Go to page content

Erkki's work life story

Erkki, a 60-year-old who has worked in office jobs since the 1970s in a medium-sized municipality, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at about 40. Measuring blood sugar and administering insulin injections work well in his own office, where there is always a supply of snacks and drinks. From the beginning, Erkki decided to be open about his diabetes, "everyone knows it, I haven’t hidden it at all." Partly because he felt it was natural and partly because in special circumstances, coworkers are the best safety net. For example, if he goes to work in the archive alone for a day without any snacks, he informs his colleagues, "that’s where I can be found."

Erkki occasionally experiences symptoms of too low blood sugar: his thoughts do not flow, he feels somewhat unwell, sometimes with trembling hands, heavy legs, and floor feels like he is sinking in it. Especially during the busiest work times, Erkki keeps his blood sugar level slightly higher than usual, even though he knows it's harmful in the long run. He doesn't believe there has been any absences or uncompleted work due to diabetes. There have been long periods of sick leave during his career, but these were due to musculoskeletal issues. Although diabetes has been addressed during occupational health care visits, its treatment has been centralized to the hospital outpatient clinic.

Erkki has not needed any special treatment at work. He eats normal food and does his job as usual. Sometimes he has to take it easy, go for annual check-ups, and anticipate special situations by preparing with snacks or informing a colleague. Erkki enjoys his work and has managed it well.

Updated 8.11.2023