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First question: How many of you on injectable diabetes medication give your injection in front of others at a restaurant or other public place?
Second question: What kind of response did you receive from those around you when you injected yourself?
Did anyone freak out and say things like:
Do you have needle anxiety when it comes to taking your insulin in front of other people? Do you run into the bathroom and quickly take your insulin when your food arrives at the restaurant? Do you risk having hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) because you take your insulin before you go to the restaurant (too early) and the insulin is working before your dinner is served?
Or, are you comfortable in your diabetes management and realize it's best to take your rapid insulin when the food arrives for adequate meal coverage on your insulin program.
Clearly, the public needs to be educated on this subject. Are there any suggestions on how to do this? How do you think Hollywood handles the subject?
Tell me what you think.
Sara J. Carlson, R.N., C.D.E.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., C.D.E.
Selecting "Submit" signifies that you have read and agree to our posting guidelines.
I've had the police called on me and my insulin confiscated when I went to a concert and they saw me giving myself an injection. Finally after being detained for a period of time the officer brought my insulin and syringes back only because his sergeant had a grandmother with diabetes. Otherwise, I would have been arrested, jailed and risked a diabetic emergency from them withholding food and medicine.
I started injecting in the bathroom, but then realized it is not a clean enough environment to do so, now I inject at the table when dinning out. No one has said anything and I'm not worried if it offends them. If my injection that takes 1 minute offends them it is their problem, it is our problem that we need to inject and check everyday..
In a perfect world, there would be a such thing as clean bathrooms, but let's face it- there are enough people who use the bathroom and exit the facility without washing their hands.
I used to use the bathroom. I'd wash my hands upon entering and leaving the bathroom. Now, eight years after being diagnosed, I feel that this is not enough. It's better to wash your hands, leave the bathroom, and do your injection at your seat in the restaurant than to do it in any bathroom.
If bathrooms were as clean as doctor's offices I would have a different opinion on this.
I have never seen anyone inject, whether in a public place or not. I don't feel comfortable doing it in public, not because I'm worried that people hate the sight of needles, but because I think they will be worried about me contaminating the area with my blood.
I am 41 and was just diagnosed with type 1 this week (onset in about 3 weeks - went from no issues to insulin dependency). One of my anxieties is how to eat at restaurants now. I use rapid acting insulin and use abloom sugar measurement + carb counting for the meal and my target to determine how many units to inject. I haven't eaten out yet, and I'll try it with not my family first to develop a system, but I'm having a problem visualizing how I go to a business dinner in another country, estimate carbs, check blood sugar, then inject "inconspicuously". No experience with it yet, but I think I'll probably use the restroom as I figure out what I'm doing before I would attempt public injection.
Do you ALWAYS excuse yourself from the dinner table and head to the Restroom before blowing your Nose? before Sneezing? before Coughing? I think probably not. Taking a blood glucose test and injecting insulin is certainly MUCH CLEANER than any of the above activities, and also not nearly as offensive.
Come on ... show a little class & respect to others seated close by.
Washrooms are fine- put tissue down & get with it.
I am 30 years old and was diagnosed type 2 about 5 years ago. I started injecting insulin roughly 2 years ago. I've never seen anyone inject in public and I would feel better if I did. I do it discreetly at the table because most of the time no one sees or comments. If I do it in the dirty restroom, I am usually grossed out and often get looks and comments. My friends are cool with it and my husband is so encouraging. It sucks having to live this way but I take care of it because I have to. I won't let anyone stop me and if anyone wants to ask me about it I will gladly answer them!
I've had Type I for 35 years also and have NEVER had anyone make a fuss over me giving my injections in public. Right on, Nov 9th post! Bring it on if those 2 dorks tried to say anything to me. I try to be discreet and quick about it-- I guess I figure if someone did have issues with my injections, I'd tell them to get over it and simply look away from me next time. The injections are an unavoidable annoyance that I deal with as conveniently (key word) as I wish to. So there! ;]
I used to go into the bathroom but hated how unsanitary it felt. Then I dropped my bottle once and it shattered when I was trying to juggle everything. That was the end of that. Now I discreetly do it at the table. However, I look around and wonder why I never see anyone else doing it. Maybe they try to be discreet like I do.
