scenario. I know that when I was President/CEO I would have accommodated your needs as best possible.
Once again, depending on your work status / condition, if I was in your shoes I would tell my manager what I was up against learning how to adjust to a life with diabetes and request “temporary reasonable accommodation” during my initial learning. Your “special needs” could be as simple as an hourly 5 minute break to thoroughly wash hands with soap and water [alcohol swabbing can affect BG readings] to do a BG check and either take a small snack or give yourself an injection. I’d much prefer to give a good employee 5 extra minutes than train a replacement.
As you may or not know, TypeOne Diabetes is protected [the only disease mentioned in 1990 when the law was written] under Public Law 101-336 - The Americans with Disabilities Act; “reasonable accommodation” must be considered by all employers.
Good luck to you, and let’s continue talking.


(bshap) #5

Diana,

I was diagnosed after DKA at age 31, I’m now 34. I didn’t have the money to stop working, nor did I have sick leave. I went from the hospital to back to work. I was also managing a coffee shop, so had responsibilities that couldn’t be ignored. It took at least a month or two for my body to respond to food normally. A salad would give me high blood sugar. Eventually my body regulated and my numbers dropped considerably.

All that being said, it was scary and overwhelming. There was so much to learn and I was reacting with a lot of fear. If you can afford it, you could definitely take some time to recuperate and deal with your new world. I would say in retrospect, in some ways, working was good because it gave me a break from thinking obsessively about diabetes.

That being said, I stopped managing so I could decrease my stress and create a new more stable environment for myself. In some ways diabetes became a blessing, it forced me to make decisions about what was actually sustainable for me. I just wish that I’d had a week to sit and just be with myself.

That’s just my experience. You are the only one who truly knows what you need. It’s great that you are reaching out.

With care,
betsy


(Michelle) #6

I’m 45 and was diagnosed almost a year ago with DKA. Work kept my mind on the ground so didn’t mind to keep at it - but take what time you need as it is a lot to take on. Your health is the most important need. As others indicated, you won’t be paid unless you have paid time off to take or if your employer offers any short term paid leave. I’m still searching for information almost daily, so just realize It’s going to be a journey.


(flebeccaann) #7

Hi Diana,

I would recommend taking some time off work just so you can get used to the flow of going about your life with diabetes now. I know it’s not quite the same thing, but I was diagnosed when I was in 1st grade and my doctor recommended that I be taken out of school for two weeks, and for my parents to take some time off work too just so we could all get used to it. It’s definitely a lifestyle change, but it doesn’t have to be a bad thing! Good luck and welcome to the diabetes community!


(Andy) #8

Thats a good question.

Newbie here as well. I came out of DKA and kept on working. Not out of any great work ethic but because my mind needed a rest from thinking about just diabetes.
Come to find out, that was impossible to do. I just sat at work and thought about diabetes.