Monday, May 12, 2014

I Will Not Lurk in the Shadows

Kicking off D-Blog Week 2014!!!
"Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.)" 

For the most part diabetes is an invisible disease, but the management of this disease is anything but invisible. Whether you manage your diabetes with diet, pills, insulin injections or an insulin pump, it is nearly impossible to make the treatment invisible. 

Recently I began using Symlin (yes, I love it and have noticed an improvement in my blood sugars and a few pounds of weight loss). Suddenly my diabetes management isn't as simple as testing my blood sugar and pressing a few buttons on my pump. In order for the Symlin to work, it must be given before each meal, that means an injection before each meal! I've found that I am not shy about injecting in public, at the table, in the classroom, or wherever necessary. 

A friend has asked that I not inject at the table, it bothers them. This is someone I frequently eat with, and at first I didn't mind honoring their request, but I've noticed that going to the restroom to give my injection makes me feel uncomfortable. Like, taking care of myself is something "dirty" that needs to be hidden away behind a closed door or in a stall. I feel like it takes so much longer for me to gather my supplies, go to the restroom, and give my injection than it would if I just remained at the table and discretely gave my Symlin. It's not like I am using a syringe and vial, this is a pen!

This is a topic that is frequently mulled over in the DOC and even Miss Manners has discussed it. There is a broad variety of opinions, but for me, taking care of myself is not something that needs to be done in shadows. I apologize if it makes my friend uncomfortable, but I will not hide away my diabetes management. Now, I am not saying that this is the way everyone should manage their diabetes, this is my decision and YDMV. 


  1. Being your own advocate is so important. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for sharing, that is a tough situation and I'm not sure what I would do. I'd hate to make my friend feel uncomfortable, but like you I also don't think I'd be happy going to the restroom each time. Good for you for being brave enough to stand up for yourself and do what you need to do, discreetly (I think I would do the same and I bet that friend doesn't even really notice).

  3. You're a caring friend to consider complying with their request. I think a conversation with them is in order. Surely, you can bring them around. (I was less gentle with my friends when I was college-aged. If someone asked me to tell them when I was finished taking my injection, I'd lie and say I was done and just leave the needle hanging out of my arm. I figured I would de-sensitize them to it. It worked, but it's not a very kind or courteous way to deal with someone's injection objections.)

  4. I have a few friends (and relatives!) that have done things that make me uncomfortable...or even squirm. But when they've been like "Well, fern you. This is how it is," or "Get used to it, babe. You are stuck with me" everything feels better.

    I am saying this because YAY YOU! I think as long as *we* know we're not doing anything wrong and have the balls/ovaries to do it, YAY, everyone's happy! I wish I had known this when my mom didn't want me to nurse my two-day-old baby at his baby shower (long story/he arrived three weeks early/mum was worried I'd make the boy filling our water glasses uncomfortable.)

    Also---Melissa with the needle hanging out of her arm! (Cracking up.)

  5. Bravo, J! Next time they say something you can tell them that you'd rather not have to do it either. :-)

  6. Great Post! I probably would have been a lot ruder and told them to suck it up. If they want to be with me, they have to accept this as a part of me. ;-)

  7. Good for you. Awesome to hear that you are not hiding it. Doing something in public that is unsanitary, which if you have a gushing finger after a blood sugar test is one thing, but sticking yourself with a pen, shouldn't bother anyone. If it does, they can always look away, you're not forcing them to watch you do it.

    Way to stay strong!