I've been a Type 1 for 35 years. When I was younger, I shuddered at the thought of "shooting up" in public. After about age 40 I began to loosen up and am comfortable with it now. I wonder how many of those commenting are younger?
I used to go to the restroom or give my shots in the car, but it was so gross in the bathroom and there is no place to set everything out in either place. I very discreetly give my shot at the table on the side away from the public. One time two big burly guys approached me in a fast food restaurant and said that I was disgusting and it made them not be able to eat. It was threatening and made me feel terrible. Later, though, I just got mad and didn't see why they had to make a scene over something I need to do to live. I shouldn't have to go into a filthy restroom to give a shot and they shouldn't have been staring.
insulin is something you need to live, so don't
be afraid to do what ever you need to do. You shouldn't feel embarrassed doing something to live.
I do inject insulin in a restaurant, although it is only in the last few years that I have started to do so. I find that if it is doe discreetly it is not even noticed by others. I generally ask people at my table if they mind, or suggest that they look the other way, but I have never had a comment or noticed a reaction from others in a restaurant. On the other hand, when I do use a restroom to inject, I often get comments (generally "is that insulin?", or "my brother has diabetes" or something like that). But I find that many restrooms are so small that if someone else is in the restroom it is very difficult to find the space. Anyway, I have had diabetes for 44 years and it's only the last 10 years or so that I inject at the table, or on a park bench, or in some other public spot, and I have never had a problem doing it.
The first time I eat with a person, I explain about the insulin shot and ask if they are comfortable. If not, I wait until my food arrives, ensure it's correct and take my shot - I have never had anyone tell me they were uncomfortable.
Although, once, while eating alone in a food fair, I took my shot, ate and in the middle of eating a security guard came in. He started at me, I looked at him, he looked around and then he left.
It took me a moment to realize that someone had reported a junkie shooting up in the food fair, and since I am a middle age, overweight woman, I just didn't match his image of a junkie.
It was funny, but clearly some education is required.
Now I have a medical alert bracelet tattoo'd on my wrist with the word diabetic in big letters.
Oh please, show me an adult juvenile diabetic who hasn't gotten the testing and injecting down to 90 seconds and you'll see a person with complications and out of control sugars. We inject through our clothes, check our sugar on our lap in restaurants and while driving. I like when people see me doing the ritual in the locker room and ask so I can warn them about the dangers of becoming a type 2.
Real type 1 for 38 years but got a pancreas transplant 15 months ago. YEAH!!!!! So far, so good.
I inject in public through my clean shirt. no one seems to notice. my grandkids are fine with it. we should never have to go into a filthy bath room to do it.
I've had Type 1 for 28 years and am now completely relaxed about testing and injecting (with a pen) in public. I don't feel sorry for myself at all, nor do I display it - I just do what I need to do. Recently, a woman in my book group who has cancer told me that she has to test her blood sugar because of her cancer treatment and that she'd watched me test my blood in such a relaxed way she'd taken real inspiration from it and now did it easily. People who make a fuss shouldn't go out. We harm no-one, we just look after ourselves and people's responses are not our responsibility.
I agree with JorjaF. We should not have to run to a bathroom or some other "quiet place" to test and inject. I never try to flaunt my disease, which is insane. Do you really think it makes me feel good to draw everyone's attention to me just get their sympathy? Also, I don't want to have to balance my meter and needles on a small ledge or inject myself in a germ filled environment.
Also, lazy, get off my butt? I work out every day, count carbs and make every meal myself, and check prick myself at least seven times daily. I am not a lazy person, and you have no right, absolutely no right to assume that. I don't know what kind of chip you have on your shoulder but knock it off.
I shouldn't have to hide in a filthy public bathroom to do a 2 second injection. I'm not a freak, I have a medical condition. If you have a problem with watching then please turn your head. It doesn't concern you. I'm tired of being shoved in a closet. 33 years and counting, and only once was I confronted in real life, but on a forum behind computers...people say the darndest things.
Both my husband and I are diabetics. I don't like watching him inject himself and I always try to do my injections discretely in public. Doesn't help that I have a big belly that I would not want to bare in public so I usually go to the bathroom for that.
