2.17.15

Tuesday Topic: Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path?

Artist Painting

The DDG received a heartfelt message from a woman who has dominated diabetes for 60+ years.   I wept while listening because SO much of her message hit home.  She described her passion for art and successful career as an artist while battling diabetic retinopathy.  Feeling defeated by a recent trip to the eye doctor, she couldn’t enjoy a single moment of her exhibition.  Diabetes had robbed her of happiness and replaced it with a dark cloud.  Could she still be an artist if/when she lost her eyesight?

I rarely talk about it, but I was fortunate to receive vocational rehabilitation to assist me with my tuition, books, etc.  Even though I was thankful for the help, I was limited as to what I could study and art was on that list.   When I inquired, they explained should/when I go blind, I would no longer be employable.  Shattering news because it confirmed what I had feared growing up with diabetes.  I had no desire to be an artist, but the fact this damn disease could prevent me from doing so was soul crushing…. I graduated with an Environmental Geography degree instead.

Fast forward 15 years –  After a successful couple of years as a jewelry and tee shirt designer, I opened the doors to Dreamer Concepts: A Community Art Space and have been working with artists for about 10 years.  I didn’t pursue traditional art, more fine craft and created Dreamer Concepts to help emerging artists.  The recent message hit home because she is living the dream, even when major artistic/diabetic obstacles present themselves.  Take That Diabetes!!!!

As T1Ds, I believe we have a tendency to suffer in silence, but she had the courage to reach out, to express her anger and feelings of defeat.   In reaching out to her, it reminded me of a post I wrote in the first month, Do You Suffer In Silence?  I reread it and could relate to her feelings of being robbed in a time when the average person would be rejoicing.  No one knew I was suffering and I think that made it worse.  I applaud her for expressing her frustration and feel confident she will continue to thrive no matter what curveballs diabetes throws her.

I hope to hear from fellow diabetics who have broken the glass ceiling by pursuing a career that was not encouraged.  You never know who you might inspire to follow their dreams.

Amber Clour was born and raised in Norman, Oklahoma. 21 days after her eighth birthday, she was rushed to Children’s Hospital where she spent two weeks learning how to live life with Type 1 diabetes. She has embraced the thought of being a #walkingscienceproject and hopes to score an A+ for her efforts to maintain a stable BG while living life to the fullest - whatever that means.

4 thoughts on “Tuesday Topic: Does Diabetes Limit Your Career Path?

  1. I worked with voc rehab for my schooling too. My specialist said he didn’t think nursing would be a good idea, just because what if all that did happen. I told him, I will worry about that, I’m doing nursing. Because of my degree in nursing I can now teach diabetes which is what I love. So now I get the chance to help others avoid dealing with complications due to diabetes. It’s been a blessing to get to do what I want to do and what I enjoy doing. With the exception of few legal mandates, there are no limitations to what PWDs can achieve. The only limitiation is what you will let yourself achieve.

  2. Pingback: Diabetic Retinopathy Is Officially On The Radar | Diabetes Daily Grind

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