On June 5th, 2021, Abigail Van Buren, known for her advice column, “Dear Abby,” took on a question from the coworker of a diabetic whose continuous glucose monitor makes noises.

The Diabetes Twitter-verse was less than enthused.

I’m going to let you know up front, my mind did not go to the same place as most people.

As a person with ADHD, I completely understand the need for a conducive work environment. Not everyone has a career where they are able to wear earplugs or headphones for concentration. At the same time, not everyone has the ability to keep a flat line glucose level to prevent alarms from going off.

Am I supposed to endure this annoying sound even though she can put it on vibrate?

More transparency from me: the question is insensitive. It is blaming the person who is paying intricate attention to their blood sugar. Most of us know that the beeping indicates something isn’t quite right, and I know when my blood sugar isn’t in range, I’m. Moody. As. Hell. 

I guess my first instinct is wanting to know whether the coworker has spoken to the person with diabetes or not. I would assume there has been open communication in the office about the CGM, especially if the coworker knows that it could be put on vibrate. Otherwise this is just an incredibly unhappy person (based on the assumption they did research to learn it vibrates).

Abby suggests the coworker needs to speak directly to their coworker. I completely agree with this. Abby suggests the coworker speak with a supervisor if the person with diabetes (PWD) refuses to switch the alerts to vibrate. I also agree with this suggestion. Why? Because the coworker could be wrong. It could be that the PWD cannot silence the alarms (I know I can’t silence low alerts!). It could be the person has extenuating circumstances (pregnancy, for example), that require even closer monitoring than usual. Or maybe the PWD is simply being spiteful because they aren’t fond of the coworker.  Abigail Van Buren cannot see what is going on, and because of that I think she probably answered in the most concise manner: You can be an adult and address this situation. If you can’t, talk to your supervisor and they can deal with it.

Do you have a workplace story? Has anyone every given you grief for taking care of yourself? Have you had trouble with management?

Respond to my blog topics on Twitter! Talk with you soon!

Published by

Sonja Cunningham

20 years survived with T1D, 2021 Executive MBA candidate at the University of Nevada, Reno

2 thoughts on “Abby…Dearest?”

  1. Heck no you are not being annoying. March right over and tell them to turn that damn thing off. In fact start yelling. I woudl say in fact start throwing things. Demand better treatment. Jump on you desk and start jumping up and down.

    Kick some papers, put your foot through the window, dump your trash can and heave big balls of spit and gum at the front window. You will enjoy your show and so will everyone else.

    Then ask if you can move and if not run your car into your co-workers car. Trust me this will not help, and hopefully you can get another job soon. You will be remembered forever, you will be a legend.



    1. Hello Rick!

      This comment is a hoot! I thought you were serious for half a second, then I saw “throwing things” and figured out it was tongue-in-cheek. I’m glad we are able to use humor – it makes dealing with nonsense so much easier.

      Thanks again for your comment!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s