I agree it is difficult to stand up and find a bathroom to inject while in a public place. But these people who pull out everything to test their blood and prepare the injection in front of others should be so insensitive. Look, it's tough to live like this for sure, without a doubt, but doing this is like saying "Oh look at me I'm a victim, don't you feel sorry for what I have to do every time I eat?" Maybe you love the attention you get with answering the questions they have but don't be so lazy, get off of your butt and go to a quiet place, take care of it as fast as you can and get back to your seat without any drama - How easy is this? Mary
Dawn: We are so sorry that that happened to your grandaughter. It sounds like the children around her have a healthy curiosity. She should absolutely NOT have to leave the table to give herself an injection. The public still needs a lot of education about diabetes. We recommend that you call the American Diabetes Association (1-800-DIABETES) for assistance.
I inject my insulin in front of other people, but I try to be discrete about it. I've rarely gotten comment. I don't make it a big deal, so most people ignore it too. I try to inject myself under the table; occasionally through my (clean) blouse or pants, rather than bare my skin to others.
My custodial granddaughter (9) was diagnosed with Type 1 over a year ago and the school she attends does not have a nurse. Last year the school was very supportive of us being at school to attend to high's and lows and inject her with insulin. We give her the injections at the lunch room, some children have asked questions and just want to know what is happening. After telling them what we are doing and why, they are fine and will tell us stories about when they have had shots. We have a new principal this year and she has asked us to go into a storage closet or go after lunch to another location. She used the excuse that the other children were scared, and one aid told me it was because of the children would think she was taking drugs and we were forcing them on her. I have offered to educate the children or have some one come and talk with them, this has not been accepted as a good solution. I talked with the teachers of the classes that are their at that time and it is not the students but the faculty themselves that tell me they are squeamish and it bothers them to see her getting a shot. I have suggested they turn the other way. I do not want our granddaughter ever feeling like she needs to hide her disease or feel bad about herself that she has it. It is a fact of life and people need to be educated and it would be better at a young age, to learn not all people are the same and some have to take medicine, and it comes in many forms.
I used to run to the bathroom, but I finally got over that. Now I just inject at the table. Most of my friends just ignore it and say nothing. My mother gets a little upset- and offers to go to the bathroom with me, but I say no and do it at the table. I never see anyone else doing it though. But the other week I was at the mall foodcourt- and finally saw someone else doing it. It made me feel so good to know I'm not alone!
After 33 years don't remember it ever bothering me to inject in public. I am just thankful they have had the throw a syringes since I have had Type 1. I don't watch nurses give any kind of shots.
It depends on what I am wearing whether I inject at the table or run to the bathroom. Even using a pen I do have a hard time giving myself a shot in the upper arm. Summer time is so much easier. I am a widower so I don't have anyone to give me shots I must do it myself.
My husband and I do not have any problems giving his shots in public. Even our grandkids (age 4 & 8) think it is okay, they actually disagree about who is going to carry "papaw's" medicine bag. They also will hold the alcohol pad while I give the injections.
If anyone says anything, we just say we prefer to keep him around and this helps do that.
I do my Byetta in a public place.
I have not done my Insulin in a public place.
I do it in the car.
When I with my friend she goes outside because she don't like needle.
I guess I've been fairly lucky because in the 20-plus years I have had type-1 diabetes, I've never had an issue injecting insulin in public. If I know a friend is sensitive to needles, I tell them to turn their head. Of course, now that I'm on an insulin pen, I get less odd looks. Most of the people I am around don't say anything about it one way or another aside from the occasional, "Oh, you're diabetic? I did not know that. My mom/sister/dad/brother/cousin is as well."
I have no problem injecting in public, I view it no different than someone swallowing oral meds at meals. Most of the questions come from children, and parents have told me thank you for explaning simply that my body has a part that doesn't work without the aid of medicine which I have to inject. Injecting in public places can be handled very discreatly.
My mother is diabetic and takes her insulin too early when eating out or rushes to the bathroom to inject.
I absolutely agree with you that the public should be educated on this subject. I do sympathize with people who genuinely have phobias of needles or blood or are discomfited, but think those people can look away. Most people who inject in public are really quite discreet.
I don't think Hollywood covers this subject at all and perhaps that is part of the problem. If the public were used to seeing diabetics injecting insulin in media images, perhaps they would be desensitized and those with diabetes would feel more comfortable injecting in public.
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