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Question:

From San Diego, California, USA:

I work for the Military Sealift Command. I have diabetes type 2 and take oral medications. The way I see it, I have just a little time left before this medication will wear off and I'll eventually have to take insulin therapy. How can the government discriminate by giving me a permanent "not fit for duty" status and lose all my government time? Have no chance to transfer to another agency? Well, you would think that you have some form of rights under the 504 federal code.

Answer:

You have asked a very good question. But first, before answering, I am wondering why you feel your oral agents will work such a short time. Have you already combined several types without success? With 4 classes (types) of drugs to treat diabetes, knowledge of carbohydrate counting, exercise and your own blood testing to guide decisions you will be best prepared to manage your diabetes for the long haul. Adding insulin is necessary for many people down the road but usually, with type 2 diabetes, there is a progression as your pancreas' ability to make insulin slowly declines.

Regarding your question about insulin and active duty, I'm wondering if the rule they are following is the same as the National Trucking Association which states that no truck driver will be able to keep his special license if taking insulin. The FAA has recently taken this law, which it had also been following, and will now let pilots receive pilot licenses while taking insulin. There are some forms and doctor letters that are necessary but the bottom line is that pilots can fly while taking insulin. The old rules are changing and perhaps that will also apply to the military services as well. The American Diabetes Association was a strong supporter/advocate for this change and more can be found from them.

I wish you great success in management of your diabetes and hope that as your medicine needs change so will the laws that were made long before we knew anything about diabetes management.

KS

Additional comments from Jeff Hitchcock, The Editor:

The American Diabetes Association has been running a poll about discrimination.

JSH

DTQ-ONCEMRM20000526
Original posting 29 Jun 2000
Posted to Other Social Issues

  
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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:10
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