Another Kind of Coming Out.....Help!

Hey there all you old pros: Please take pity on a newbie (T2) and don’t laugh, but Monday will be my very first time testing in public and I could use some pointers. I’ve tested away from home a number of times, but it’s been at the homes of family and friends. Monday I’m going to try to do my duty as a citizen and at least show up for jury duty. I’ve talked to the Jury Coordinator and she talked me through permissible protocols so I can test and have a snack and not be disrespectful. But what about the basics like a clean finger? I’ve been practicing putting The Leech in my lap resting on a magazine. But good grief, I’m a fumble-fingered person and I keep dropping things. And you all have taught me that I don’t need to worry about a new sticker every time, but how do I dispose of the test strip appropriately if I’m in the courtroom? Obviously, if I can get to a bathroom, some of this will take care of itself. So imagine I can’t and Help!

Also, I have noticed that when I am discombobulated/stressed I am even more fumble-fingered and also that my #s are a little higher as I suspect they will be. Does that seem reasonable?

Thanks! I don’t know what I would do without knowing you are all there as a resource!..

P.S. I’m not inclined to hide any of this. I consider it a Teaching Moment if anybody notices. I would prefer not to put us all to shame, however!

Be well…Judith in Portland

if you take your case with you that you carry your meter in put the used strips in the pocket of it

  1. Since you’re drawing blood in public, you are exposing other people to your blood. Even though it’s a miniscule amount someone could object. So go talk to someone in charge when you show up, tell them what you’re going to do and ask if they have any protocol or rules. This has never been a problem for me, but when you’re in a public building and jury room you don’t know what you’re going to run up agains.

  2. Keep in mind that it’s highly unlikely that anyone will even notice what you’re doing. Most people will probably try very hard to ignore you if they do notice. Fumbling usually occurs because we’re afraid people ar ewatching and we want to hurry up and get done. In the first place, nobody is watching. In the second place, take your time - there’s no rush.

  3. Throw your used supplies back into your blood testing kit. Or bring an empty Altoids container.

  4. when you’re in the courtroom, as opposed to the jury assembly room, tell the bailiff that you have a medical issue you need to bring up - i.e. that you may have to do a blood test in the middle of proceedings. Is that going to be a problem for any of the court personnel.

  5. Despite all the above, don’t get too fretful about it. Most people are unlikely to notice.

Terry, those were all great points. So now I have nothing to add, except that most people probably won’t notice.

I have been testing in public for years and have never yet had any one respond in any way that suggested they noticed or cared.

When I’ve been with friends a couple times they’ve asked, “Does that hurt?” And I’ve replied. “No” and that has been that.

I put the used strips in the little pocket of my meter case, too.

I think it is a very good thing to help the public understand that testing blood sugar preserves health and that contrary to the message promoted by TV ads, testing isn’t a horrible painful experience.

What you should not do is test in the bathroom. It’s the dirtiest place in any building!

I’ve only been confronted testing in public once, by a waitress as I tested at the table before dinner. (sigh)

But besides that, I’ve never had a problem, and I do use it as a “teaching moment” if anyone asks.

I usually put my strips in one of those little pill baggies in my meter case, and toss it when I get a chance. I also keep the little “spot” bandaids to cover the test site afterwards – I test on my arm, and I don’t want it to get on my sleeve.

Hi Judith,
I second everything people before me have said - great advice there. I’m in school and test a lot during my classes, and most people around me either don’t notice or pretend not to. As for the clean finger, I wouldn’t worry unless you’ve been handling something that might leave traces of sugar on your finger - but take a couple of alcohol swabs with you just in case (although the smell of those might be more noticeable than the test itself!). Also, if you have a meter that beeps you may want to turn the sound off.

I’m not sur about the testing the courtroom part but sometimes I carry a sandwich bad and put the strip and lancet in that or just put it in you meter case. I hope this helps.

Hi Judith…I keep all my supplies in a zip top cosmetic type bag. When I need to test in public, I can put the bag on my lap, or the table and even leave it in my purse, reach in and do what needs to be done. It just looks like you’re fumbling around in your purse, unless someone is standing over you, which is (the fumbling in the puse, that is,) something women seem do do more and more as we get to that afore mentioned, certain age. I am clumsy even without being nervous. This way, if I drop something, it is still in my bag. I dump the trash in there as well, and clean it out when I get to it.

Good luck, tomorrow.

I often use an empty Listerine Fresh Strips case to place my used test strips in. I keep this slim fresh strips case in my meter case or my pocket.

Great name!

I keep a couple of empty test strip vials with me to dipose of used strips, lancets and needles from my pen. I usually mark the outside with an X in permanent marker so that I don’t accidently put used strips in with new ones. I usually have a tissue in my pocket and use a corner of that to apply a little pressure so that it stops bleeding and then pop that in the vial also.

If you hold you hand hanging down for a second or two, the blood will rush down to your fingers. Also, I will rub my finger against my pants, to warm them up before I test. These things usually help me, I hope it does the same for you.

If I can’t warm up my hand, and can’t get blood, I’ll give my finger a good poke and then squeeze it starting from the bottom of the finger (where it meets the palm) all the way up, and it always gives a good drop.

Good luck with your D coming out!

I cannot add anything to the excellent points made in this discussion, but the issue of the “Confrontational Waitress” the gears in my head turning. I can still remember watching Dan Akroyd, on Saturday Night Live, doing a skit on Julia Childs where he cuts his (her) finger and blood spurts forth under tremendous pressure and sprays across the room. Now if we could just find a way to duplicate this effect in court rooms, restaruants, etc…

He was a great Julia! I am going to keep that visual in my mind for those times when I am worried about public perception… of course, then people will wonder why I am giggling and doing creepy, blood oriented things in public.

Now, what about the Bass-o-matic?

Hey Judith, how did today go?

Glad it went well. I am looking forward to reading the details.

I wish. I was too mortified to think of anything good at the time. Isn’t that always the case?

This past Saturday my wife and I bought a car. While finalizing the details with our sales rep, I started feeling bad and my hands started shaking. I realized that my bs was dropping (I have recently been adjusting my medication due to this problem). Our sales rep. had noticed that my hands were shaking, so I told her that I was T2 and that we were going to break for lunch and get my bs back up. I could tell that she was a little uneasy with this situation.