It is my opinion that diabetes is not something that should be hidden. Yes, it’s not something you can see when you first encounter someone with diabetes. But, I don’t feel that a diabetic should be have to hide their injections, testing, meds, etc.
I’ve had a coworker tell me not to test at the front counter, where I work. My job does not allow for breaks, we get no 15 and rarely a lunch. It’s ridiculous to ask me to ask for someone in sales or management to come relieve me every time I want/need to test. My response to him was plainly “no.” If there’s ever a time where I’m testing and a member looks concerned or confused, I am always happy to explain. But, I am not going to walk to the break room every time I have to test.
There is someone else I work with, who CONSTANTLY tells me he almost had T2 and how he overcame it by losing a lot of weight and working out. His doctor says he’s in the clear for now, but it may be a concern in the future. And EVERY time he mentions it he follows with, “what type do you have?” And EVERY time I say “T1” which he follows with “oh wow, what does that mean?” Being someone who has been slightly indoctrinated into the life of a diabetic (if not as an individual, with his numerous diabetic family members), I would think he’d avoid cringing and verbalizing his disgust with testing. This cringe is what usually brings up his diabetes story.
I can’t really ever remember a time where I didn’t inject in a restaurant, at the table. I guess I’ve always had the mentality that if needles, blood, insulin and meds are my normal using everything I need is acceptable in a public setting.
While I certainly have my issues with my father and his being diagnosed with diabetes, I am happy to see he no longer gets up from the restaurant table with his little insulin kit and injects in the restroom. The last few times we’ve eaten out he’s injected right at the table. It makes me proud. I know it’s a little sappy, but in my family it’s a big step to do anything regarding medicine publicly…or at all.
My best friend has an issue with blood and needles. Knowing this, I usually turn away from her if I have to inject with a syringe or test. At a restaurant, I usually test in my lap. I don’t think it’s necessary to draw attention to yourself while testing/injecting, but I definitely don’t agree with keeping it hidden or being ashamed of your “normal.”
The only time I can remember not testing or playing with my insulin pump at the restaurant table was on a date…it was dumb, I felt like I was betraying myself. I don’t want to hide my diabetes, but at the same time I don’t want to be thought of differently for having diabetes. While my day-to-day routine is normal for me and for many diabetics (probably not all of it, but the testing and such) it’s not for the rest of the world. I guess the way I look at it is the more open we are with our “normal,” the more likely our routines are to be accepted. Before I was diagnosed I had never seen someone inject, so I know not everyone is aware of what having diabetes is like or means. But until they’re exposed, they’re not going to know.